The report discusses the factors the rolling out of an entrepreneurial idea by a client into a business initiative. Kiai Marketing Group is the brain child of Roger Mills, a second year student at The University of Western Ontario. The venture is student marketing firm that aims at providing innovative and creative marketing solutions for London businesses. The internal environment of the student marketing group comprises of the elements within the marketing firm that make up the firm. These include the current employees of the marketing group, management and corporate culture. The external environment of the marketing group refers to those elements from without the firm that affect its activities. The microenvironment has an immediate impact on the marketing group. It involves all the elements in this environment. They include competitors, market, suppliers and marketing mix. The macroenvironment is the environment that the marketing group has no control over although it affects the activities of the marketing group. The factors include the economic environment, socio-cultural environment and competitiveness. The report concludes by making recommendations on the various issues pertaining the marketing group.
Kiai Marketing Group is the brain child of Roger Mills, a second year student at The University of Western Ontario. The venture is student marketing firm that aims at providing innovative and creative marketing solutions for London businesses. The idea to stat the marketing firm was born after the visionary attended a post secondary level competition that featured thirty two of the best students in Canada.
The competition, The Impact Apprentice, tested the entrepreneurial potential and business savvy of the featured students. Mills ended up in the first-place team, Team Kiai, a name that embodies the unification of the mind and spirit. After a cocktail of entrepreneurial and managerial activities, Mills unearthed his passion for entrepreneurship. Due to the symbolic meaning that the name Kiai, had in the competition, Mills decided to pursue his dream of starting his own business (Janssen, 2010, pp. 2)
Every business or entrepreneurial idea seeks to meet an inherent need in the society. Mills’ idea was not any different. He saw an advertisement opportunity in the many laptop lids of the many students in the campus. Secondly, the student government had stifled efforts by the business community around the campus to target the over thirty thousand students through advertisements. This was an innovative solution towards the need for advertisement space by the business community.
Mills targeted the local businesses that would pay for advertisement space on the laptop lids of the students. Mills would then compensate the students for displaying the advertisements around the campus. Mills came with a team of ten students who would have their laptop lids used as advertisement space. This would provide an opportunity for mills to measure the impact of his venture through surveys carried out in the campus. The ten member team would also give a small sales pitch when asked by prospective clients. This was Kiai Marketing Group.
The Internal Environment
The internal environment of the student marketing group comprises of the elements within the marketing firm that make up the firm. These include the current employees of the marketing group, management and corporate culture.
The initial idea was to utilize all the lids if the laptops of the students in the campus. However, there were concerns about the exposure rates and modalities on how to measure the penetration and the impact of the advertisements. This was especially due to the likelihood that a number of the students would be indoors in the dorms thereby loosing valuable advertisement time and the client investments. Using this approach would also be challenging, because of bottlenecks when measuring the penetration and impact of the advertisements on the targeted market.
As a remedy to the above problem, Mills decided to use ten students for the marketing drive. These students were chosen as a core group because they were highly involved. The students were also guaranteed to use their laptops on the campus on all the days of the week and in all classes they attended. This would maximize on the exposure rate of the advertisements thereby giving value for money on the investments of the clients. Using the ten students would also provide a remedy to the issue of measuring penetration and impact of the advertisements run on the lids of the laptops.
The management of Kiai Marketing Group is overseen by Roger Mills, the founding visionary. Roger Mills is a young entrepreneur motivated by the need to accomplish his vision to start and nurture to success his own business. He is a learned individual; in the second year of university. He is also intending on attending a business school in order to augment his credentials.
Although the corporate culture is not completely established owing to the fact that the marketing group is in its initial stages, one feels that Roger is mindful of the welfare of his employees. This is made perceptible by the fact that he ponders on the amount of money he can comfortably pay them while still making a profit (McDonald, 2011, pp. 89)
The External Environment
The external environment of the marketing group refers to those elements from without the firm that affect its activities. They are divided into two as follows:-
This is the environment that has an immediate impact on the marketing group. It involves all the elements in this environment. They include competitors, market, suppliers and marketing mix.
Competition is rife for the marketing group with the major competitors as established holdings and some as market leaders. Some of the competitors include London Free Press, one of London’s major newspapers. It is touted to have many readers across the city with numbers over two hundred and twenty six thousand on weekdays, two hundred and fifty thousand on Saturdays and one hundred and forty on Sundays.
