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Develop a marketing plan (You have submitted pieces of your plan over the last few weeks of the semester (attached)) for a fictitious organization. There is not a specified length for the marketing plan; however, the marketing plan should typically range from 15–20 pages of content. In addition, the marketing plan must adhere to APA format. Formatting includes appropriate headers, footers, coversheet, page numbers, in-text citations, reference list, etc. An abstract is not required for the marketing plan. Also and executive summary needs to be added.

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I have attached environmental analysis, SWOT analysis, Marketing objectives, Marketing Strategies, Marketing Implementation and Performance evaluation use them when putting together the marketing plan according to the marketing plan example I have also attached.

Charron 1

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Samantha Charron

Principles of Marketing

Northern Vermont University

April 25,2021

Ideally, measurement of how a marketing strategy has performed is a logical extension for planning and budgeting exercise in an organization. The established goals for Value worth clothing shall be both measurable and that which can be applied to different marketing roles in Value worth clothing. Value worth clothing shall employ a number of ways to effectively measure the marketing strategy performance and thus ensure those performance goals are achieved (Manu, & Sriram, 1996). As marketers face more pressure to indicate a return on investment (ROI) from their activities, marketing performance metrics shall be handy to measure the extent to which expenditures on the marketing undertakings contribute to firm profits.

Through collection and analysis of marketing metrics, our brands shall build on our marketing performance in various ways. After Value worth clothing has set plans and the marketing plan is on course, the evaluation of the applied marketing plan and strategies shall be done in the following ways.

Return on Investment (RoI)

When companies set some funds for marketing activities, and utilize the money by putting it into action, the ultimate expectation is to see some return on the investment they made. For any amount that Value worth clothing spend, we shall expect to see some value in terms of sales that are above the spent amount as well as new customers who will pay off overtime (Pande, Sengar, & Chaudhary, 2020). Having clear goals in the mind, will help Value worth clothing determine whether what they received was an adequate return on investment.

Reviewing Sales Numbers

Evaluation of sales numbers represent a fundamental method to establish the effectiveness of a marketing strategy. This shall be done through comparison of the pre and post-marketing campaign sales cumulatives.For instance if 000shall make $59000 in cloth sales before a marketing plan campaign, and the sales rise to $78000 later on, the safe assumption shall b that the marketing strategy was effective.

Examination of the lead generation

Although the marketing strategy we shall employ may not generate direct sales, if Value worth clothing generates leads from its marketing efforts, then the marketing strategy shall be taken as successful because in most cases sales leads cause fuelling of the actual sales (Brohi, Prithiani, Abbas, Bhutto, & Chawla, 2016). The sales leads shall be in terms of increased appointments, a rise in the subscription numbers on our social media channels and clicks on our blog posts and also increased responses from potential customers in general.

Reach of Marketing Efforts

The expansion on Value worth clothing in other regions shall be considered a positive sign for growth. Recommendations from the customers as well as mouth-to-mouth reaches on our marketing campaigns shall be a positive indicators of success (Flykt,2016). More customer referrals shall as well be considered a better growth path for Value worth clothing.

Response from the competitors on our marketing strategies.

The response from our competitors as regards our marketing strategy is a major sign of effectiveness on our part. For instance, if competitors replicate the marketing strategy Value worth clothing has used, then it shall be a sign that the company has performed well and gained good traction

Also, if all the competitors moved to different paths far from Value worth clothing applied marketing strategy, then it will be a sign of inefficiencies in it and need for Value worth clothing to re-strategize.

List of references

Brohi, H., Prithiani, J., Abbas, Z., Bhutto, A., & Chawla, S. (2016). Strategic Marketing Plan of Nike.

Flykt, A. (2016). Creating an e-marketing plan for a clothing company using online and social media channels: a case study of Smokart Ltd.

Manu, F. A., & Sriram, V. (1996). Innovation, marketing strategy, environment, and performance. Journal of business Research35(1), 79-91.

Pande, S., Sengar, R., & Chaudhary, N. S. (2020). Evaluating performance of apparel retail stores using data envelopment analysis. International Journal of Business Excellence22(1), 19-32.

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Charron 3

Samantha Charron

Principles of Marketing

Northern Vermont University

March 6,2021

Marketing plan implementation

Implementing a marketing plan is a critical element of the marketing process. An effective plan of implementation shows the activities to be done and who is responsible as well as the people in the various organizational units and who will complete every particular activity (Wood,2003).

Products

The correct product mix is identified as an important key to success for Value Worth Clothing Company.  The importance to deliver products that meet the needs of customers cannot be overlooked in anyway. Part of the reason to shop at Value Worth Clothing Company is that the customers will find unique merchandise they are not likely to find anywhere within. Our customers could be aware of some of the brands they meet online and fashion magazines but not readily available in the local retail outlets (Piercy, & Morgan, 1990).

Value Worth Clothing Company’s highly knowledgeable staff shall create awareness to our customers on the brands which are unfamiliar to them and that offer design elements they have not been previously exposed to. The prices for Value Worth Clothing Company will range from moderate to upscale.  The QuickBooks inventory management software will be handy to track daily sales as well as soliciting the customer feedback and new suggestions.

Merchandise assortment

Value worth mainstay inventory will include cotton t-shirts, baseball caps, fleece jackets, sports footwear, apparel and equipment accessories. Cotton jackets have become a particularly on hot demand over past few years, with a huge consumer demand for the fashion coordinates. Value Worth Clothing Company will have unique displays to feature a complete array of sports footwear, apparel and equipment accessories. This will enable the customers to select whatever item as per their style and preferences. The appetite for comfortable, sporting footwear has constantly been increasing out of the high interest in wellness as well as exercise.

