Tag Archives: Marketing

Carrabba’s Comprehensive Marketing Plan

Executive Summary

Casual Dining concepts need to evolve to better serve lapsed consumers and to attract an ever-changing consumer set. Carrabba’s Italian Grills passion is taking care of people. This passion comes from the genuine hospitality founded on the idea that sharing food isn’t just about eating – it’s what connects people to one another.  Carrabba’s is authentic Italian and represents everything they are: heritage, passion for food, love of family, and hospitality in our hearts. Ada Carrabba’s full-service casual Italian dining experience gives consumers quality ingredients, handmade dishes, and cooked to order in a lively exhibition kitchen for consumers to smell and see. Moderately priced casual dining menu entrees are between $10-$30 dollars, featuring a mix of classics Italian American cuisines, individualized dishes with signature sauces, dips or other toppings cuisine.

Carrabba’s brand has matured and it will focus to connect with West Michigan couples. Customers for Ada Carrabba are typically within an 8 to 10 miles radius of Ada Carrabba’s and the average time that our consumers are willing to travel to the dining restaurant is around 17 minutes.  Advertisements will be targeting upper middle class families, couples, and business professionals around Ada and West Michigan.  Messages displaying award winning Italian-American recipes, large selections of wines from around the world, and an exciting family dining atmosphere to create sustainable sales and improve brand awareness. Ada Carrabba’s will use a mixture of push and pull promotional methods to help maintain consumer interest and have brand relevance, each family promotion concept leverages limited-time offers that is featuring seasonal specials. A consistent create message to customers is “The Carrabba’s family sharing award winning Italian American cuisine”.

Ada Carrabba’s chooses a direct-sales, channel because the business has access to the customer keeping all revenue under the control. Ada Carrabba’s will establish retail and online order purchase processes.  The Ada Carrabba’s will enter into a Bloomin’ Brands franchise agreements, the franchisees is required to pay an initial franchise fee and pay monthly royalties based on the percentage of gross restaurant sales (5.75%).

 

Overview

Business Name: Carrabba’s Italian Grill

Business Structure: Company Owned Restaurant

Business Owner: Bloomin’ Brands International is a world class casual dining company with about 95,000 team members and more than 1500 restaurants in 48 states in the USA.  Bloomin Brands consists of Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish grill, and Carrabba’s Italian Grill.

Estimated market share: 4.5%

Carrabba’s Italian Grill – In 2015, 247 U.S. Carrabba’s Italian Grill Restaurants were in operation. 244 were company owned and 4 were franchised.

Founding History – Two Sicilian boys from Texas who love to cook and eat and they loved the Sicilian food their parents and grandparents cooked.

 

Mission Statement

  • The Original Carrabba’s provides authentic homemade meals that draw on their rich American-Italian recipes.
    • “When you come to the Original Carrabba’s you are family”

 

Objective, Purpose, and Goals: Carrabba’s Italian Grills passion is taking care of people. This passion comes from the genuine hospitality founded on the idea that sharing food isn’t just about eating – it’s what connects people to one another.  Carrabba’s is an authentic Italian and represents everything they are: heritage, their passion for food, their love of family, and hospitality in their hearts.

 

Products/ Services: Carrabba’s is full-service casual Italian dining experience offering authentic Italian cuisine passed down from the founder’s’ family recipes, they use quality ingredients to prepare fresh and handmade dishes cooked to order in a lively exhibition kitchen. Featuring a wood-burning grill inspired by the many tastes of Italy, our customers enjoy signature Sicilian dishes with a Deep-South twist, including appetizers-soups and salads- chicken, beef, and pork entrees, seafood, pastas, and pizzas.

 

Unique Selling Proposition: Carrabba’s food is straight from Italian family recipes brought into this country by our ancestors, used for generations and taught to us by Mama Mandola.  Carrabba’s makes sure that everything is perfect to ensure customers feel special by treating them like part of their family and create memories that last a lifetime.

 

Situation Analysis

 

External Factors

Key Industry Competitors

  • Bravo Cucina Italiana
  • Macaroni Grill
  • Magiano’s
  • Olive Garden ( Direct Competitor)
  • Uccello’s Ristorante
  • Vitale’s Restaurant

 

The Cooperative Environment

  • National Restaurant Association (NRA) – Provides industry news, research, sponsoring events, networking opportunities, and representation, among other things.
  • The NRA conserve program, is a broad initiative that helps restaurants implement conservative practices. The program serves as a catalyst of new solutions, garnering and generating ideas from across the restaurant industry for conservation solutions.
  • Bloomin’ Brands supply chain management.
  • Cooperation between Back of House employees and Front of house Employees

 

The Competitive Environment

National Industry Trends

  • Major fast food chains and a wide range of other establishments offer meals to eat in or takeaway is a common substitute for consumer in the market
  • The Chain Restaurants industry has a low level of market share concentration, the four largest industry players are estimated to account for about 21.3% of available market share.
  • The restaurant industry is highly competitive with a substantial number of restaurant operators that compete directly and indirectly with Carrabba’s Italian Grill in respect to price, service, location and food quality, and there are other well-established competitors with significant financial and other resources.
  • There is active competition for management personnel, attractive suitable real estate sites, supplies and restaurant employees. In addition, competition is also influenced strongly by marketing and brand reputation
  • Wages and associated labor costs represent the industry’s single biggest cost.

 

Direct Competitor

Olive Garden – Is owned by Darden Restaurants has more than 800 location in North America.

In 2015, Olive Garden recently launched a dramatically revised menu incorporating culinary buzzwords:

Plates for sharing, lighter fare and smaller portions with prices, specialty items with mix-and-match customizability, and gluten free dishes.

  • One of Olive Garden’s most expensive menu items is $23.99
  • Similar menu price points compared to Carrabba’s Italian Grill.

 

Vitale’s Restaurant – Are a local competitor of Ada Carrabba’s.  They offer a similar products with Italian American entrée dishes, appetizers, and alcoholic beverages.

 

The Economic Environment

            National Industry Trends

  • The industry’s annual sales are projected to reach $799 billion in 2017
  • Industry’s share of food dollar is 48 percent
  • Industry sales constitute 4 percent of the U.S. GDP.
  • The Chain Restaurant Industry has average a profit margin equivalent to 4.3% of revenue earned during the past 5 years (2012-2017).
  • Industry Revenue will grow an annual rate of 2.0% to 2020.
  • Licensed chain restaurants typically earn between 15% and 25% of the check value through sales of alcoholic.

The Social Environment

            National Industry Trends

  • Over a 3 year period, per capita income has increased and unemployment has eased, consumer confidence has improved, and therefore giving rise to greater spending on sit down meals.
  • Customer spending is forecasted to increase with an avg. annual rate of 2.7% during the next five years.(Ibisworld.com)
  • Consumers have become more aware of issues related to weight and obesity, nutrition and foods safety then they were before. For many restaurants the health factor has become a key focus of their marketing strategy and has encouraged businesses to target a new segment.
  • According the US Census Bureau the average consumer spends about 5.2% of their annual expenditures on food and beverages outside the home.
  • According to the National Restaurant Association study, 20% of consumers use technology when choosing a full-service restaurants.
  • According to the NRA, an estimated 67% of consumers use smartphones to look up restaurants directions, a number that climbs higher the younger the customers are.

 

The Legal Environment

National Industry Trends

  • Agency responsible for providing guidance and regulation for restaurants is the US Food and Drug administration’s (FDA).
  • The industry is subjected to laws and regulations relating to the preparation and sale of food, including regulations of product safety, nutritional content and menu labeling. Therefore, requiring licenses to serve food and alcohol
  • Carrabba’s operations are also subject to federal and state laws for immigration, employment, minimum wages, overtime, tip credits, worker conditions and health care.
  • Industry players must monitor changes in government regulations in areas such as food safety, employees and staff, and cash handling.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act, is federally mandated requirement for the disabled wages and benefit and if not followed, may face fines or risk losing their operating license.
  • Franchising is regulated at the federal level by the US Federal Trade Commission. According the FTC there are three elements of a franchise
    • The franchise has a trademark under which the franchisee is given the right to distribute goods and services.
    • The franchisor has significant control of or provides significance to the franchisee’s method of operation.
    • The franchisee is required to pay the franchisor at least $500 before opening business.

Internal Factors

Figure 1.1

Structure – U.S Industry-Carrabba’s Financial Performance

Year Sales              ($ million) % Change Operating Income            ($ million) % Change
2010 3,634.0 0.2 146.7 4.4
2011 3,793.0 4.4 185.2 26.2
2012 3,934.0 3.7 156.1 -15.7
2013 4,084.0 3.8 196.7 26.0
2014 4,173.0 2.2 163.7 -16.8
2015 4,315.3 3.4 171.8 4.9

Culture Bloomin Brands Inc.

  • As of December 27, 2015, Bloomin’ Brands owned 20% of their restaurant sites and leased the remaining 80% of their restaurant sites from third parties.
  • Income from operations of $230.9 million in 2015 compared to $192.0 million in 2014 , which was primarily due to lower impairments and restaurant closing costs, lower general and administrative expense and an increase in operating margin at the restaurant-level,
  • Before they add an item to the core menu, a research and development (“R&D”) team performs a thorough review of the item, including conducting consumer research, in order to assist Carrabba’s Italian grill in determining the viability of adding the item.
  • Bloomin’ Brands has a dual distribution system which uses vertical integration channels and market governance. There is a relationship between the firm’s distribution strategy and its intangible value with Carrabba’s Italian Grill.
  • Carrabba’s is part of Bloomin’ national distribution program that includes food, beverage, small wares, and packaging goods in all major markets.

 

Bloomin’ Brands CEO Liz Smith recognizes a growing consumer awareness that it’s costing more and more to eat out then to cook at home.

New Product Market Research –

Bloomin Brands Implements a 12-month pipeline of new menu and promotional items across all concepts that allows them to quickly make adjustments in response to market demands. Research and development for new menu items and significant product changes, they have a testing process that includes direct consumer feedback on the product and it’s pricing. R&D expense was $6.5 million, $5.8 million, and $6.4 million for fiscal years 2015, 2014, and 2013, respectively.

Porter’s Five Forces

 

Threat of New Entrants

  • The barriers of entry in the Italian chain restaurant industry are low and steady.
  • Franchise Agreements – Entry to the industry can happen through signing a franchise agreement, which includes outfitting and equipment, as well as training and computer systems.

 

Threat of Substitute Products

  • Food service chains like McDonald’s where customers pay before eating and do not receive table service is a possible.

 

Bargaining Power of Suppliers –

Food and beverages are usually purchased from wholesalers, particularly from those that can guarantee both prompt delivery and quality foodstuffs.

  • Prices can be affected due to supply, market changes, increased competition, the general risk of inflation, changes in laws, shortages or interruptions in supply due to weather, and other conditions beyond Carrabba’s control.
  • Increased prices or shortages could affect the cost and quality of the items Carrabba’s Italian Grill and in turn would require Carrabba’s to raise prices, limit their menu options or implement an alternative processes or products.
  • In 2015, commodity costs increased by 3.7% and Carrabba’s increased their prices at each location in the range of 2.1% to 2.7%.
  • In short term, many of the cost increases cannot be passed into the consumer, therefore portion sizes and other inputs into food service must be monitored.

 

  • Selling Industries

 

Frozen Food wholesaling

Dairy wholesaling

Egg & Poultry Wholesaling

Fish & Seafood Wholesaling

Beef & Pork Wholesaling

Fruit & Vegetable Wholesaling

Beer Wholesaling

Wine & Spirits Wholesaling

 

 

Bargaining Power of Buyers

  • The food service industry is affected by consumer preferences and perceptions, including the increasing prevalence of food allergies. Changes in these preferences and perceptions may lessen the demand for Carrabba’s products, which would reduce sales and harm business.
  • Carrabba’s Italian Grill’s key buyers are household consumers in the U.S. The decline of industry revenue during the recession illustrates the extent to which the industry’s performance is reliant on positive income levels, high consumer confidence and a growing economy. Indicating price sensitivity in the market.
  • Young millennial adults in the age bracket 24 to 35 have more disposable income than previous generations because of social trends and spend more of their food budget on eating out than any other age group.

 

SWOT Analysis

 

Strengths

  • Brand Name: A strong brand name is a major strength for Carrabba’s. This gives them the ability to charge higher prices for their product and services because customers are placing additional value associated with the brand.
  • Supply Chain: Carrabba’s strong supply chain helps them obtain the right resources and shipping can be executed in a timely manner. Carrabba’s are managed by a custom distribution company that only provides products approved from the Bloomin’ Brand system.
  • An award-winning Italian American cuisine inspired by the many tastes of Italy.
  • Utilizes a global core menu policy to ensure consistency and quality in their menu offerings.
  • Carrabba’s New product development
  • An attractive customer base of high income consumers.

 

Weaknesses

  • Italian food in general is not unique.
  • Mature Market: Mature markets are competitive. In order for Carrabba’s to grow in the market they need to increase market share which to difficult and expensive.
  • Bloomin Brands Carrabba’s Italian grill reported declines in U.S. customer traffic which fell 4.5 percent in the final quarter of 2016, while it has dropped 3.7 percent Since Jan. 1.

 

Opportunities –

  • Online Market: Expands Carrabba’s ability to reach a much wider customer base for relatively little expense. Customer can order online and when visiting utilize Ada Carrabba’s Carry out service.
  • New Markets: Serving additional customer groups or marketing segments. New products can help Carrabba’s expand their business and diversify their portfolio.
  • Expanding to new geographical markets

 

Threats

  • Slowdowns in market growth (Matured)
  • Increasing intensity of competition among industry rivals. Industry economics are making it tougher for Bloomin’ Brands and its peers to make a dollar with the intense competition and greater numbers of restaurants in the market.
  • Volatile Costs: Food prices fluctuate meaning Carrabba’s must plan for scenarios where costs could go up.
  • Change in Tastes: Consumers can change their tastes very fast.
  • Substitute Products: The availability of substitute products can hurt Carrabba’s ability to raise prices, because consumers can switch to a different product.

 

Target Market Description

 

Primary Customers

 

Carrabba’s brand has matured and it will focus to connect with West Michigan couples.

  • Target audience is married or considered to be in a relationship phase.
  • Typically have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • Have a median household income above $80,000 dollars. Are considered to be in the highest quintile and fourth quintile of income in the market segment.
  • Men and Women between the ages of 24-54.

Attracting more affluent West Michigan family segments.

  • Families considered to be from Generation Y and Millennials Generations
  • Age groups 24-54 and have at least a child under the age of 18.
  • Have a median household income of above $60,000 dollars. Are considered to be in the middle quintile or above in income in the market segment.

 

Secondary Customers

 

White and Blue Collar business professionals

  • Men and Women between the ages of 24-54 years old.
  • Have a medium income above $50,000 dollars. Are considered to be in the middle quintile or above in the market segment..
  • Have disposable income to eat out.
  • Are looking for a lunch and dining experiences.

 

Major Market Segments for Carrabba’s Italian Grill can be inferred on the basis of annual expenditure on foods and beverages outside the home depicted in Figure 1.1.

 

Figure 2.1

 

  • Lowest income spends – $1,086 per year, versus highest income spends – $5,366 per year. While the three middle-income quintiles represents and contribute to 52% of demand focused on middle of the range chain restaurants.

 

  • Information from U.S. Census Bureau indicates that spending patterns within the income brackets are still relevant and the industry’s major market segmentation have not changed dramatically after the recession.

 

Consumer Demographics 

  • Targeted consumer demographics are based around West Michigan Kent County. I have selected 5 potential cities/townships to analyze in coordination with an implementation plan to establish a new restaurant location. Information is based on 2010 and 2015 U.S. Census.

