You are on page 1of 15

Five-Year Marketing Plan

for SYNLawnTexas

By: Group 6
Jerod Brockelman
Wilfredo Delgado
Chance Pryor
Teuta Luri
Eric Wilson

The synthetic grass market for commercial and residential applications has been an emerging business in
the eastern part of the country. This business has also exploded in other states such as California, Nevada
and Arizona and its continuously growing east as people become aware of the benefits of replacing
natural grass with synthetic lawn. In order to grow its market share in the state of Texas, Synlawn
(Synthetic Lawns) has adopted and executed the following 5-year marketing plan.

Executive Summary
Synlawn is a brand name and manufacturer with authorized distributors across the United States.
Synlawn Texas is an independent distribution center that satisfies the artificial grass needs for major cities
in the state of Texas: Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, El Paso, Lubbock, Midland and Odessa. The
purpose of this marketing plan is to become the distribution leader by significantly increasing sales
revenue and company market share in the state of Texas. These goals will be achieved by using a
combination of marketing strategies such as: direct sales and marketing, website implementation,
informative literature and product training. In order to successfully carry out this marketing plan,
Synlawn has allocated 10 percent of yearly sales toward marketing efforts dedicated to maximizing and
expanding company goals. It has also allocated significant capitol resources toward expanding the sales
force and acquiring necessary marketing supplies and equipment. Success of this plan will be measured
by monitoring the number of clients, client retention, and meeting monthly sales quotas.

Business Overview
Synlawn is a leader in the synthetic turf grass industry; its high quality products are manufactured in the
U.S.. These products are made of recycled plastic and are design to exactly resemble the natural look of
live grass. Synlawn offers a variety of products for different applications such as: commercial, residential
and golf. There are many advantages of using these eco-friendly synthetic grass products such as:
significant water and environmental conservation, maintenance cost savings and the satisfaction of having

a green lawn all year long. There are currently about twelve companies that compete directly with
Synlawn in the Texas market; their major strengths are price and reputation. Synthetic Grass Pros is the
strongest competitor in the market; they offer the lowest prices due to their sales volume as well as low
cost imported products. Southwest Greens is the most respected competitor. Though their price structure
is very close to Synlawns, they have built a strong reputation after being in the Texas market for many
years. While there is certainly competition for Synlawn in Texas, we believe that Synlawn is
competitively positioned due to the fact that the product is made from 100% recycled material and has a
special HeatBlock technology that is scientifically proven to reduce the surface temperature up to 20%
compared to competitors. Synlawn Grass also uses Omega Fibers that offer extra added stability,
increasing the life of the product; this fact is made apparent in the offering of an industry leading 15 year
product warranty. Additionally, its design delivers optimum drainage from the grass surface, allowing for
a clean, dry, consistent look. The following is a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and
Threats) analysis chart that organizes the analysis performed between Synlawn and the competition
within this market. This analysis looks at the overall weaknesses of our competitors and shows
opportunities for our business. It also includes competitive strengths that pose a threat for Synlawn in the
future. In addition it lists some opportunities and threats that Synlawn faces moving forward.

Strengths

Reputation
Quality of Product, made in the U.S.
Strong Warranty
Opportunities

Strong product line


High Income Customers
Fire Rated Products for Commercial
Applications
Golf Industry Background

Weaknesses

Office Locations
High Product Prices
Lack of trained Installers
Threats

New emerging Small Businesses


Too Many Competitors
Cheaper Imported Products
Low Market Share

Segmentation and Targeting:


There are essentially two very large segments for which we have the opportunity to market the Synlawn
synthetic grass product. The first is housing units; this segment includes homeowners and multi-unit
facilities such as apartment buildings, town homes, and duplexes. The second segment is the commercial
segment; this segment includes essentially any business that has landscape needs, or, any business that is
in the business of providing services related to landscape or other design services, such as swimming pool
builders, outdoor kitchen builders, patio & deck builders and architects. This segment also includes public
facilities such as schools and colleges. In addition it includes multi-use, indoor/outdoor facilities, such as
athletic venues.