Location

Location remains one of the critical elements to our clothing business.  The right location will be essential to our success and most of the purchases will result from impulse buying and influenced by the traffic in the nearby stores (Cohen, 2005). Our store will be located in a location that has high foot traffic necessary to create high and cheap awareness and also that contribute to impulse purchases. 

Customers

Value Worth Clothing Company will aim at some specific market segments such as the women aged 21-56 years and the sportspeople. This numbers will translate to increased purchasing power of our products and therefore with presence of young population, the market for t-shirts and sportswear apparel will be high.

Features of the target customers:

Women 25-59-Females who are over 35 remain lifestyle and status conscious and prefer premium brands.

Young women 17-24 will shop more and we can target them with good customer service, and a variety of selection.

Teens (13-16) read more about fashion from the fashion magazines and therefore the purchasing patterns are influenced by the content in the publications and their peers.

In addition to employing several techniques, the channels to use to reach our customers shall remain always updated and client queries responded to in shortest time possible. Furthermore, regular trainings shall be conducted for the salespersons to ensure they are fully knowledgeable about the current fashion trends and change in customer’s tastes. The marketing manager shall be in charge of the activities of the sales and marketing activities and work closely with the IT and product development teams.

References

Cohen, W. A. (2005). The marketing plan. John Wiley & Sons.

Piercy, N., & Morgan, N. (1990). Internal marketing: making marketing happen. Marketing Intelligence & Planning.

Wood, M. B. (2003). The marketing plan handbook (p. 224). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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Charron 5

Samantha Charron

Principles of Marketing

Northern Vermont University

April 11,2021

The scope or overall strategy of the value worth clothing company should be directed towards marketing and promotion the unique, high quality sports clothing products. Value worth clothing company deals with sports clothing as well as sport shoes, accessories, apparel and equipment. There is a need to invest in strategically to introduce new products as well as finding alternative means of sustaining already existing development (Palmatier, R. W., & Crecelius, A. T. 2019). The company works toward increasing sales through digital platforms and developing the company countrywide, selling more sport cloths to other sport center outside the area. Goal or objective for creating marketing strategy is to maintain existing customers, regain lost customers and creating new customers. Value worth clothing company targets sports companies, clubs and group as well as youth who are majority sports players’ adults and the children. Market competitors are small businesses who sell cheap sport equipment and clothing.

Value worth clothing market strategy

Social media strategy

Using social media to share contents, picture and videos, which will give the company a new or additional market place. The sites to be used are YouTube, Facebook and Instagram that will help in reaching targeted audience (which are youths and social sports clubs) and perhaps boost the sales. The reason for using social media is that 80% of our targeted customers, current customers and lost customers have at least one social media profile, which provides a better opportunity to reach the customers. However, social network will also help in brand recognition and inbound traffic.

Advertising strategy

In this case, the company will pay different brand ambassadors from platforms like Instagram to advertise the products. However, launching a television advert from local television channels due to the companies budged will also help achieve company’s objective, which is to increase company profit. However, marketing agents will be used for promoting products both the old and new launched products.

Retargeting marketing strategy

This will help identify individual who visited the site and bounced before completing conversion. Retargeting will help in gaining new customers since it will get value worth clothing brand in front of the customers who are interested in the products (& Chari, S. et al, 2019). This will increase marketing sales of the company hence more sales and income.

Earned media and paid media strategy

Satisfied customers, blogs or brand fun advertisement of the brand will help attract more customers and it will cost the company nothing since it is a free advertising channel. This will create awareness to the targeted market and due to the trustworthy content; there will be an increase in sales. However, paid video ad, pop-up will also enable help reach the audiences that were unaware or never come cross to this brand and develop interest.

Conversational marketing strategy

Interactions with customers via live chats will help audience get the right information about the products since there will asking and answering the question about the brand. This also will encourage the development of clear communication between the customer and brand representative as well as understanding customers’ needs to improve on businesses. Moreover, this creates awareness to older customers who are not in social media.

Marketing strategies plan outlines the moves that will help the company achieve its marketing objective (making profits through maximizing digital platforms and increasing sales) and market target both current and future targets.

Reference

Morgan, N. A., Whitler, K. A., Feng, H., & Chari, S. (2019). Research in marketing strategy. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science47(1), 4-29.

Palmatier, R. W., & Crecelius, A. T. (2019). The “first principles” of marketing strategy. Ams Review9(1), 5-26.

1. Marketing objectives.

The foundation of marketing objectives development is the analysis of the environment where an organization intends to do its business, the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis, the organization’s resources and its overall objectives.

An organization’s objectives must be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound (SMART). They should be achieved within a specified amount of time.

2. Value Worth Clothing Company.

The company was formed following the construction of an international sports center. There was a high demand for sports clothing. Value worth is a retail company that deals in cotton t-shirts, baseball caps, fleece jackets, sports footwear, apparel and equipment accessories. The consumers of its products range from children to men and women. Youths between the age of 25-40 are also consumers (Murphy, 2019).

2.1 Environmental analysis.

This analysis may be internal or external. It consists of a number of factors that may be internally or externally impact the operations of value worth clothing. From this analysis, the owner of a business determines the business’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities and helps one to come up with a sound business strategy to achieve his objectives.

There is no other business in the area that sells sports products and value worth comes in handy to bridge the gap. Similarly, no business sells products of a better quality than those of value worth (Murphy, 2019).

There is stiff competition in the sports clothing business. This has seen many businesses produce counterfeit products which are sold at cheaper prices than the original products. There are a number of other external factors that affect a business such as political factors including political instability, corruption, technological forces, socio-cultural forces and the nature of the target audience.

