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Steinbeck & Sons, Inc. Advertising Plan
I. Executive Summary
Steinbeck & Sons, Inc. is an agriculture business that offers a variety of different products and services to customers. Steinbeck & Sons has done very little advertising for their business. The company is a family-owned business and the name is very well known, therefore, the current customers of Steinbeck & Sons do not need advertising to keep returning for more business. The company focuses on the current customers; prospective customers should also be considered. Prospective customers need to know about what Steinbeck & Sons can offer over the competition. Advertising should be used to let prospects know why Steinbeck & Sons is better than the competition. Steinbeck & Sons offers great customer service and is first concerned about a customer’s personal success before the company’s success. Prospects need to be aware of this, in case they are not receiving the best possible customer service they deserve from the competition; and this is why prospects need to turn to Steinbeck & Sons.
II. Current Situation Analysis A. Relevant History
Steinbeck & Sons was established in 1964. The owners of the company were selling fertilizer for a few years before the business was actually established. The company offers fertilizer, chemicals, propane, and seed to customers. 2
Steinbeck & Sons have not advertised much in the years they have been in business. When the company has advertised, some themes that were used were “Family Owned, Buy from Someone You Know” and “Fast Track to Success” was used when advertising at a local race track. In the past, Steinbeck & Sons media patterns include radio spots and mostly sponsoring an event like the county fair. As of right now, the business does not have any creative theme being used in advertising. The biggest problem with advertising is knowing what to say in the ad and where to spend money on the ad placement.
Steinbeck & Sons deals with many different businesses in the area that provide competition. The company tries to make stand out against the competition. Most of the products sold at Steinbeck & Sons are mostly the same of the competition, with some variety in the type of seed that is sold. With this being said, customer service must be better than the competition. When customers look at the company, in terms of products, they want a product that does what they need it to do, but they expect the best products to be updated. Occasionally, customers will ask about a new product they heard about and Steinbeck & Sons either have the answer or they find out. Steinbeck & Sons products are excellent in value; based on the actual cost of the product compared to what it does for the customer is excellent. Steinbeck & Sons does not only offer a variety of products, but also a variety of services. The company delivers seed and propane to customers, fill 3
fertilizer trucks, and offers help with how much product customers will need and tell the customers what they need to know to use the product. Current customers show they are satisfied with the products, as well as the service, by continually doing business with the company; if customers weren’t satisfied, they wouldn’t come back. Customers are satisfied with the products and service and usually encounter little to no problems with the products. If there is a problem, usually the product was not used correctly and another method will need to be done to get the job done right. .
C. Consumer Evaluation
The consumer evaluation can be defined by the demographic profile, psychographic profile, and an analysis of the present customer’s behavior. The demographic profile of the target market is upper-middle class, married white male, some single, who is 21 to 80 years old. About half of these men have a four-year college degree; the segment of the market with a college degree are the people who will be here years down the road and are willing to try new products. The other half of the population are the farmers who like what has worked in the past and does not want to change products. The target market is located in Southwest Iowa, and their locality is rural. The psychographic profile of the target market is based off how the product fits into the lifestyle of the customers. Depending on what type of products a customer uses will depend on how busy they are the rest of the summer. Some products only need to be applied once and then the customer has the time to do other things; if customers purchase the cheap product they 4
may be applying the product more than once and be busy all summer. Most customers purchase the best products so they have more time to do other things with their time. The analysis of the present customer’s behavior is just as important as the demographic and psychographic profiles. The price, packaging, styling and reputation of the brand is all important to present customers. It goes beyond the Steinbeck & Sons brand to the actual brand the company sells; for example, customers are very loyal to the of seed corn. Occasionally, brand switching does occur. This happens more on the chemical side of the business than others; many customers will see an advertisement for a new chemical and ask about it. Steinbeck & Sons job is to sift through this information, because some advertisements are true but some are not. The best prospects of the business are the people who only do part of their business with Steinbeck & Sons. These prospects can be influenced if the right actions are taken, if they cannot be influenced it won’t change them as prospects.
D. Competitive Analysis
Steinbeck & Sons has competition just like any other business. The direct competition is the other dealerships in the area like Steinbeck & Sons; FS Agriland and Pelgrow. The indirect competition is the different brands of seed or chemicals. If other ad campaigns draw the customers in and they want that product, that is competition, but not because of a different salesperson but because of the competition’s advertisements. The only weakness the 5
competition has is poor customer service. When customers want to pick up a product, the warehouse or office is not open.
III. Advertising recommendations A. Target market
The target market for the prospective customers is the same of the current customers because both markets are alike the only difference is one segment does not do business with Steinbeck & Sons; this is why they are prospects. The target market of the prospects is upper-middle class , married white male farmers, some single, who is 21 to 80 years old. About half of these men have a four-year college degree; the segment of the market with a college degree are the people who will be here years down the road and are willing to try new products. The target market is located in Southwest Iowa, and their locality is rural.
Advertising Communications Objectives
The advertising communication objectives shows what approach will be taken when coming up with the advertisements. The key fact is that Steinbeck & Sons offers great customer service. The company is also known in the community for sponsoring events at the county fair and helping the Griswold Sports Boosters. The primary marketing problem is that Steinbeck & Sons focuses on current customers. Many prospects could become new customers if the 6
advertising was focused toward the prospects. Most prospects are current customers of the competition. Knowing that the current customers are loyal to the company, money should be spent on advertising to target the prospects. The prospects could become new customers and eventually become loyal customers. The communication objective is to catch the prospects attention and make them question the service they are receiving now and whether or not it is the best service they could receive.
C. Creative strategy
The creative strategy of this advertising plan will be focused to a married white male farmer, who live in Southwest, Iowa. This representative will be between the ages of 28-70 years of age and has a four-year college degree. He is open to trying new products but wants what will work for his needs. He listens to the radio every day and purchases the local newspaper every Wednesday. He also spends time thinking about what he purchases; he does not make impulse purchases on products that have such value. The competition usually does not offer the best customer service and is more concerned with profits. Steinbeck & Sons can offer the best customer service and cares about the well-being of the customer’s personal business and profit before thinking about profits for Steinbeck & Sons.
The advertisements reflect the general idea of the ads. In the second ad, there would be a picture of an actual customer with their testimony. The third ad represents the generations of the family members who are working for the company. The picture would be of each family.
IV. Media recommendations
The media recommendations include where the ad will run, the cost of the advertisement, the size of the advertisement, and how often the advertisement will run. The advertisements in this campaign will run in the Griswold American. The Griswold American is published once a week on Wednesday. The cost of advertising is $6.25 per column inch; this is based off the rate card for the Northwest Missourian. The size of the ad would be about the size of a business card, or two column inches by two inches; which is 4.15 inches by 2 inches. The frequency of the ad would be once a month for a year. Each ad would cost about $52 a month. If an ad was ran in the paper every month for a year, the total cost of the campaign would be about $624 for the year.
Steinbeck & Sons can evaluate the success of the ad campaign by saying in the advertisement to bring the ad into the business. When prospects bring the ad into the business they can receive a discount off the product they are purchasing, and receive a coupon for that same product as incentive to purchase the product from the company a second time.