The number of responses to advertising

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The number of responses to advertising

You have been hired as the marketing manager for It`s Popcorn Time (IPT), a purveyor of flavored popcorns and other gourmet treats. Growth has been rapid, and the owners feel it`s time to expand their markets and seek new opportunities.
IPT currently has the following products:
1. flavored popcorn- in addition to common flavors such as butter, cheese and caramel, they have patented a process for getting both thicker (chocolate) and finer (confectioners sugar) coatings to stick to the popcorn without damaging it.
2. snack sized pretzels, also coated with sweet and savory flavors
3. cookies-IPT has subcontracted with a local bakery to produce a variety of cookies
IPT is based in Havertown, Pennsylvania and has several storefronts in and around Philadelphia. They sell the products at the storefront locations and take phone orders for delivery in the area. They also sell their products in bulk to local gift basket producers and caterers.

New Product Rollout

IPT is considering signing a contract with an Amish food manufacturer to supply typical "Pennsylvania Dutch" treats such as shoofly pie, horehound candy, and various jams and jellies. (Note: There is a substantial Amish community in nearby Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who are commonly referred to as Pennsylvania Dutch). IPT still considers itself a local, Philadelphia company and feels that the addition of Pennsylvania Dutch products will garner more local customers.

On the other hand, IPT`s owner, Kiana Peterson, has been thinking of expanding the retail business to the regional level. She would like to test-market first in the tri-state area (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware) and possibly expand north and south into New York and DC Metro.

Your Role:

In the past, IPT relied on managers to run the stores and outside salespeople to develop relationships with resellers of its products. Now, Kiana knows it`s time to hire a full-time marketing person to promote the new line and plan for market expansion. Your challenges are as follows:

Determine IPT`s current state of affairs
Identify a target market
Identify marketing opportunities
Determine the marketing plan, including elements such as pricing and promotion

Additional analysis has revealed some interesting information:
There is strong local recognition - lines go out the door at stores all day, every day
No one else has been able to duplicate the process for making coatings stick to the popcorn
IPT has long-term, low cost contracts with manufacturers and suppliers
The patent for the coating process was just approved
People have started calling from other states to place orders (IPT has had to turn them away)
There is interest from the national flower and gift basket company

Age groups: young adults, middle-age adults
Income levels: from lower middle-class and upward
Consumer groups: individual consumers and businesses
Buying method: currently, 35% would buy from a storefront, 30% would buy "from a catalog or on the Web", and business buyers would direct order
Geographic distribution: research indicates that if IPT markets appropriately, they could increase sales outside the Philadelphia area by as much as 50% the first year. This is based on an anticipated contract with the floral company and the appeal of the Amish products to people from Philadelphia now living in other states and countries

It`s time to develop the marketing plan. Bring together everything you have learned and experienced to date, and create a thorough detailed plan for IPT. The marketing plan should include:
1. Executive Summary
2. Situation Analysis
a. Target Markets (demographics, needs, trends, etc)
b. Critical Analysis Considered (SWOT, Competitive, etc)
c. Products Defined (features, benefits, etc)
3. Key Marketing Objectives
4. Strategic Initatives
a. Positioning
b. Differentiation
c. Pricing Strategy
d. Distribution Strategy
5. Tactical Plans
a. Promotional tactics used
b. Develop a creative execution for direct mail or email campaign
c. Timing
d. general thoughts on Budget
6. other
a. Keys to winning
b. Barriers to success
c. How will you measure results

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