 

Figure 2.2

Number of Households in West Michigan

Total Households 492,598
Family Households 336,702
Non-family Households 155,900
Households With Children 171,364
Households Without Children 321,213
Average People Per Household 2.63

 

Family Households – 68.4 %   Non-Family Household – 31.6%

 

 

  • Kent County Population– 602,622
    • 1% – Caucasian
    • 2% – African American
    • 4% – Asian
    • 7% – Native American
    • 7% Hispanic or Latino
  • Kent County Age Distribution
    • Under the age of 18 – 28.3%
    • 18 to 24 – 10.5%
    • 25 to 44 – 31.2%
    • 45 to 64 – 19.7%
    • Over the age of 65 – 10.4%

 

Kent County Income Distribution (2010 Census)

  • Median income for a household in the county was $45,980.
  • Median income for a family was $54,770.
  • Males had a median income of $39,878 versus $27,364 for females
  • Per capita income for the county was $21,629.

 

Prospect Cities Populations (2010 Census)


  • East Grand Rapids – 10,694
    • Under the age of 18 – 6%
    • 18 to 24 – 0%
    • 25 to 44 – 5%
    • 45 to 64 – 4%
    • Over the age of 65 – 7%
  • Grand Rapids188,040
    • Under the age of 18 – 0%
    • 18 to 24 – 1%
    • 25 to 44 – 5%
    • 45 to 64 – 7%
    • Over the age of 65 – 6%
  • Grandville15,378
    • Under the age of 18 – 8%
    • 18 to 24 – 7%
    • 25 to 44 – 3%
    • 45 to 64 – 6%
    • Over the age of 65 –               6%
  • Ada Township13,142
    • Under the age of 18 – 6%
    • 18 to 24 – 4%
    • 25 to 44 – 6%
    • 45 to 64 – 3%
    • Over the age of 65 – 1%
  • Walker 23,537
    • Under the age of 18 – 9%
    • 18 to 24 – 9
    • 25 to 44 – 7%
    • 45 to 64 – 3%
    • Over the the age of 65 – 1%
  • Wyoming 72,125
    • Under the age of 18 – 1%
    • 18 to 24 – 5%
    • 25 to 44 – 9%
    • 45 to 64 – 5%
    • Over the age of 65 – 9%

 

Prospect City Income Distributions (Census 2015)

  • East Grand Rapids
    • Median income for a household in the city was $112,000
    • Median income for a family was $98,967
    • Males had a median income of $66,528 versus $42,383 for females
    • Per capita income for the city was $55,483
  • Grand Rapids
    • Median income for a household in the city $40,355
    • Median income for a family was $44,224
    • Males had a median income of $33,050 versus $26,382
    • Per capita income for the city was $21,027
  • Grandville
    • Median income for a household in the city $53,572
    • Per capita income for the city was $26,463
  • Ada Township
    • Median income for a household in the township was $121,439
    • Median income for a family was $87,972
    • Males had a median income of $61,795 versus $36,288 for females
    • Per capita income for the township was $51,767
  • Walker
    • Median income for a household in the city was $50,903
    • Median income for a family was $58,912
    • Males had a median income of $37,438 versus $28,372 for females
    • Per capita income for the city was $26,583.
  • Wyoming
    • Medium income for a household in the city was $46,849
    • Median income for a family was $50,000
    • Males median income $35,772 versus $25,482 for females
    • Per capita income for the city was $22,39

 

 

Figure 2.3

Education (2015 Census) High school graduate or higher, percent of persons are 25+ Bachelor’s degree or higher, percent of persons age 25+
East Grand Rapids 98% 79.3%
Grand Rapids 85.1% 36.6%
Grandville 92.5% 32.9%
Ada Township 97.7% 63.6%
Walker 94.0% 31.5%
Wyoming 84.0% 20.7%

 

Consumer Geography

  • Customer for a Carrabba is typically within an 8 to 10 miles radius of Ada Carrabba’s
  • The average time that a consumer is willing to travel to a Casual Dining Restaurant is 17 minutes.

 

Figure 2.4

 

Consumer Behaviors and Perceptions

  • On average a consumer visit to a casual dining restaurant is substantially longer than at Fast Casual or Quick Serve. Carrabba’s casual dining concept needs to capitalize on this time with consumers to build a relationship that will trigger return visits and increase the concept’s net promoter scores.
  • Based on Google.com the average time spent dining is 1-2 hours per visit at Carrabba’s.

 

Carrabba’s Online Google Consumer Reviews

 

Erica Byers Pelton 5 months ago- 4 of 5 stars

They have a wide variety of items on the menu to choose from and everything is good. We have always had excellent service here and it is a great atmosphere. It is a little pricer than the other chain restaurants around but the food quality is excellent. It is not affordable enough for us to go regularly but definitely on special occasions.

 

Sarah Miller a year ago – 5 of 5 stars

The atmosphere is quiet. The food is always good. They now have smaller appetizers available, which is nice for couples. They always put bread with oil on the table. Easily one of my favorite places to eat out.

 

Gerard Louis a year ago – 5 of 5 stars

My fiancée and I went here for my birthday. We were promptly greeted when we walked in. Our waiter, Caleb, was great! He had the right balance of helpfulness and not hovering. He was also very knowledgeable about the menu and helped us pick a good wine that paired really well with our dinner. The food was phenomenal, I had the lobster ravioli and it was sinfully delicious!

 

 

Objectives and Strategies for the Target Market(s)

 

Objectives – Advertisements targeting upper middle class families, couples, and business professionals around West Michigan displaying award winning Italian-American recipes, a large selection of wines from around the world, and an exciting family dining atmosphere to create sustainable sales and improve brand awareness.

Ada Carrabba’s creative marketing content will focus on the restaurant brand image with “The Carrabba Family always sharing their great food and experiences with you” that marketing message will create an intangible market-base with West Michigan families. Ada Carrabba’s will spend advertising dollars first on lead generations, then on consumer retention, with generating awareness last.

 

Advertising Strategies and Public Relations Marketing –

  • Ada Carrabba’s will use advertising programs through Bloomin’ Brands national promotions.
  • Ada Carrabba’s will connect with consumers by brand visibility, conducting local marketing, online digital marketing, direct mailing, highway billboards, and promoting point-of-sale materials to consumers.

 

Traditional Advertising

 

Local traditional advertising is what most people think of when talking about advertising or marketing. This includes the “usual” venues for media placement, such as newspaper, radio, broadcast television, cable television, or outdoor billboards.
Typical collateral materials needed for your business – like stationery, business cards, or brochures – would also fall under traditional advertising. These are the products that people normally expect from an established business, and are useful for building your business’ brand, identity, and image.

 

Print Media

  • Newspaper Press Releases – Targeting consumers in the Grand Rapids Press circulation and describing the unique and exciting family dining experience with award winning Italian American cuisine.
  • Flyers – Promotional print media handouts at trade shows and local events telling consumer about Carrabba’s 2016 award winning Italian dishes.

 

Video Media

  • Local T.V Broadcasting – using continuity scheduling and spreading media spending evenly across months. With an annual budget of $44,000 a year, continuity scheduling would allocate exactly $4,000 per month. This method ensures steady brand exposure over each purchase cycle for individual consumers. It also takes advantage of volume discounts in media buying.
  • Online Video Advertising – Using bloomin’ brands national T.V branding efforts to help our location to draw consumer’s attention.

 

Local Radio Broadcasts

  • Verbal descriptions to describe Carrabba’s Authentic Italian inspired dishes. Using local broadcasting stations around West Michigan.

 

Local Billboards

  • Targeting high volume traffic highways around Grand Rapids, specifically U.S. 131 North and U.S 196 East.

 

Non-Traditional

 

Online Advertising With culture trends leading to a digital-savvy consumer market, full service chain restaurants are continuing to invest in technology. Online channels are vital for restaurant chains like Carrabba’s Italian Grill, because online presence, brand awareness, and digital marketing strategies are effective due to the amount of time consumers now spend on their desktops, tablets, and smartphones. Ada Carrabba’s uses digital advertising and publishing networks to help the restaurant be more efficient with advertising expenditures. Online mediums will help to execute and develop relevant and timely campaigns and promotions based on local consumer demand.

 

Social Media Platforms and Search Engine Marketing Strategies

Objective –Is to have customer engagement and feedback from an online medium.

 

Facebook – Post on social media platform 2-3 times a week with community news and responses.

Twitter -Post on social media platform 2-3 times a week with community news and responses.

  • Both will promote Carrabba’s loyalty programs and contests to local consumers.
  • Discuss and inform consumers about Daily Chef Specials and new product launches.

 

Mobile marketing – Contacting new and loyal customers with mobile promotions

  • Targeting iPhone and Android smartphones for advertising and promotional content. According to the NRA, an estimated 67% of consumers use smartphones to look up restaurants directions, a number that climbs higher the younger the customers are.
  • Text messaging contest will attract brand awearness.

Using a CPC model, Ada Carrabba’s can connect with mobile internet users with Google mobile ads

 

Email marketingOffering food and beverage promotions

  • com page discussing the 25 email marketing statistics “44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email. (Convinceandconvert.com)” and “7 in 10 people say they made use of a coupon or discount from a marketing email in the prior week. (2012 Blue Kangaroo Study)”.
  • According to a study by ExactTarget, 77% of consumers prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications through email. Companies that have the ability to manage, organize, and execute email campaigns while including the scheduling emails at a specific time and date, creating triggered campaigns.

 

Paid Search Advertising – Key to success is picking the right Keywords.

  • Using Google analytics.
  • PPC advantages is the ability for marketers to become the most relevant search term for a webpage online. Carrabba’s will do this by paying per click, this method becomes an effective short term boost in web traffic to Carrabba’s.
  • A clear disadvantage for this method is that PPC marketing methods will be constrained by budget factors for the business. Therefore when the budget runs out so does Carrabba’s online marketing in PPC.

 

Search Engine Optimization – Key to Success is consistent online creative social promotions, social content and Ada Carrabba’s information.

  • Searches drives an incredible amount of both online and offline economic activity.
  • Higher rankings in the first few results are critical to visibility.
  • Being listed at the top of the results not only provides the greatest amount of traffic, but also instills trust in consumers as to the worthiness and relative importance of the company or website.
  • An advantage for SEO with the business is it can be more efficient in the cost per click overtime after the webpage is established with an authoritative page ranking.
  • Some disadvantages are the high upfront costs in building website content and for the long term benefits and it gaining the attention of consumers.

 

Marketing to Target Lifestyles

  • Communicators – Individuals who like expressing themselves, whether it’s face to face, mobile to mobile, or social networking sites, and emailing people. Are working or attending college and are interested in sports, pop culture, and latest trends.
  • Knowledge-Seekers – Are Individuals who want to gain information to educate themselves about the world. They want to hear from like-minded people during a purchasing decision.
  • Networkers – Are Individuals who like to establish and maintain relationships. Have a busy lifestyle, they are considered professional, trade worker, or managing at home. Use social networking to keep in touch with people is a heavy internet user

 

 

Marketing Position and Mix Summary

 

Products

Offering the finest in food, service and atmosphere with the casual price.

 

Easy in store and online purchasing – Creating and applying simple and easy purchase methods for consumers

 

Carrabba’s Italian Casual Dining Menu

Offers authentic Italian cuisine passed down from the founder’s’ family recipes, Carrabba’s uses the best ingredients to prepare fresh and handmade dishes cooked to order.

 

  1. Chef Specials –
    1. Carry-out family dinner bundle – A Budget-minded dinner will be a familiar option for family consumers that want quality food to take home.
    2. Amore Mondays
    3. Tasting Tuesday
    4. Pizza & Wine Wednesday – Customer can create a custom pizza and pair it with a unique wine.
  2. Appetizers & Small plates – Price Range –
    1. Appetizers7 options available
    2. Small Plates – 6 options available
  3. Soups and Salads – Price range –
    1. Soups3 options available
    2. Salads – 5 options available
    3. Combos
  4. Entrees – Price Range –
    1. Authentic homemade pasta Italian food with Mama Mandola’s family recipes
    2. Freshly flame grilled beef, pork, veal, chicken, and seafood style entrees.
    3. Custom made wood-fire pizzas
    4. Combinations
  5. Under 600 & and Gluten Free – Price Range –
    1. Under 600 – 31 options available
    2. Gluten Free – 35 options
  6. Desserts – Price Range –
    1. Sweet Italian Treats 5 options available
  7. Beverages – Price Range –
    1. Wine – Carrabba’s offers wine sourced from across the world and invite you to explore Carrabba’s selections that offer a variety of New World Familiarity, Old World Classics and Interesting Gem’s. Our wine list includes over 30 wines sold by the glass, so you can always find the perfect pairing to go alongside one of our made from scratch Italian favorites.
    2. Italian sangria & Cocktails – 10 options available
    3. Italian beers – 2-5 options available
    4. Cold Beverages –14-16 options available

 

  • Wood-Fire Grill: The wood-fire grill preparation infuses food with delicious flavor through natural burning wood, which perfectly complements Carrabba’s signature grill baste.
  • Freshness: Carrabba’s food quality is unmatched in the category. Dishes are made from scratch, in an open kitchen for the entire restaurant to see.
  • Sourcing: Carrabba’s sources its ingredients from all over the world, e.g. vinegars from the Modena region in Italy and ricotta salata from Sardinia, to ensure the most authentic and fresh flavors go into the dishes.
  • Nutrition: Approximately 31 dishes on the revamped menu are under 600 calories. Designed and managed by registered dieticians, Carrabba’s gluten-free menu offers 33 options, including a gluten-free pasta option.

 

 

Carrabba’s Italian Casual Dining Service

Front of house service that embodies Carrabba’s Italian Grill commitment to hospitality.

  • Prompt and attentive customer service
  • Management and staff members have clean and professional uniforms to distinguish themselves from customers
  • Professional mannered staff with energetic and positive attitudes
  • Ready to make menu recommendations and wine paring, if asked. No detail is ever too small to pay attention to when dining.
  • Escorting patrons to the table, holding the chair for women.

 

Offering Carry Out Service

  • Food is cooked to order and safely packaged for consumers to take home
  • Order is completed to customer satisfaction and completed after set specific time within 30 minutes

 

Carrabba’s Italian Casual Dining Atmosphere

Inside and Outside Restaurant Presentation

  • Scenic outside patio dining and seating.
  • Lighting will be subtle, leaning toward dim (romantic).
  • Music playing subtly in the background will reflect the theme, such as classical for a traditional fine dining restaurant

 

Exhibition Style Kitchen and Bar. – Ada Carrabba’s open kitchen atmosphere is where guests can see and smell fresh flavorful Italian dishes being prepared.

  • Ada Carrabba’s open kitchen atmosphere includes the Kitchen Counter, where guests can experience exhibition style cooking as dishes that are prepared right in front of them.
  • See and experience the process of preparing a handmade pizza and smell the wood-fire oven from the dining room.
  • Ada Carrabba’s modern bar design includes open bar seating, an elegant back wall display for customers to choose alcoholic beverages, and several community tables where friends can meet to enjoy favorite dishes and cocktails.

Modern Tableware and Furniture

  • Open family dining room tables that seat up 4 to 8 customers
  • Secluded section with dining tables for couples
  • Comfortable booths with seating for 4
  • Linen tablecloths
  • Fine china, wine glassware and flatware
  • Centerpiece Candlelight paired with authentic Olive oil bottles

 

Destination Attraction

  • A unique destination attraction will be a replica of a famous Italian wishing fountain.

 

Distribution Strategy

 

Business to Consumer Model – Exclusive Distribution.

Ada Carrabba’s chooses a direct-sales, channel because the business has access to the customer keeping all revenue under the control. Ada Carrabba’s will establish retail and online order purchase processes.

 

After analyzing consumer demographics in Kent County and West Michigan.  A restaurant location will be established at retail location in Ada Township’s business district. Covering Primary target demographics within a 10 mile radius.  Reasons for this decision are as follows.

  • Household median income in the Ada Township is $121,439 dollars
  • Percentage of the age population between the ages 25-65 in the area is over 50%.
  • The percentage of consumers with at least a bachelor’s degree is around 63%. This resonates with Carrabba’s sophisticated authentic Italian dining experience.