2.2 SWOT Analysis.

2.2.1 Strengths.

a) Value worth company has products of higher quality than any other business and its products last longer than those of others, affording more satisfaction to consumers.

b) The company has products that are unique from those of the competitors making the company stand out.

c) The company has introduced all climate friendly clothing that is suitable for both summer and winter. They have cotton t-shirts which when worn during winter, feel like a second skin. This will increase and retain the customer baggage.

d) During off sport seasons, value worth produces casual wear for its customers. This retains the customers.

2.2.2 Weaknesses.

a) During seasons when there are no sporting activities, the company sells less or no sports clothing hence the proceeds do not fully fletch its potential.

b) Value worth sells its products at higher prices than those of its competitors. Most customers would go to purchase cheap counterfeit products to reduce spending.

2.2.3 Opportunities.

a) The involvement of marketing agents to promote and advertise the products will help increase the company’s sales.

b) The putting into use of the digital platform generally and social media and networks in particular like Facebook will help reach many potential customers hence increasing sales and profits.

c) Moving the market online means more sales and more profits. Products are also delivered online.

2.2.4 Threats.

a) Stiff competition is a threat. Counterfeit products emerge and are sold cheaply than original products. Customers flood to purchase them as there is little income circulating in the economy.

b) Corruption causes unnecessary delays in the delivery of products from suppliers to the value worth company. This results in less or no sales.

c) Government export policies and product taxes that are unfair and unfavourable political forces affect the company negatively.

d) Most organizations fear that their products might be destroyed due to political instability and that they may be injured when chaos occur. This affects particularly small retail businesses.

2.3 Overall business marketing objectives analysis.

These are actions taken by the business owners to achieve the goal of marketing (Okhuysen, 2020). The main objective of the company is to make profits through maximizing the digital platforms and offering promotions to customers.

2.4 Company resources.

During the peak seasons and when there is more disposable income, the sales are high increasing profits. When sporting activities reduce and there is less income circulating, there are less sales and the customers opt to purchase cheap counterfeit products.

REFERENCES.

1. Murphy, D. (2019). Marketing Plan- Action Steps to Achieve Your Goals. Accessed 6th March 2021 at https://masterful-marketing.com/marketing-plan/

2. Okhuysen, N. (2020). PEST Analysis| Strategic Planning & Environmental Scanning. Accessed 6th March 2021 at https://storyboardthat.com/articles/b/pest-analysis,

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SWOT analysis

Samantha Charron

March 10, 2021

The value worth clothing was established– as a retail clothing company, which has evolved into the marketer of high quality. It deals with sports clothes like vests, baseball caps, fleece jackets, cotton t-shirt. It sells sport shoes, accessories, apparel, and equipment. It sells cloths for both adults, youths, teenagers and children both sports and casual wear. The reason for establishing this clothing line is due to higher demand of sports cloths, which was due to the construction of an international sports center. In order to build on what the cloth line(Gürel, E., & Tat, M. 2017) does well SWOT analysis is needed which will also help in minimizing risks and taking any advantage of any chance for success.it can also help in business planning to achieve goal of the value worth clothing(Krasavac, B. C. at el,2018).

SWOT analysis for the value worth clothing.

Strength-Value worth clothing has ensured its products are unique from the competitors.-Their products are of high quality and serve the customer for a long period thus most customers will be satisfied with the products.- Have introduced climate control clothing such as t-shirts that feel like a second skin. This will increase the number of the buyers during different season like summer or winter.-It is the only clothing business in the area for athletes hence making the best fit. Since no competition, it will be easier for the brand to grow at a faster rate.-Value worth clothing does not major on athletic cloths only but also casual thus during off sports seasons the clothing line will still earn from the casual cloths.-Value worth clothing does not major on youths alone but both women, men and children hence they will reach a bigger percentage of people.-Have cloths for people with health issues. This will be queue thus the cloth line will earn more praises thus attracting more people.Weakness-Experience low sales on sport cloths during decline sporting activities.- Selling products at higher price because they are of higher quality. It will be hard for some customers to afford thus they will buy cheap products that emerged.
Opportunities- Use social networks and digital platform will increase companies profit since they will reach as many as they can through platforms like twitter, Facebook and Instagram.-Increasing sales by involving marketing agents who will assist in promoting and advertising the products.-Online selling which due to online marketing will increase sales and the products will be delivered to customers.Threats-Competitive force as cheap products have emerged from counterfeited attires.-Political forces that affect sporting clothing such as the export policies and commodity taxes.-Corruption that delays the sporting clothing businesses to get to their owners due to the corrupt leaders who control the entry of sporting products in the country thus leading to late delivery of the products by the supplier.-political instability is another thread facing value worth clothing line. This causes fear for products destruction or lose of products due to chaos.

Reference

Gürel, E., & Tat, M. (2017). SWOT analysis: a theoretical review. Journal of International Social Research10(51).

Krasavac, B. C., Radosavljević, K., & Bradić-Martinović, A. (2018). SWOT analysis of the rural tourism as a channel of marketing for agricultural products in Serbia. Економика пољопривреде65(4).

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Charron 7

Samantha Charron

Principles of Marketing

Northern Vermont University

March 6,2021

Marketing is the key part for the success of any business and it’s very crucial for a business owner to understand which customers to target and implement strategies that will ensure winning of new customers. Environmental analysis is a strategic analysis that assists a business owner to identify internal and external environmental factors that may impact a business’s ability to conduct its tasks properly. The environmental analysis is mandated to assess the business external environment to find out threats and opportunities of the business and after the evaluation, the business owners develop strategies that respond to the environment.

Executive summary

In my residential area, there is no clothing shop for youths, and Value worth clothing is a business that will fit the area. I have seen a similar business in our nearby city and I have thought of investing in the business in our area as it will be a great opportunity for my business as there is no other business that offers or sells products similar to a value worth clothing business.

