This post involves a fictional company called It’s Popcorn Time! (IPT). IPT manufactures snacks and treats for the local Philadelphia area.
Although we are surrounded by marketing every day, the concept of marketing is rather vague and nebulous to most people. Perreault, Cannon, and McCarthy (2008) define marketing as “the performance of activities that see to accomplish an organization’s objectives by anticipating customer or client and directing a flow of need-satisfying good and services from producer to customer or client” (p. 6). This strikes me as an extremely convoluted way of saying that the job of a marketer is to anticipate customer demands and satisfy them in a way that is beneficial to the company. The benefits to the company may be in the form of profits or good-will in the community. As long as the company benefits and the customer is satisified, the marketer is successful.
As the new marketing manager of IPT, my role is to find solutions for the challenges this organization faces that benefit both the company and the customer. In many cases, these solutions will result in increased profits and market penetration for IPT. In other cases, we will settle for good-will within the community and focus on marketing that builds the IPT brand. In all cases, we will seek to maximize the company’s benefit.
Before we can move forward with any marketing strategy, we must assess the current state of affairs at IPT. We know our current markets, but we may not be fully aware of how well marketed we already are. The first order of business will be to see where we stand in the Philadelphia-area market. With this understanding, we should have a clearer picture of the road ahead. That road may lead down the path of deeper market penetration in our existing market, or expansion into other markets.
On the subject of other markets, two plans have been floated around for expansion. The first involves focusing on the Pennsylania Dutch communities in the area near Philadelphia. The traditional treats of the Pennsylvania Dutch are not offered by most gourmet treat vendors, and this market may prove both unique and profitable. The other idea is focused on expanding into much larger markets in surrounding states. Although this strategy is more traditional, it also includes more risk as we would be going head to head against many entrenched competitors. Fortunately, increased risk means a chance for increased reward.
The final piece of the marketing puzzle for IPT is the development of a marketing plan. This marketing plan will be based on the assessment of IPT’s position in it’s current market in conjunction with the strategy necessary to facilitate expansion into target markets. The marketing plan will be very detailed including pricing plans and promotional ideas. Although the marketing plan will be a living document that grows and changes with the organization, I hope you will see it as a roadmap to IPT’s success.
Perreault, Jr., W. D., Cannon, J. P., & McCarthy, E. J. (2008). Essentials of marketing: A marketing strategy planning approach, 11th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.