Ada Carrabba’s will implement a “Total cost of ownership” (“TCO”) approach that focuses on the initial purchase price, coupled with the cost structure underlying the procurement and order fulfillment process. The reason for that choice is:

  • The TCO approach includes monitoring commodity supplier markets and trends that execute product purchases at the most advantageous times.

 

 Price Strategy 

  • Ada Carrabba’s Italian Grill will seek to serve upper middle class families and the couples segment with a focus on matching expected and perceived brand value.
  • Moderately priced casual dining menu entrees are between $10-$30 dollars, featuring a mix of classics Italian American cuisines, individualized dishes with signature sauces, dips or other toppings cuisine.
  • Ada Carrabba’s Restaurant will use a Cost-plus pricing that includes all the overhead costs that are occurred when running a restaurant, including rent, wages for waitstaff and cooks. Utilities water, gas, and electricity to power the kitchen and dining room.
  • Profit includes wages for the owner, as well as the ability to conduct repairs on the restaurant and expand the restaurant, this percentage should be added onto the cost of any food item, leading to prices that pay for food and overhead costs, and result in a profit.

 

Management SupervisionAda Carrabba’s will be prepared when executing core turnaround initiatives that will stop loss of profits and more importantly, drive enterprise value through a robust and sustainable business platform.  Area Operating Partners and Restaurant Managing Partners will have completed a comprehensive training program that emphasizes Bloomin Brand operating strategy, procedures and standards.

 

Bloomin’ Brands Corporate Team – Services and structures Ada Carrabba’s supply chain organization and costs they are responsible for all food and operating supply purchases.  As well as a large percentage of purchases of field and corporate services.  This customized relationship enables Ada Carrabba’s staff managers to effectively manage and prioritize their supply chain. Keeping product prices moderate for consumers compared to competitors in the area.

 

Promotions

Ada Carrabba’s will use a mixture of push and pull promotional methods to help maintain consumer interest and have brand relevance, each family promotion concept leverages limited-time offers that is featuring seasonal specials. A consistent create message to customers is “The Carrabba’s family sharing award winning Italian American cuisine”

 

Push Methods

  • Cooking Trade shows
  • Personal Selling by FOH
  • Search engine optimization

Pull Methods

  • Advertising
  • Branding
  • Content Marketing (Word of Mouth)
  • Sales promotion/ Discounts
  • Paid search advertising

 

Marketing Research/ Decision process

 

Local Test GroupsCarrabba’s can continuously evolve their product offerings to improve their efficiency and based on consumer trends and feedback.

 

Online and Text Message SurveysTracking consumer satisfaction data with online and mobile surveys after visit.

 

Collecting Online Analytic Data – Utilizing SEO webmaster tools with Google. Ada Carrabba’s can control spending on local SEO and Paid search advertising tactics with search engine websites.

 

Nielson Consumer Graphic Data– purchasing and using strategic tactics to better target our promotions to West Michigan consumers.

 

 Coordination with Business Functions

 

Franchising The Ada Carrabba’s will enter into a Bloomin’ Brands franchise agreements, the franchisees is required to pay an initial franchise fee and pay monthly royalties based on the percentage of gross restaurant sales (5.75%). Coordinating with Bloomin’ brands for supply distribution chain.  Initial franchise fees are $40,000 for U.S. franchisees

 

Local PartnershipWith Ada Township’s business district committee to coordinate with local businesses for local events.

 

Sales Forecast and Expense Budget

 

Selected Sales Data Following is sales mix by product type and average check per person for Company-owned restaurants during fiscal year 2015:

 

Figure 5.1

Selected Sales Data – 2015 U.S. Market Carrabba’s Italian Grill
Food and non-alcoholic beverages 85%
Alcoholic Beverages 15%
Average check per person ($USD) $21

 

Figure 5.2      

Cost of Sales Fiscal Year Fiscal Year
(Dollars in Millions) 2015 2014
Cost of sales $1,419.7 $1,435.4
% of Restaurant sales 32.6% 32 .5%

Cost of sales, consisting of food and beverage costs, increased slightly as a percentage of Restaurant sales in 2015 as compared to 2014.

 

Figure 5.3

Labor and Other Related Expenses Fiscal Year Fiscal Year
(Dollars in Millions) 2015 2014
Labor and Other Related $1,205.6 $1,219.0
% of Restaurant sales 27.7% 27.6%

Labor and other related expenses include all direct and indirect labor costs incurred in operations, including distribution expense to Restaurant Managing Partners, costs related to field deferred compensation plans, and other field incentive compensation expenses.

 

Figure 5.4

Other Restaurant Operating Expenses Fiscal Year Fiscal Year
(Dollars in Millions) 2015 2014
Other Restaurant Operating $1,006.8 $1,049.1
% of Restaurant sales 23.1% 23.8%

Other restaurant operating expenses include certain unit-level operating costs such as operating supplies, rent, repairs and maintenance, advertising expenses, utilities, pre-opening costs and other occupancy costs. A substantial portion of these expenses is fixed or indirectly variable.

Sales Forecast and Cash Flow

 

 Expense Budget   

 

Implementation Plan

 

Year 1

 

Quarter 1 – Staff Placement, begin promotional campaigns, and startup costs

 

Quarter 2 – Increase online and traditional promotional campaigns

 

Quarter 3 – Initiate measurements on promotional methods

 

Quarter 4 – Communicate promotional strategy with Bloomin’ Brands

 

Figure 3.2

Planned Promotion/advertising mediums

Expected Brand Improvement Cost ($) Target Date
Search Engine Marketing and

Online Advertising; customer reviews and online information:

Reddit.com, Yelp.com, and Google.com. Promoting happy hour and & chef specials
Social Media campaign with Facebook and Twitter. Promotions through loyalty program with mobile text messaging that will encourage customer engagement. Medium expenses because of promotional discounts
Mailers and regional print advertising: promotional discounts Awareness Campaigns Coupon, media placement and print costs 11/01/2017

Month before and continued after launch

Press Release – Describing the unique atmosphere and display attraction at Ada Carrabba’s Awareness and consumer interest TBD 10/07/2017

2 months before Grand Opening

Billboard Advertising  Campaign Awareness and consumer interest 10/01/2017

2 months before and maintain for 8 months after, then reevaluate.

 Grand Opening Special Event Attract the local community and nearby cities

 

Management Processes

  • Establishing information security, privacy, cashless payments, gift cards and consumer credit, protection and fraud.

  

Online Creative Content

SEO Creative Content Example: Figure 3.1

 

Wine and Dine at Carrabba’s

 

Red Wines

 

Cabernet Sauvignon:  is the name of both the grape and the wine it produces. The primary taste of this wine is blackcurrant, a sweet earthy taste unlike other berries. Fresh gooseberry and passionfruit flavour-aromas and hints of raspberry, combined with the floral aromatic notes of carnations and roses.

Cabernets are hearty and rich and thus go best with tomato-based red sauce and are terrific with steaks or chops—like lamb chops with frizzled herbs. The firm tannins in these wines refresh the palate after each bite of meat. BIG, BOLD, ROBUST.

  • Best paired with: Red Sauces

 

Carrabba’s Wine Selection

  • Beringer Founder’s Estate, Cal.
  • Dark Horse , California
  • Coppola Diamond, California
  • Lohr “Seven Oak”, California
  • Louis Martini, California
  • Sequoia Grove, Napa Valley, Cal.

 

Italian Chianti is a strong, bold red wine that is perfectly suited for flavorful, well-seasoned sauces. It pairs best with tomato-based red sauces, but will also work with cream- or oil-based sauces. CHERRIES, BERRIES AND SPICE.

  • Best paired with: Red Sauces Also: White Sauce and Oil-Based Sauces

 

Carrabba’s Wine Selection

  • Gabbiano Chianti, Tuscany
  • Santa Cristina Chianti Superiore, Tuscany

 

Merlot is not as harsh as other reds, merlot is mellow with flavors of plums, black cherry, violets, and orange. It is best paired with tomato-based red sauces.

  • Best paired with: Red Sauces

 

Carrabba’s Wine Selection

  • Ecco Domani, Italy
  • Robert Mondavi Private Selection, California
  • Markham, California

 

Pinot Noir is a light red wine with flavors that include earth, vanilla (from the oak), and jam. This versatile wine goes well with tomato-based red sauces, but will also work with cream- or oil-based sauces.  Recipes made with ingredients like mushrooms and truffles taste great with reds like Pinot Noir and Dolcetto, which are light-bodied but full of savory depth.

  • Best paired with: Red Sauces Also: White Sauce and Oil-Based Sauces

 

Carrabba’s Wine Selection

  • Mark West, California
  • Coppola Votre Santé, California
  • Elouan, Oregon

 

Sangiovese is a hefty red wine that goes wonderfully with spicy Italian dishes. Best paired with tomato-based red sauces, it will also work with cream- or oil-based sauces.

  • Best paired with: Red Sauces Also: White Sauce and Oil-Based Sauces

 

Zinfandel, is a deep red wine. Spicy and peppery, with a hint of berries or dark cherries, this wine goes best with thick, tomato-based red sauces.  The words rustic and rich describe Zinfandel. SMOOTH AND VELVETY.

  • Best paired with: Red Sauces

 

Carrabba’s Wine Selection

  • Joel Gott Zinfandel, California

 

White Wines

 

Chardonnay white wine can taste semi-sweet or sour, heady or light. Typical flavors are apple, tangerine, lemon, lime, melon, and oak. Like most white wines, it is best paired with cream- or oil-based sauces, considered to be delicious with fish like salmon or any kind of seafood in a lush white sauce.  Can also be served with a light, tomato-based red sauce. CITRUS, APPLES, OAK.

  • Best paired with: White Sauce and Oil-Based Sauces Also: Red Sauces

 

Carrabba’s Wine Selection

  • William Hill, California
  • Kendall-Jackson, California
  • Decoy by Duckhorn, Sonoma County, California
  • Franciscan Cuvée Sauvage, Napa Valley, California

 

Pinot Grigio are actually the same white grape, with two different names: In Italy and California this wine is known as Pinot Grigio.  Light seafood dishes, like seafood tostada bites, seem to take on more flavor when matched with equally delicate white wines, such as Pinot Grigio or Arneis from Italy This wine is best paired with cream- or oil-based sauces, but can hold its own with tomato-based red sauces, as well. DRY AND DELICATE

  • Best paired with: White Sauce and Oil-Based Sauces Also: Red Sauces

 

Carrabba’s Wine Selection

  • Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio, Italy
  • Chloe Pinot Grigio, Italy
  • Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, Italy

 

Sauvignon Blanc wine often tastes of grass and apple, and has a soft, smoky flavor. Sauvignon Blancs tend to be crisp and acidic, which make them a nice match for cream- or oil-based sauces. Goes well with tart dressings and sauces.  ZESTY, AROMATIC, FRESH.

  • Best paired with: White Sauce and Oil-Based Sauces

 

Carrabba’s Wine Selection

  • Riondo Prosecco, Italy
  • Noble Vines 242, California
  • Kim Crawford, Marlborough, New Zealand

 

Measurement Methods

Key measures that we use in evaluating our restaurants and assessing our business include the following.

  • Average restaurant unit volumes —average sales per restaurant to measure changes in consumer traffic, pricing and development of the brand
  • Comparable restaurant sales —year-over-year comparison of sales volumes for Company-owned restaurants that are open 18 months or more in order to remove the impact of new restaurant openings in comparing the operations of existing restaurants;
  • System-wide sales —total restaurant sales volume for all Company-owned, franchise and unconsolidated joint venture restaurants, regardless of ownership, to interpret the overall health of our brands
  • Adjusted restaurant-level operating margin, Adjusted income from operations, Adjusted net income, Adjusted diluted earnings per share —non-GAAP financial measures utilized to evaluate our operating performance, which definitions, usefulness and reconciliations are described in more detail in the “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” section below; and
  • Consumer satisfaction scores —measurement of our consumers’ experiences in a variety of key product and service areas.

 

Required Staff

 

Job Title Quantity Expected staff turnover Skills necessary Date required
Restaurant Manager 1 * Prior restaurant experience and Bloomin Brand manager course 01/15/2018
Kitchen Manager 2 * Prior restaurant experience and Bloomin Brand manager 01/15/2018
Assistant Kitchen Manager 2 * ** 09/01/2018
Line/Prep Cook 10 * ** 09/01/2018
Information technology Support 2 * ** 09/01/2018
Bartender 4 * ** 09/01/2018
Servers 10 Every year ** 09/01/2018
Hostesses 4 Every year ** 09/01/2018
Busser/Dishwasher 6 * ** 09/01/2018
Human resources 1 * ** 09/01/2018

Notes

  • *- These positions do not have high turnover rate. Most of Carrabba’s employees are loyal to the business.
  • **- No skills required.

 

Recruitment Options 

 All manager positions are on a 3 year contract, which is done through a management program. All hourly positions are employed from Carrabba’s website at https//www.carrabbas.com/careers/.  These positions are as followed: host, bartender, server, head waiter server, assistant kitchen manager, line cook, and carry out services, trainer, dishwasher, and busser.  The human Resource Manager does all hiring and firing with the approval of the restaurant manager.

 

Training Programs

 All employees will receive in-house training consisting of a three day training session in that position.  During training sessions, employees are taught all of the needed skills for that position.  Once the training session is completed, employees enter a two-day shadow program, where they are expected to perform all duties next to trainer for that position.

Retaining employees is a critical piece that is often overlooked and can provide much needed consistency and stability for concepts that are in a turnaround phase.

References

http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/corporate/tampa-based-bloomin-brands-parent-of-outback-and-carrabbas-continues-to/2300422

http://www.restaurant.org/Industry-Impact/Employing-America/Economic-Engine

http://www.professionalacademy.com/blogs-and-advice/marketing-theories—the-marketing-mix—from-4-p-s-to-7-p-s

https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/

http://investors.bloominbrands.com/secfiling.cfm?filingID=1546417-16-109&CIK=1546417

https://www.coursehero.com/file/12394692/72211A-Chain-Restaurants-in-the-US-Industry-Report/

https://www.coursehero.com/file/12053448/Team-Carrabbas-India-Business-Plan/

http://www.restaurant.org/Downloads/PDFs/News-Research/research/RestaurantIndustryForecast2014.pdf

https://www.carrabbas.com/menu/beverages/wines

http://www.mackinacpartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Casual-Dining-Turnaround-Whitepaper.pdf

https://www.thebalance.com/the-basics-of-choosing-a-restaurant-theme-2888693

https://www.bloominbrands.com/home/pdf/Carrabba’s%20Launch%20Release_FINAL%201616.pdf

http://www.point2homes.com/US/Neighborhood/MI/West-Michigan-Demographics.html

 

 

 

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Why Businesses Use Web Analytics

All website user behavior can be tracked and measured in a way that allows us to make the best website design decision with the user in mind, rather than giving final decision power to the graphic designer.  “Website analytics refers to the data generated by website visitors. Therefore any website that has installed an analytics package, can examine several aspects of visitors’ browsing and purchasing behavior on the website” .    By adding an html code (tag) to your webpages you pass information to the analytics, program every time the server receives a request for that page.  The analytics programs stores this information and provides marketers will the data and information into expanding their businesses web designs and marketing tactics.

A website’s analytics package is capable of recording various metrics that can in turn be used for the company’s benefit. Basic metrics include things like “hits” on a page, visits on a page, visitors (more than one time visit), and time on a page.

There are also calculated metrics such as average page depth, average visit duration, entrance rate, and site bounce rate.  There are also manual metrics such as conversion rate and revenue which must be calculated.

Google Analytics, it allows you to focus on your audience and better understand their interests, language, location and what type of device they were using to access your website.  Identifying you businesses target audience you can justify trends in geographical areas, a company could create marketing campaigns that would immediately have an impact because they already have the data to suggest.  Helping business owners and managers implement better logistics and costs decisions in the area that is interested in my product.

