Apple Tree Lane Child-Care and Nursery Centre.
The ownership, Lorna Jefferies, conducted small-scale preliminary marketing research in order to determine the potential market segments available for profit expectations and also to determine the variety of services expected by potential target markets. …
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After attaining the appropriate licensing, Apple Tree was established and now the facility is capable of supporting higher volume child care.
The business maintains three distinct long-term objectives which are based on reputation building, the provision of quality care for all children, and expansion of the business without loss of key provisions to service quality. The complications with establishment of an appropriate marketing strategy include identification of targeting opportunities for key markets, providing a brand reputation through positioning against competitors, and identification of what constitutes quality service dimensions and service structure. This marketing plan encompasses all methods of STP, promotion, service development, quality auditing systems, and methods of differentiating the organisation from existing child care competitors in the region.
2. Segmentation, targeting and positioning
Defining the market
In order to develop a quality marketing effort, it is necessary to understand the dimensions of what constitutes a market. A market is a group of potential customers dispersed geographically that maintain the potential to make service purchases. To reach these individuals, it requires process planning, recognition of important elements associated with the marketing mix, and maintaining relationships to satisfy individual and organisational objectives (Boone and Kurtz 2007). Markets want to satisfy their utility needs in terms of the overall fulfilment that comes from a particular service (Boone and Kurtz). In order to gain market attention, the business must segment, which is the process of dividing a whole market into smaller, homogenous groups most willing to make purchases at Apple Tree. Once these markets have been identified, targeting occurs in which promotional materials are developed against their service demands, lifestyle, or other demographics in order to maximize profit for those most likely to utilise the service. On the heels of these activities is positioning, which is “owning a place in the minds of consumers by concentrating on a single phrase or concept that defines the company values and purpose” (Trout 2008: 18). (b) The vitality of STP to Apple Tree STP is vital to Apple Tree in terms of cost, labour and ensuring that the best fit of potential customers is selected for utilising the service. The business wants to recruit markets that share the same values and child-rearing principles of Jefferies to avoid the need for labour training or dissatisfying consumers. Failure to follow STP models for market reach can lead to high costs of promotional materials, wasted on non-key markets and also force operational and management changes on the organisation for this business. Since Apple Tree’s longevity is centred around revenue building from direct customer transactions, it is important to identify homogenous groups that share the same child care vision to avoid service failures or perceptions of service failure from markets that utilise the service who do not share Apple Tree vision. (c) Segmentation Jefferies will segment according to the most effective market criteria. The key, potential market availability for Apple Tree are mothers who already utilise child care services, but are constrained by locality (travelling too far). Localizing the service will provide added convenience to the service model. Another market is mothers who are currently
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