LA325 Course Notes
Activity Date: 4/2/2013
Strategy & Implementation Timeline
ABC Company is scheduled to hard launch in spring 2014. The launch strategy will be implemented in four phases.
- Phase 1 – Secure financing, August 2013: Complete one-year projected financial statements; compile application materials for SBA-guaranteed business loan for $75,000; and secure outside investments of at least $2,000 total.
- Phase 2 – Select and purchase inventory and facilities, November 2013: Strategy; Strategy; and Strategy
- Phase 3 – Phase, Goal Date: Strategy; Strategy; and Strategy
- Phase 4 - Phase, Goal Date: Strategy; Strategy; and Strategy
Activity Date: 2/6/2013
Marketing Plan Part I
Many of you may decide to write a brief introduction of your marketing plan. Below is an example of the LACS intro for you to review.
This Liberal Arts Career Services marketing plan serves to document our brand identity, streamline student outreach, create tailored messaging through audience segmentation and integrate social media and on-campus marketing into the existing brand structure, in an effort to create greater opportunities for more measurable student and employer outreach. The plan contains a detailed outline on how to:
- Identify our brand across media, services and products
- Provide clear, distinct avenues for students to understand and obtain services offered
- Increase the overall number of students entering the LACS office
- Develop innovative, measurable metrics for defining and achieving success
- Connect with students outside the office to make relevant, positive brand interactions
- Develop valuable partnerships on and off campus
- Increase the number of online connections/followers on social media sites
Brand - Write a summary of your brand that includes info you've gained from answering the following questions:
- How is your brand unique?
- What does your brand promise?
- Does your brand reflect your culture as well as that of your ideal customer?
- What is the tone of your company?
- What are the 10 words or phrases you selected that describe how your customer will feel when consuming your product or receiving your service?
Identity - Include a very brief description of your typefaces and color palette. Below is an example of the LACS identity elements.
Title: Trajan Pro Bold - Use for headlines, stand alone text.
Heading 1: Arno Pro Bold Caption - Should be used for primary subheads and stand alone text, preferably 12 point.
Heading 2: Arno Pro Bold - Should be used for secondary subheads and stand alone text, preferably 14 point.
Heading 3: Calibri Bold - Should be used for tertiary subheads and stand alone text, preferably 12 point.
Body: Calibri - Should be used for all body text, preferably in 10 point.
Website Text: Gill Sans
Logo - Include a draft of your logo or logo series. Rough sketches are fine (feel free to draw it out, scan the image and use that jpg in your word document). Below is an example of the LACS logo series.
LACS Logo Usage & Brand Guidelines
This guideline is to promote proper and consistent use of all LACS logos. Individuals should attempt to adhere to these guidelines whenever possible.
- The logos can be modified in size, but must not change proportions. For legibility purposes the logo must not be reproduced smaller than one inch wide by one-half inch high.
- The logos may not be altered or otherwise distorted in perspective or appearance.
- The logos must be used as stand-alone graphical elements (i.e. the logos will not be part of or be combined with any other design element or logo). Lines or rules must not intersect the logo so as to appear to be part of the logo itself.
- A minimal amount of space must surround any logo, separating it from other elements such as text, to ensure that the other elements do not appear to be part of the logo. The space should be one-quarter inch on the bottom as well as both sides. The top clear space should be one-eighth inch. To measure the bottom clear space, start at the baseline of the logo and allow one-quarter inch of clear space before adding any other design elements.
- It is a best practice to link logos when used in electronic media such as web sites, electronic newsletters, emails, etc. Must use logo consistently and in the same place throughout multi-page documents
Key messages should be assigned to the organization at large and then for each specific audience in a way that aligns with LACS’s overall goal, vision and mission. The purpose of assigned key messages is two-fold. It provides message consistency across various media and enables multiple people throughout the organization to present a unified organizational front. The idea is to efficiently and concisely convey information so that there is focused foundation that allows for internal alignment and effective target audience communications.
General, overarching LACS Key Messages: [tone: professional yet inviting, straightforward, matter-of-fact].
Strategies & Objectives:
Your strategies and objectives section ill outline the main strategies for connecting with your target audience(s) and how you plan to do that. Below is an example of the LACS Strategies & Objectives.
This section will be addressed further under the implementation section; however, this medium will be imperative to strengthening the LACS brand presence, reaching students in their own environment as well as staying attuned to technological and communication based trends that affect the industry and how students seek employment and internship opportunities.
To ensure message continuity and clarity, LACS should implement a color coded system with email layouts arranged by topic, so that over time students become accustomed to understanding which email contains what topics and better to determine which emails are relevant more quickly. For example, when students receive weekly emails, each section of the email should be clearly divided by topic for easy reading and contains links to pertinent online information.
