Write strategy marketing plan for The Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
This report presents the strategic marketing plan for the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the financial year 2015-2018. The report begins with analysis of marketing objectives and goals for the organization ad proposes marketing tactics within stipulated time limit, to stay ahead of the competition. The probable marketing contingencies are also discussed.
As per the study and analysis, the Budding businesses in the Toowoomba Region and surrounding areas would be the prominent target Audience for the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry that would help in attracting maximum membership for the Chamber. Marketing strategies supported with professional networking activities, through formal networking channels, are the key recommendations for the Organization, to survive as the leading representative organization for the thriving business community in the Region. Further, the offering free mentoring services to the neighboring business organizations, is also a highly recommended option to stay ahead of the competition from other commerce chambers in the Australian Province.
Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce is an established institution in the year 1899 and is one of the oldest functioning chambers in the city of Queensland. This institution has been representing the interest of the Toowoomba business community since several years and has facilitated sustainable improvement and growth in the greater Toowoomba area. This chamber of commerce has been proactively working on behalf of several business organizations across all industries and all forms including the large, medium, small and micro business establishments.
Throughout the several years, Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce has played a significant role in achieving several business objectives and initiatives. These initiatives included event and projects such as the Easter fest at the University of Southern Queensland, the carnival of Flowers, Toowoomba business excellence awards and the Federation park event (Annual Report-Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 2013). These events provide a vital opportunity for the participant member business organizations to network among themselves and increase their business contacts. These activities are beneficial for the participant member business organizations of Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce, as they encourage increased business to business affiliations, for promotion and marketing of the products and services offered by these member business organizations. Thus, Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce has evolved as a beneficiary platform for the several developed and developing businesses across several sectors and forms in the Australian region.
2. Marketing objectives for Overall Organization
The Organization Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry has unique work operations and business model .Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s work operations are guided by the CEO of the organization Greg Johnson. The functionality and job role of this CEO of Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce is directed and controlled by the board of Directors and the Executive committee members, who are directly elected by the chamber’s base membership. Thus, the overall objectives of the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry, including the marketing objectives of this entity, are directly influenced and planned by the representatives of the beneficiary members of these plans and objectives. Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry has currently 400 members belonging to varied industries and business forms (Jocumsen, 2013).
The Following are the Marketing objectives of Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Strategenics, 2014):·
1. Attract huge number of business houses and budding business to the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry to have increased member base.·
2. Increase the popularity and Brand Identity of Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Australian Region.
3. Promote the entire Toowoomba Region as an attractive and lucrative business location for conducting business that would positively influence the primary marketing objective in a longer run.·
4 Effectively conduct professional Networking activities to enable the current members of Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry to connect well with other business that would facilitate business expansion activities for the member businesses.·
5. Successful identification of the most common critical issues hampering the business growth of the business community and come up with solutions to promote the consultation services provided by Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry.·
6. Foster Regional collaborations with the regional councils, leading academic houses and other key support organizations to built a firm network to promote and market the services and offerings of Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
3. Marketing Objectives for each of the 4 P’s
The term marketing objectives refers to the goals or objects that are set by a particular Organization while offering and promoting its products or services to the target consumers. These objectives are to be completed within a desired time limit as set by the spokes personnel of the organization (Banting et al., 2010). The Marketing objectives of Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry would be in accordance with the SMART objectives that have specific goals that are measurable and attainable; and yet are absolutely realistic and time bound (Drucker, 1973).
The following would be the Marketing objectives of Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry, for each of the 4 P’s of the Marketing Mix of the organization-
1. Providing the member business organizations with at least ten various avenues, opportunities and platforms to learn and develop new skill sets for expansion and growth of their respective business in the next two years.·
2. Providing enhanced full time knowledge support and consultation support for the member organizations for resolutions of some of the urgent critical issues in their respective businesses. This would include coming up with practical and real-time solutions as part of consultation services provided by Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry, within a time frame of 48 hours.
1. Offering lucrative membership plans for attracting new members to the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The attractive price offerings on membership plans would comprise of offering discounted membership fees for referral memberships. Additionally Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and IndustryPlacement Objectives· Organization of 4 additional member networking events to reach out to the prospective members or Target Audience, from next year onwards is a critical place oriented marketing objective that Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry may look forward to. The organization with the implementation of four additional networking events is expected to attract 12 percent additions in its yearly total memberships.
1. Revamping the existing communications and marketing plan to reach out more effectively to the target audience would be one of the promotional objectives of Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry.·
2. Additionally, the organization would also be concentrating on Newspaper advertisement campaigns for consequently 4 years for promoting of the activities of Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry. These ad campaigns would objectively serve the purpose of increasing the overall brand awareness of the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry by more than 5 percent per year in the coming 5 years.