A useful method in applying consumer generated data analyzed by Google Analytics is data activation. This tool allows marketers to improve upon existing marketing campaigns while experimenting with new content and media vehicles, and it also provides the opportunity for re-marketing, based off how or why the visitor used the website or app.  Effect web marketing tactics should lead your target customers to your online business domain. By expanding to more core customer demographics, it could lead to better sales forecasts because you’re increasing your websites conversion rates over time with an increase in loyal customers.

Case Study Apple Inc. 2015 

Introduction

This case study will include an overview of Apple’s past, present, and future market position in computer hardware, software, smartphones, and digital content.  The case study focuses on Apple’s strong market presence in high-end electronics and their leadership role in the computer and communication industry.

Analysts wondered what would happen to Apple with Steve Jobs gone.  Despite their success, some observers worried that Apple had become overly dependent on iPhone sales and pondered how long Apple would sustain its growth without the introduction of truly innovative new product.  CEO Tim Cook claims that Apple watch, Apple Pay, Apple TV, and corporate customers were big growth areas for the company.  Cook confidently exclaimed that Apple’s product “pipeline” was the strongest he had ever seen.  With a high rate of innovation and emphasis on excellence in product design, Apple succeeds with its relatively high selling prices.  This position indicates Apple’s effectiveness in using its generic strategy and intensive growth strategy.

However, Apple’s current market position has investors concerned because of Apple’s no growth in revenue and declining sales. With the smartphone market maturing and Apple still looking for its next big thing, Apple needed a new product segment to boost company profits. Apple’s new CEO Tim Cook took the company into the wearable technology market.  Cook aimed high for new product success but entering a market that was already in competition was not to Apple’s strength to gain success. It’s clear they are losing innovation in the electronic and becoming dependent on past products.  Consumers and investors were disappointed in overall unit sales after the introduction of Apple’s new product the Apple Watch.

Depending on the industry segment, Apple’s competitors include Samsung, Amazon, Microsoft and Google. Throughout most of 2013 and as of 2014, Apple’s main competitor in the smartphone market is Samsung’s line of Android-powered phones. Another competitor is Google who developed the Android software and is a major competitor of Apple in the smartphone operating system market.

 

Economic Positives

  1. In the final quarter of 2014 Apple posted record profits of $18 Billion, the largest quarterly profits in corporate history. Spurred by the release of the iPhone 6 and sales were strong in China.
  2. Apple’s iPhone accounted for 69% of its revenue.
  3. Apple generated $10.2 billion in revenues from the sale of music, book, videos, and applications. Over time Apple also paid out more than $25 billion to developers for the 75 billion apps downloaded to iPhones, iPods, and iPads.
  4. Apple generated more than 60% of the cell-phone industry’s total profits in 2013. With only 8.3% unit market share.

Negatives

  1. In 2008 iPod sales start to decline.
  2. iTunes store experienced a decline as much as 13% in the first half of 2014. And in response launched iTunes radio an ad supported streaming service.
  3. Ipod sales have been falling for 7 straight years and iPad had suffered a significant decline in sales, down 22% from Q4 in 2013.
  4. Personal Computer’s sales have been slowly declining as market saturation increases. However, Apple has a large market share in the over $1000 Pricing segments for consumers and it has been a strong factor to their success. Also, after industry innovations in featured based approaches a PC’s life expectancy has been increasing and therefore creating longer gaps of purchases for consumers.

Social Culture Positives

  1. Apple is a well trusted computer technology brand in the market. After 2001 when the Mac iOS X was introduced it was perceived as an industrial-strength OS favored by computer professionals.
  2. Apple doesn’t have to buy users it already has over 750 million, and those users have all paid to use Apple’s product; $650 per person to get a new iPhone.
  3. Apple’s digital hub strategy debut was with the iPod in 2001, follow by the iPhone in 2007, then iPad in 2010. Integrating Apple’s iTunes desktop software and music store completed their vision for an online entertainment hub. 2003 Windows PC compatible.
  4. July 2008 the App store was an addition to Apple’s digital hub. The app store was the first outlet that made it easy to distribute, access, and download applications directly into the iPhone. By the end of 2014, over 1.4 million applications were available.

Social Negatives

  1. Online music stores Amazon.com, Napster, and Walmart.com and challenges from a variety of online music of online music streaming services, such as Pandora, Spotify radio, Rhapsody. In some markets, music labels made more money from spotify than iTunes.
  2. Apple not only wanted consumers to directly look at the eye-catching Macintosh designs, but also wanted people to use and experience Apple’s software inside their retail stores and it account for 12% of their sales.

Legal Positives

  1. By 2014 Apple won two large judgements against Samsung in U.S Courts.
  2. By April 2012 , Amazon’s market share in e-books had fallen to 60% because of Apple’s push into the e-book market content.

Legal Negatives

  1. Intense competition in the smartphone industries led to numerous lawsuits on design and intellectual property which creates a patent wars.
  2. The court ruled that Apple’s pricing strategy for digital books had in fact colluded with five publisher to raise prices, and in late 2014, agreed to pay %400 million in damages.

Rivalry among Existing Competitors

  • Apple’s direct competition in the smartphone software market comes from Android, an open and free platform developed by Google and Windows from Microsoft Corp. As more manufacturers entered the market, innovation on the Android platform exploded.
  • In 2014 Android-based phones controlled 81% of market share compared to Apple’s 15%. The share for Apple’s iOS fell gradually with the growth of Android, from its peak of nearly 19%.
  • After Google announced “AndroidWear” in 2014, extending the Android platform to watches, LG, Motorola, and Samsung subsequently introduced watches based on the software platform.

Threat of New Entrants

  • Among headset manufacturers, Samsung Corp. was Apple’s most direct competitor. Samsung is a huge company that make chips, PC’s, TVs, and appliances as well as phones.  Samsung became a volume leader in 2011 with the introduction of its Android-based Galaxy handset and remained the market leader in 2014 with 24.5% share.
  • Lenovo had emerged as the third largest player in the smartphone industry holding 7.4% of the handset industry
  • A new player from China called Xiaomi, which brought it first smartphone to the market in 2011 and entering into 2015, it had cracked the top five in smartphone sales.

Threat of Substitute Products

  • In a broad sense, all firms in an industry compete with industry producing substitute product. For Apple they cover a broad range of computer electronic products leaving them subject to a wide range of product substitutes. But for the smartphone industry its substitute would be the personal computer and iPads.

Bargaining Power of Suppliers

  • The supplier that captured most of the value in smartphones was Qualcomm, which largely controlled the two most important protocols for wireless service.
  • Three companies dominated the ARM CPU business in smartphones in 2014. Qualcomm had about 54%, Apple roughly 15%, and MediaTek from Taiwan had just under 14%.  Jobs bought two ARM microprocessor design companies for $400 million between 2008 and 2010.

Bargaining Power of Buyers

  • Apple has a lot of buyers in the market ranging from Corporate suppliers to retail consumers.
  • Apple has a high end pricing model but it focuses on key features that differentiate the company and its products from competitors. They do not use pricing but instead these key features including seamless connectivity, and cutting edge aesthetics in design.

Identifying and describing the root cause

The Case study focuses on Apple’s stagnations of their revenue streams in the software, smartphone, personal computers, and digital content markets.  Apples has always been a leader in innovation when it comes to computer technology but industry competitors are copying Apple’s industry standards.

Problems

  • A clear problem for Apple is Android delivering fast and fresh ideas at a regular clip, putting Apple’s iOS on the defensive and causing its critics to complain that Apple’s platform was looking dated and old. Several products in Apple are starting to loose their revenue stream because of competition from companies like Samsung, Amazon, and Google are developing similar products at lower costs in the market.

Issue

  • In 2014, the Apple Watch, Apple’s entry into the wearable technology. Apple was not the first in the category, but it was expected to be the largest.  The Apple Watch had to be charged every day, it only worked with iPhones, and it was expensive.  Prices started at $349 for the basic model.  Moreover there was already significant competition in the market offering a similar product at lower costs.  Competitor Pebbles sold for $150.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths

  • Apple’s vertical integration gives them a competitive advantage because it allows them to innovate in software, hardware, and services. It owns chip manufactures, controls manufacturing, follows extremely strict software standards, and operates in a nearly closed ecosystem of retail stores to control their costs.
  • Apple’s development environment is superior to the competition because they can predict what customers want in the market. Productivity applications with their user interface was designed with simplicity in mind.

Weakness

  • With the loss of CEO and founder Steve Jobs stakeholders company has big expectations even with aftermarket adaptations by Google, It’s clear that Apple no longer has total control of their critical technology that would drive Apple’s differentiation in the market.
  • There is a crowded field of cross-platform alternatives to Apple’s offerings: Microsoft’s  Skype, Facebook WhatsApp, and a variety of other third party tools, resulting in a lot of apps with overlapping functionally.

Opportunities

  • Apple announced a partnership with IBM to design enterprise app enlisting IBM’s sales force and business connections to sell apple mobile devices to enterprise customers. CEO Tim Cook pointed out, iPhones and iPads were present in 90% of Fortune 500, but rate of participation was low, providing Apple with an opportunity to advance mobility in the enterprise.
  • Samsung has had recent trouble with their Note and Galaxy handset product lines. Their batteries have been overheating and in some cases exploding causing harm to users.

Threats

  • Apple had at least three potential serious competitors for tablet: (1) manufacturers using Google’s version of Android software; (2) Amazon, which used a modified version of Android; and (3) Microsoft Windows-based tablets, and by the end of 2014 Android had capture 70% share.
  • Currently, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have entered the fray by setting up their own ecosystem, including devices, books, games, music, and storage services.

 

Analysis and Decision Making

Strategic decision making is an ongoing process that involves crafting strategies to achieve goals and altering strategies based on reviewed outcomes.  Apple’s goal is to increase their revenue stream in the smartphone industry.

Generating alternatives

  1. Leverage their current strength, Apple should focus on their premium smartphone brand, the iPhone.
  2. Continue to improve and innovate the Apple Watch.
  3. Increase their research and development spending.
  4. Focus on improving digital media content in China.

Evaluating alternatives

#1 – Leverage their current strength, Apple should focus on their premium smartphone brand, the iPhone.

  • By focusing on customers willing to pay more and maintaining a premium price at the cost of unit volume, Apple sets up an artificial entry to barrier to competitors.
  • Taking into account that premium smartphones are the minority in global smartphone sales by volume, they provide the bulk of profit. Each iPhone Apple makes costs somewhere around $200, and is sold for over $600. The profit margins are far better for premium smartphones than nearly any other segment of electronics.  That is why it is significant for Apple to widen its gap against competitors like Samsung.
  • Apple must perform two tasks. (1) Apple needs to continue to improve their iOS software for users.  Creating new tools and interface features for every iPhone launch. (2) Apple’s must ensure proper vetting and marketing messages when introducing new iOS software into their products.

#2 Continue to improve and innovate the Apple Watch

  • Becoming selective in what products to improve is very tough. I feel that Apple has established a presence in the wearable technology which a huge market to consider.  The Apple Watch product is designed to become an intricate part in people’s daily lives.  This is a new product category for Apple and I consider them to still be in the learning stages of the product life cycle.  Apple should push the product into the realm of consumers to feel that they cannot live without this product because it’s doing so much for them and then it will continue to be adopted by consumers.
  • Apple Watch will continue to be a flop until they can establish a 4G connection and make it a stand alone device.

#3 Increase research and development spending 

  • Compared with its resources Apple has remained relatively quiet It spent just 3.5 percent ($8.1 billion) of its $233 billion in revenue in fiscal 2015 on research and development, a lower percentage than every other large U.S. technology company, data compiled by Bloomberg.
  • Under CEO Tim Cook, Apple leans heavily on advances made by suppliers, focusing on crucial technology such as semiconductors, according to Ram Mudambi, a business school professor at Temple University in Philadelphia.
  • Apple can’t rely on its suppliers for everything. Expanded research outlays significantly over the next three years, to $8.1 billion in fiscal 2015, up from $6 billion in 2014 and $4.5 billion in 2013. This would display to investors its commitment to innovate and evolve new technology that enhances and expands its existing product range.

#4 Focus on improving digital media content access in China

  • Apple must not abandon the Chinese market because of its lack of market share. The volume of sales alone justifies Apple’s presence in the smartphone market.
  • The company must reestablish its iBooks and iTunes Movies services in the country. Earlier in 2014 after less than seven months of operation following pressure from regulators Apple was asked to shut down their online market presence, which is a problem.

Action Planning

Goal: Increase growth in revenue stream and look for opportunities in new product development.

Action Step Responsible Person Deadline Necessary Resources Potential Challenges Results
#1) Improving iOS software for iPhone. Software Engineers and Marketing department Within 6 -12 months Advancements in suppliers and advancement in software tools.   Intellectual property protection Lack of consumers adopting the new software Looking consumer adoption in the smartphone industry
#2) Invest more in Research and Development to extend product lines. CEO, CFO, and chief engineers and design firms. Within 3-6 months Using capital funds to absorb competing firms. And reinfusing revenue into R&D No breakthrough in new product category development New product to market.

 

Measurements

Lifetime value of the customer – Revenue x Gross margin x Avg number of repeat purchases.

Cost of customer Acquisition – Total marketing investment x total number of customer acquired.

Sales Growth – Measuring your sales growth is, however, vital to the long-term health of your company. Not only does it serve as a good indicator when it comes to strategic planning, but it also allows for identification of growth trends and share this information with employees.

Conclusion

Cooks thoughts echoed those of his predecessor, Steve Jobs, whose strategy for Apple had four pillars. Offer a small number of products, focus on the high end, give priority to profits over market share, and create a halo effect that makes people starve for new Apple products.

Steve Jobs, Apple’s former CEO and Founder created a trusted company brand when it comes to personal computer technology.  Jobs inspired Apple’s management to become a cultural force with the focus on what consumers in the electronics industry wanted.  Apple’s marketing helped associate the band to be perceived as a product of personalization. Phrases like “Think Differently” inspired creativity within their users because their product could create documents, personalized music playlists, and Apple included several different colors and data storage sizes that worked around the user’s budget.  A study by GfK in 2011 “showed that over 70% of consumers felt features and seamless access to content are major factors for continuing with their current mobile OS This allowed Apple’s iPhone product to become cultural industry standard with their consumers when it comes to communicate, create documents, playing games, and getting online.

We can learn so much from Apple’s marketing strategy because they staked their claim, amplified their messages, and impacted the world for the better. Apple’s marketing and branding strategy had the ability to invoke an internal response from their tech savvy consumers with their marketing messages. Steve Jobs knew that for a business’s product to be “remembered” there must be a clear message for them to remember and identify with. With Apple’s 2007 launch of the iPhone they “Reinvented the phone” by integrating software breakthrough with the design of the user user in mind.  Apple was a pioneer in the personal computer and electronic industry they told their consumers that creativity was at their fingertips.

 

 

Sources

 

http://www.nasdaq.com/article/6-reasons-why-investors-should-take-a-bite-into-apple-cm740431

 

https://www.macrumors.com/2016/05/02/cook-mad-money-great-innovation/

 

http://marketrealist.com/2014/02/apples-premium-pricing-strategy-product-differentiation/

 

http://bgr.com/2017/02/03/apple-vs-samsung-sales-2016/

 

http://marketrealist.com/2014/02/ecosystem/

 

http://bgr.com/2017/02/03/iphone-vs-android-comparison-customer-service/

 

http://panmore.com/apple-inc-generic-strategy-intensive-growth-strategies

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-30/apple-gets-more-bang-for-its-r-d-buck

 

Content Management

What is Content Management?

CMS is a computer application, that’s supporting the creation and modification of digital content, using a simple interface to usually support multiple users working in a collaborative environment.  Most CMS software includes Web-based publishing, format management, history editing and version control, indexing, search, and retrieval.