Target Segments
Home Owners:
Homeowners are a very important focus for achieving long term success at growing the Synlawn product.
We believe that people can, and want to benefit from alternative solutions to live grass. Targeting this
group will allow health and environmentally conscious people to improve their lifestyles by allowing
them to save time and money, while also preserving the environment for themselves and their children.
Research has shown that there are about 10,255,642 housing units in Texas (State & County Quick Facts,
2014), with roughly a 63.3% homeownership rate. This creates a tremendous opportunity for growth.
Obviously, not every homeowner in the state can afford the expense of installing synthetic grass on their
lawn, so it has been determined that we should target higher income earners that can afford it, and, are
more likely to purchase upon recognizing the benefits of artificial grass. We believe that targeting
households making $75,000 and higher would be the desired demographic. Focusing on this particular
income bracket still gives us the opportunity to reach the approximately 25% (1,615,263) of homeowners
that fall within the targeted income range.

Home Owners with DOGS:


We also believe that targeting homeowners with dogs will give an increasing likelihood of adoption of the
new product. It is no secret that people who own dogs generally tend to think of them as part of the
family, and thus, are willing to spend generously to take care of them. Applying the synthetic grass to
peoples lawns allows them to have peace of mind about leaving their animals outside without fear of
them digging up the yard, getting muddy, and attracting tics and flees. Through our research we have
discovered that roughly 40% of homeowners own dogs, and of those, approximately 42% fall within the
higher income bracket that we have chosen to target (census.gov, 2012), thus, increasing our likely hood
at reaching a larger percentage of homeowners.

Home Owners Associations:


So far, as it relates to housing communities, one of the biggest obstacles to getting the synthetic grass
product into neighborhood homes has been due to Home Owners Associations. Generally speaking, they
believe it compromises the look of the properties they control. We want to spend time reaching out to
these agencies in an effort to educate them on the quality and benefits of the products in an effort to
maximize adoption of the product in neighborhood communities.

Apartments/Condos:
Within the housing segment, we also want to target apartments and condos. It is becoming increasingly
popular that high-rise apartment/condo units in particular are renovating what were once considered to be
unusable rooftops into beautiful recreational areas for their tenants and owners by using synthetic grass
lawns across all or part of the rooftop. We feel this offers a unique opportunity for growth in the major
metroplex areas that have many high-rise units; additionally, we are able to offer all types of
apartment/condo units a clean, safe, eco-friendly recreational area on their lawn areas that create safe
places for their tenants and owners to play and relax.

Architects:
We have determined that in order to begin to be more successful at growing both our market, and our
market share, we must begin targeting architects. While they may not be a direct customer of ours, these
are the people who have a great deal of influence on, not only the structural designs of buildings, but also
on the landscape designs. Our research has shown that there are as many as 11,215 architects licensed to
do business in Texas, with over 7,000 of them being actual Texas residents (Design Intelligence, 2014).
This creates a huge opportunity to influence the design outcomes of architects. By focusing our efforts on
communicating and educating them about the benefits and uses of the Synlawn product, we believe that
we will be able to significantly increase the market both for synthetic grass, and for Synlawn in Texas.

Landscape Companies:
Landscape companies may actually be one of the single most important target segments as far as it relates
to being a direct customer of Synlawn. These companies have more direct exposure to our end user than
any other potential customer. For this reason we believe that they will have a significant influence on
adoption of the Synlawn Synthetic grass product by our end users. Our research has identified as many as
3,578 landscape contractors in the state of Texas (manta.com, 2014). This significant number of potential
customers offers Synlawn a huge opportunity at penetrating both the household and commercial market
for synthetic grass.

Complimentary Item Companies:


Complimentary item companies would include businesses such as swimming pool builders, patio & deck
builders, and outdoor kitchen builders. These types of companies will also be direct customers of
Synlawn that will have the ability to influence the end customers perception of synthetic grass. We
believe that these companies offer potential for growth because there are many outdoor applications in
which each of these companies can implement the use of synthetic grass. One added benefit of targeting
these types of companies is that generally speaking, we believe that their customers will tend to fall into
the high income range that we seek to target.

Schools, Colleges, Universities, & Day Care:


The state of Texas has thousands of schools that Synlawn believes present a good opportunity for growth.
Among public schools, there are 4,001 elementary, 1591 middle, and 1445 high schools. There are also
1,299 private schools, 401 colleges and over 500 day care facilities (educationbug.org, Jan 2014). All of
these institutions add up to 9,237 reasons to target these institutions in an effort either to replace, or
renovate existing playground facilities and indoor/outdoor facilities with synthetic grass.

