The purpose of the report is to provide a detailed marketing plan for sigma marketing, owing to the fact that the company has sought to operate a more complex product mix. The report first provides a detailed overview of the situation analysis after which it provides a detailed analysis of the SWOT analysis. It also provides an outline of the organizational marketing goals and objectives. The report provides a detailed overview of the marketing strategies and how these strategies will be implemented. According to the report, for the company – Sigma marketing – to realize the desired output, it will be important to ensure that it increasingly trains its personnel and allocated resources in a commensurate manner to the extent towards the gaps in the market that needs to be addressed by the company.
Sigma, having been a primarily printing company, the company seeks to remain one among the top-most companies globally. Having been founded in the year 1967, it currently experiences approximately 90 percent customer return rate and 90% customer satisfaction. Just like other entrepreneurs, Sigma seeks to reach out to more customers using contemporary marketing tools to globalization including globalization, social media and even creation of websites. Another way of reaching more customers include vehicle wraps, banners, signs and promotional items. This adds to the customer base of those requiring the services of printing organizations. With more than 48,000 printing businesses in the U.S, the industry is still expected to grow as every entrant will break even from the large number of customers.
There are a number of barriers associated with entering the market. The first barrier to entry to the printing industry is the economies of scale. For any organization, volume is a key factor to success. One need to produce in large quantity that will enable them to lower the prices, break even and by the end of the day make profits. The second barrier to entry to the printing industry of capital intensive. The stiff competition from already established firms will keep off new entrants whose cost are usually high.
Emerging Industry trends and Emerging Submarket Exists
Evolution is usually experienced in every field irrespective of the daily activities. In the printing industry, technological advancement through innovation is experienced on a daily basis. Before the corona virus pandemic, the printing industry was consistently growing from the increasing demand. According to a report by Ibis World, the printing industry had an average growth of 3.9% between 2015 and 2020 (IBISWorld, 2020). However, the same report projected a 14.4% decrease in revenue for the printing industry in 2020 following the decline in demand caused by the covid-19 pandemic. Despite the expected growth, the industry is still facing a lot of uncertainties. This implies that the future of the industry is unknown. This has been contributed by the uncertainty of covid-19 and whether it will be effectively handled for businesses to resume. Giving back to the society is also one ethical consideration companies in the industry need to consider. This can be achieved in different ways like involving the community in your activities, employing their children and solving their critical issues.
- Strong Distribution Network – The organization has a strong distribution network which enables it to penetrate through international markets where consumers can access its products.
- Effective Training and Development Programs – The company also has effective training and development programs that ensure it has a continuous supply of skilled labor force which is fit for both job and business strategies (Sigma, 2020).
- Strong Performance in Market – Sigma also can perform well in new markets which in turn enables the company to explore many international markets. As a result, the expansion has enabled Sigma to increase its annual revenue and diversify economic cycle risk in major markets where the organization has operations. (Sigma, 2020).
- Smooth Flow of Cash – Sigma has a strong smooth flow of cash which enables the company to get the necessary resources for any project (Sigma, 2020).
- Limited Investment in R & D Programs – Sigma Inc has not invested appropriately in Research and Development programs based on the major players in the industry. Competitors normally use RD programs to study the market and establish future needs (Sigma, 2020).
- Simple Marketing Style –The company’s market style of products is so open that it can be attacked by competitors or new market entrants (Sigma, 2020).
- High Attrition Rate –Sigma has a higher attrition rate in its workforce compared to other companies operating in the same industry. The attrition rate is the measure of employees lost over a certain period and not replaced (Sigma, 2020).
- Inefficient Financial Planning – It is also worth noting that Sigma has inefficient financial planning which prevents the company from reaching its full potential in the global market. From the organization’s current asset ratio and liquid asset ratios, it is evident that they are not using cash more efficiently. The cash needs to be utilized efficiently to expand the business.
- Ineffective Product Demand Forecasting – The company does not have an effective product demand forecasting technique, thus, leading to more inventory levels compared to its competitors (Sigma, 2020). Sigma Financial Ratios
|Price to Sales
|Price to Cash Flow
|Price to Free Cash Flow
|Price to Book
|Price to Tangible Book
Source (Sigma, 2020)
- New Consumer Trends –There are new trends in consumer behavior that create a new market segment for Sigma Inc. Brainmass, 2019).
- Stable Free Flow of Cash –The organization also has a stable free flow of cash is accompanied by many opportunities in the market environment (Brainmass, 2019).
- Low Inflation Rates – A low inflation rate in many global markets creates stability in those economies, thus, allowing people to access credits at low-interest rates which allows Sigma customers to buy more products from the brand.
- New Environmental Regulations – The new environmental policies which have been adopted by many countries create a level playing ground for all companies in the industry.
