I. Executive Summary
This marketing plan is designed to give “No Nets Please!”, a small-scale freshwater fish breeding and retailing company, a blueprint for marketing their pet-fish products. This includes a background of the products and added support services, market overview, situation and SWOT analyses, and marketing objectives and strategies.
As a neophyte in the industry, the marketing plan is aimed at accomplishing the following:
1. Employ marketing strategies that is most beneficial to the company;
2. Formulate effective means of promotion and widen the scope of product distribution;
3. Indentify the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
This marketing plan is envisioned to fashion a literature for the company in order for the latter to learn, develop and advance itself into a more successful and consummate business entity.
II. Mission Statement
“No Nets Please!” is guided with the mission of providing a variety of high quality and low-cost freshwater fishes for home aquarium keeping. We intend to give technical assistance to our customers and maintain good relations with them. With this mission, we will be ensured of our success, and our products and services will exceed customer satisfaction.
III. Animal Selection
A. Background Information
As the fish craze continues in the United States and all over the world, varieties of freshwater pet-fishes have likewise continually dominated emerged in the market. Cichlids, tetras, arowanas, goldfish, Hua Luo Han or popularly known as Flowerhorn, discus, to name some are among today’s popular pet-fishes.
Many have claimed that aquarium keeping brings certain therapeutic benefits to humans. Shirlie Sharpe, in her article, Health Benefits of Aquarium Fish, asserted that studies have shown that “gazing at aquarium fish reduces stress and subsequently lowers blood pressure” (Sharpe). With these claims, a lot of people are now into the hobby of fish keeping.
B. Product Characteristics
“No Nets Please!” breeds pet-fishes, specifically freshwater fishes, for retail and aquarium keeping. Besides being inspired by the popularity of fish keeping because of its claimed health benefits, the business partners decided to breed only freshwater fishes because these breeds are much easier to keep and maintain in fish tanks.
IV. Market Overview
A. Market Structure
According to a survey conducted by Pet Supplies Marketing, more than “nine million American homes have freshwater aquariums” (E. M. Morrison, 1996). Presumably, as the hobby of fish keeping continues to grow, even more than the reported figure is prevalent today. The advent of the internet has even contributed more to the popularity of this hobby through the ease of accessibility of information regarding fish keeping and through fish-keeping forums and blogspots (dedicated to the same interest) that can easily be found on the net.
As a new entrant to the industry, “No Nets Please!” do not intend to take on its competitors head-to-head. What matters to the business is its marketing and promotion strategies that it boasts in order to be at par with other similar businesses.
C. Market Trends
The market trend has shifted to new dimensions as years progressed. Before, people went into fish keeping for the purpose of merely getting into a hobby. But today, more people are into this activity not because it is a good “hobby” but it is due to its therapeutic benefits.
The internet has now become a good vehicle to do transactions digitally. Promotions and trade of these magnificent fishes can be made over the internet other than the traditional personal and channeled selling.
V. Situation Analysis
A. Internal Environment
The business has had enough capitalization though the partners’ capital sharing. Having gone through appropriate financial consulting, the standing capitalization is projected to fund the business’s operations for three years which shall cover all expenditures including those accruing from marketing expense, breeding and maintenance costs, overhead costs, and more.
The company employs two breeding specialists and two maintenance staff. Their expertise in spawning/breeding guarantees the company’s promise of producing only high quality freshwater pet-fishes. They have particular technical ‘know-how’ on breeding premium strains of exotic fishes like arowanas, flowerhorns and discus.
One element that makes “No Nets Please!” incomparable to other breeders and traders of freshwater fishes is its service guarantee. “No Nets Please!” assures our customer of the following:
1. Premium quality freshwater pet-fishes;
2. We orient our customers with the how-tos of keeping and maintaining fishes and aquariums;
3. We recommend to them the best food and tank equipment and accessories to use;
4. We offer lower price rates depending on the kind and the number of freshwater fishes ordered; and
5. We follow up our customers’ fish-keeping activity for first three-months and we entertain post-purchase inquiries.
B. External Environment
Freshwater fish-keeping is easy and not costly to maintain. Considering that over nine million households in the U.S. have freshwater aquariums, the affordability issue is never a big question in the industry.
The company sees to it that government regulations are met in order not to hamper even a single operation of the business.
VI. SWOT Analysis
The company’s most significant strength is its management capability. Addenda to it are (1) expertise on the field of freshwater fish breeding, (2) customer support and service, and (3) low-cost products.
· Lack of knowledge on competitors advertising and trading over the internet.
· Possible changes in market trends.
· Natural and man-made hazards affecting breeding conditions.
· Growing popularity of fish-keeping as beneficial to one’s health.
· Strategic alliances and partnership with advertisers, aquarium products and accessories manufacturers, and fish food makers.
· Internet promotions and trading opportunities.
· Competitors with greater product or financial resources.
· Possible emergence of new hobbies relating to animal keeping.
VII. Marketing Objectives
A. Strategic Focus
This marketing plan seeks to capitalize on the company’s strengths in order to take advantage of the opportunities at stake with the market and the environment. It is also anchored on developing strategies in order to counter its weaknesses and formulate contingency plans in order to effectively address the identified threats.
Since “No Nets Please!” is a new company, its initial focus is to introduce the business to the market, giving special attention to varied promotional activities to let the company’s products and services be known.
B. Product Development
Breeding and raising of fries, juveniles and adult freshwater fishes will take place in the company’s breeding and research center.
C. Target Customer Groups
The best customer group that the company shall target first is the aquarium hobbyists. This group can articulate well with the product and would be the best source of secondhand information to would-be hobbyists. These hobbyists can well be reached in aquarium hobbyists’ organizations, and the internet. Second to the said group would be the households where they can be connected with practically anywhere.
VIII. Marketing Strategies
Considering the target groups, the company seeks to stand itself as a community-involved business. It aims at establishing contact with its identified market by immersing itself with the activities where the target markets are engaged.
All products of the company shall bear in its packaging (for transportation purposes) the company name “No Nets Please!”. The terms no-nets-please runs in congruity with the popular aphorism in aquarium keeping — “No Fishing Here!”.
With the identified target groups, the company assumes that each of these groups has their own individual pattern in purchasing the product. Although the company cannot command how the customers view the products, it shall take advantage on how the product will appear.
The company’s pricing scheme is very competitive. All products are set to be marked 10% less than prices of similar products in the market. As an added-service, extra rates will not be charged in freight and transportation of the product.
“No Nets Please!” will not advertise on the radio, television or any media outfits. The company, instead, has allocated funds to advertise its products via the internet to reach their target groups.
2. Personal Selling
The company will likewise employ direct marketing strategy. It will produce volumes of brochures and flyers which shall be distributed in the communities, and left in malls, shopping centers and the likes.
3. Public Relations
As part of its promotional strategy, the company aims at co-sponsoring local community and school activities in order to promote its products. It shall, from time to time, participate and co-sponsor local fish and animal shows so as to reach one of its target groups — the hobbyists.
The company’s breeding and research center also holds a show room for public viewing, an information desk, and an office where business activities will take place.
Morrison, E. M. (1996, January). Minnesota’s Magnificent Miniatures, Former bait shop owners angle for aquarium trade. Retrieved April 5, 2007, from NativeFish.org: http://www.nativefish.org/articles/minifish.php
Sharpe, S. (n.d.). Health Benefits of Aquarium Fish. Retrieved April 5, 2007, from freshaquarium.about.com: http://freshaquarium.about.com/od/termsandtables/a/aquariumhealth.htm