This shows that the coverage offered by the newspaper is large. This would by extension translate to a deeper penetration for people who run advertisements using the newspaper. The paper also has a wide coverage on the internet with over sixty five thousand daily online readers and numbers amounting to over four million monthly. The pricing of the advertisement campaigns run by the newspaper are kept confidential.
Another source of competition is the Western News, a free weekly newspaper. The paper was published regularly during a school year term. The paper is also distributed in potential areas including student news campuses in the campus, hospitals, city libraries, research facilities, external media and education centers. This offers a wide coverage that includes a variety of areas where the potential customers are bound to frequent.
Other competitors include The Gazette, a student-run and funded newspaper. The paper is not as regular as the Western News, but it is also free of charge and is distributed widely in the campuses. Orientation Week Packages are other options for competitors to pursue. They offer direct exposure for interested businesses to over five thousand first year students. The other option for competitors is immobile poster campaigns using immobile framed posters that are erected at strategic locations around the campus.
The targeted market by Kiai Marketing Group includes a population of over four hundred and thirty thousand people in London, the tenth largest city in Canada. The metropolis is home to big corporations like General Motors, General Dynamics and The Ford Motor Company among others. The metropolis is also host to major health care facilities and is also home to Fanshawe College and The University of Western Ontario, a fact that attracts thousands of students to the city from the adjacent areas. The area local authorities encourage the growth of many small businesses and the presence of many people owing to the two institutions of learning and the numerous big businesses will be an added advantage to Kiai Marketing Group.
Mills has identified a group of ten students who are highly involved around the school. These ten students will offer the use of their laptop lids as advertising space and will use these laptops everyday of the week on the campus and all the classes that they attend. This will also spread out the exposure to the advertisements to the people that the ten students interact with, not necessarily inside the campus.
Kiai Marketing Group will need to market themselves in order to get recognition and get their projected market share. In order to do that, the four elements of the marketing mix are very essential.
The pricing of their services is a very important marketing strategy. Since they are new entrants into the market, they are expected to quote their market price lower than the other established players in the market. In so doing, Kiai Marketing Group should also be careful not to look as the cheaper option. This is because appearing as a cheaper option might be misconstrued as services of low quality thereby denting Mills ambitions of a successful business. Given the chares per viewing going by the competitors, and the fact that they offer a wider coverage when compared to Kiai Marketing Group, it is most probable that the marketing group should quote a lower price (Luther, 2001, pp. 67)
Kiai Marketing Group intends on using the lids of student laptops as advertising space. This is limiting in that the space is small, thereby limiting the size of the poster that can be appended on the space. This also has an effect of reducing the visibility of the advertisements with increasing distance. Some clients might explore this loophole in negotiating for cheaper process per viewing. This would also have a negative showing for Kiai Marketing Group especially when dealing with large corporate that might prefer larger and more visible advertisements.
The product on offer by Kiai Marketing Group is an innovative marketing solution for interested businesses. The service offers innovative ideas to reach put to the population of The University of Western Ontario. This is especially owing to the fact that the student government does not allow advertisements in the campus, thereby locking out businesses for the potential market offered by the large population in the campus.
In order to promote his new entrepreneurial idea, Mills explored a few ideas. London, a hub of business activities was a host of various business trade shows. This offered an opportunity to show case his services to the potential clients. It also offered an opportunity for him to interact with the proprietors of small businesses that would serve as his potential customers. He would have to pay for one of the booths in the trade show and meet the cost of the itinerary required to set the booth up for display.
Though it is touted as an unlikely method of promotion, Mills considered the idea of developing a website for Kiai Marketing Group. It is debatable whether the idea of developing a website is cost effective and a viable means of promoting a product. However, the power of e-marketing is unrivaled. Therefore, it is important for mills to reconsider his take on the use and need of developing a website. This is especially if he has ambitions of rolling out into a bigger company offering the services to a wider geographical area (Lamb, Hair & McDaniel, 2008, pp. 16)
Another promotional activity floated for consideration was direct selling. This is the use of representatives of the marketing group to pitch sales messages to prospective clients. This would require a sizeable investment into the development of marketing materials. However, the presence of the sales representatives in person would be worth the investment. The sales representatives can address the concerns and answer the questions that the prospective clients might have concerning the service.