- New Technologies – The new technologies can also help Sigma to minimize production costs and provide affordable goods in many markets (Brainmass, 2019).
- Reduced Shipping Costs – The reducing costs of transportation, especially shipping rates has the opportunity to minimize Sigma’s operational expenses which can either increase its profitability or pass it to consumers and provide affordable products.
- Lawsuits from International Markets – Sigma Inc is facing lawsuits in various markets regarding its product standards. The world may have global markets but each country usually has standards and regulations concerning products that aim at protecting its consumers (Brainmass, 2019).
- Lack of Innovative Products – Sigma also lacks a regular supply of innovative products in the global markets due to limited Research and Development activities. in light of this, the company is at risk of losing its large market share to competitors who have invested in RD programs to find market needs for innovative products in the next 2 years (Brainmass, 2019).
- Intense Competition –The company is also facing intense competition from players in the industry due to economic stability in many markets. When the economy is stable, profitability increases which in turn facilitates intense competition (Brainmass, 2019).
- High Cost of Raw Materials – It should also be noted that the company is facing a threat from rising costs of raw materials which has an implication on profitability (Brainmass, 2019). High costs of raw materials mean that the cost of production increases which in turn increases final products’ prices.
Marketing Goals and Objectives
The main agenda of the company is to remain relevant and equally achieve a marketing leadership position in new trends in the market. Pursuant to the company’s history, sigma marketing attempts to achieve a competitive edge in the market in spite of the emerging competitors (About Sigma., 2020). The key goals and objectives of the company are based on promoting an increase in the amount of sales and the revenue and also defining the company from a brand perspective.
- Promote an increase in the sales and Revenue
- Retaining Customers – One of the primary goals and objectives of the marketing plan and marketing in its entirety is to determine how best the company can retain the customers who have been loyal. The stronghold of the company’s health is manifested in the loyalty of the old customers. That will be through investing in their security and interests considering and ensuring that their expectations are met, even as the new changes are designed.
- Reaching Out to New Customers – Marketing is also intended to play the informative role to a collection of new customers. An additional primary objective of the company is to acquire additional customers as a strategy to elevate the level of sales. The key performance indicator for this goal is the number of new customers attained for every quarterly period and annually. This is an assignment for the marketing team, research and development team and the production team and the finance department.
- Employing a realistic and Competitive Pricing Strategy – Another important element that will be used towards achieving the larger goal of increased sales and revenue is that of employing a realistic and competitive pricing strategy. For instance, in this case, there are products that will use the penetration pricing strategy. The key performance indicator for this goal is the number of old customers retained and new customers attained for every quarterly period and annually. This is an indication that the pricing strategy is fair and realistic.
- Defining the Company as a Brand
- Promotion of New Products and Services – Marketing at Sigma Marketing is intended to promote a platform to the upcoming plans of launching new product and service offerings to the market. Hence, through the marketing plan, it will be essential for the company to strive towards promoting the emerging or new products and services. The key performance indicators include the number of products and services promoted, the number of product promotions tools, the costs implications and the number of feedbacks achieved from the activity.
- Building Brand Awareness – Building brand awareness is an elementary step in the marketing exercise. The fact that the company is on the verge of introducing new products and services makes it clear that the immediate customer portfolio could be significantly small. The key performance indicators include the number of products and services promoted, the number of product promotions tools, the costs implications and the number of feedbacks achieved from the activity.
- Developing of Brand Loyalty – Another goal or marketing is to promote brand loyalty towards ensuring that the brand is well established. Marketing informs the intended audience or the target audience on what they expect for they loyalty for the product. The main key performance indicator is the number of people or customers enrolled into the active loyalty program at the company.
Sigma Marketing offers a wide variety of integrated marketing service and data management services. Throughout the history of the company, Sigma Marketing has demonstrated the eerie prowess to fathom the marketing opportunities in the market from customizing calendars and other marketing tools towards investing in customer data analytics, and offering marketing technology solutions (Calendar Promotion Specialists Since 1967., n.d.). Hence, the marketing strategy needs to be in tandem with the goals and objectives of the company.
- Primary and Secondary Target market Primary target – First, from a demographic, geographic and psychographics perspective, the target customers do not belong to any designated group. From a needs perspective, the primary target market varies from corporate potential customers to individual customers. the nature of the company does not provide an avenue where secondary target market is established.
- Product strategy
- The company seeks to retain its brand name “Sigma Marketing.” It is presumed that Sigma Company’s major focus is on service delivery and on other circumstances will sell the customized Calendars. The key features in the company mainly oscillate from the analytics, and a user platform that involves service providers and the customers. however, the initial market was mainly sale of calendars.
