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Integrated Marketing Communication Plan  The Comfort Center  Olivia Dowling, Sarah Frank, Dennis Moore, Walker Pratt, T.J. Simpson   

 

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Contents    

   

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Executive Overview

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Marketing Objectives

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Company Analysis

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Situational Analysis

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IMC Objectives

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Target Audience

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Promotional Mix

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Communication Vehicles

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Promotional Budget

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Conclusion

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Resources

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Executive Overview     This IMC Plan will show how we have analyzed the needs of The Comfort  Center in their promotional mix and have found solutions we believe will  meet and go beyond the criteria.  

Marketing Objectives     

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Gather a larger market share in the St. Joseph area; increase local sales over the next fiscal year.    2​ Increase awareness of the personal touch of the local family business  that knows their community.    3​ Implement tracking tools to measure success rates of advertising and  marketing campaigns. 

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Company Analysis     Company Mission    The Comfort Center has been serving the community since 1981, now  located on the North Belt Highway of St. Joseph, MO. As a family-owned  business, The Comfort Center focuses on high quality and personal service  on luxury items like pools, spas, and fireplaces.     Communication Goals    In this IMC, our goal is to communicate the uniqueness of this luxury pool  company. We will communicate this by showcasing the expertise of the staff  and the exclusive edge The Comfort Center offers through awareness  promotional tools. We want to emphasize the personal touch of the  opportunity to meet the business owner on your own lawn.    Budget for IMC    We have $500 to implement our integrated marketing strategy for The  Comfort Center.     

 

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Situational Analysis     Issues that might directly impact on the communications  strategy    The time that someone would need to implement and maintain the metrics  and promotions strategies this IMC proposes.    A relatively small budget that relies on the co-op return on investment in  direct mail.    Geographic Analysis    The majority of customers to The Comfort Center are in Iowa, Nebraska, and  Kansas. There are few customers in St. Joseph. Most of these customers are  lawyers and doctors (especially from Heartland Hospital), and the number  one customer group are farmers. The demographics of current market  include those in the age range of 45-65 and who have an income of $50K  and above.    Competition Analysis    The St Joe based competition itself is not very threatening, most of the  competition comes from out of town. The out of town competition should  push The Comfort Center to market themselves as a local St. Joe business to  eliminate the out of town threat.  All of the competition of The Comfort Center have a website and  unfortunately a lot of the websites are better. These competitors are beating  The Comfort Center with their webpage marketing and the way to beat that  is to strive to have the most attractive web page in the market.    Competitors tend to leave out several expenses in the marketing process to  try and pull the potential customer in with low price. The Comfort Center  needs to address the fact that there are no hidden costs when buying a pool  from them, the price you see is the price you pay.    5


One company The Comfort Center should look at is Family Leisure in Kansas City. They are a bigger company based on the presentation of their website  but they could serve as a great example of what The Comfort Center’s  website design could look like. The presentation of Family Leisure’s  webpage gives them the high quality look that The Comfort Center is aiming  for.    SwimThings Inc. is another competitor that currently has an advantage that  The Comfort Center should try to eliminate. SwimThings Inc. does a fantastic  job of selling the “package deal” that gets customers to envision their  products as a whole new package which in our opinion is better than simply  buying a pool or a pool supply from a company. A customer buying a whole  package not only leads to higher sales but will make the customer more  eager and excited to spend a substantial amount of money to transform their  backyard weekend plans.   

 

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IMC Objectives     Objectives of this plan include:           

To analyze The Comfort Center’s competitors and outline important points our client should be aware of.  To update owned media in a way that will create a great brand experience  with the customers and will initiate sales and a larger customer base.  To address some ideas for marketing campaigns for The Comfort Center.  To introduce some small considerations that our client can implement at  very little cost that will raise the attention to detail in the store environment 

Target Audience      Key Messages    Families & Retirees are Large  They have good spending power  Two Groups Can Be Narrowed Based on Needs  Needs Need to Be Appealed to in Advertising    Primary Audiences    Families with Children and Retired Couples are the biggest target group with  a decently high spending budget in St. Joseph. This lays an emphasis on  pools and spas. Fireplaces could appeal to a lower spending audience and  the regular audience. Based on average St. Joseph incomes and ages, an  increase in spa sales should be feasible. The chart below shows the Zip  Codes in the immediate St. Joseph area that have a decent number of  households within the target income.   7


The projections for sales are very hopeful. While the median income in St. Joseph is only $38,000, the median house value is around $97,000. This  shows people are willing to invest significantly higher than their income.  This excludes many outliers who have a very large income and should be in  your target market.    