This is the environment that the marketing group has no control over although it affects the activities of the marketing group. The factors include the economic environment, socio-cultural environment and competitiveness.
Mills is in this business because he has a passion for entrepreneurship. Nonetheless, he is in for the profit he stands to reap out of it. The economic environment that the business operates in has implications on the profitability of his business. Economic factors determine the demand, supply, prices and the cost of ‘producing’ the services. These are the factors that directly affect the quantity of proceeds that the marketing group makes. When the economic conditions are depressing, there might not be enough clients streaming in thereby affecting the turnovers of the business and by extension the profitability of the firm. Conversely, a situation where the economic conditions are inviting leads to increased business with increased turnovers and hence increased profitability of the company (Pride, & Ferrell, 2012, pp. 107)
Although it is a very hard parameter to evaluate, its importance to the fortunes of a marketing firms cannot be underscored any more. The changes in priorities by buyers, purchasing behavior and change in tastes are very important the success of marketing forms. It is also important for a marketing firm to comprehend the core values and beliefs of different society so that they can align their advertisement drives with them (Dibb & Simkin, 2008, pp. 56)
The effect of the competitors on a business is a very important consideration. Kiai Marketing Group is new entrant in a market that is crowded market with established market leaders. They hold considerable market share thereby threatening the potential for the marketing group to roll out and stay in business profitably. Consequently, the competitors ought to be weighed carefully so that their impact in the market is determined. By doing so, the marketing group is conversant with what they are up against. With such knowledge, it is easier to come up with strategies to cut a niche in the market.
The report above describes and discusses the various aspects that Mills ought to consider before rolling out his entrepreneurial idea. From the discussion, some things out to be changed so that the business can pick up nicely and stay afloat in the turbulent waters in which the business operates. Firstly, Mills ought to consider the place aspect in his promotional mix. The campus provides a market that is untapped; therefore laden with potential. Considering the purchasing behavior of campus students, Kiai Marketing Group should target businesses selling wares that are bought constantly by the campus students.
Proprietors selling electronic devices are potential clients for the marketing group. This is because students purchase electronic devices either for use in academic work or for entertainment. Business selling academic material and those offering bureau services augmenting class work are also potential businesses. These are businesses that deal with wares that meet the immediate needs of students. However, the marketing group ought to be careful not to lock out other businesses because they do not deal with wares that are needed by students regularly.
Pricing is a very important aspect in the promotional mix of the marketing plan. It determines whether one gets clients, cultivates customer loyalty and the profits or losses one makes. Given that Kiai Marketing Group is a new competitor in the marketplace and the fact that it might lack competition in the campus due to the fact that the decrees made by the student government, the marketing group should charge nine hundred dollars per week for every hundred daily impressions. This price would be fair given that the marketing group would be responsible for developing the material to be used during the advertisements. This price is an initial price in order to attract clients.
Mills chose a group of ten highly active students to have the lids of their laptops used as advertisement space. The students should be paid at a rate of thirty dollars per week. This is given that they attain the postulated impressions by attending classes and opening their laptops in the projected number of days and places. Given the fact that the marketing group is starting out, it is quite unreasonable for Mills to expect a profit of five thousand dollars. This is because a sizeable investment will be made towards establishing the marketing group in order to attract the first clients. I feel that a profit of three thousand dollars in reasonable for a starter.
Dibb, S., & Simkin, L., 2008. Marketing planning: a workbook for marketing managers. London, South-Western Cengage Learning.
Janssen, E., 2010. Kiai Marketing Group. Ontario. Richard Ivey School of Business Foundation.
Lamb, C. W., Hair, J. F., & Mcdaniel, C. D., 2008. Marketing. Mason, OH, Thomson/South- Western.
Luther, W. M., 2001. The marketing plan: how to prepare and implement it. New York, AMACOM.
McDonald, M., 2011. Marketing plans: how to prepare them, how to use them. Chichester, Wiley.
Pride, W. M., & Ferrell, O. C., 2012. Foundations of marketing. Australia, South-Western, Cengage Learning.