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Marketing Plan of an Independent Contractor for Total Life Changes

Introduction to a Company

My company “IASO Atlanta” is organized in the form of sole proprietorship and provides services of an independent contractor for Total Life Changes, LLC (hereinafter – TLC). The main service rendered relates to marketing and distribution of Iaso tea in the city of Atlanta, GA and nearby metropolitan area. As the commodity is produced by TLC, “IASO Atlanta” will obtain commissions for selling it in the region, as well as potential marketing fees for advertising. The proposed product, Iaso tea, is a special collection of nine natural herbs. This tea assists in weight loss as well as improves personal health. Its logo sounds as “lose 5 pounds in 5 weeks”. The product is also distributed from the TLC’s website www.iasotea.uk. The target market for “IASO Atlanta” will cover all men, women, and teenagers in the region.

The location of the company is believed to ensure success of its operation as it possesses high potential customer basis (with metropolitan population over 5.5 million citizens), with relatively high standard of living and per capita income indicating the ability of local people to buy the proposed product (the City of Atlanta, n.a.). The city has well-developed logistics, one of the world largest airports (Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport) and high concentration of corporations’ head offices (such as the Home Depot and the Coca-Cola Company). Along with that, it is often called a “city in a forest” due to the abundance of nature parks and gardens inside and around the place supported by a humid subtropical climate. The population is composed of over 50 % of African Americans and incorporates a significant portion of migrants from other states of the USA. Atlanta is one of the country-level centers of film production, information technology services and sports (has well-known baseball, football, and basketball teams).

Environmental Analysis

In general, the environment of the projected proprietorship is quite favorable. The city is listed #14 in the Forbes list of the best places for doing business (Forbes, 2015). Although competition in the area is rather strong for service and trading companies, and independent contractors, there is no wide range of analogous products provided in the market. The most serious competitors are herbal packages sold in drugstores and several groceries. In addition, there are other ways of dealing with excessive weight and related health problems such as pills, sports, and diets. At the same time, there are no similar independent contractors in the area suggesting a moderate-priced exclusive and simple way of dealing with these problems.

The economic and political environment of “IASO Atlanta” is also strongly positive. As the company will be situated in one of the most developed cities in a world-leading country, it automatically obtains such location benefits as a stable economy, balanced policy, hardly possible disturbances in the society, good relations with neighboring countries, and developed business infrastructure and financial system. Additionally, local citizens’ median income per capita is higher than 35 thousand USD while their cost of living is considered to be above average as compared to other cities in the USA (United States Census Bureau, 2015).

The legal environment is designed to support small businesses such as “IASO Atlanta” sole proprietorship. There are several government-financed loan programs to start and develop a business entity. In addition, independent contractors are liable to pay only self-employment tax that is much lower than corporate income tax combined with personal income tax and pension funds’ security. Also, similar to other cities and states in the USA, Atlanta, GA provides a high level of protection of contractor relationships, intellectual property rights, and individual’s property in court.

The level of technological development in Atlanta, GA is one of the highest not only in the USA but also in the whole world. This city offers numerous job opportunities for IT specialists and provides them with excellent working conditions including speed of Internet connection and availability of electronic sources. Consequently, IASO Atlanta will benefit from the acquaintance of local population with electronic commerce and advertising ways as the main sales are projected via the company’s website.

The cultural background of the city and the metropolitan area is rather ambiguous. On the one side, Atlanta is heavily influenced by southern culture and outlooks of African Americans. On the other side, the city has a high percentage of immigrants and thus should be regarded as an international center. In fact, the society in Atlanta is manifold, with cultural values varying from pure American to Hispanic and even Asian ones.

Analysis of Target Markets

Target Markets

The primary target market for my company is determined by those mostly focused on the need to lose excess weight, such as teenagers in high school and college students, especially girls. The secondary market would include older people experiencing health problems due to excess weight, both men and women.

Analysis of 4 Ps

Composing marketing mix usually starts from the product (Lamb, Hair & McDaniel, 2014). The product of IASO Atlanta includes the sale of Iaso tea and its marketing service. The tea is suitable for a wide range of people and is aimed at helping them not only lose weight but also deal with a range of health problems. In addition, it is combined of natural herbs and contains no synthetic elements allowing proposing the tea for potential customers of any age. Still, there is a problem of reputation related to product sales as it is not widely known in Atlanta.