4. Specific strategies for each of Marketing Mix element
The marketing mix is a set of tactical marketing tools that have to be controlled by an organization, to extract a desired market response from the target audience of a business (Kotler, 2012). We are analyzing the Specific strategies for each of Marketing Mix element for the business of Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry, whose target audience comprises of the neighborhood businesses and enterprises across all the industries who are looking out for the right platform for business networking.
The marketing strategies listed by us would comprise of strategies that would directly influence the membership count of the annual new memberships and renewal memberships attracted by Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry. These marketing mix strategies would also serve as a base to the further marketing planning and execution activities for surviving competition in the business (Markgraf, 2011).Product (These are the annual/ five yearly/ Life time memberships offered by Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce)·
Incorporating additional skill sets training for the representatives of members organizations. These Training would broadly cover developing effective communications and negotiation skills for business management that would be conducted twice a year for next five years.Seminars and conferences on usage of technology in Business would also be conducted twice a year, by inviting respective industry professionals in the field. Sharing of the. latest technological would eventually attract the new age entrepreneurs to Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and industry over a period of two years. Provision of full time knowledge support and consultation support services for the member organizations to resolve the urgent critical issues would be extremely resourceful for the clients. This consultation support would be online and telephonic and would be available 24 by 7 to the member organizations and its representativesPrice (The membership fees paid by the subscribed members would be the price component)· All the life time membership offer charges for small, medium as well as large organizations would be slashed by 10 percent during the Anniversary month of our organization Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and industry. There would be online renewal facility options for the already enrolled members, wanting to revise their annual/ five yearly memberships with the Chambers. Additionally, there would be referral discounts of 5 percent for the existing members on the five yearly renewal membership options. The Life time members would receive goodies and Gift vouchers for referring new members to the Chambers. Place (The Corporate office of Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce or various Networking Events would be the place component, wherein prospective clients could approach chamber representatives for enquires)Arrangement for additional Networking events for fostering regional collaboration at the University of southern Queensland twice a year, to attract the attention of the key target audience, and to provide them the adequate platform to reach out to the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and industry representatives. Arrangement of additional event to liaison with the Regional council of the land for enhancing professional and social networks with the key businessmen of the country. This event would be annually conducted just before Christmas Period (Financial year ending)Promotion (The activities, event or any actions attracting prospective clients/ business owners to Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce would comprise of promotional strategies). Posting 20 print ads in the Morning Herald News papers, in one quarter, especially on the weekends to promote the membership plans offered by Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and industry· Sponsorship of two business Awards functions annually· Participation in key business events of the country for attaining word of mount publicity.
5. Proposed Marketing Tactics
The marketing and promotional tactics as part of the overall marketing strategy plan would propose specific marketing measures that Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and industry would take to trigger the market demand for their membership packages in the entire Australian continent. The Marketing tactics indeed serve as an important link towards the overall progress of an organization and is a critical interface for maximizing profits of a company (Markgraft, 2011). The following are the proposed Marketing Tactics of Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and industry that are aligned with the marketing objectives of the company:
1. Development and periodic updating of attractive Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and industry Website would be absolutely essential for the existing members as well as the interested parties to stay updated with the activities of the Chambers. An Attractive website, speaks highly of the Brand image of an organization, directly proving to be an effective marketing strategy to attract additional memberships to the organization.
2. Maintaining Effective Media Relations and meticulously following publicity guidelines. This action supplements the marketing communications plan of an organization, and benefits the organization in increasing its popularity in the markets.
3. Preparation of attractive Print ad campaigns to be published in the leading news papers of the Queensland region. This Newspaper advertisement campaigns would be consequently for a period of 4 years that would market and promote the activities and membership offerings of Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
4. Recruitment of additional staff member especially for managing social media and online networking is another critical arrangement that the online marketing campaigns would require. Exclusive employees handling online marketing activities would be beneficial for the overall marketing strategy plan of the chambers.
5. Making a series of email marketing campaigns would also be effective marketing and promotion tool that would be result oriented, as well as cost effective. The emails would contain the benefits derived by the member organizations from being associated with Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and industry along with basic attractive marketing content about the chambers. These email campaigns may be conducted at least once a quarter to stay highlighted in the industry.
6. Making advertisement and publicity of the key Networking events hosted by Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and industry on the leading social networking, online public forums and business networking sites. Also this information has to be duly updated and posted on the company website.