Environmental analysis

The value worth clothing (Murphy, 2019) was established as a retail clothing company has evolved into the marketer of high-quality clothing and it deals with sports clothing such as cotton T-shirts, baseball caps, fleece jackets, and vests. It also deals with selling sports footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories. The value worth clothing sells clothes for both women and men and also clothes for young children for sporting and casual wear. I have decided to establish this type of business in my residential area due to the increase in demand for sporting clothing that has been contributed by the construction of an international sporting center that attracts many people all over the country and international wise (Murphy, 2019).

Marketing environment

i. Competitive forces: competition within the sporting clothing industry is very strong and counterfeited attires have emerged in the market offering cheap priced products that make other original products have challenges as customers go for cheap rated products. As a business owner, (Murphy, 2019) one has to come up with his/her strategies to ensure products are appealing to the customers. Value worth clothing has been using a product differentiation strategy to market its products to its customers. We have ensured that our products are unique from those of our competitors. We have introduced climate control clothing such as t-shirts that make athletes feel like a second skin. We also have breathable fabrics that are very crucial during the summer seasons (Murphy, 2019).

ii. Economic forces: Nationwide, many business owners and companies can experience both positive and negative economic factors in the sporting clothing businesses. During the peak phases of the business, many businesses experience more disposable income (Murphy, 2019). Therefore they may end up purchasing more clothing, increasing the rate of sales for clothing retailers. However during the decline in sporting activities, Value worth clothing business will experience low sales on sporting clothing. Value worth business has partnered with lower-priced clothing brand manufacturers to compete with its competitors who sell generic products. Consumers often shop for cheaper brands when they have less disposable income (Murphy, 2019).

Political forces: there are numerous political and legal factors impacting sporting clothing businesses and some of them are export policies, and commodity taxes (Murphy, 2019). Corruption in the country is another impact on the business. Many business retailers have been affected by the corruption within the country as sporting clothing have been delaying to get to the business owners not because the supplier has not been delivering items on time, but its due to corrupt leaders who are mandated to control the entry of sporting products in the country. Political instability (Murphy, 2019) is another factor that has been impacting small retail businesses in the country. This is because, with political instability, suppliers fear delivering the products, and also business owners are unable to travel and get their products as they fear their businesses might be destroyed by chaotic citizens (Stringfellow, 2017).

Technological forces: These factors (Stringfellow, 2017) are concerned with innovating technology that may impact business’s tasks and the market favorably or unfavorably. Technological factors may impact decisions (Stringfellow, 2017) to enter or not enter certain companies, to launch or not launch certain products, or to outsource production activities abroad. By understanding what is happening on technology-wise, business owners can prevent the business from over-spending money on developing a technology that would become outdated very soon due to disruptive changes in technology elsewhere. Use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, among others, a value worth clothing business products will become more accessible and the process will be more convenient. As the business owner, I will manage to reach out to many customers as they will be able to view a variety of products we have, cost, and our location. Online marketing will promote our business as customers will be purchasing our products online and delivery will be arranged between customers and our sales agents (Stringfellow, 2017).

Sociocultural forces: value worth business (Stringfellow, 2017) has a variety of designs for its products that match the interest of their customers and often available for any gender, age, or lifestyle. We have also focused on health-conscious purchasers with a love for sports through ensuring we have products that favor their health conditions. We have also established corporate volunteer programs to support the community and foster the health of people within the society (Stringfellow, 2017). We have established other programs to support Olympics within the area of operation through offering sporting clothing at reduced prices. This has allowed us to leverage marketing opportunities and attract other customers who can purchase our products.

Target market

By focusing on a commitment to service and quality, value worth business has successfully applied a niche differentiation strategy in a somewhat diverse marketplace (Stringfellow, 2017). Value worth clothing has been using a product differentiation strategy to market its products to its customers. We have ensured that our products are unique from those of our competitors. We have introduced climate control clothing such as t-shirts that make athletes feel like a second skin. We also have breathable fabrics that are very crucial during the summer seasons. Our potential customers are energetic individuals between 25 to 40 years of age who are willing to participate in sports games and athletics or are already in the industry of sports. Even though our products are a bit high in price from our competitors’ products, we ensure our products are of high quality and they serve our customers for long period, unlike our competitors’ products that are relatively cheap but last for short period forcing the consumer to spent more money on purchasing sporting attires (Stringfellow, 2017).

Current marketing objective and performance

Marketing objectives (Okhuysen, 2020) are the undertaken actions by the marketing team to achieve the marketing goal. Objectives are the key essentials in the marketing plan thus its necessary to define them first before the start of the business. The main objective of the value worth business is to increase company profit through the use of social networks and other digital media platforms that will assist in reaching more customers whom in return after purchasing the products, the business’s profit will be increased. We are aiming to increase our sales and this will be achieved by involving marketing agents who will assist in promoting and advertising our product. Offering promotions to our customers will also increase our sales (Okhuysen, 2020).

References

Marketing Environment: Macro and Micro Marketing Environment. (2018). Retrieved 6 March 2021, from https://www.iedunote.com/marketing-environment.

Murphy, D. (2019). Marketing Plan – Action Steps to Achieve Your Goals. Retrieved 6 March 2021, from https://masterful-marketing.com/marketing-plan/,

Okhuysen, N. (2020). PEST Analysis | Strategic Planning & Environmental Scanning. Retrieved 6 March 2021, from https://www.storyboardthat.com/articles/b/pest-analysis,

Stringfellow, A. (2017). How to Prepare a Marketing Environmental Analysis. Retrieved 6 March 2021, from com/how-5001707-prepare-marketing-environmental-analysis.html”>https://bizfluent.com/how-5001707-prepare-marketing-environmental-analysis.html.