In office announcements will play a large role in securing repeat visitors and should provide an optimal brand experience. For students entering the office, it’s important to remember the rule of 3s. Students need to hear about upcoming events and dates at a minimum of 3 times per visit. This will require
internal coordination so that everyone in the office knows how each message and event is being
communicated. Messages should be relayed via the front desk as they’re entering or leaving, a career coach, through the lobby and library PPT and/or informational quarter sheets.
During the semester, at least one ambient ad should occur per semester. This is marketing that seems somewhat unexpected, yet has a relevant tie in and carries the message of the overall brand. Ambient marketing should take place near and around campus buildings and dorms that are frequented by COLA students. Examples include anything from a travel resume road show to writing on classroom
chalkboards; however, for this style of marketing to be most effective the execution must be creative and “outside the box.” If done right, this marketing style will resonate the strongest with students and
separate LACS from its on-campus direct competition.
General Marketing to Students of On-Campus Events
To ensure consistency and a timely delivery of the notification regarding student events LACS should make sure that at minimum each event is promoted by all the methods listed for that event classification.
Typically there are four types of events requiring promotion:
1. Career fairs/large scale events that not only require the participation of on campus students, faculty and staff but that also call for the participation of employers and small segments of the Austin community.
2. Smaller events hosted by LACS that may or may not be held in the LACS office and require the participation of students and student organizations on campus.
3. External LACS events, events that are usually held on campus by another college but is open to all university students or is of particular relevance to LACS students.
4. Notifications of application and/or fellowship deadlines, these are deadlines of popular job or internship availabilities.
Activity Date: 1/29/2013
Competition Types & Specific Competitors
Competing with ABC company to provide luxury airport transfer service to Austin Bergstrom Airport passengers are taxi, shuttle, limo and private car services. In the Central Texas market, specific competitors for ABC include a variety of low- and high-end passenger transportation companies.
• Austin Private Car and Limo: Small fleet of luxury vehicles of various sizes.
• Concord Limousine: Medium-sized fleet of luxury vehicles; informative and effective website.
• Limos of Austin: ........
• Sedan's Inc:..........
• Yellow Cab: Transportation readily available airport curbside cabs, no reservation required.
Due to the increased number of business travel to the Central Texas region and the lack of luxury transportation services focused on travelers in and out of the Austin Bergstrom International Airport as well as the business and population growth numbers in the region, competition in the airport transfer market has decreased year over year since 2000.
ABC target customers currently utilize the following types of hired transportation:
• Taxis (60%)
• Shuttles (20%)
• Limo (15%)
• Private Car (5%)
Advantages Over Competition
The advantages ABC has over our competitors are:
• Its status as a well-recognized brand for luxury services provides an immediate customer base.
• Its management plan is streamlined to lower the overhead costs while focusing on personalized concierge-quality service.
• Its service delivery uses high-tech and high-touch interface options to provide transportation efficiently and effectively with a focus on luxury and quality.
Yellow Cab Austin has traditionally taken the largest share of the market. Yellow Cab's strength is based on ….. However, Yellow Cab's business focuses solely on the transportation from point A to point B with no luxury or personalized service.
Austin Private Car and Limo takes the largest share of specialized transportation, operating in a niche business traveler's market; this service offers B2B billing and other services. However, these vehicles are typically smaller, for small or individual business groups and cannot accommodate large groups or families.
Barriers to Entry
This market includes various barriers to entry limiting the number of existing companies and potential new companies competing for market share.
- High startup costs to purchase luxury vehicles. ABC Company has secured investment of $400,000 to purchase vehicles and to pay operating expenses.
- Limited access to airport terminal. ABC Company has secured a 10-year lease for three spaces on the airport complex: retail space, valet curbside space and driver parking space.
- High turnover rate of licensed drivers. ABC Company provides a high-level of employee services, benefits and compensation to keep our staff; drivers receive regular training.
Describe your ideal customer(s) with a summary of what makes them ideal and how you hope to connect with them. Below is an example of the LACS Audience guide, segmented by each customer type.
LACS Audience Segmentation
Students: Current LACS students are mostly juniors and seniors. These students require a wide variety of career planning activities - including career coaching, career courses and pre-law/graduate school advising - as well as direct access to job and internship opportunities. However, due to the competitive career landscape students will need to begin preparing for their transition to the “real world” at an earlier age. This means LACS should target freshman and sophomores to participate in LACS activities as early as possible in order to gain repeat customers and build LACS brand loyalty beginning with freshman orientation. Generally, students tend to be tech savvy and obtain information quickly through social media and electronic means. Students seek out information “in the moment," have little patience for information they deem irrelevant and are looking for quick answers to their questions.
LACS employers represent companies and organizations across industries: corporate, nonprofit, education and public sector. Employers are looking for well-prepared students who will increase the value of their company as well as efficient ways to recruit and keep top talent. LACS will need to work with employers to receive feedback and refine methods for providing employers with the level of service and talent they need. The level of communication these employers receive from LACS will reflect the level of professional training employers feel LACS provides to its students, so consequently the manner and tone in which LACS handles all employer communications is far reaching.