6. Proposed Marketing Timeline
Each of the above discussed Marketing tactics and promotional methods would essentially have to be time bound, in order to reap the benefits of its timely implementation. Moreover, comparison of marketing tactics with the proposed Marketing Timeline would enable correct measurement of the success factor for each of this marketing tactics implemented (Jocumsen, 2013). Let us discuss the specific time limitations, that would be applied to each of the above discussed Marketing tactics-
1. The Tactic/strategy of Development and periodic updating of attractive Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and industry Website would have a time frame of maximum three months. Further, this web site would also be updated in every quarter, as a part of three yearly strategic marketing plans. This initiative would speak highly of the Brand image of an organization, directly proving to be an effective marketing strategy to attract additional memberships to the organization.
2. The Tactic/strategy of Maintaining Effective Media Relations to supplements the marketing communications plan of an organization would be an ongoing action for the three yearly time frames. The Public relation employees of the Chamber are expected to be in touch with the media officials and schedule meetings with them at least once a fortnight.
3. This release of Newspaper advertisement campaigns would have a time line of second week of every month for three yearly time frames of the strategic marketing plan.
4. The marketing support required thorough an additional staff member for managing social media and online marketing activities, email marketing activities and managing discussions on online forums, would be immediately arranged by the HR representatives of the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce. The deadline for this activity would be maximum a month.
7. Marketing Contingencies and Risks
The organization Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce has been consistently working towards the highlighting the key business issues of its established members and has been ensuring a balance of economic vitality in the business environment for the member organizations of the institution.(Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce website, 2014). However, market contingencies and Business risks are part and parcel of every business. The Following are the key market contingencies and risks that Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and industry might face:
Social- Cultural Risks
1. The Social acceptance of the support services provided by the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce to its member business organizations may be termed as the social risk for the organization’s business.
2. The Cultural aspects of the target audiences, like their inclination for being associated with any of the Chamber of commerce for business development activities is a part of cultural preferences. The changes in the socio-cultural factors associated with the Target audiences, may pose a severe business threat to the organizations (Kotler, 2012).
1. The Risk of effective compliance with the regulators of the land is a part of political risk for the organization, Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce.
2. Also the changes in the rules, regulations, legal barriers to advertisements and marketing activities, etc. by the government of the region are also a considerable political risk.
1. The risk of down turns or recessions in the economic cycles is integral part of the Economic risks for the any of the business (Kotler, 2012). Such risk was observed in the recession of the year 2008 on the economic viability of several businesses, including that of Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce.
2. The proposed reduction in the membership fees of the chambers for staying competitive in the markets is also an economic risk for Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce business. These actions would negatively impact the economic condition of the Organization.
1. The sudden changes in the technological environment, forcing changes in the business operations disturbing the status quo of the operations of the business are a part of technological risks.
2. The requirement of managing social media and online marketing activities, email marketing activities and managing discussions on online forums at an additional resource cost are results of technological risks for Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce.
8. Overall Recommendations
Adherence to the strategic marketing plan discussed along with maintain the specific time based guidelines, would definitely help Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and industry in staying competitive in the market, with lot of competition expected from the chamber of commerce of other regions in the Australian province. However, the following are few of the general strategy recommendation that would benefit the organization in the longer run-
1. Reviewing and updating of the constitution and the overall business model of the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and industry
2. Taking consistent efforts with adequate technology and media support to increase the memberships of the Organization.
3. Striving consistently for offering improved networking and service experience to the existing members of the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and industry. This would result in proving better and improved value for money equation to the members, resulting in increased word of mouth publicity for the Chambers.
4. Ensure improvement of advocacy of the Organization’s service offerings by conducting regular online surveys through networking forums and improved interactions with state governments and the regional councils.
Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and industry offers unrivalled business opportunities and high quality business services to its member organizations and companies that are firmly progressing through its uninterrupted support. The Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and industry has become a recognized brand name beyond Queensland, in the entire Australian Province. The Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and industry is undoubtedly a fundamentally strong organization that continues to benefit several entrepreneurs and businessmen over the years. The Organization however, would progress immensely if it reaches out more effectively to its target Audiences by strategizing its marketing activities through a dedicated strategy marketing plan. The Marketing strategies supported with professional networking activities, through formal networking channels would benefit the Organization, to survive as the leading representative organization for the thriving business community in the Region. Further, offering of free mentoring services to the neighboring business organizations would also help Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce, to stay ahead of the competition from other commerce chambers in the Australian Province.
The Strategic Marketing plan thus discussed in the report may be immediately implemented by the Chambers to observe positive impact in terms of increase in the number of memberships attracted by the chambers annually.
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