Golf Courses:
Due to increasing drought conditions, it is becoming increasingly common for golf courses to use
synthetic turf for the putting greens and rough areas that surround them. Industry experts tend to agree
that the way the ball plays on the synthetic grass is identical to natural grass; therefore, Synthetic greens
appear to offer all the advantages of real grass without any of the downside, except for the initial
instillation cost. But the costs are easily offset over the long term by the significantly reduced costs of
maintenance. With over 1,041 golf courses currently in Texas, there is a huge opportunity for growth in
this area. Listed below are the comparisons of synthetic vs. natural grass that will no doubt help Synlawn
increase the sales of synthetic grass in the golfing industry.

Synthetic Turf Green

Natural Grass Green

Maintenance

Debris Removal & Rolling Mowing, Edging, Watering, Weeding and Fertilizing

Equipment

Roller, Broom, Blower

Sprayer, Hole Cutter

Water

None Required

Daily

Sprinkler, Reel Lawn Mower, Edger, Blower, Aerator,

Seasonal Use of Green Any Time

After Grass is Established and Only in Warm Months

Hole Changes

Only If You Want To

Frequent Change Required

Limitations

None

Adversely Affected by Temperature and Precipitation


Chart by: Tourgreens.com

Positioning
Environmental Conservation:
It is important at Synlawn that our customers know that we care about the way we treat our environment,
and how our products affect the future. We intend to create the positioning in our consumers mind by
making sure that they associate our product with environmentally friendly practices. Our customers can
be comforted by knowing that our products are actually produced by taking recycled bottles and other
similar products and reusing them to create the final synthetic grass product. They will also have the
satisfaction of knowing that using synthetic grass decreases water consumption by as much as 50%.
Additionally, they will have the comfort of knowing that there is no longer a need to spray harmful and
toxic pesticides on their lawns that could endanger the health of themselves and their children.
Investment:
We also want our potential customers to think of our product as an investment. While the initial
investment may seem high, customers can be comforted by knowing that every 1000sq.ft. they purchase
will pay for itself within a 4 to 5 year period due to cost savings related to mowing, seeding, fertilizing
and saving as much as 70% on water bills (Synlawn, 2014).

Warranty:
While it is important that our customers receive the benefit of helping the environment and making a
good investment, we also want them to have the confidence that they are getting a quality product that
will stand the test of time; thus, they can take comfort in knowing they are purchasing a product that is
backed by the company for a 15 year warranty. We believe this will play a major role in consumers
comfort level as far as adopting the product.

Visually Appealing:
Finally, we want our customer to know that they are not only buying a product that will last a long time,
but also, will have the same visual appeal throughout the entire life of the product. Customers can have
the satisfaction that they will have green grass all year long, and that it will have the same consistent

length every single day without the hassle of having to mow, seed, fertilize and water throughout the
spring and summer seasons.

Marketing Goals:
According to the Synthetic Turf Council, the market for synthetic turf grass in the U.S. is estimated to be
in excess of $530 million (Newgrass, 2014). It is difficult to have an exact number on this figure because
the players in the industry itself have been very tight liped about sales and profits; however, one thing is
for certain within the carpeting industry, synthetic turf grass is by far the fastest growing segment,
especially within the residential market, growing by as much as 30% per year over the past 5 years (WSJ,
2013). And the industry as a whole has been growing by as much as 10% annually in the U.S.. With this
in mind, we have set realistic sales goals to double current revenues in the Texas market within 5 years.
Currently, sales in the Texas region are estimated at around $90 to $95 million, with Synlawn holding
about a 12% market share, with revenues of approximately $12.5 million. Though the current growth
rates could slow, it is expected that the Texas market will reach approximately $130 million in total
industry sales by 2020, allowing Synlawn to reach its projected sales target of $25 million. Taking into
consideration that overall growth could slow, we also intend to make aggressive efforts to increase our
market share from 12% to about 18% to 20%, which should allow us to comfortably reach our goal of
doubling revenues over the next 5 years.

Marketing Strategies:
Product mix:
Synlawn provides products for people that can range from commercial, residential and entertainment
needs. The product is a synthetic turf grass that comes in a variety of lengths and densities that mimic the
look and feel of natural grass in many different applications. Our customers can use the products in
sporting venues, lawns, golf courses, playgrounds and can be used in both indoor and outdoor settings.
This product meets customers needs by allowing them to purchase artificial turf that looks very realistic
compared to natural grass, while also offering the advantage of significantly reducing water consumption

and maintenance costs. Synlawn will also offer instillation services and training for its commercial
customers.