B-1© 2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.

© iStockphoto.com/sorendis / © wecand/Getty Images

This sample marketing plan for a hypothetical company illustrates how the marketing plan-

ning process described in Chapter 2 might be implemented. If you are asked to create a mar-

keting plan, this model may be a helpful guide, along with the concepts in Chapter 2 .

Star Software Inc. Marketing Plan

I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Star Software Inc. is a small, family-owned corporation in the first year of a transition from

first-generation to second-generation leadership. Star Software sells custom-made calendar

programs and related items to about 400 businesses, which use the software mainly for promo-

tion. As Star’s business is highly seasonal, its 18 employees face scheduling challenges, with

greatest demand during October, November, and December. In other months, the equipment

and staff are sometimes idle. A major challenge facing Star Software is how to increase profits

and make better use of its resources during the off-season.

An evaluation of the company’s internal strengths and weaknesses and external oppor-

tunities and threats served as the foundation for this strategic analysis and marketing plan.

The plan focuses on the company’s growth strategy, suggesting ways it can build on existing

customer relationships, and on the development of new products and/or services targeted to

specific customer niches. Since Star Software markets a product used primarily as a promo-

tional tool by its clients, it is currently considered a business-to-business marketer.

II. ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS

Founded as a commercial printing company, Star Software Inc. has evolved into a marketer of

high-quality, custom-made calendar software and related business-to-business specialty items.

In the mid-1960s, Bob McLemore purchased the company and, through his full-time commit-

ment, turned it into a very successful family-run operation. In the near future, McLemore’s

37 -year-old son, Jonathan, will take over as Star Software’s president and allow the elder

McLemore to scale back his involvement.

A. The Marketing Environment 1. Competitive forces. The competition in the specialty advertising industry is very

strong on a local and regional basis but somewhat weak nationally. Sales figures for

the industry as a whole are difficult to obtain since very little business is conducted on

a national scale.

The competition within the calendar industry is strong in the paper segment and weak

in the software-based segment. Currently, paper calendars hold a dominant market share

of approximately 65 percent; however, the software-based segment is growing rapidly.

The 35 percent market share held by software-based calendars is divided among many

Sample Marketing Plan

The Executive Summary, one of the most frequently read components of a marketing plan, is a synopsis of the marketing plan. Although it does not provide detailed information, it does present an overview of the plan so readers can identify key issues pertain- ing to their roles in the planning and implementation processes. Although this is the first section in a marketing plan, it is usually written last.

11

The Environmental Analysis presents information regarding the organization’s current situation with respect to the marketing environment, the current target market(s), and the firm’s current marketing objec- tives and performance.

2

2

This section of the envi- ronmental analysis considers relevant external environmental forces, such as competitive, economic, political, legal and regulatory, technological, and sociocultural forces.

3

3

© 2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.

different firms. Star Software, which holds 30 percent of the software-based calendar

market, is the only company that markets a software-based calendar on a national basis.

As software-based calendars become more popular, additional competition is expected to

enter the market.

2. Economic forces. Nationwide, many companies have reduced their overall promotion budgets as they face the need to cut expenses. However, most of these reductions have

occurred in the budgets for mass-media advertising (television, magazines, and newspa-

pers). While overall promotion budgets are shrinking, many companies are diverting a

larger percentage of their budgets to sales promotion and specialty advertising. This trend

is expected to continue as a weak, slow-growth economy forces most companies to focus

more on the “value” they receive from their promotion dollars. Specialty advertising, such

as can be done with a software-based calendar, provides this value.

3. Political forces. There are no expected political influences or events that could affect the operations of Star Software.

4. Legal and regulatory forces. In recent years, more attention has been paid to “junk mail.” A large percentage of specialty advertising products are distributed by mail, and some

of these products are considered “junk.” Although this label is attached to the type of

products Star Software makes, the problem of junk mail falls on Star’s clients and not

on the company itself. While legislation may be introduced to curb the tide of adver-

tising delivered through the mail, the fact that more companies are diverting their pro-

motion dollars to specialty advertising indicates that most do not fear the potential for

increased legislation.

5. Technological forces. A major technological trend involves the growing popularity of tab- let computers. Tablet computers, such as the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab, provide

consumers with increased mobility and application services. Tablet computers have begun

taking market share away from desktop, laptop, and netbook computers. As this trend

continues, current software-based calendar products will have to be adapted to match the

new technology.

6. Sociocultural forces. In today’s society, consumers have less time for work or leisure. The hallmarks of today’s successful products are convenience and ease of use. In short,

if the product does not save time and is not easy to use, consumers will simply ignore

it. Software-based calendars fit this consumer need quite well. A software-based calen-

dar also fits in with other societal trends: a move away from paper and hard copies, the

need to automate repetitive tasks, and the growing dependence on information technology,

for example.

B. Target Market(s) By focusing on a commitment to service and quality, Star Software has effectively imple-

mented a niche differentiation strategy in a somewhat diverse marketplace. Its ability to dif-

ferentiate its product has contributed to superior annual returns. Its target market consists

of manufacturers or manufacturing divisions of large corporations that move their products

through dealers, distributors, or brokers. Its most profitable product is a software program for

a PC-based calendar, which can be tailored to meet client needs by means of artwork, logos,

and text. Clients use this calendar software as a promotional tool, providing a disk to their

customers as an advertising premium. The calendar software is not produced for resale.

The calendar software began as an ancillary product to Star’s commercial printing

business. However, due to the proliferation of new computer technology, the computer

calendar soon became more profitable for Star than its wall and desktop paper calendars.