CMS designed to support the management of the content of Web pages. Most popular CMSes are also WCMSes. Web content includes text and embedded graphics, photos, video, audio, maps, and code (e.g., for applications) that displays content or interacts with the user.

Content management system (CMS) typically has two major components:

  • A content management application (CMA) is the front-end user interface that allows a user, even with limited expertise, to add, modify and remove content from a Web site without the intervention of a webmaster.
  • A content delivery application (CDA) compiles that information and updates the Web site.

There has been rise in the adoption of WCM solutions such as web experience management, mobile and social content management, and content analytics among businesses.  Organizations are largely considering customer experience management to consolidate their multi-faceted websites and demand WCM solutions equipped with features to supplement their digital marketing and multi-channel marketing.

The Web Content Management Market to grow from $3.47 Billion in 2015 to $6.85 Billion by 2020, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 14.5% and is expected to reach USD 8.25 Billion by 2021. The WCM market is growing progressively and has been adopted by businesses for better website management and web-based marketing. The continuous developments in this technology and its solutions have also encouraged various industries to adopt WCM solutions and services. Another 2015 trend, saw more companies moving away from their DIY WCM systems and buying a commercial platform.

Have a plan: First figure out what you want to say, how you to look, and what you want people to do when they visit your site.  Set the rules and enforce them: Professionals select fonts, image sizes, colors, and all the other elements. Don’t forget about the principles of branding, campaign continuity, and good design. Limit Access: A committee can approve websites, but never let a committee design one. Don’t walk away: Someone will be in charge of updating that content and reviewing the overall look and feel of the site.  Don’t think the job is over when the site goes live.  

Online Tactics

  1. Feature the URL in your traditional advertising and find an easy to remember URL!
  2. Get serious about SEO
  3. Investing in sponsored search, buy keywords (PPC), and bid up your rankings on search engines.
  4. Develop an e-mail program that gets read and stimulates action.  Giving recipients the means to respond ASAP.
  5. Make sure banner ads and text links go exactly where they should.
  6. Consider QR codes.  

“Sites using organic SEO in the truest sense will be much like organisms, meaning they will grow, expand and adapt over time in response to readers’/consumers desires” (techopedia). Google’s search algorithm combines two- key components to rank web pages: (1) the webpage’s popularity, as measured by its PageRank (quantity and quality of links from other webpages) and (2) the relevance of the page to the search phrase.  The main focus of the SEO tool is sending a searcher to the appropriate page, not just the homepage of a website that has a matching page somewhere in it.  I strongly believe in the biology expression that “form follows function”, therefore if an organization wants to generate organic content that draws people to its page it must meet the consumer criteria on the basic level.  Targeting the consumer’s first desired need or want will establish the reason for generating the webpage traffic and creating the form but that only completes a part of the process that consumers wants adding creative and fresh content draws attention and marketing buzz.  For example: I found the sweater I was looking for on amazon but I couldn’t find a purchase button (purchase button was an innovation to complete the process).  The webpage did satisfied the initial goal to finding the sweater I wanted, but never offered other services on the webpage, purchasing, similar merchandises therefor the webpage was not organic and was in poor form.  

SEO with PPC

In a video expert session with Mr. Beck. He reviewed the differences between pay per click ads (PPC) and free result content with search engine (SEO).  Mr. Beck showed visual images of where SEO link and PPC link appear on search engine page results.  This lead into the explaining of SEO with PPC advantages and disadvantages.  PPC advantages is the ability for marketers to associate their “relevant” keywords to the content of the webpage thus by becoming the most relevant search term or keywords you draw traffic.  You can do this by paying per click or bidding on a term or word. This method becomes an effective short term boost in web traffic to the web page.. A clear disadvantage discussed in the lecture was how this marketing method can be constrained by budget factors for businesses.  Therefore, when your budget account runs out of funds, then your online marketing PPC strategy in drawing traffic and hits stops.

However an advantage for SEO is it can be more efficient in the cost per click overtime after the webpage is established with an authoritative page ranking and it nevers stops while you are paying to keep the website active. Some disadvantages are the high upfront costs in the building of website content, long term benefits it gains the attention of consumers who find it useful or are purchasing a product or service.

Think Campaigns. Your pages have to work individually and cumulatively.  Having your design maintain the same look and feel throughout the website, however many pages will have different functions.

Content Management for Target Corporation

Have you ever wondered what companies are trying to accomplish by running contests and sweepstakes?  Why are companies and organizations giving me free products or services? Well, prize promotions are considered a win-win situation for sweepers and companies alike: sponsors use sweepstakes/giveaways as a way of gaining recognition from consumers and these sweepstakes generate advertising content at a reasonable cost, and is considered another win-win situation for the Target Corporation.

Target Corporation promotes gift card giveaways because it opens consumers to a large selection of products inside their stores.  While their function is to facilitate the exchange with consumers is a key important, but also having effective promotion to boost the stores image and all the brands they offer inside their stores is of equal importance.  Target offers a sweepstake that help gains brand recognition sausage company it using target retail space to sell it product, they offer money to target

Target Sponsors/Investors promote products that consumers can use or fulfill their needs, and later buy again.  Companies use a distributor or business that can secure the facilitation and exchange of the product for money.  Target corporation retailers offers this for business and its customers throughout the United States. Throughout the year 2015, Target is conducting a “Point of Sale Survey Sweepstakes” that helps them gather consumer data about what the Target Corporation can improve on with their offered products and services.  They can get consumers feedback with a sweepstake incentive to fill out the survey, by giving away One Grand Prize each month – $1,500 gift card; 300 First Prizes each month – $25 Target GiftCard (6 prizes per month per state).  The incentive to not having to spend their own money motivates them to 1.) Complete the survey 2.) Promote by word of mouth about the positive shopping experience at Target and what products they walked out the store with.  

This form of advertising encourages people to visit the Target Corporations websites which in turn exposes the consumer to new products and new types of sweepstakes that the company offers, and target conveniently offers the option to purchase products and have them delivered to the customer.  When consumers reach the Target web site they can find web links for other businesses that offer a wide range of products like Johnsonville brats and sausage that Target offers in their stores . This creates buzz bringing/attracting consumers to businesses webpages or to their parking lots and through their doors.  Target Corporation sweepstake promotion during the year 2015 involves a lot of joint sponsorships with other businesses and websites.  One example is through October 3rd,Offering a chance to win consumers enter in the Pack It Back to College sweepstake for a chance to win 1 of 1,400 FREE $5 Target gift cards and a grand prize offering an all-new 2015 Chevy Sonic.

Target Corporation will offer Holiday sweepstakes to promote the seasonal traditions in the United States, offering consumers Gift cards and grand prizes.  Target is just saying thanks to its REDcard holders with a 2015 December full of giveaways, exclusive deals and extra savings.  REDcard Big Thanks Sweepstakes. 100 $25 Target eGiftCards and 24 grand prize Big Red Boxes (filled with holiday goodies valued around $550) will be given away daily. That’s 700 eGiftCards and 168 grand prizes—all awarded to REDcard holders! Details for sign up and dates can be found with REDcard link.

Design at different levels.  First-level pages hold content for the main sections.  Each of these first-level pages has links to second-level pages, which in turn could have links for third-level pages or fourth-level and so on. Consider font size, colors, graphic style, and all other design elements that hold the campaign together.

Prioritize. “People read what interests them” but there is a limit to what they are willing to read, and website visitors have short attention spans.  It’s critical to put the most important up front and display it prominently.

Don’t forget the navigation.  Think about how visitors find their way around your website.  Primary navigation, Secondary, and Universal.  

Keep it Simple.  Besides over designing from a graphic standpoint. Having too much movement can pull readers away from the text.  Concentrate on strategy: what do you want to accomplish, not how cool you can make it.   

Cathy McKnight, co-founder and VP of consulting and operations at Digital Clarity Group, agrees that there is a large demand for WCM solutions as companies’ needs mature and they outgrow homegrown solutions.

Picking the Right Keywords

Funneling your keywords from broad and general into specific and detailed is the focus when generating your keyword database for the webpage.  Mr. Beck mentioned how there are over 200 ranking factors for a keyword term with google.  In one example Ben mentioned how a plural to singular word term impacted a search result by 600 clicks.  He recommended that when choosing a key word SEO developers should research their industry competition and target keywords with high search volume and low competition.

Onsite Optimization

The question was, If I was Google, what help would I need to understand the content?  Examples are Filling the content with keywords, about 1-3 keywords, including keywords in the Title, Headings and URL.  Also suggesting that developers are using plurals, singular and synonyms related to your keywords.

Offsite link Building

Knowing that you content can be copied you should begin to build links that are relevant and is considered a quality link like .gov and .edu domain URL’s on your web page.  When acquiring links you build page authority that help your content become noticed by googles SEO Mr. Beck compared it to a vote.   After all this reach out to people and be expose to the news, influencers, and organizations.  

With the widespread use and the adoption of content marketing, the number of assets that companies have has gone through the roof; it’s multiplying exponentially,” McKnight says. As companies connect with customers across multiple channels, analytics will become more important as companies try to leverage the data.Going forward, the challenge for WCM vendors will be to help companies find and market to consumers on their various devices. “There’s dawning realizations that in kind of chasing down the consumer across all these different channels, it’s basically fragmented a view of the customer, which makes it all that much harder to actually deliver them the most relevant content

 

http://www.marketsandmarkets.com/PressReleases/web-content-management.asp

France: Wearable Technology Market

Company:   Ultra Inc.

Company product profile: Violet and Violet Plus sensor helps prevent premature aging, reduce the risk of skin cancer, and promote the benefits of natural Vitamin D production. With advanced technologies, combined with a biomedical approach that personalizes it to consumers activities.

Production Introduction:

  • Violet® Plus (Personal ultraviolet sunlight sensor)

  • The Violet® App (Software application)

Company History and Founders:

Nattapon Chaimanonart
CEO @Ultra, Inc. • Co-Founder
Innovative Skin Health Solutions

Nabyl Bennouri
CEO @Ultra, Inc. • Co-Founder
Innovative Skin Health Solution

Founded in 2014, Ultra Inc. is a technology and data company focused on innovative skin health solutions for consumers. We are dedicated to creating highly accurate, scientifically-based solutions that users can fully depend on and trust. Nabyl’s sister has Lupus which makes her skin photosensitive. Having a device that warns her before the ultraviolet rays worsen her symptoms can be very helpful. And Nabyl had an episode of severe vitamin D deficiency that was misdiagnosed and lead to several months of sickness. So the idea to work on UV exposure and sun generated vitamin D tracking was born.  Using a mobile or wearables device, we help health-conscious people make good choices around sun exposure. This product is considered the first wearable device that tracks your UV exposure and vitamin D intake in the market. Interpreting the intensity of the sun is not easy because it’s too common to be surprised with a sunburn. If you use an Ultraviolet (UV) sensor, you can have more information about the sun’s intensity, but just knowing the UV number is not enough to manage your time in the sun.

Our team of bioengineers and software developers have a deep understanding of how UV works, and have transformed UV raw data into meaningful insights, interpreting the sun’s intensity to each individual. Backed by multiple granted patents, our proprietary algorithms carefully measure the daily accumulative impact of UV exposure, matching to a person’s skin sensitivity as defined by the dermatology community. While the software technology is thoroughly based in biomedical research, offered solutions can be effortlessly used by anyone.

Through clinical trials and laboratory studies, Their goal is to eventually evolve the Violet Plus into a near-medical device endorsed by the medical community.

Currently in collaboration with universities, medical organizations, and skincare companies to further develop our technology and provide user behavior and UV exposure feedback to them. a great idea and product by combining personal technology with personal health .  He truly believes that society will be enthusiastic and intrigued with integrating technology into humans.  This UV sensor is a great accessory for people by providing the user with knowledge about sun exposure and what’s their current skin condition.  

 

THE FUTURE OF WEARABLES AND UV SENSING

 

Country Overview: France

National name: République Française

Land area: 210,668 sq mi (545,630 sq km);

Total area: 211,209 sq mi (547,030 sq km)

Capital City: Paris

France is about 80% the size of Texas. In the Alps near the Italian and Swiss borders is western Europe’s highest point—Mont Blanc (15,781 ft; 4,810 m). The forest-covered Vosges Mountains are in the northeast, and the Pyrénées are along the Spanish border. Except for extreme northern France, the country may be described as four river basins and a plateau. Three of the streams flow west—the Seine into the English Channel, the Loire into the Atlantic, and the Garonne into the Bay of Biscay. The Rhône flows south into the Mediterranean. For about 100 mi (161 km), the Rhine is France’s eastern border. In the Mediterranean, about 115 mi (185 km) east-southeast of Nice, is the island of Corsica (3,367 sq mi; 8,721 sq km).

18 Régions:

Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, Bourgogne-Franche-Comte (Burgundy-Free County), Bretagne (Brittany), Centre-Val de Loire (Center-Loire Valley), Corse (Corsica), Grand Est (Grand East), Guadeloupe, Guyane (French Guiana), Hauts-de-France (Upper France), Ile-de-France, Martinique, Mayotte, Normandie (Normandy), Nouvelle-Aquitaine (New Aquitaine), Occitanie (Occitania), Pays de la Loire (Lands of the Loire), Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, Reunion

note: France is divided into 13 metropolitan regions (including the “territorial collectivity” of Corse or Corsica) and 5 overseas regions (French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Reunion) and is subdivided into 96 metropolitan departments and 5 overseas departments (which are the same as the overseas regions)

Largest cities in France

Commune Department Region Pop. 2012 census Rank
Paris Paris Île-de-France 2,240,621 1
Marseille Bouches-du-Rhône Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur 852,516 2
Lyon Rhône Rhône-Alpes 496,343 3
Toulouse Haute-Garonne Midi-Pyrénées 453,317 4
Nice Alpes-Maritimes Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur 343,619 5
Nantes Loire-Atlantique Pays de la Loire 291,287 6
Strasbourg Bas-Rhin Alsace 274,394 7
Montpellier Hérault Languedoc-Roussillon 268,456 8
Bordeaux Gironde Aquitaine 241,287 9
Lille Nord Nord-Pas-de-Calais 228,652 10


Social Institutions & Education

Time Zone: Central European Time

Literacy rate: 99% (2011 est.)

Higher education costs (research)

Living Conditions

Population (2016 est.): 62,814,233 (growth rate: 0.45%);

Birth rate: 12.49/1000;

Infant mortality rate: 3.31/1000;

Life expectancy: 81.66 years

Family structure:

The majority of the regions with Mediterranean climates have relatively mild winters and very warm summers.

Political system

  • France Governmental consisted of a Chamber of Deputies and a Senate to form the legislative branch of government and a president to serve as head of state.
  • France has a tradition of highly centralized administrative oversight of its essentially market-based economy.

Religion & Aesthetics

Religions: Christian (overwhelmingly Roman Catholic) 63-66%, Muslim 7-9%, Jewish .5-.75%, Buddhist .5-.75%, other .5-1.0%, none 23-28%

Ethnicity/race: Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Southeast Asian, and Basque minorities

Languages: French (official) 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish)

 

Country History

Early Government

The French Constitutional Laws of 1875 defined the composition of the Third Republic.  The period from the start of World War I to the late 1930s featured sharply polarized politics, between the Democratic Republican Alliance and the more Radical socialists. Issues over the re-establishment of the monarchy dominated the tenures of the first two presidents, Adolphe Thiers and Patrice de MacMahon.

Feb 1875: Series of parliamentary Acts established the organic or constitutional laws of the new republic. At its apex was a President of the Republic. A two-chamber parliament was created, along with a ministry under the President of the Council, who was nominally answerable to both the President of the Republic and Parliament.

Adolphe Thiers called republicanism in the 1870s “the form of government that divides France least” Third Republic endured for seventy years, which makes it the longest lasting system of government in France since the collapse of the Ancien Régime in 1789

1905 –  the Chamber declared that “the attitude of the Vatican” had rendered the separation of Church and State inevitable and the law of the separation of church and state was passed in December 1905.

