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Sample Marketing Plan - Member Services Inc

Autor:   •  December 5, 2015  •  Business Plan  •  4,193 Words (17 Pages)  •  775 Views

Page 1 of 17

I.        EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Member Services Inc. is an advertising and promotional company specializing in Membership group buying initiatives for the retail automotive industry. Some examples of MSI-run programs include the current BJ’s Auto Buying Program and former Auto Buying Program for Sam’s Club Members. Located in Bentonville, AR MSI is a small company in business for over 20 years.

MSI’s primary business is currently to oversee all activities associated with the BJ’s Auto Buying Program. This program operates with 2 ultimate goals. First, to increase sales for its automotive dealer subscribers via online lead generation; and, secondly, to provide additional revenue for BJ’s Wholesale Clubs. MSI accomplishes both of these objectives by offering BJ’s Wholesale Club Members a convenient, economical, and hassle-free car buying experience.

Because of its status as a small, privately held company, MSI has significantly less advertising investment capital than some in the industry. This has caused an increasing amount of stress from competitive forces such as Truecar.com and Autotrader.com. A major partner recently chose not to renew their contract with MSI, selecting True car to manage their Auto Buying program instead.

Pressure from this event has caused MSI to re-evaluate marketing and business strategy for their remaining program, the BJ’s Auto Buying Program. The BJ’s Wholesale Club corporate office imposes various marketing activity restrictions as a condition of using BJ’s branding in program advertising. These restrictions could potentially slow future growth and recovery of MSI as a company. Hence, this plan will also consider marketing methods for potential new business opportunities. This new strategic plan will unfold in several phases and include new advertising communications channels, a program optimization plan for BJ’s Auto, and a new business development plan for MSI.

II.        ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS

Member Services, Inc. (MSI) is small, privately held Bentonville, Arkansas corporation specializing in marketing and promotion and is an industry leader in Internet marketing services for the retail automotive industry. Of its 20 employees involved in the auto buying sector, five to seven individuals will be primarily responsible in carrying out this plan. These include: Chris Sooter, EVP of Business Operations; Amy Lawson, Marketing Director, Brenna Hackler, Marketing Communications Manager; and Terri Russo, VP of Sales. Sherry Rusk, dealer support and sales specialist, as well as employees in the call center will also be instrumental to implementing the plan.

A.        The Marketing Environment

1.        Competitive Forces. While there are fewer than 10 main competitors in the online auto buying program industry, most are publicly traded and much larger than MSI. A key difference in MSI’s business strategy is their target market of wholesale club members. Only two competitors share this same market, Costco Auto and True car. True car currently manages the Sam’s Club Auto program, formerly under MSI administration.

2.        Economic Forces. Lower fuel cost brought on by a strong U.S. economy should bring auto sales to an all-time high in 2015 and 2016. However, economists from the National Automobile Dealers Association predict that auto sales will begin a gradual decrease beginning in 2017 (Henry, 1).  

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