This led to the sale of the commercial printing plant and equipment to employees. Star

Software has maintained a long-term relationship with these former employees, who have

added capabilities to reproduce computer disks and whose company serves as Star’s pri-

mary supplier of finished goods. Star’s staff focuses on further development and marketing

of the software.

B-2 Online Appendix B | Sample Marketing Plan

The analysis of cur- rent target markets assesses demographic, geographic, psychographic, and product usage characteristics of the target markets. It also assesses the current needs of each of the firm’s target markets and antici- pated changes in those needs, and determines how well the organization’s current products are meeting those needs.

4 4

© 2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.

C. Current Marketing Objectives and Performance

Star Software’s sales representatives call on potential clients and, using a template demon-

stration disk, help them create a calendar concept. Once the sale has been finalized, Star

completes the concept, including design, copywriting, and customization of the demon-

stration disk. Specifications are then sent to the supplier, located about 1 , 000 miles away,

where the disks are produced. Perhaps what most differentiates Star from its competitors

is its high level of service. Disks can be shipped to any location the buyer specifies. Since

product development and customization of this type can require significant amounts of

time and effort, particularly during the product’s first year, Star deliberately pursues a strat-

egy of steady, managed growth. Star Software markets its products on a company-specific

basis. It has an annual reorder rate of approximately 90 percent and an average customer-

reorder relationship of about eight years. The first year in dealing with a new customer

is the most stressful and time-consuming for Star’s salespeople and product developers.

Subsequent years are faster and significantly more profitable. A company must set mar-

keting objectives, measure performance against those objectives, and then take corrective

action if needed.

The company is currently debt free except for the mortgage on its facility. However, about

80 percent of its accounts receivable are billed during the last three months of the calendar

year. Seasonal account billings, along with the added travel of Star’s sales staff during the

peak season, pose a special challenge to the company. The need for cash to fund operations

in the meantime requires the company to borrow significant amounts of money to cover the

period until customer billing occurs. Star Software’s marketing objectives include increases

in both revenues and profits of approximately 10 percent over the previous year. Revenues

should exceed $ 4 million, and profits are expected to reach $ 1.3 million.

III. SWOT ANALYSIS

A. Strengths 1. Star Software’s product differentiation strategy is the result of a strong market orientation,

commitment to high quality, and customization of products and support services.

2. There is little turnover among employees, who are well compensated and liked by custom-

ers. The relatively small staff size promotes camaraderie with coworkers and clients, and

fosters communication and quick response to clients’ needs.

3. A long-term relationship with the primary supplier has resulted in shared knowledge of the

product’s requirements, adherence to quality standards, and a common vision throughout

the development and production process.

4. The high percentage of reorder business suggests a satisfied customer base, as well as

positive word-of-mouth communication, which generates some 30 percent of new busi-

ness each year.

B. Weaknesses 1. The highly centralized management hierarchy (the McLemores) and the lack of manage-

rial backup may impede creativity and growth. Too few people hold too much knowledge.

2. Despite the successful long-term relationship with the supplier, single sourcing could

make Star Software vulnerable in the event of a natural disaster, strike, or dissolution of

the current supplier. Contingency plans for suppliers should be considered.

3. The seasonal nature of the product line creates bottlenecks in productivity and cash flow,

places excessive stress on personnel, and strains the facilities.

B-3Sample Marketing Plan | Online Appendix B

Weaknesses are limita- tions a firm has in developing or implementing a marketing strategy.

6 6

Strengths are competi- tive advantages or core compe- tencies that give the organization an advantage in meeting the needs of its customers.

5 5

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4. Both the product line and the client base lack diversification. Dependence on current reor-

der rates could breed complacency, invite competition, or create a false sense of customer

satisfaction. The development of a product that would make the software calendar obso-

lete would probably put Star out of business.

5. While the small size of the staff fosters camaraderie, it also impedes growth and new-

business development.

6. Star Software is reactive rather than assertive in its marketing efforts because of its heavy

reliance on positive word-of-mouth communication for obtaining new business.

7. Star’s current facilities are crowded. There is little room for additional employees or new

equipment.

C. Opportunities 1. Advertising expenditures in the United States exceed $ 132 billion annually. More than

$ 25 billion of this is spent on direct-mail advertising and another $ 20 billion on specialty

advertising. Star Software’s potential for growth is significant in this market.

2. Technological advances have not only freed up time for Americans and brought greater

efficiency but have also increased the amount of stress in their fast-paced lives. Laptops,

tablet computers, and mobile technology have become commonplace, and personal infor-

mation managers have gained popularity.

3. As U.S. companies look for ways to develop customer relationships rather than just close

sales, reminders of this relationship could come in the form of acceptable premiums or

gifts that are useful to the customer.

4. Computer-based calendars are easily distributed nationally and globally. The globalization

of business creates an opportunity to establish new client relationships in foreign markets.

D. Threats 1. Reengineering, right-sizing, and outsourcing trends in management may alter tradi-

tional channel relationships with brokers, dealers, and distributors, or eliminate them

altogether.

2. Calendars are basically a generic product. The technology, knowledge, and equipment

required to produce such an item, even a computer-based one, are minimal. The possible

entry of new competitors is a significant threat.

3. Theft of trade secrets and software piracy through unauthorized copying are difficult to

control.

4. Specialty advertising through promotional items relies on gadgetry and ideas that are new

and different. As a result, product life cycles may be quite short.

5. Single-sourcing can be detrimental or even fatal to a company if the buyer–supplier rela-

tionship is damaged or if the supplying company has financial difficulty.

6. Competition from traditional paper calendars and other promotional items is strong.

E. Matching Strengths to Opportunities/ Converting Weaknesses and Threats

1. The acceptance of technological advances and the desire to control time create a potential

need for a computer-based calendar.