1939-45 – World War II – Germany occupies much of France. Vichy regime in unoccupied south collaborates with Nazis. General de Gaulle, under secretary of war, establishes government-in-exile in London and, later, Algiers. Rise of French Resistance.

Liberation

1944 – Allied forces land at Normandy leading to liberation of France. De Gaulle sets up provisional government. Purge against former collaborators.

1946 – De Gaulle resigns as provisional president, replaced by Socialist Felix Gouin.

1946-58 – Fourth Republic is marked by economic reconstruction through the Marshall Plan and the start of the process of independence for many of France’s colonies.

The Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program, ERP) was an American initiative to aid Western Europe, in which the United States gave over $12 billion  (approximately $120 billion in current dollar value as of June 2016) in economic support to help rebuild Western European economies after the end of World War II. The plan was in operation for four years beginning April 8, 1948. The goals of the United States were to rebuild war-devastated regions, remove trade barriers, modernize industry, make Europe prosperous again, and prevent the spread of communism.

The Marshall Plan aid was mostly used for the purchase of goods from the United States. The European nations had all but exhausted their foreign exchange reserves during the war, and the Marshall Plan aid represented almost their sole means of importing goods from abroad.

The Marshall Plan aid was divided amongst the participant states roughly on a per capita basis. A larger amount was given to the major industrial powers, as the prevailing opinion was that their resuscitation was essential for general European revival.    .

The initiative is named after Secretary of State George Marshall. The plan had bipartisan support in Washington, where the Republicans controlled Congress and the Democrats controlled the White House with Harry S. Truman as president. The Plan was largely the creation of State Department officials,

1951 – France joins West Germany and other European nations in the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) – leading to the formation in 1957 of the European Economic Community (EEC)

The Fifth Republic

1958 – De Gaulle returns to power on back of Algerian crisis and founds the Fifth Republic, with a stronger presidency.

1995 – Jacques Chirac elected president, ending 14 years of Socialist presidency.

21st Century

2002 May – January – Euro replaces franc, first minted in 1360.

2003 March – Constitution changed to allow devolution to regions and departments of powers over economic development, transport, tourism, culture and further education.

2007 May – Nicolas Sarkozy, the former interior minister and leader of the ruling conservative UMP, wins a decisive victory in the second round of the presidential election.

2008 October – European governments pledge up to 1.8 trillion euros as part of co-ordinated plans to shore up their financial sectors, hit hard by the global financial crisis. France says it will inject 10.5bn euros into the country’s six largest banks.

 

Self -Reference Criterion

Three well-known analyses of intercultural management by Edward Hall, Geert Hofstede and Philippe d’Iribarne illustrate the differences between American and French management styles :

According to Edward T.Hall, intercultural differences in communication are based on the context, on time and on space.

French global companies are not very different from their American counterparts but some ” traditions ” may resist.

France Appearance

  • The French are very conscientious of their appearance.
  • Dress conservative and invest in well-tailored clothing.
  • Patterned fabrics and dark colors are most acceptable, but avoid bright colors.
  • French businessmen do not loosen their ties or take off their jackets in the office.
  • Women should also dress conservatively.  Avoiding bright or gaudy colors is recommended.
  • Women should also avoid any glitzy or overpowering objects, such as flashy jewelry.

France Behavior

  • Punctuality is treated very casually in France.
  • France is a highly stratified society, with strong definition and competition between classes.
  • The French handshake is brief, and is accompanied by a short span of eye contact.
  • Always shake hands when meeting someone, as well as when leaving.  French handshakes are not as firm as in the United States.
  • The French have a great respect for privacy. Knock and wait before entering into a room.   Additionally, do not “drop in” unannounced. Always give notice before your arrival.
  • Business can be conducted during any meal, but lunch is best.
  • The French do not organize meetings to reach a decision : they meet to exchange information, then the person in charge takes the decision.
  • The French are highly polychronic
  • The French do not like clear procedures : they want to maintain some form of “grey zone ” and do not believe that it is right to use always the same and only way to do the same things; organizational charts and objectives are not clear.
    • Top-down management : for the French, the Boss is the Boss and management is very authoritarian

 

  • French contracts tend to be short (in physical length, not time duration) as much of the information is available within the high-context French culture.

 

France Communications

  • French is the official language in France.
  • Don’t start a conversation in English
  • If you do not speak French, it is very important that you apologize for your lack of knowledge.
  • Most individuals in business speak English.
  • The French have a great appreciation for the art of conversation.
  • The French frequently interrupt each other, as the argument is a form of entertainment.
  • The French often complain that North Americans lecture rather than converse.
  • Eye contact is frequent and intense, and can often be intimidating to North Americans.
  • Only written commitments are serious : nothing oral is really binding and lying is no big deal .

 

The French are considered both arrogant and weak. Arrogant because, in a meeting, they love to ask destabilizing questions, show they know a lot and have understood better. Weak because in the French culture, if you give too specific and clear directions, it means that you do not acknowledge the professionalism of the staff. In a French company, after a meeting, an American can never tell if a decision has been reached or not : for the French, ” deciding ” is giving the broad lines without getting into implementation ” details “. In addition to that, contrary to the British, Americans do not respect French culture.  

According to Geert Hofstede, there are five dimensions to assess cultural differences:
Figure 1.1

 

An evaluator must remember that it is the perception of product characteristics by the potential adopter, not the marketer, that is crucial to the evaluation.  A market analyst’s self-reference criterion may cause a perceptual bias when interpreting the characteristics of a product.  Therefore evaluating product characteristics from the foreign user’s frame of reference.

Economy Analysis

Population

Total: 62,814,233

urban population: 79.5% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 0.84% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas – population:

Paris (capital) 10.843 million; Lyon 1.609 million; Marseille-Aix-en-Provence 1.605 million; Lille 1.027 million; Nice-Cannes 967,000; Toulouse 938,000 (2015, CIA).

Age Structure

0-14 years: 18.59% (male 6,354,241/female 6,070,971)

15-24 years: 11.8% (male 4,035,407/female 3,853,153)

25-54 years: 38.04% (male 12,799,923/female 12,625,781)

55-64 years: 12.44% (male 4,011,853/female 4,303,261)

65 years and over: 19.12% (male 5,510,337/female 7,271,227) (2016 est.)

 

Population growth rate:  0.41% (2016 est.)

 

Gross Domestic Product

(Data Gathered from CIA.gov)

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Real Economy (change in percent)
Real GDP -3.1 1.7 1.7 0.2 0.7 0.2 1.1 1.7 1.9
Domestic demand -2.6 1.6 1.7 -0.4 0.5 1.2 1.3 1.3 1.5
Nominal GDP (billions of euros) 1886 1937 1997 2042 2095 2161 2244 2334 2433
Gross national savings percent of GDP 17.6 17.7 18.7 18.5 21.5 21.5 22.1 19.3 19.8
Gross domestic investments (percent of GDP) 18.9 19.3 20.6 20 19.7 19.8 19.9 20 20.1

Health expenditures:  11.5% of GDP (2014)

Education expenditures:  5.5% of GDP (2012)

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$2.647 trillion (2015 est.)

$2.617 trillion (2014 est.)

$2.612 trillion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

country comparison to the world: 11

GDP – per capita (PPP):

$41,200 (2015 est.)

$40,900 (2014 est.)

$41,000 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

country comparison to the world: 39

Exports (CIA.gov)

$510.5 billion (2015 est.)

$584.5 billion (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 7

Exports – commodities:

machinery and transportation equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel, beverages

Exports – partners:

Germany 15.9%, Spain 7.3%, US 7.2%, Italy 7.1%, UK 7.1%, Belgium 6.8% (2015)

Imports: (CIA.gov)

$537.5 billion (2015 est.)

$631.1 billion (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 7

Imports – commodities:

machinery and equipment, vehicles, crude oil, aircraft, plastics, chemicals

Imports – partners:

Germany 19.5%, Belgium 10.7%, Italy 7.7%, Netherlands 7.5%, Spain 6.8%, US 5.5%, China 5.4%, UK 4.3% (2015)

Minerals and Resources

Production – Mineral and metal industries generally maintained production and other activities at about the same or slightly decreased rates as those of 1999. Government and private companies continue to produce minerals and mineral products, conduct research, and explore for new domestic and international mineral resources.  The real gross domestic product was expected to grow by 3.5% in 2000.

 

Lead and Zinc.—Mining of lead and zinc has completely ceased in France. In 2000, two companies operated primary zinc plants by using imported ores and concentrates.

Steel.—Usinor Group produced about 21 million metric tons (Mt) of crude steel in 2000 and ranked third in the world as a producer of steel in terms of crude steel production and second in terms of sales from steelmaking activities, after Nippon Steel Corp. of Japan

Coal.— CdF envisioned the final stoppage of all coal mining in France by 2005 in accordance with the National Coal Pact signed in 1994 (European Commission, September 20, 2000, State aid to the French coal industry, accessed November 30, 2016, via URL http://www.europa.eu.int).

Natural Gas.—State-owned monopoly Gaz de France announced that it would comply with the EU directive to open the gas market to competition. France chose to open its market to the strict minimum allowed under the EU directive—20% of the total market

Petroleum.—In 2000, onshore petroleum production was mainly from the Aquitaine and the Paris Basins. Because production had started to decline in these areas, the Government initiated a program to encourage exploration for new deposits in other areas thought to have potential; the Jura Basin was one area under consideration. Companies that operated refineries in France included BP Amoco plc, Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Group, and Total/Elf, as well as other smaller companies.   France was a net importer of petroleum products.

Gypsum.—France was one of Europe’s largest producers of gypsum. Two-thirds of the production was from the Paris Basin. Four companies produced about 95% of the output. S.A. de Materiel de Construction was the largest company.  

Iron Ore.—The iron ore basin of northern France stretches from Lorraine northward into Belgium. The high phosphorus and low iron content of the ore limited its desirability, and production has been declining for several years.

 

Outlook

Having one of the world’s most developed economies, France was an advocate for the EU and the European single-market concept. The country has had to make considerable changes in the structure of its industries, particularly those mineral industries controlled by the state. Several state-owned companies have taken the initiative to become leaders in their respective industries. Others have been forced to make additional adjustments under restructuring schemes proposed by the EU or the French Government. The depletion of mineral resources and the cessation of subsidies for uneconomic operations have had impacts on local communities and their economies. France will have the advantage of plentiful electrical power to attract industrial facilities that require skilled work forces and good access to markets in Europe.

 

France Labor Statistics, 2010-2014 (Information accessed at the Bureau of Labor Statistics

National Statistics

Unemployment rate

(Percent of civilian labor force)

Total  – 10.0%

Youth (under 25) – 23.9%

Men – 9.9%

Women – 10.0%

 

Labor force participation rate

(Percent of civilian working-age population)

Total – 55.9%

Men – 61.1%

Women – 51.2%

 

  • Opportunities for the development of expanded skills and responsibilities are available.  As indicated in the “Mind the Gap” research paper conducted by Boston College.  Younger employees are more likely to agree that their job provides them with learning and growth opportunities, with 38.9% and 22.7% of them ( agreeing/strongly agreeing) with this statement. Comparatively, older employees were most likely to strongly disagree, (21.9%), while midlife employees ranked the highest in disagreeing with the statement (14.1%). (Mind the Gap).
  • In 2014, the International Monetary Fund calls on France to lower its labour costs and halt tax hikes to boost both growth and its competitiveness, or else face a widening gap with its European neighbours.

Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Statistics

The region’s employment has two main characteristics: A higher concentration of seniors than in the rest of France (respectively 27.1% and 24.1% in 2013); A high unemployment rate of 10.8% in 2013 (the national rate was 10.3%). With more than 80% of the regional employment in services in 2010, the regional economy is mostly oriented towards service activities, above the national average of 76.3%.

 

Trade Policies

  • Import duty and taxes are due when importing goods into France from outside of the EU whether by a private individual or a commercial entity. The import duty and taxes payable are calculated on the CIF value, i.e. the sum of the value of the imported goods and the cost of shipping and insurance.

 

International Trade Statistics

  • The Government maintains its efforts to focus the country’s trading patterns toward the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development while encouraging the development of new markets, particularly in Asia and Latin America.
  • Strong commercial relations continued between France and the United States, and Germany.
  • In 2011, France was the fourteenth largest host country for U.S. foreign direct investment abroad with investments valued at $89 billion, making the United States the largest foreign investor in France.
  • France was the second largest foreign investor in the United States and the fifth largest investor on a historical cost basis. French-owned companies employ about half a million workers in the United States while another half a million employees work for U.S. companies established in France.
  • The international activity of French banking groups is a factor of diversification of risks.  Total foreign claims are significant for the French banking system, amounting to about €2.7 trillion as end-June 2011.(IMF)
  • Tourism makes an essential contribution to France’s foreign trade. Since 1999, it has accounted for the main balance of payments surplus. The tourist trade has shown a marked progression, achieving a balance of nearly €13 billion in 2012, as compared to €7.5 billion in 2011. Longer stays and more nights spent in commercial accommodation have led to increased spending by foreign tourists in France, amounting to a total of €35.8 billion.

 

Tourism

  • 83 million tourists, 7% of French GDP
  • France is the world’s top tourist destination with the dynamic tourism sector boasting an economic surplus and is rapidly transforming under the combined effect of a new, emerging clientele and a broader range of things to offer international tourists.

 

Country Infrastructure

Infrastructure represents those types of capital goods that serve the activities of many industries.  Included in a country infrastructure are paved roads, railroads, seaports, communication networks, financial networks, and energy supplies and distributions, which are all necessary to support production and marketing.  The quality of an infrastructure has a direct correlation with the ability an enterprise to engage effectively in business   

 

Transportation

Figure 2.1 – Railway Channels

Railways: total: 29,640 km (2011).  

Mostly operated by French National Railway Company is France‘s national state-owned railway company and manages the rail traffic in France and the Principality of Monaco.

The French railways are subsidised by the state, receiving €13.2 billion in 2013.

The railway system is a small portion of total travel, accounting for less than 10% of passenger travel.

 

Roadways: total: 1,028,446 km; paved: paved: 951,220 km (including 10,490 km of expressways); unpaved: 0 km (2011).   

Waterways: 8,500 km (1,686 km accessible to craft of 3,000 metric tons) (2011).

  • The French merchant shipping fleet is the world’s ninth largest in total tonnage (flags of convenience excepted), about the same size as Italy’s and half the size of Britain’s. In tonnage handled, including oil, grain, and other bulk cargoes.
  • Marseille is the world’s eighth-largest port and Le Havre the 13th largest.

 

Ports and harbors: Bordeaux, Calais, Dunkerque, La Pallice, Le Havre, Marseille, Nantes, Paris, Rouen, Strasbourg.

major seaport(s): Brest, Calais, Dunkerque, Le Havre, Marseille, Nantes,

river port(s): Paris, Rouen (Seine); Strasbourg (Rhine); Bordeaux (Garronne)

container port(s): Le Havre (2,215,262)(2011)

cruise/ferry port(s): Calais, Cherbourg, Le Havre

Airports: 464 (2013 est.).

 

Financial Strength

 

France’s financial system is large, sophisticated, and integrated both vertically and internationally.  With Frances integration into the European Union creates a multinational market region with a universal goal for “Economic benefits for the participants and the associated peace between and within countries.” Multinational market groups form large markets that provide potentially significant opportunities for international business.

Real bank institutions (name) and International banking facilities

Currently, France is dominated by five banking groups that are regionally and globally systemic and among the largest in the world.  “Four have been identified as global systemically important banks (G-SIBs).”(IMF)

  • France has one of the largest insurance markets in the world.
  • Second largest mutual fund industry in Europe in number of funds and the first in Europe in terms of the number of management companies
  • Well developed securities markets and infrastructures that are fully integrated into Europe.
  • The regulatory and supervisory regime for banks, insurance and securities markets, and market infrastructures is of a very high standard.