Academic Departments: When positioning LACS as a niche resource that educates transitioning students on how to articulate the value of their major and life experiences it’s imperative to partner and understand the role of academic departments and advisors. Since academic advisors are experts in their devoted discipline they provide valuable insight into each department’s inner workings and are thus able to provide LACS with the insight to help students understand and appreciate the value of their degrees. Academic departments are also valuable for their referrals, driving students into the LACS office.
Stakeholders: A supporters and contributors of LACS, stakeholders seek trackable benefits that will encourage them to continue to invest and expand the organization. Although not the immediate target for LACS services and messages, the needs and values of this segment must be incorporated into all aspects of the plan while catering to the culture and lifestyle of students, businesses and organizations.
Activity Date: 1/22/2013
What is a business plan?
The business plan describes and analyzes your business, marketing strategies and financials and provides future projections. The business plan serves as a road map for your enterprise; helps keep the focus on your primary goals; provides a branding guide and marketing action plan; and outlines your business’ revenue generating potential, needed to attract investors. Your business plan will contain the following:
- Title page
- Business summary – the purpose of your business, your mission and vision statements and investment pitch
- Business description – what it is, what you sell, how you operate and financial overview
- Legal status and ownership – your business type and ownership outline
- Competitive analysis – who is your competition and how you compare in the market
- Ideal Customer – who is your customer, and how can you best segment your audience
- Marketing plan – your brand, how you’ll promote your business and to whom
- Operations plan – the supply, logistical and technical needs for your day-to-day operations
- Management plan – your leadership/staffing/HR plan
- Strategy and implementation timeline – your goals/action plan and launch/growth timeline
- Financial plan – the income potential, cash flow and start-up requirements [Optional]
How will I write my business plan?
The business plan represents the capstone assignment for this course. During the semester you will work on a variety of activities and projects that will either directly or indirectly become part of your final business plan. These assignments are designed to encourage creativity, flush out ideas, solidify goals and map out the details of your idea.
The Intro: This section focuses on the nuts and bolts of your business as you write a business summary and description, including what it is, what you do, why you do it, mission and vision statements and supporting ideas.
Business Landscape: In this section you will complete a competitive analysis to help you learn more about the business landscape, and how competitive you are in the market. You will also develop an overview of your ideal customer within the landscape.
Marketing Plan: In this section you will develop a marketing plan to solidify your branding elements and determine how and when you will promote your business to potential and existing customers.
The Organization: In this section you will develop your operations plan, detailing the needs of your business from a logistical- and process-perspective. You will also create a management plan, outlining your organizational chart and who does what.
Action Steps: In this section you will map out your goals that will develop into your strategy and implementation timeline leading to a potential launch date.
Legal and Finances: In this section you will learn about entrepreneurial-related legal affairs, including legal status and ownership, and finances, including startup funding and budget management. For the course, you will not be required to write a financial plan, though it is highly recommended.
ABC Company provides high-end airport transfer services, connecting Austin Bergstrom Airport travelers with destinations across the Central Texas region. We embody our mission statement in every aspect: Providing first-class airport transportation for travelers who expect personalized, concierge-quality service.
Based in Austin, Texas with a fleet of 20 luxury vehicles of various sizes, ABC Company is well-equipped to serve our clients 24/7 with a concierge model of attention and efficiency. Our presence includes reservation offices in downtown Austin and at the Austin Bergstrom Airport open 6am to 10pm, a telephone reservation system staffed 24/7 and an online reservation system available 24/7.
ABC Company offers Austin Bergstrom Airport travelers a variety of services:
Concierge-quality reservation line with personalized service and an efficient reservation system
VIP curbside access at terminal Arrivals and Departures as well as private airport access
Valet service for luggage collection and loading in/out of vehicle
A unique collection of 20 luxury vehicles of all sizes, makes and models to suit our clients’ individual needs
In-car amenities, including refreshments, media and access to our concierge service for area-wide information and reservations
A one fee plan, allowing travelers to change reservations at anytime with no penalties or additional fees
Our people are the key to our success. In recruiting drivers and concierge/reservation team members, we look for professional, well-trained and well connected people who are committed to providing only the highest quality of transportation and information services.
Our fleet is of the highest quality. We service each vehicle on a quarterly-basis to ensure that our vehicles remain the finest quality of all options in the region. Each of our vehicles is replaced after 5 years.
We operate with the highest level of integrity and honesty.
We pursue long-term goals. ABC Company values genuine and permanent gains in our ability to accomplish our mission to bring first-class airport transfer services to the region. We have grown our client base to 400+ travelers since launching, with a goal to double that number every year for the next two years. We also plan to expand our business model to provide intra-city services to and from destinations not related to the airport.
Our passion, commitment and enthusiasm will keep us focused on our services and our individualized clients. Our innovative outlook will help us continually adapt and improve our services to best suit our clients in the most sophisticated and contemporary way.