As a group we have decided to split the sections up between us and submit our pieces individually.
I am doing the marketing plan, Stacey is doing the feasibility study and networking, and Estel is doing the business plan.
Name: Host Me New Zealand (www.hostmenz.co.nz)
Product description: Our product will be a website with two types of membership. The first type will be a catalogue of New Zealand residents wishing to host foreigners in their home for a small fee. The second type of membership will be potential to tourists to New Zealand looking for low budget accommodation and a cultural experience. All memberships will have to go through an authentication process of some kind when they sign up. The hosts can create a membership on the Host Me New Zealand website with personal information, interests, description of their home and where they live; it will also be possible that they upload a profile picture and a picture of their home if they wish to. Tourists may also create a profile with personal information, interests and where they want to travel. The website will provide a search engine where both tourists and hosts can filter their search based on their interests, destination, living situation etc. The website will then display a list of tourists/hosts that the user can browse through and choose the ones that suit them best. The website will also provide an activity search tool where tourists can search for activities/attractions within a particular destination; this might help them in deciding on where they would like to travel.
“Marketing is one of the single most important places you can focus your attention in your business. Particularly if you hope to create a successful business. Marketing equals money,when it is done right, and most businesses don’t put nearly enough attention on their marketing planning process, or on their marketing.”
A marketing plan will help a business to understand where they want to go with their product/service. It is an internal plan to help guide management towards the ultimate goals of the business. Without a marketing plan and heavy focus on your marketing efforts the business is likely to fail or not be overly successful. Our marketing plan will focus on the four P’s – Price, product, promotion and place, among other aspects like target market etc.
The following is what we will place the main focus on in the marketing plan:
The marketing plan identifies the ‘hook’ for a product or service. Who will buy it and why? How is it better than its competitors?
What pricing strategy will the company follow for this product? Is the plan to sell large volumes so that economies of scale can keep the price low? Or will it be marketed to a niche at a high price?
What is the advertising strategy? How will the product be packaged? What will its marketplace positioning be?
How will the product be distributed? Will it be sold by retail stores or by direct marketing?
10/09/13 – To begin with, I did some research on what to include in a marketing plan and came up with the following websites:
In my opinion the most useful one is the Small Biz Trends website. Our marketing plan will follow this layout;
11/09/13 – Target market:
Our target market will be determined through researching statistics from the Statistics New Zealand website, Ministry of business, innovation & employment website, and the Tourism New Zealand website. Our target market will be low income/budget travellers and these websites will provide us with the details and demographics we need.
Understanding your target market is very important to beginning a business. You need to know who you are targeting so you can maximise sales at the minimum costs to yourself. Understanding your customer means that you know how and where to advertise and what exactly to offer them.
06/09/13 – Mission statement:
We decide on our mission statement as a group at our first group meeting on the 6th of September. Having a clear and understandable mission statement will help you to keep your business/offering on track and aligned with your goals.
06/09/13 – Offering to customers:
Our offering is basically our product description (which is seen above). We also wrote this at our first group meeting on the 6th of September. Writing down you product description can help you fill in any holes that you might notice and
15/09/13 – Price strategy:
Some research was done on the costs and what type of budget accommodation is offered in New Zealand already. The following website was very useful to find budget accommodation and gave us an idea of what prices are already out there. We want to be the cheapest accommodation supplier in the country and with such a unique offering we believe this is very possible after looking through this website; http://www.cheapsleeps.co.nz/.
A businesses price strategy helps to position a business in the market that they are operating in and will help with competitor analysis and internal analysis.
15/09/13 – Distribution strategy:
The internet has grown substantially in the last few years and there are not many people in the modern world who do not have access to the internet in some form. I have done some research on how to utilise the internet as a distribution channel for a service. Most of the websites I found focused a lot on promoting your website through things such as social networks/social media and blogs etc.
The internet is the largest and easiest way to reach our target audience not only in New Zealand but all over the world. This will help us to quickly expand into other countries if that is what we want to do.
15/09/13 – Sales strategy:
A sales strategy is important to have as this will help you to gain the results you are wanting when it comes to things like profit, market share etc. Basically our sales strategy will outline how we will get people to use our service as opposed to awareness of our service (Promotion strategy). A sales strategy “looks at how you will deliver objectives set out in your marketing plan, as well as how you have chosen to segment your target market and how you will fund you marketing activities.”
For an effective sales strategy we will need to decide on clear and understandable values that our business will follow; why our service is better and worth more than our competitors. We will need to conduct a competitor analysis for this section so we can position and differentiate ourselves from our competitors.
15/09/13 – Service strategy:
Service Strategies can help you design an effective set of value added Service Offerings and Programs to meet your clients’ needs and generate revenues for the company. Service strategies are used to segment your target market to better understand their needs and requirements.
The following website also gives a very good breakdown of what will be covered in our service strategy; http://www.slideshare.net/nusantara99/customer-service-strategy
11/09/13 – Promotion strategy:
Some research was done looking into how to promote a website, I have found a useful website with tips and strategies; http://www.computerhope.com/promote.htm.
We cannot rely simply on promotional strategies such as word of mouth so like most successful businesses we will have to develop a strong promotional/advertising strategy. This will be aimed at the origin destinations as people generally want to have accommodation sorted by the time they arrive at their destination. We also decided that most of our advertising will be through other tourism websites.