France has a high level of compliance with the Basel Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision (BCPs). Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel supervisory practices are of a very high standard, incorporating many high-quality processes. ACP operates an extensive, detailed, and in-depth program of onsite inspections and high-quality off site supervisory processes that monitors the individual major bank’s financial situation and risk management and control practices on a consolidated basis, building on constructive home-host relationships

 

Payments and funds transfer capability

All French payment and securities clearing and settlement systems settle in central bank money in accounts held with the Bank of France. Oversight of these systems, Article L 141-4 of the Monetary and Financial Code (Code Monétaire et Financier – CMF) gives the Bank of France broad competence to ensure the smooth operation and security of payment and securities clearing and settlement systems. It also confers statutory powers vis-à-vis the issuers of means of payment regarding security matters.

In addition, to carry out its task of overseeing means of payment, the Bank of France is authorised by law to gather any necessary information. Since 2007 the infrastructure of payments and securities has been transformed in France. This is due to European integration of means of payment and transfer systems, with the start of the implementation of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) and the launch of new European exchange platforms that have replaced the former infrastructures used on the Paris financial market.

Communications

Telephones: main lines in use: 38.929 million (2015);   

general assessment: highly developed

domestic: extensive cable and microwave radio relay; extensive use of fiber-optic cable; domestic satellite system.

Mobile cellular: 62.28 million (2012).

Internet hosts: 17.266 million (2012). Internet users: 56.367 million (2015).

Internet usage 84.7% of population (CIA) Internet social media: Facebook, Twitter, Viadeo

Radio: France operates 7 national networks, a series of regional networks, and operates services for overseas territories and foreign audiences; Radio France Internationale (RFI), under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is a leading international broadcaster; a large number of commercial FM stations, with many of them consolidating into commercial networks (2008).

Television broadcast stations: 584 (plus 9,676 repeaters).

Broadcast media: A mix of both publicly operated and privately owned TV stations; state-owned France Televisions operates 4 networks, one of which is a network of regional stations, and has part-interest in several thematic cable/satellite channels and international channels; a large number of privately owned regional and local TV stations; multi-channel satellite and cable services provide a large number of channels; public broadcaster

 

National Channels: For advertising

Owners/Company Number of Channels  (45 Total)

  1. France Television (State Owned) 6
  2. Canal+ Group 7
  3. M6 Group 3
  4. TF1 Group 5

Regional Channels 18 Region’s Total

Satellite Television

  1. M6 HD
  2. TF1
  3. TMC (Turner Classic Movie)

Canalsat

  1. M6 Music
  2. Disney Channel
  3. Canal+ Sport

Channels of Distribution

Distribution channels include methods of selling as well as locations. Methods include direct sales, wholesalers and retailers. The four functions for distribution channel is to optimize sales volume, cost of sales, profits, and Brand.  France possesses a diverse and comprehensive retail network, which increasingly resembles that of the United States, from the largest department store chains to the smallest individual proprietorships.

 

  • One of the challenges for U.S. SMEs interested in breaking into the French market is dealing with highly concentrated retail distribution chains and networks.
  • French global manufacturers/suppliers that have strong control over the retail networks they are using.
  • In many sectors, independent wholesale/retail outlets are disappearing rapidly and being replaced by retail distribution chains and networks that have significant market shares in France.

Hypermarkets – Hypermarkets are defined as stores with a minimum selling area of 2,500 square meters. French hypermarkets offer 25,000-40,000 products for sale at competitive prices, of which 3,000-5,000 food items and 20,000-35,000 non-food articles. Generally located in suburbs, they cover a total sales area of 11.1 million square meters. As of 2015, there were 2091 hypermarkets, employing over 330,574 people.

The top five hypermarket companies are

Leclerc, Carrefour, Intermarché, Système U, Casino, and Auchan.  (export.gov)

Supermarkets (Supermarchés)

Convenience (Magasins de proximité)

Department Stores (Grands magasins)

Hard Discounters (Magasins discounts)

Large Specialized(Grandes spécialisées)

 

Multi-Channel Retail Groups (Groups de distribution multicanaux)

The distinctions made above between hypermarket chains, supermarket chains, etc., are becoming blurred. In recent years, major multi-channel retail groups owning chains of different types of stores have emerged.  Pinault-Printemps and Nouvelles Galeries Réunies fall into this category, because they own chains of specialty and convenience stores. (export.gov)

 

Central Buying Offices (Centrales d’achats)

In addition to contacting the largest store chains listed above, introducing products via central buying agencies is an excellent distribution method.

E-commerce

The global e-commerce industry is boosted by wider internet penetration, with about 2.5 billion people using the internet in 2012. Business to consumer e-commerce growth in the U.S. is forecast to slow over the years to come while growth in other regions will gain momentum, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, where sales are estimated to reach approximately 69 billion U.S. dollars.  

E-commerce will be used to market B2B services in France and execute customer services.  Its marketing function involves direct marketing methods for the UV sensor to reach the users.  

Market Audit & Competitive Analysis

Product Introduction: Global market for wearable medical devices is booming. According to a range of studies it is expected to register a double-digit compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next 5 years, reaching USD 7.8 billion by 2021.  Wearable medical devices can be defined as devices which are attached to the human body, monitoring a range of vital signs and/or providing specific treatments.

 

Violet® Plus (Personal ultraviolet sunlight sensor)

The Violet® App (Software application)

Product analysis

  • Relative advantage is the degree to which an idea or product is perceived as better than existing standard.  What makes the product stand out?
    • GREAT FOR FAMILIES – because it can independently track multiple users.
    • SKIN DAMAGE ALERT – The Violet® App finds personal skin-type, tracks real-time UV exposure and alerts you when your skin exposure is no longer safe.
    • SUNSCREEN REMINDER – The sun is a major contributor to skin aging. The Violet® App notifies you when it’s time to apply and reapply sunscreen.
    • VITAMIN D MONITORING – Tracks in real-time your natural Vitamin D production and the minutes you need to reach the recommended daily dose.
    • SMART EXPERIENCE – Sensor automatically syncs with the Violet® App but also works without the app
    • CLEAR MESSAGE – Gentle vibration alerts notify and help users enjoy the burn-free sunshine
    • MULTI-USER MONITORING – Notification and tracking for each user
    • ELEGANT DESIGN – Aircraft grade aluminum, waterproof, lightweight, and fashionable; wear it as a wristband or clip anywhere

 

 

  • Compatibility The higher the similarity with existing norms, the better the chances of adoption.  Is this type of product a cultural norm in France?  
    • The reality today is that beauty, fashion and technology are merging into one social movement that targets personal health during sun exposure.  This product is similar to many other products available in the French health and beauty market.  Many companies invest large amounts of money for the development of new products in accordance with recent market trends and the latest research findings with UV sensors.
    • French beauty and health industry leader L’Oréal Group’s leading dermatological skincare brand, La Roche-Posay is quickly adopting UV sensor as a profitable product globally.  
    • The new UV sensor technology “Arrives at a time when sun exposure has become a major health issue, with 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers being associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sun* in addition to contributing to skin pigmentation and photoaging. (L’Oréal).

 

 

  • Complexity – Will frustrations or confusion arise in understanding the innovation’s basic idea?
    • The Violet Application is user friendly with three simple Features.
    • CREATE AN ACCOUNT with their smartphone
      Keeping record of their information across multiple platforms; Self-Managing  preferences including daily Vitamin D goals, UV intake updates, and sunscreen application reminders.  
    • PERSONALIZE YOUR EXPERIENCE (settings)
      The Violet® App will guide users through the necessary information to help calculate their sun exposure experience. Information gathered is privileged and confidential and will not be shared or released to any organization or business entity
    • TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR SKIN’S HEALTH
      The Violet® App will automatically locate your current weather and coaches the user on how to protect their skin from damage and premature aging.
    • While the software technology is thoroughly based in biomedical research, offered solutions can be effortlessly used by anyone.

 

 

  • Trialability – How easily can the trial portions of the product be purchased and used? The more we allow potential users or patrons to test the product, the more likely consumers will adopt it.  
    • The Violet® App (Software application) software is compatible with any android smartphone and Apple ISO’s.
    • The application is free to download online.  
    • Mobile cellular: 62.28 million (2012).
    • Access to the UV Sensor is easy to purchase in retail stores and on E-commerce websites.    
    • Final price influences users perception.

 

 

  • Observability – How easy is it for the user to see the benefits of using the product?  When new products are highly visible, it drives more consumers in the market to share it and increase the likelihood of mass adoption.   

 

    • Users can instantly access and obtain information from the UV sensor when reading measurements reminding users to apply sunscreen.
    • Does it work? Realworld demos.
    • This type product is currently blogged about on websites such as wordpress, wearable.com, linkedIn, and Invetech.com to name a few
    • The product is unique and new to the market therefore, companies have the potential to generate and start a following through online communities

Potential Problems & Resistance to Adoption

  • Competition – Large multinational companies are currently in the sun care market
  • Demand  Users want health and fitness monitoring, and they want wearable devices that act as extensions of their smartphones. However, there’s no real demand from consumers for environmental sensors. Adoption of environmental sensors such as humidity and UV devices is being pushed by sensor suppliers and other wearable OEM’s.”
  • Retail Logistics and Distribution Price of these marketing functions could eliminate profit margin.  Possibly paying for “slots” in retailers shelving could limit product exposure because of costs over time.  

The Market To Conquer

Geographic region Total population – 4,935,576

The Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) region of France is a renowned international tourist destination which opens on to the Mediterranean and has much to recommend it: exceptional cultural and natural heritage, a broad range of landscapes, a pleasant climate, a wide variety of accommodation, modern infrastructure.

  • Foreign visitors account for one fifth of this tourism.  Drawing in 31 million visitors each year. The region has a huge amount to offer, including accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets; original and delicious traditional food; a rich and varied programme of cultural events; majestic mountain ranges; legendary seaside resorts and landscapes.
  • The region has a Mediterranean coastline, on which the majority of its population lives.

 

Consumer buying habits

The favourable weather conditions continued into the summer, and sun care products saw high demand, peaking during the July heatwave. Strong tourism figures, both internal (7% increase in tourists travelling inside France) and visitors to the country (potentially being the highest ever, at 85 million in 2015) boosted demand for sun care in 2015 (euromonitor).  Identify social habits like local traditions and communities of  the target market and know that consumers can be a member of various categories over their lifetime.  Ultra Inc, can see what content media market segment they want to pursue and provide samples, product brochures and marketing promotions to in order to promote and expand the  exposure of  their wearable technology to the a select population of prime users in the  sun care audience.

Advertising and Promotions

Online and web marketing

Google search engine optimization will be the focus of Advertising and promotions in the E-commerce operations.

  • PPC advantages is the ability for marketers to become the most relevant search term for a webpage online.  Ultra.Inc can do this by paying per click, this method becomes an effective short term boost in web traffic to the Violet plus sensor. A clear disadvantage for this method is that PPC marketing methods will be constrained by budget factors for the business.  Therefore when the budget runs out so does Ultra Inc. online marketing in PPC.
  • An advantage for SEO with the business is it can be more efficient in the cost per click overtime after the webpage is established with an authoritative page ranking.  Some disadvantages are the high upfront costs in building website content and for the long term benefits and it gaining the attention of consumers.

 

Picking the Right Keywords

Funneling your keywords from broad and general into specific and detailed is the focus when generating your keyword database for the Ultra Inc. webpage and its UV sensor.  Mr. Beck mentioned how there are over 200 ranking factors for a keyword term with google.  In one example mentioned how a plural to singular word term impacted a search result by 600 clicks.  He recommended that when choosing a keyword SEO developers should research their industry competition and target keywords with high search volume and low competition

 

Social media and Facebook

The company Ultra.In is currently active and has 611 followers to the page.  This is a great channel for the company to reach consumers and interact with them and it’s effective for pulling in new followers through the word of mouth marketing.  

Continuity scheduling spreads media spending evenly across months. With an annual budget of $44,000 a year, continuity scheduling would allocate exactly $4,000 per month. This method ensures steady brand exposure over each purchase cycle for individual consumers. It also takes advantage of volume discounts in media buying.  

This model is primarily for non-seasonal products and some seasonal products. Advertising will run steadily with little variation over a campaign period. There may be short gaps at regular intervals and also long gaps—for instance, one ad every week for 50 weeks, and then a pause. This pattern of advertising is prevalent in service and packaged goods that require continuous reinforcement on the audience for top of mind recollection at point of purchase.

Advantages:

  •         Works as a reminder.
  •         Covers the entire purchase cycle.
  •         Cost efficiencies in the form of large media discounts.
  •        Positioning advantages within media.
  •         Program or plan that identifies the media channels used in an advertising campaign, and specifies insertion or broadcast dates, positions, and duration of the messages.

 

Preliminary Marketing Strategy

Target markets

  • Solar protection for consumers is one of the key drivers behind the fast-growing Sun Care market. In 2013, the global sun care market generated 5.6 billion U.S. dollars from its sun protection products segment. (statista).  
  • CCS Insight has updated its outlook on the future of wearable tech, indicating that 411 million smart wearable devices, worth a staggering $34 billion, will be sold in 2020.  The analyst claims the industry will hit $14 billion this year, with wrist-based devices – such as smartwatches and fitness trackers – continuing to dominate.
  • Driven by rising demand for fitness and health monitoring features as well as by improved user interfaces, shipments of sensors used in wearable electronic devices will rise by a factor of seven from 2013 to 2019, according to IHS Technology (NYSE: IHS).

Target audience

  • The primary target market to males and females between the ages of 24-52. These consumers have college education, a annual income of $40,000 per year, and account for around 38% of the population (24-28 million).
  • The region has a total GDP (2012) of €142.4 billion (US$183.1 bn), the third highest in France. It has a Per Capita GDP of €28,861 (US$37,121), slightly higher than the French average. According to a recent survey, a person living in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur has an average annual income of about €37,489 (US$45,755).

 

Analysis of key supply-side and demand trends

  • The worldwide market for sensors in wearables will expand to 466 million units in 2019, up from 67 million in 2013.
  • Shipments of sensors will climb much more quickly than the market for the wearable devices themselves. Wearable devices will increase to 135 million units in 2019, less than three times the total of 50 million in 2013.

 

Detailed segmentation of international and local products

UveBand. – product collects specific UVA and UVB rays (which are the rays that damage your skin the most). UveBand gently vibrates on your hand to remind the wearer that it is time to put a sunscreen on. It recharges itself as it actively monitors the sun’s UV rays. You can turn it off by simply removing it from your wrist.

Raymio is a wristband that lets you know when your UV exposure level is too high and advises you to seek out shade or apply sunscreen.

UVBee is a French company called Zoxxon. A UV sensor which can be clipped to your clothes or can be worn as a wristband as well.

SunFriend is very simple to use gadget that also measures UV rays but has had poor reliability

CliMate – is measuring HUT (Humidity, UV and Temperature ) around you. It can be a wearable, attached to your shirt or backpack, or you can attach it on a metal stand and use it at home.

 

Biggest Competitive Challenger

L’Oréal unveiled My UV Patch allows consumers to measure individual UV exposure.

Beauty Giant’s dermatological Skincare Brand, La Roche-Posay,

  • First-ever stretchable skin sensor designed to monitor UV exposure

 

Historic volumes and values, company and brand market shares

Company sales objective is to gain 9% of the market (population) share in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur by the year 2020.

