May 15, 2011
I. Company Description
Weddings Events & Beyond opened our doors in May of 2002 as a partnership. We have been continually expanding and now are a large firm with six full time planners, six assistants, four full time Accounting and Finance employees, two full time Human Resources employees, my partner, and myself. At this time we have a website that gives examples of our event planning capabilities with some pictures of events we have planned. We have decided to take the next step and implement a more advanced site where our customers can see the stages of their event as it is planned.
It is our goal to allow the customer to log into our site at anytime and see what the plans for their event are and request changes if it is their wish. We would also like to implement a Secure Socket Layer so that our customers can pay their account on-line. Making our company more accessible through use of the Internet will help us to expand to the outlying areas that before now were more difficult to reach.
The business model that Weddings Events & Beyond is striving to become with the Internet site is that of a “multi-channel merchant” or “bricks and clicks” merchant. This is the type of firm that has both a physical store, as the primary channel of income, and is introducing an online service. (Laudon & Traver 2010 p.595) II. Marketing Plan
Internet marketing is a little bit more complex than regular marketing in that we as a firm will have to show that we have the capability to develop a more positive and long term relationship with our customers. (Laudon & Traver 2010 p.362) We must develop a marketing plan which brings in all ranges on new customers from the bride and groom and their guests all the way to the business whose events we will be planning. We will be planning to show the consumer our unique qualities and capabilities such as the fact that every step of the planning of their event will be available for them to view on our site. This will require opening an account for each customer where they can log on to receive the most up to date work done on their event planning. This will also allow them to request changes until the closing date of their event. The following categories will be included in our marketing plan: A. Target Audience
1. Customer characteristics: We as a firm will be targeting the bride, the groom, and their families for the weddings and for the events we will be targeting the business community and upper to middle class families who normally do not have the time to plan and organize their special events. 2. Age demographic: Will be adults from the 20-50 year range. 3. Customer geographic: At this time we service only the state of Arizona. We travel all over the state as needed by where the event is being held. After implementation of e-business we will be targeting the states of California and Nevada as well. Eventually with expansion we plan to cover major cities across the US. (Laudon & Traver 2010 p. 345 - p.367) B. SWOT analysis (strengths weakness opportunities threats) 1. Strengths: One of the main strengths we possess is that we are one of only four companies in our area that plans Weddings and Events. We will be the first among the four that will be making a more immediate Internet presence. Making use of our services through the Internet will make us more accessible and give us a wider reach for customer than any other firm. We are the most established firm having been in the business making a name for ourselves for the longest period of time. Our planners have at least an associate’s degree in planning. They have been planners for a minimum of three years and have strong customer service skills. 2. Weakness: At this time we have no planners trained in e-business as will be take approximately four weeks to accomplish. We are right now in only the...