Pricing:
The synthetic grass market is very competitive, which makes it difficult to have prices that are
significantly higher than competitors; and yet, we also do not want to underprice our product for the sake
of gaining new customers for fear of making it appear that we are offering an inferior product. With that
said, we are taking a competition-oriented approach at pricing our product; thus, we have chosen to use
an At-market approach to pricing. For the most part our prices will be comparable to competitors, with
the exception of those who clearly do not have a product of equal or comparable quality. While not being
able to charge a significantly higher price than competitors, we believe that we will be able to
differentiate and gain market share by offering one of the highest quality products and the highest level of
service before, during, and after a purchase.

Location:
Synlawn has offices located in each of the major Texas markets, including Dallas, Houston, San Antonio,
El Paso, Austin, Lubbock, Midland and Odessa. These locations give us a competitive advantage over our
competitors that do not currently cover these markets. Since we are already established in the Texas
region our customers may have seen our product first hand and are already looking to purchase a product
of ours for their home or business. It also strategically positions us all across the state to provide products
and services, to not only the major metro areas, but also the surrounding areas; it essentially gives us
maximum coverage of the entire state in the most economically feasible way. This situation will allow
Synlawn to provide our synthetic lawn products to the people in the entire region, and, meet the needs of
all customers by giving them a realistic feeling/looking green lawn that they can be proud of.

Promotion:
Promotion will be a key element in the success of our product. While Synthetic grass has been widely
used in commercial settings (mainly sports), it is relatively new within the residential and commercial
lawn and landscape setting. We intend to make aggressive efforts at creating awareness of the products
and its uses. We believe that an important step in this process will be approaching architects and
homeowners associations. Their perceptions of this product are essential to mass adoption and use in both
residential and commercial settings. This will be done through a direct educational approach by sales
personnel and creation of relevant literature that can be issued both in hard copy form by mail, via the
internet, and possibly even through special interest stories by local and social media. We will also be
adding additional sales staff to each location throughout the state whose sole purpose will be to begin
taking a direct personal sales approach toward individual homeowners, landscape companies and other
compliment item companies, such as builders of swimming pools, playgrounds, outdoor kitchens and
deck builders. Sales staff will be responsible for presenting the product and educating these new
customers on its uses in their own projects, and how it can increase their own sales and revenues, thereby
creating potentially huge demand within the commercial and residential lawn, landscape, and special use
categories. Additionally, we will begin approaching schools within the state both directly, and by
mailings to make them aware of the opportunities that Synlawn can provide regarding their playgrounds
and multi-use facilities. A key topic with regards to our sales approach, whether it be by literature, or
direct sales, will be to make sure that each potential customer understands the benefits that synthetic turf
can offer, such as maintenance, health, time savings, beauty, etc. we believe that stressing these topics
will make our potential customers more likely to begin adopting and using the product.

Implementation:
In order to get this plan in action, we have determined that management at each of our locations will be
tasked with hiring additional sales staff to begin aggressively approaching our potential customers. In our
larger markets: Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, El Paso and Austin we will add as many as four to five

additional sales staff. Smaller markets: Midland, Odessa and Lubbock will add only two additional sales
persons to each location. They each will be tasked with gathering information on potential customers and
then approaching them directly and through cold calling with an effective pitch. Managers will implement
contact and sales quotas that will be reviewed monthly to determine the effectiveness of strategies and
sales persons; then, based on results, determine if changes are necessary. Management will also be
responsible for creating effective promotional literature for sales staff and web/mailing distribution.
Another area that must be focused on is our installation crews. Successful implementation of our strategy
will require additional crews to service our projects. Management along with constant, timely
communication from sales staff will be responsible for recognizing increased demand, then hiring as
needed for these crews. As it relates to our product strategy, management and sales associates will be
tasked with evaluating and recognizing which products are popular compared to those that are not. Doing
so will help to eliminate unnecessary inventory overhead, while also insuring that we always have the
most popular products readily available in order to provide the best quality and timely service possible to
our clients. Both management and sales personnel will also be tasked with determining when it might be
advantageous to offer promotions and discounts to customers such as referral discounts/rebates. We
believe that these promotions might enhance our growth opportunities if implemented appropriately and
strategically.