    Relevant Target Audiences we have determined:    Dollar General  Interested in pools, will definitely have to finance a fiberglass long  term  Fireplace will appeal to increase home value    Mid-Lifers  Want to feel young, this might involve purchasing a pool or a newer  fireplace.   Large Interest- Spas  Appeal to health interests, including arthritis and insomnia  Rekindle Romance    Safe Family Fun  Safety- Vinyl pools should be strong with safety benefits   Fun- Show Vinyl Color variations and additions- diving boards,  basketball hoops, ect.     High Roller  These guys need the package deal and image  Fiberglass pool with spa and outdoor fireplace  Want to have a nice setting for dinner parties and other events  Packaged image will curtail their perception of your quality  8


Athlete’s Paradise Athletic families   Health Benefits of spas and a pool should sell on its own 

 

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Promotional Mix     Owned Media    Website    Update the look of the company website to make it more modern and  user-friendly since it looks dated compared to other pool websites.     Suggestions include finding softer color palette for background colors  and layout colors. Make content neater, cleaner, and less cluttered.  Add buttons for following The Comfort Center on Facebook and  Instagram since those are the two important forms of social media to  stay updated on. Add an email subscription section to start collecting  a database for customers and followers of The Comfort Center. Add  drop-down menus for the navigation bar which can be labeled Home,  Products, Services, Our Story, Contact Us. Make sure to make pictures  and videos hyperlinked so that they click through to certain pages.    Place all supplier names and websites not on the homepage but on a  separate page and go into greater detail about which products from  suppliers they carry because it is unclear; this can be done by  showcasing pictures of the products The Comfort Center does carry  and making sure that the click through to the supplier websites do  not navigate away from The Comfort Center website. Being clear  about the specific spas and pools The Comfort Center carries will help  those who go to the website stay interested by browsing their  purchase options. This will also prevent potential customers from  going to other pool websites where they might see examples of  products and have a better experience with that company and so buy  from them. Obtain permission of the suppliers to use pictures of the  products from them would be beneficial since the suppliers have  some photos that have good appeals for the target markets.    

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Use testimonials from customers who drive all the way from the Kansas City area to get their pool supplies at The Comfort Center to  enhance the quality found here in St. Joe.    Increase awareness of the knowledge of the staff at The Comfort  Center by showcasing their expertise. Create a page on the navigation  bar called “Meet the Experts/Staff” and have little bios about each  employee promoting them as an expert you will encounter at your  visit to the store.     In updating the website through the website provider, it is important  to invest in search engine optimization; include keywords in the code  of the web that will enable potential customers to find The Comfort  Center when looking for good service in a family owned pool  company. This would be implemented through Hibu, the current web  design provider. A website update through them would include search  engine optimization for Google and Yahoo, and a design update may  include the features mentioned above.     Social Media: Facebook and Instagram    Keep the Facebook page active and updated. For creative content on  the page, make statuses about new things in the store, adding  pictures of what has changed. Share small stories from the staff’s  lives that will give that personal touch to the business. When a  project is underway, try to get the permission of the client to take  pictures of the progression and post them as they work. Before and  after pictures are important to show the improvement The Comfort  Center makes on a home. Pictures of the employees help to improve  the family image of the business. To engage customers, like photos of  the pools the business has installed, and thank clients who’ve come  in to an experience at the store.    An instagram page can be beneficial for the company. It is free to set  up and it can be a great way for customers to see beautiful work that  they would want done in their backyard. Pictures that are posted to  Facebook can be posted to Instagram as well and can be referenced  by the Facebook page. Customers will get a feeling that the company  11


is involved in their customers’ lives if they are posting to multiple pages and can show how modern The Comfort Center is.    Store Atmosphere    Revamp the floor layout of The Comfort Center. Currently, when a  customer enters The Comfort Center, a check out desk is ten feet in  front of the store. To the left there are accessories, chemicals, and a  water test area. This creates a quick circular trip for pool/spa owners  to pick up any chemicals and accessories without even looking at ¾  of the store. We propose all chemicals and accessories should be  moved to the back wall, causing all customers to walk through the  store.     If additional hot tubs were displayed with water in them and some  margarita glasses with margarita mix to the side, this would enable  customers to imagine the luxurious experience they could have if  they decided to invest in the spa. The placement of the fully  functional pool could be moved closer to the front of the store. A  mixture of light music during in the background would also improve  the customer’s experience. For instance, investing in a Pandora  business account and playing “tropical” music would encourage  customers to linger while looking at luxury items.    Employee    The budget allows for $275 per month bonus salary to an employee  of The Comfort Center who manages the social media pages either  daily or a few times a week as needed.    Paid Media      Radio    The radio advertisement needs to convey a message that will make  the listeners wonder why they haven’t thought about The Comfort  Center earlier. In the message they need to question the listeners why  they would leave St. Joe to look for pool. The message has to remind  them how simple it is to find the listeners dream pool or spa right  12