The place is appropriately chosen for marketing Iaso tea. Local citizens are highly supporting a healthy lifestyle and sports. However, there are many teenagers and adults with excess weight problem due to office working conditions and lack of time to prepare healthy food. In fact, potential customer basis in the Atlanta metropolitan area might cover several thousand people.

Promotion is one of the keys to success in Atlanta. The main way to advertise the product is low-cost Internet ways such as a full description of the product on the company’s website as well as continuous advertising on social networks and popular forums. Along with that, Iaso tea will be popularized on the news boards at schools and colleges where it is allowed. Media advertising on the radio and TV could be partially implemented, but generally, higher costs are required for this.

Pricing strategy for Iaso tea is established by its producer at the level of USD 15.00 per unit plus shipping costs. My company operates only upon sales figures that directly impact the amount of sales commission and advertising fees obtained by IASO Atlanta. Taking into consideration the levels of income per capita and the cost of living in Atlanta, the determined price is believed to be optimal for the area.

Analysis of 5 Cs

The main marketing Cs of IASO Atlanta is defined as follows:

· Customer: satisfy the need to lose weight and improve overall health over e-commerce retail channel well-developed in the region;

· Company: ensure proper registration with the regulatory and tax authorities, provide 24-hour access to the website, advertising networks, and forums;

· Competition: overcome such competitors as drugstores and groceries selling herbs and other kinds of tea;

· Collaborators: cooperate with sports facilities and nutritionists to improve the effect of Iaso tea, as well as cooperate with college and school management to distribute the tea;

· Context: no obvious limitations for the tea were detected.

STP Analysis

The market is segmented into two main groups: people losing weight for beauty and social status and people in need to improve health. Consequently, two target groups were determined as teenagers (mainly girls) with socialization problems and adults with weight-related deceases. The product will be marketed via news boards in educational institutions for the primary target group only and via the Internet (and probably media) facilities for both primary and secondary markets.

Main Goals and Measurement Criteria

The company’s short-term goals are related to entering the local market and making the publicity acquainted with Iaso tea and its unique feature. The choice of such aims is predetermined by the fact that Iaso tea is hardly known by potential customers in Atlanta; thus, the statement of any financial goals would be inappropriate for the first year of operations. Still, it is important to define the number of first-year customers and the volume of their orders in order to estimate future success and plans for development. Completion of the goal will be measured with the company’s website visits, replies in social networks and forums, customers’ engagement in discussions, sales volume by year-end and customers’ retention rate. Short-term achievements should be further used to modify long-term plans and objectives of IASO Atlanta.

Long-term goals are more finance-directed. The company intends to obtain annual growth in sales volume of at least 20 % since the second year of operation. In addition, customers’ retention rate will be measured along with the analysis of public opinion based on discussions via the Internet. Figures of aimed retention rates and the company’s market share will be determined after the first year of operations based on the completion of the short-term goals.

SWOT and Needs Analysis of the Product

SWOT analysis is one of the most popular and efficient strategic management tools as it systemizes review of the company’s position in a compact and clear presentation (Harrison & John, 2008). Internal strengths of the company include such factors as total control over operations due to the sole proprietorship form combined with a technological approach to business (e-commerce) and low taxation level. Weaknesses include the impossibility to transfer rights to anyone else so that the life of the company is directly linked to the life and personal will of the single owner. Insufficient experience in the business and personal unlimited responsibility on debt obligations are also drawbacks of IASO Atlanta. At the same time, the external environment provides brilliant opportunities for the development of the company and product in the local market. There is a high potential demand from customers with weight and related health problems. However, the company will experience the influence of such threats as competition from drugstores and absence of acquaintance with the product in the region.

Needs analysis defines the current and potential market expectation and customer preferences. The main need to be expected from Iaso tea is losing weight without any kind of negative side effects. Due to its composition out of natural herbs, the tea will satisfy this requirement brilliantly. However, the company will have to warn potential customers who have personal allergy on any component of the tea not to use it. In addition, the tea is aimed to deal with excess weight-related problems as they are significantly faced by potential customers. This feature of Iaso tea should be widely represented in its marketing, as well. However, the company has to recognize its key competitors (pills, diets, and sports) and either unite with them or provide strong benefits of the tea that overweight its alternatives. In general, Atlanta’s market is capable of consuming different versions of dealing with weight and health problems, and the high demand for this kind of product in the local market provides strong potential for a new product such as Iaso tea.

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