Budget &Sales Forecast:


Over the next 5 year period we expect to double our sales from $12.5 million to $25 million.
This will require significantly adding to our current sales staff. We are looking at initially adding
as many as 30 sales staff in order to begin executing our sales goals. In the larger markets we
expect that salaries will be as much as $60,000 per year plus benchmark bonuses in order to
attract and keep quality sales staff. In the smaller markets we estimate salaries to be $50,000 plus
bonuses. As far as advertisements are concerned, we have allocated 10% of expected annual
sales towards creating informative literature, brochures, and billboard/television/magazine

advertisements. We do not expect warehousing expenses to increase do to already being


adequately equipped to handle increased demand. Depending on increase in demand, we
anticipate adding service vehicles and staff on an as needed basis; therefore, we have allocated
$1,000,000 in the first year mainly for equipment. This should mostly be considered a one-time
expense. We have also anticipated additional variable labor costs in the amount of $30,000 for
hourly laborers and an additional $50,000 allocated toward supplies, inventory, and other
miscellaneous items. Listed below is a breakdown of expected first year expenses related to
implementation of our marketing plan.
Implementation Items
Salaries
Bonuses
Advertisements
Equipment (one-time costs)
Variable labor costs
Other Costs (supplies, inventory, misc.)

Cost
$1,800,000
$465,000
$1,250,000
$1,000,000
$30,000
$50,000

Total Implementation Cost

$4,595,000

Our rational for the implementation costs are based on the huge, virtually untapped market for
synthetic grass. In truth it is difficult to estimate what the actual demand might be simply
because of the huge homeowner population and the amount of businesses and apartments that
exist in the state. We believe our estimates are realistic; however, we are also prepared to make
adjustments in either direction should our assumptions prove incorrect.

Evaluation of Results:
In an effort to evaluate results, we intend to keep a strong focus on revenue generation; thus, we have
determined that we will implement a monthly overall sales quota of about $417,000 from all locations
combined, and, in an effort to make sure we reach these goals we will offer benchmark bonuses to all
sales staff to keep them motivated. We will also be keeping track of the number of repeat customers we

are able to acquire. We believe that repeat customers will show conviction that our product is indeed the
best of breed and well positioned for strong growth. In an effort to stay ahead of the curve we will initiate
post sales surveys and inquiries so that we are able to better serve our customers with what they want,
when they want it. Keeping close tabs on revenue generation, repeat customers, and addition of new
customers should serve as a guide for our success; if we notice that sales and customers are decreasing,
then we must alter our plan. If we continue to see accelerated growth, then this should serve as proof that
our plan is working and we should stay the course.

We are very confident in the direct method approach that we plan to implement. And though
training the sales staff and getting them on track is a process, we expect results to come relatively
quickly. After this marketing strategy is in full effect, we expect immediate positive results and
overall success of Synlawn as a business. We believe that both demand and profits will skyrocket
while at the same time making Synlawn synthetic turf grass the Synthetic lawn of choice.

References
Abkowitz, A. (2013, June 13). Artificial Grass: It's Not Just for Stadiums Any More. Retrieved
December 10, 2014, from
http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324412604578517552670776878

Industry Facts. (2014, January 1). Retrieved December 10, 2014, from
http://www.newgrass.com/distributorship_industry-facts.htm

Landscape Contractors in Texas. (2013, June 3). Retrieved December 10, 2014, from
http://www.manta.com/mb_45_C030E7N3_44/landscape_contractors/texas?ftoggle-frontend-prodon=abTests.engagement.rebrand_control&utm_expid=8278963228.cEgZ_XOVRPaI6jwvn6oKhQ.1&utm_referrer=https://www.google.com/

Number of Licensed Architects (US). (2014, January 1). Retrieved December 10, 2014, from
http://www.di.net/almanac/stats/number-of-licensed-architects/

State and County Quick Facts. (2014, December 4). Retrieved December 10, 2014, from
http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/48000.html

Table 1241. Household Pet Ownership. (2012, January 1). Retrieved December 10, 2014, from
www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s1241.pdf

Welcome to the Texas Public School Directory. (14, January 1). Retrieved December 10, 2014, from
http://texas.educationbug.org/public-schools/

Why Choose a Synthetic Turf Putting Green over Natural Grass? (2013, January 1). Retrieved
December 10, 2014, from http://www.tourgreens.com/faq/why-choose-synthetic.html