2. Star Software has more opportunity for business growth during its peak season than it can

presently handle because of resource (human and capital) constraints.

3. Star Software must modify its management hierarchy, empowering its employees through

a more decentralized marketing organization.

4. Star Software should discuss future growth strategies with its supplier and develop contin-

gency plans to deal with unforeseen events. Possible satellite facilities in other geographic

locations should be explored.

B-4 Online Appendix B | Sample Marketing Plan

Opportunities are favor- able conditions in the environ- ment that could yield rewards for an organization if acted on properly.

7 7

Threats are conditions or barriers that may prevent the organization from reaching its objectives.

8 8

During the development of a marketing plan, market- ers attempt to match internal strengths to external opportuni- ties. In addition, they try to convert internal weaknesses into strengths and external threats into opportunities.

9 9

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5. Star Software should consider diversifying its product line to satisfy new market niches

and develop nonseasonal products.

6. Star Software should consider surveying its current customers and its customers’ clients to

gain a better understanding of their changing needs and desires.

IV. MARKETING OBJECTIVES

Star Software Inc. is in the business of helping other companies market their products and/

or services. Besides formulating a market-oriented and customer-focused mission statement,

Star Software should establish an objective to achieve cumulative growth in net profit of at

least 50 percent over the next five years. At least half of this 50 percent growth should come

from new, nonmanufacturing customers and from products that are nonseasonal or that are

generally delivered in the off-peak period of the calendar cycle.

To accomplish its marketing objectives, Star Software should develop benchmarks to mea-

sure progress. Regular reviews of these objectives will provide feedback and possible correc-

tive actions on a timely basis. The major marketing objective is to gain a better understanding

of the needs and satisfaction of current customers. Because Star Software is benefiting from a

90 percent reorder rate, it must be satisfying its current customers. Star could use the knowl-

edge of its successes with current clients to market to new customers. To capitalize on its

success with current clients, the company should establish benchmarks to learn how it can

improve the products it now offers through knowledge of clients’ needs and specific opportu-

nities for new-product offerings. These benchmarks should be determined through marketing

research and Star’s marketing information system.

Another objective should be to analyze the billing cycle Star now uses to determine if there

are ways to bill accounts receivable in a more evenly distributed manner throughout the year.

Alternatively, repeat customers might be willing to place orders at off-peak cycles in return for

discounts or added customer services.

Star Software should also create new products that can use its current equipment, technol-

ogy, and knowledge base. It should conduct simple research and analyses of similar products

or product lines with an eye toward developing specialty advertising products that are software

based but not necessarily calendar related.

V. MARKETING STRATEGIES

A. Target Market(s) Target Market 1: Large manufacturers or stand-alone manufacturing divisions of large cor- porations with extensive broker, dealer, or distributor networks

Example: An agricultural chemical producer, like Dow Chemical, distributes its products to numerous rural “feed and seed” dealers. Customizing calendars with Chicago Board of Trade futures or USDA agricultural report dates would be beneficial to these potential clients.

Target Market 2: Nonmanufacturing, nonindustrial segments of the business-to-business market with extensive customer networks, such as banks, medical services, or financial

planners

Example: Various sporting goods manufacturers distribute to specialty shop dealers. Calendars could be customized to the particular sport, such as golf (with PGA, Virginia Slims, or other tour dates), running (with various national marathon dates), or bowling (with national tour dates).

B-5Sample Marketing Plan | Online Appendix B

The development of marketing objectives is based on environmental analysis, SWOT analysis, the firm’s overall corporate objectives, and the organization’s resources. For each objective, this section should answer the question, “What is the specific and mea- surable outcome and time frame for completing this objective?”

10 10

The marketing plan clearly specifies and describes the target market(s) toward which the organization will aim its marketing efforts. The difference between this section and the earlier section covering target markets is that the earlier sec- tion deals with present target markets, whereas this section looks at future target markets.

11 11

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Target Market 3: Direct consumer markets for brands with successful licensing arrange- ments for consumer products, like Coca-Cola

Example: Products with major brand recognition and fan club membership, such as Harley-Davidson motorcycles or the Bloomington Gold Corvette Association, could pro- vide additional markets for customized computer calendars. Environmental or political groups represent a nonprofit market. Brands with licensing agreements for consumer products could provide a market for consumer computer calendars in addition to the spe- cialty advertising product, which would be marketed to manufacturers/dealers.

Target Market 4: Industry associations that regularly hold or sponsor trade shows, meetings, conferences, or conventions

Example: National associations, such as the National Dairy Association or the American Marketing Association, frequently host meetings or annual conventions. Customized cal- endars could be developed for any of these groups.

B. Marketing Mix 1. Products. Star Software markets not only calendar software but also the service of spe-

cialty advertising to its clients. Star’s intangible attributes are its ability to meet or exceed

customer expectations consistently, its speed in responding to customers’ demands, and

its anticipation of new-customer needs. Intangible attributes are difficult for competitors

to copy, thereby giving Star Software a competitive advantage.

2. Price. Star Software provides a high-quality specialty advertising product customized to its clients’ needs. The value of this product and service is reflected in its premium price.

Star should be sensitive to the price elasticity of its product and overall consumer demand.

3. Distribution. Star Software uses direct marketing. Since its product is compact, light- weight, and nonperishable, it can be shipped from a central location direct to the client via

UPS, FedEx, or the U.S. Postal Service. The fact that Star can ship to multiple locations

for each customer is an asset in selling its products.

4. Promotion. Because 90 percent of Star’s customers reorder each year, the bulk of promo- tional expenditures should focus on new-product offerings through direct-mail advertising

and trade journals or specialty publications. Any remaining promotional dollars could be

directed to personal selling (in the form of sales performance bonuses) of current and new

products.