- Differentiation and Positioning Strategy
- The company is unique in terms of its ability to offer a wide variety of products and services. specifically, the company has not shunned its initial product portfolio. Instead, it has expanded its services and is often open to emerging demand factors (SIGMA marketing insights., 2019).
- Pricing Strategy
- The company makes use of both penetrating price strategy and competitive pricing. The penetrating pricing approach is best used when the company is entering a new market avenue. It is effective since it assists it to first gain access to the market since it gains preference from customers who desire services offered at a low and affordable prices (About Sigma., 2020). The major competitors of Sigma Marketing include Direct Impact that is valued at 8 million dollars, Virtual DBS valued at $ 7 million, StrategicOne valued at $9 million and Integrative Logic valued at 13 million, Infinity Marketing. For each of the above companies, Sigma’s pricing is often at 3% lower. The company focuses on ensuring that there are unique pricing tactics to ensure that the company manages to remain sustainable in the market.
- Distribution/Supply Chain Strategy
- Sigma Marketing contains a complex supply chain strategy since it is expected to deal with the wide variety of products and services. The company has a three tier distribution/supply chain with the company being the producer/supplier, a number of support distributors and finally the consumers. However, there are some products that bypass this structure. Overall, the company guarantees the customers quality and timely service delivery by granting them the direct access to the company.
- Integrated Marketing Communication (Promotion) Strategy
- The company’s overall integrated Marketing Communication is intended to spend no more than 20% of the cumulative budget of the company expenditure. First, the company seeks to continually advertise its products and services via its website, social media platforms such as Facebook, twitter, ads, You-tube, LinkedIn, Instagram among other platforms that corporate organizations can access information regarding the company. The company also reaches out to companies and makes offers regarding the products and services it is willing and able to provide to them. it is important to note that there are minimal trade promotions applications in the company. Most essentially, the company seeks to market itself from a referral basis especially because most of the services offered are often customized.
- Product strategy
Sigma marketing is on the verge of experiencing an immense shift into a highly dynamic market. The fact that it has sought to engage in alternative dynamic products and services makes it important to implement the marketing plan in place in a unique and careful manner. It is important to first understand that the company will focus on a primary target market. For the company to achieve the desired outcomes in the marketing arena, there is need to do more than reflect on referrals as the main approach to getting potential customers. The expectations of the company require that the company invests in a full-fledged marketing team to ensure that there is a full-time marketing strategy that will help in increasing the scope and effort that will be applied to achieve the desired goals. The team will need to undergo a comprehensive training session that will promote the capacity of engaging in fruitful marketing. It will also be important for the company to come up with a realistic sensitization program that will assist in reducing instances of resistance to change. The company will have to shift from the traditional sole printing business to a more complex market mix. That will need to have employees prepared for the changes and the likelihood of a more complex system of operating and increased number of tasks.
Tactical Marketing Activities
|Specific Tactical Activities
|Product Activities1. New Product development 2. Internal Marketing 3. Designing and Customization
|Production department Marketing department
|Pricing Activities1. Analyzing market prices 2. Reflecting on the cost of production 3. determining the preferable pricing strategy
|The marketing department
|Distribution/Supply Chain Activities1. Identifying the nature of the market and customers 2. Determining the best-fit supply chain
|Supply Chain Department
|IMC (Promotion) Activities1. Defining the market demographically, economically and even industry-based2. Assigning each category the optimal marketing – promoting approach 3. Engaging in the actual promotion
Evaluation & Control
It is important to note that the company will need to invest in some input, process and output controls. First, regarding the input controls, it is important to have a strategy that will assist create a reasonable resource allocation procedure for the financial, human capital and other kinds of resources that the company uses. Further, there is need to conduct some process controls. These will be essential during the actual implementation of the entire marketing plan. Ultimately, there is the need to invest in the output controls. This will be the strategy that will be used to create a link between the marketing plan goals and the outcomes. Hence, for the Sigma case scenario, it will be necessary and sufficient to have formal control for the company to realize or achieve the desired goals.
It is important to note that all the efforts manifested in the marketing plan are commensurate with the nature of the internal and external company environment. ()The company has a number of strengths including the goodwill to engage in innovative ways of responding to the demands in the market. It also has an already established brand. Accordingly, the company stands in a better position to market its new products and services to the market. Further, the company has a well-established loyalty program. Accordingly, it stands in a better position to dictate some factors in the market such as the suitable pricing strategy. It has a number of weaknesses too. For instance, it has a high attrition rate. In addition, it has an overambitious approach towards building new products. As a result, it ends up having excess inventory. This is the most probable avenue of uncertainties. The market for new products is often uncertain. It is because of these uncertainties that the company often experiences some losses in terms of excess inventory. Hence, it is important for the company to continue focusing on product and service diversification. However, this should be done after sufficient research is done and enough facts gathered to support any investment or venture.
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