 

Projected Five Year forecasts of market trends and market growth  

Sales Forecast 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Units sold 30,948 72,818 88,662 94,223 108,195
Market Share %1 / +.01 %3 / +.02 %5 /+.02 %7 / +0.2 %9 / +0.2
Sales (U.S $$) $2,475,530 $5,824711 $7,092,073 $7,536,897 8,654,518

 

Profit Forecast 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Sales $2,475,530 $5,824,711 $7,092,073 $7,536,897 $8,654,518
Fixed costs $511,000 $562,000 $613,000 $664,000 $715.000
Variable Costs $1,171,422 $1,456,000 $1,733,000 $1,884,224 $2,163,629
EBITDA $1,304,108 $3,806,711 $4,764,073 $4,988,673 $5,775,888


SWOT analysis

Strength

  • When designing lightweight wearable devices in the past, there was always a trade-off between portability and data accuracy. When you make things small and non-intrusive you can often trade out quality of data. This is starting to change. (Kolser)
  • Smaller players which have developed a low price strategy, such as Cosnova and Kiko, or were positioned as natural, such as Aesop France and Natura Europa, achieved more success in 2015. (euromonitor).  

Weaknesses

  • It requires both the app and and the UV sensor to interact and acquire information regarding the user’s sun exposure
  • Up to 6 months battery life with one replaceable battery
  • Tough to clearly define the purchasing consumer market for UV sensor wearable technology

Opportunities

  • The competition at retail level, coupled with the emergence of new brands, is also expected to put pressure on prices and to reduce the potential for value sales growth. The best performing categories are expected to be skin care, oral care and sun care. There is also some room for growth for niche brands.

Threats

  • L’Oréal, Gemey Maybelline Garnier and Laboratoires LaScad, which are all subsidiaries of L’Oréal Groupe, led beauty and personal care in France in 2015.
  • Another band that measures UV level is UveBand. It doesn’t just detect sunlight- it also collects specific UVA and UVB rays (which are the rays that damage your skin the most). UveBand gently vibrates on your hand to remind the wearer that it is time to put a sunscreen on. It recharges itself as it actively monitors the sun’s UV rays.
  • Spinali Design, based in France, is now selling a bikini that helps to prevent sunburn.

The connected bikini is equipped with a waterproof, removable UV sensor that monitors the time a user spends in the sun.

Product adaption/modification

Core component  TECHNOLOGY LICENSING Ultra Inc. software technology  designed to be integrated into any connected hardware such as a wearable, phone, clothing, or many other IoT devices. Our technology makes any UV sensor become a smart sensor, giving advice to users on how to balance their time in the sun. If you are interested in licensing our software.  

Secondary Component – UV Sensor Violet Plus

Packaging type – Environmentally friendly packaging and a promotional package design

Material – Cardboard and paper.

Size – 5x4x4in

Service Support – Online based through e-mail.

Promotion mix

Product Strategy – Violet app is not just another app to generate data. It is designed as a tool to encourage behavioral change toward a better health by reducing the risks while harnessing the benefit of sun. The goal is to motivate the user to get outdoors and safely enjoy the sun without fear it, and to Live Ultra Healthy!

Pricing strategy – Penetration price –  Staying at a lower competitive price with other wearable UV technology devices in the market. Therefore, the retail pricing for the Violet Plus UV sensor is $79.99 US.  With a volume marketing objective Ultra Inc. gains market share to keep out competitors and build high obstacles for market entry.  .

Alternate strategy – promotional pricing strategy to boost volume not profit.   

Promotion strategy – Ultra Inc. will use a mix of push and pull promotions to generate product and brand awareness in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Région.  

Push Methods

Trade shows

Personal Selling (local nationals)

Promotional packaging design (seasonal)

Point of sale (short term)

Pull methods

Advertising

Branding

Content Marketing (word of mouth)

Sales promotion/ Discounts

 

Distribution

Modes of distribution

  1. Shipping Internationally from United States to France.
  2. Shipping entrance to Port of Marseille.
  3. Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur regional transportation after port of entry will be by high-speed railways. The region is served by 13 high speed trains stations and can enter into all four major warehousing locations
  4. Ultra.Inc will be targeting Hypermarkets in the coastal cities after product is secured into warehousing.   
  5. Transportation by trucking freight to retail vendors in the region.  

 

Transportation and logistics

Logistically targeting the largest cities in the region which are Marseille (administrative capital city of the region), Nice, Toulon, and Aix-en-Provence, each with a population exceeding 100,000 inhabitants at the 1999 census. Along with Marseille, Nice is the second most important city in the region with a city proper population of about 350,000 and an urban population exceeding 1 million.

 

Documentation required

  • Contacting the Regional Council of Provence-Alpes Côte d’Azur is the transport authority and defines the services in all region for product transportation.
  • Writing up distribution contracts with hypermarket vendors and central buying offices.  

 

Types and number of retailers, import/export agents, warehousing.

  • 1 warehousing/office locations- Marseille (administrative office of the region), Nice, Toulon, and Aix-en-Provence including a commercial administrative offices building at each location.  Building size 50x100ft.
  • Each location has 6 staff members

They will be coordinating retail efforts with several:

  • Hypermarket distributorsLeclerc, Carrefour, Intermarché, Système U, Casino, and Auchan. 40 retail locations in the region
  • Central buying offices (Centrales d’achats)
  • E-commerce  – Amazon, Google, and Ultra Inc.com

 

Price determination

Fixed Costs

  • Amortization. This is the gradual charging to expense of the cost of an intangible asset (such as a purchased patent) over the useful life of the asset. N/A
  • Depreciation. $35,000
  • Insurance. $1,000,000.00  all liability. Cost per month $500 annually $6000
  • Interest expense. 5 year $300,000.00 loan.  Annual interest rate 15%
  • US Corporate Tax.  35% of annual sales. COG Year 1 $ 194,972.00
  • Warehouse contract – $24,000 per year
  • Salaries. $200,000 annual budget
  • Utilities. $500 per month

 

Variable Costs

  • Direct materials.
    • Plastic housing, PCB, light sensor, attachment band, fasteners… $8.00 per unit year 1 $248,000
  • Assembly labor annually $120,000
  • Warehouse logistics – $1.00 per unit. Year 1 $31,000
  • Point of sale retail expense: 10 hypermarket locations $120,000
  • Travel expense. $12,000.00
  • Marketing and entertainment.  $135,000.00
  • Sales commissions 17% * $2,475,540.00 Year 1 $420,840.00
  • Credit card fees. 3% * $2,475,540.00 Year 1 $75,256.00
  • Sea Freight shipping: New York to Marseilles bi-annually: $4,800 annually $9,600
    • Sea Freight, port handling, documentation, duties, delivery, and taxes

Terms of sales and methods of payment

  • Point of sale Online, retail outlet
  • 30 day warranty
  • Cash, credit cards, check.

 

Appendices

Cited Sources/ References

 

http://www.infoplease.com/country/france.html?pageno=16

 

https://www.understandfrance.org/Business/Intercultural3.html#ancre1778403

 

http://www.liveultrahealthy.com/company/index.html

 

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/uv-sensor-market-analysis-used-detecting-intensity-avinash-gogawale

 

http://www.instapressrelease.com/united-states-uv-sensors-industry-study-growth-factors-types-applications-market-forecasts/

 

http://2016.export.gov/France/index.asp

 

Shanyuan Foo and Ariane Ollier-Malaterre (2010) “Mind the Gap France Employee” Boston College.  agework @bc.edu

http://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/research_sites/agingandwork/pdf/publications/MTG_France_Employee.pdf

 

Harold R. Newman “The Mineral Industry of France – 2000”

http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/country/2000/9414000.pdf

 

BBC News Online “France profile – Timeline

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17299605

 

International Monetary Funds “France: Financial System Stability”  Washington D.C., December 7, 2012.  Prepared by the Monetary and Capital MArkets and European Departments.

https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2012/cr12341.pdf

 

“Payment, clearing and settlement systems in France”

https://www.bis.org/cpmi/publ/d105_fr.pdf

 

The World Fact Book: Europe, France, CIA online

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/fr.html

 

http://www.loreal.com/media/press-releases/2016/jan/loreal-debuts-first-ever-stretchable-electronic-uv-monitor

 

https://www.siliconrepublic.com/innovation/loreal-pch-stretchable-sensor-beauty-tech-interview

 

Magnus Ahlstrom, “Observation from Medica 2015: Trends in Wearable Medical devices” 19 December 2015.  Publisher: Invetech.

http://www.invetech.us/newsroom/viewpoints/medical-device-trends-medica-2015/

 

Spela Kosir, “ Wearables for healthy skin!” publisher: wearable technologies

https://www.wearable-technologies.com/2015/08/wearables-for-healthy-skin/

 

http://www.wearable-technologies.com/2015/02/wearable-tech-detecting-invisible-threats/

 

http://www.wearabletechnologyinsights.com/articles/7964/connected-bikini-with-uv-sensor

 

Beauty and personal care in France

http://www.euromonitor.com/beauty-and-personal-care-in-france/report

 

http://www.euromonitor.com/sun-care-in-france/report

 

© Statista 2016

 

https://www.statista.com/topics/1990/sun-care-industry/

 

Sam Ashe-edmunds “The Major Function of a distribution channel”  Chron.com

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/major-functions-distribution-channel-59769.html

 

http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/french-foreign-policy/tourism/tourism-a-major-french-asset/article/tourism-drives-the-economy-of-the

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provence-Alpes-C%C3%B4te_d’Azur#Demographics

 

http://news.ihsmarkit.com/press-release/technology/wearable-sensor-market-expand-sevenfold-five-years

 

Beck, B. (2016). Introduction to SEO. Stukent.com. Retrieved from: https://www.stukent.com/expert-sessions/introduction-to-seo/

 

What makes a great blog?

What makes for a great blog?

There are a few things that separate a great blog from a good blog, and also a good blog from one that’s downright rubbish.

It takes a good combination of content and design to make a good blog. Add to that a dash of personality and a good sprinkling of passion, and you might just have what it takes to have a great blog!

Reading Enjoyment

Content is king. One primary motivation for reading a blog is great content. A good blog should have interesting information that comes in a well-written package. Whether you’re talking about your personal understanding of consumer behavior or additional CB information, your blog should be gripping enough to keep your readers (and by readers we mean other class members) coming back.

Another important aspect of blogs is feedback. Eliciting a lively conversation is as important as writing the original blog posting itself. Blogs have commenting features for a reason, and that’s to give readers a venue to voice out their own thoughts in response to what you write.

Also important are the voice and tone of your blog. Writings on a blog should not sound stiff and cold, because it should primarily be written with a personal touch, or it wouldn’t be a blog at all!

Usefulness

The goal is for your blog to add value to the class.  Many blogs posted on the Internet (and there are tens of millions of them!) just echo each other.  We don’t want that to happen in this class. Many bloggers are fond of quoting (and mis-quoting) other news sources and even other blogs. What makes one a good blogger is the ability to present or link to useful information on one’s blog. What makes someone a great blogger is the ability to post information that is both useful and original.

Usefulness of information is based on how a blogger can point out great stuff elsewhere (i.e. through links) and how a blogger can synthesize these bits of information gathered from other sources (such as the textbook and the Internet). Originality is definitely a plus.

Your blog will be evaluated according to the quality of the content, the writing and whether your blog was interesting enough to merit a good discussion by readers.

Optimizing Essentials

multichannel-optimization

 

As I learned this week in my digital marketing class SEO’s will help you, companies, and organizations position their website on the Internet to gain attention and ultimately clicks. A foundation for SEO strategy is to create a seamless user experience and to do this your SEO will need to communicate with the search engine, by displaying your intentions so search engines can recommend your website for a users relevant keyword search/queries.  A search engines optimizer is looking for content that is determined or judged by a theme that is being relevant to the users keyword.  Search engines typically assume that the more popular a site, page, or document, the value the information it contains must be high. This assumption has been proven to be successful in terms of user satisfaction with search results.

Referencing the text on the page, titles and descriptions that are given, and anchor texts.  SEO looks for performance of the website that has steady uploads and downloads while working properly with links from one page to the next. Having a high webpage authority indicates that your site has good enough content to link to, and having other authoritative sites using your website as a reference or site the information available contributes to a higher Page Rank. A friendly user experience allowing the site to look appealing, easy to navigate from the home page, appears and actually is safe for users, and has a low bounce rate.

When creating an SEO you shouldn’t forget to optimize for multi-channels because implementing a keyword strategy is not only important to implement on-site, but it should extend to other off-site platforms, which is why you should also be thinking about multi-channel optimizing.  These multi-channel platforms include networking media sites like  facebook, twitter, linkedIn, Email, and also including offline media channels like Television and radio.  Being consistent with keyword phrases within these platforms will not only help your marketing buzz and branding efforts, but also train users and consumers to use specific phrases you’re optimizing for.  It is important that your target phrases are embedded regularly throughout the page in question.  Remember to include the phrases in the headline, high in the body copy and again at the bottom, as engines like Google like the standard thesis approach to page layout.

I discovered on the beginners guide to SEO that “Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities in the search marketing field.  Having the right keywords can make or break your website. By researching your market’s keyword demand, you can learn which terms and phrases to target with SEO.  You should always keep SEO in the forefront of your mind, and always follow the best practices.  A helpful link I found on the Internet when researching the basic fundamental topics to SEO was 8 essentials when optimizing your site because skipping the basics of SEO will only leave your site’s foundation a mess and prevent you from reaching your full potential of revenue opportunities.

 

 

Social Media Marketing Strategy

Effective social media marketing comes from a carefully planned strategy and then it’s integrated into your company’s overall marketing communications strategy and activities. With that in mind you can lead into a deeper relationship with consumers by listening to your target audience .  As a marketer we need to identify social habits of  the target market and know that consumers can be a member of various categories over their lifetime.  Picture on the left can help us organize consumers into categories that marketers will target when using social media is called the social techonograhics ladder. When viewing the image I can get a better idea about what content I want to give my audience when I have a specific target in mind

The social techonograhics ladder

Communicating with you audience also includes engaging with the audience.  All companies need to think of themselves as creators and communicators of content, and when your content is passed along with positive reviews by consumers it creates a brand image that goes beyond dollar value.  By incorporating multiple channels like Pepsi did in 2011, the time during the super bowl where they urged consumers to create Internet advertisements to be aired during half time for Doritos nacho chips, it really helped customers be active and brought awareness to the product.  This can flow into collaborating with a brand.  Corporate blogs, product reviews, and twitter are several channels that let consumers share insight and opinions about what they expect from the company and its products.  Researchers predict that 43 percent of all corporations will be blogging by 2012 because of it positive effects it can have on consumer engagement.  The reason why I mention this is because blogs could establish expertise and credibility over time for the company and lead into dialog between business to consumers through social media, this will also enhance the company’s visibility.

How To Optimize

SEO Image

Search engines impact the way consumers find and acquire certain goods or services on the Internet and marketers are tapping into it’s hidden potential.  The trend towards search engine usage and dependence has continued to grow. United States Internet users performed 75 searches per month, with an expected growth rate of 2%. All of these searcher cover a wide range of subject matter, allowing all types of marketers to enter the search engine world.  The focus for this blog is to persuade readers that creating a website that utilizes the SEO search engine that will benefit you and the company when connecting to consumers on the Internet.

With Search engine optimization bring in more the majority of website visitors (61% according to Forrester) and is considered a common resource to navigate websites because of its trusted reputation as often-used social media. SEO’s require no out-of-pocket cost to pay for as placement, but there is a cost to design a site to optimize it for a natural search but well worth it in the end.  While websites take longer to set up and implement, if monitored properly can have a positive long term effect.  To do this he company need to understand their target market, developing keywords to reach that market , and defining and developing their site around those keywords.  Its always a good idea to do market research and ask customers how they search for our product.

Monitoring social media conversations is another way to determine how to pick appropriate keywords to monitor both paid and SEO.  As a marketer you want to be where your consumers are and to participate in the conversation to engage and keep customers and by doing this you can expand their search profiles on social media accounts.  In 2010 a recent study by business.com indicated that top performing companies were using social media to enhance their natural search engine efforts with websites facebook, twitter, and intagram.  On a final note, by incorporating a “like” button attached to your website allows  you link to develop a following to ensure a top rank hit on search engines.