VI. MARKETING IMPLEMENTATION

A. Marketing Organization Because Star’s current and future products require extensive customization to match clients’

needs, it is necessary to organize the marketing function by customer groups. This will allow

Star to focus its marketing efforts exclusively on the needs and specifications of each tar-

get customer segment. Star’s marketing efforts will be organized around the following cus-

tomer groups: (1) manufacturing group; (2) nonmanufacturing, business-to-business group;

(3)  consumer product licensing group; and (4) industry associations group. Each group will

be headed by a sales manager who will report to the marketing director (these positions must

be created). Each group will be responsible for marketing Star’s products within that customer

segment. In addition, each group will have full decision-making authority. This represents a

shift from the current, highly centralized management hierarchy. Frontline salespeople will be

empowered to make decisions that will better satisfy Star’s clients.

These changes in marketing organization will enable Star Software to be more creative

and flexible in meeting customers’ needs. Likewise, these changes will overcome the current

B-6 Online Appendix B | Sample Marketing Plan

Though the marketing mix section in this plan is abbrevi- ated, this component should provide considerable details regarding each element of the marketing mix: product, price, distribution, and promotion.

12 12

This section of the market- ing plan details how the firm will be organized—by functions, products, regions, or types of customers—to implement its marketing strategies. It also indicates where decision-making authority will rest within the marketing unit.

13 13

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lack of diversification in Star’s product lines and client base. Finally, this new marketing orga-

nization will give Star a better opportunity to monitor the activities of competitors.

B. Activities, Responsibilities, and Timetables for Completion

All implementation activities are to begin at the start of the next fiscal year on April 1. Unless

specified, all activities are the responsibility of Star Software’s next president, Jonathan

McLemore.

• On April 1, create four sales manager positions and the position of marketing director.

The marketing director will serve as project leader of a new business analysis team, to be

composed of nine employees from a variety of positions within the company.

• By April 15, assign three members of the analysis team to each of the following projects:

(1) research potential new-product offerings and clients, (2) analyze the current billing

cycle and billing practices, and (3) design a customer survey project. The marketing direc-

tor is responsible.

• By June 30, the three project groups will report the results of their analyses. The full busi-

ness analysis team will review all recommendations.

• By July 31, develop a marketing information system to monitor client reorder patterns and

customer satisfaction.

• By July 31, implement any changes in billing practices as recommended by the business

analysis team.

• By July 31, make initial contact with new potential clients for the current product line.

Each sales manager is responsible.

• By August 31, develop a plan for one new-product offering, along with an analysis of its

potential customers. The business analysis team is responsible.

• By August 31, finalize a customer satisfaction survey for current clients. In addition, the

company will contact those customers who did not reorder this year’s product line to dis-

cuss their concerns. The marketing director is responsible.

• By December, implement the customer satisfaction survey with a random sample of 20 percent

of current clients who reordered this year’s product line. The marketing director is responsible.

• By February, implement a new-product offering, advertising to current customers and to a

sample of potential clients. The business analysis team is responsible.

• By March, analyze and report the results of all customer satisfaction surveys and evaluate

the new-product offering. The marketing director is responsible.

• Reestablish the objectives of the business analysis team for the next fiscal year. The mar-

keting director is responsible.

VII. PERFORMANCE EVALUATION

A. Performance Standards and Financial Controls

A comparison of the financial expenditures with the plan goals will be included in the project

report. The following performance standards and financial controls are suggested:

• The total budget for the billing analysis, new-product research, and the customer survey

will be equal to 60 percent of the annual promotional budget for the coming year.

• The breakdown of the budget within the project will be a 20 percent allocation to the bill-

ing cycle study, a 30 percent allocation to the customer survey and marketing information

system development, and a 50 percent allocation to new-business development and new-

product implementation.

B-7Sample Marketing Plan | Online Appendix B

This component of the marketing plan outlines the specific activities required to implement a marketing strategy, determines who is responsible for performing these activities, and outlines when these activi- ties should be accomplished, based on a specified schedule.

14 14

This section details how the performance of the market- ing strategy will be evaluated. Performance standards will be established against which to compare actual performance.

15 15

© 2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.

• Each project team is responsible for reporting all financial expenditures, including person-

nel salaries and direct expenses, for its segment of the project. A standardized reporting

form will be developed and provided by the marketing director.

• The marketing director is responsible for adherence to the project budget and will report

overages to the company president on a weekly basis. The marketing director is also

responsible for any redirection of budget dollars as required for each project of the busi-

ness analysis team.

• Any new-product offering will be evaluated on a quarterly basis to determine its profitabil-

ity. Product development expenses will be distributed over a two-year period, by calendar

quarters, and will be compared with gross income generated during the same period.

B. Measuring Actual Performance To analyze the effectiveness of Star Software’s marketing strategy, it is necessary to compare

its actual performance with plan objectives. To facilitate this analysis, monitoring procedures

should be developed for the various activities required to bring the marketing strategy to frui-

tion. These procedures include, but are not limited to, the following:

• A project management concept will be used to evaluate the implementation of the market-

ing strategy by establishing time requirements, human resource needs, and financial or

budgetary expenditures.

• A perpetual comparison of actual and planned activities will be conducted on a monthly

basis for the first year and on a quarterly basis after the initial implementation phase. The

business analysis team, including the marketing director, will report its comparison of

actual and planned outcomes directly to the company president.

• Each project team is responsible for determining what changes must be made in proce-

dures, product focus, or operations as a result of the studies conducted in its area.

B-8 Online Appendix B | Sample Marketing Plan

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