here in St. Joe. After reminding them of the quality pools and spas available in St. Joe they need to make a point of telling the listeners  that by staying local right here in St. Joe they are going to be dealing  with quality employees in a family business to find a high quality  pool or spa. The last point the message should convey is that The  Comfort Center does not have hidden costs like the rest of the  competition. “The price you see is the price you pay”.    Facebook Advertising Campaign    Facebook ads are usually a simple picture accompanied with text,  with the goal to encourage a specific action from the viewer. The two  options that would work best, either promoting clickthrough to the  Comfort Center website, or promoting the Comfort Center facebook  page likes. The text and image should coincide with the goals for the  other advertising campaigns, namely promoting local quality.  Facebook is a great choice because of the ability to track its  effectiveness, and that the company is billed only when the ad is  effective, or when a viewer performs the action promoted. The initial  amount we suggest is a fairly low number, but has an effective reach  of 13,000 within our target market, as well as the option of being  able to increase spending at a later date.    Earned Media    Yelp  Update pictures and information on Yelp. When a customer buys, ask  them to give a review so that the business can continue to know what  customers think and can improve as needed    Posts on Facebook  Any time someone posts something, tagging The Comfort Center or  referencing their pool provided by The Comfort Center, that is  publicity for the company. This is good earned media for the company  and stems from a good experience supported by the owned and paid  media. 

 

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Communication Vehicles     Social Media    Facebook  Facebook provides a great marketing opportunity for relatively low  price. With Facebook advertising we are not only getting a low price  marketing tool but we are also utilizing a very measurable marketing  tool. Facebook’s measurability in their advertising is going to provide  us with very valuable data for our future marketing plans.    Instagram  Instagram is a very simple and free way to show off quality work that  the Comfort Center provides. This is an excellent opportunity to give  potential customers a preview of what they could experience by  coming into The Comfort Center. Having an instagram is another way  of showing that The Comfort Center is modern and up to date with  the online social world.     Website  The website is going to be one of The Comfort Centers most  important marketing tools. Anytime somebody hears about a  company they are most likely going to go home and check out the  website. The quality of the website is going to be very important in  giving the potential customers a good first impression of the  business.    Radio  Radio advertising is very important in catching the attention of  potential customers. Our message in our radio media is going to  attract the listeners to our facebook, web page, and ultimately into  the store.          14


Additional Tools to Advance Communication Vehicles     Hootsuite  Hootsuite is a website that will assist in our social media marketing.  The free version is going to be a very useful tool for The Comfort  Center to use. This social media tool is a fantastic way to manage  more than one social media platform at one time and also provide  measurability which will benefit the business is future marketing.    MailChimp  MailChimp is an online tool that will help us build our emails to  customers. The free version is going to allow us up to 2000  subscribers which is plenty for the business right now. This will help  the business send more attractive and informational emails to drive  subscribers to check out the new website or revisit the store if they  are prior customers.   

 

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Promotional Budget     Facebook  ● Advertise through Facebook ads, totaling $39  Radio  ● Advertise through two 30 second ads on KKJO-FM in the 5PM to 7PM  slot three days a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, costing  $31, totaling $62 per day and $186 per month, with the possibility for  frequency discounts upon request.  Pandora for Business  ● Cost for personalizing music station to play in store, total $24.95 per  month.  Salary for Media Manager  ● Salary for new employee to handle increased work and traffic on  Facebook and website, as well as email subscriptions to a newsletter,  totaling $275per month  Website Update  ● Website design service through Hibu one time cost of $799.    Total Costs  ● Monthly: $524.95  ● One time: $799   

 

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Conclusion     The Comfort Center has a $500 budget that will be used for various  important promotional tools to help enhance the story it has to tell. We first  suggest investing in a one time cost of $799 to update the website; the  importance of updating is key to the experience potential customers will  have when they visit the website. The content has to fit what they are  looking for in quality product and personal service. All other promotional  tools we have suggested are designed to bring customers to the website for  the final research moment before paying a visit to The Comfort Center. Some  tools will help build an online presence that can be accessed by the  potential customers our advertising tools will target in the St. Joe area.  Including the salary for the employee to manage these tools, the $500  budget will be met. We believe the Integrated Marketing Communications  Plan we have presented will meet the Marketing Objectives of increasing  awareness of the business’ uniqueness against competitors and gathering  this awareness in the St. Joe area, and implementing tracking tools that will  enable The Comfort Center to see the effectiveness of campaigns.        

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Resources     Mailchimp Hootsuite Facebook

mailchimp.com hootsuite.com  facebook.com/Ads 

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Integrated Marketing Communication Plan  

Marketing Project worked on during Undergraduate Marketing Degree.

Integrated Marketing Communication Plan  

Marketing Project worked on during Undergraduate Marketing Degree.

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