Let’s take a good look at Santa Claus. Here’s a guy who has been in business for hundreds of years but when you look at his Business Plan, it sure ain’t pretty!
- First of all is his location. There’s no way he could be a “destination based” business, who in the world is going to want to travel to the frigid North Pole.
- Next, he’s obviously not too concerned about profits, since he gives everything away! How he’s able to do this and sustain his business I’ll never know.
- He’s quite overweight, which means he’s probably paying a fortune in health insurance, especially to cover all of those workers. When you look at his rosy cheeks, you just wonder whether he’s a heart attack waiting to happen.
- I’m not sure how he’s been able to avoid the unionization of his elves.
- He has been offering the same products and services since his inception. Most business plans require some modifications and adjustments to account for changes in customer demand.
- You wonder whether he has updated anything from a technological standpoint, since he is still cruising around in a sleigh drawn by reindeer. Has he not heard of the internal combustion engine?
- He still keeps his database of “naughty” and “nice” children in a large book. Does he have something against computers?
- Talk about stress! He waits to deliver all of his products during one twenty-four hour period. Most businesses try to level out the peaks and valleys.
Since it’s obvious that his Business Plan leaves a lot to be desired, perhaps we can help him with a Strategic Marketing Plan that will take some of the pressure off and insure that his business continues to grow.
A. We have to begin with the GOALS of the plan.
- Since Santa Claus holds the market leader position, first and foremost, we want him to retain that leadership position and remain “top of mind.” This will probably entail specific tactical actions to counter any competitive threats that may come.
- Another goal would be to maintain the current level of demand as measured through the number of requests coming via email and snail mail. This should include the website where an accurate measurement of conversions and requests would be possible.
- Third, since we want to ensure long-term growth, a continued strategy of reinforcing market awareness will be necessary. This could be measured through comparison to population growth. Market image and perceptions could be evaluated based on target market survey results.
B. Next we shall examine DEMOGRAPHIC and MARKET TRENDS.
- The target market continues to be children ages 2 through about 12 and who have been good for the last twelve months. However, we cannot ignore the parents of this target market as they will be strong influencers and can help to drive demand.
- Since we have seen a decrease in the population size of the target market, it will be necessary to examine markets outside the traditional service areas.
- As we move into new market areas, we may experience a shift in the kinds of products demanded, focusing more on staples like clothing, shoes, food and basics instead of electronics and toys.
- The “viral” nature of communications by the target market through social networks can be expected to continue.
C. No Strategic Marketing Plan is complete without a S.W.O.T. ANALYSIS
- Santa Claus was first to the market
- There is a high level of market awareness
- He holds the leadership position and significant market share
- Santa has the manufacturing capacity and a strong work force
- He has a solid track record of reliability and quality
- Santa is technologically behind the times
- He probably lacks the capital for an extensive marketing push
- We cannot be sure of his succession plan should something happen to him
- New markets could open much larger demand
- His concept of giving could spread to those outside the target market
- We must assume a strong competitive threat as “copy cat” Santa Clauses attempt to steal market share
- There is the potential that the target market could stop believing
With this plan in place, we can now start to chart the Media Calendar and Marketing Spend which we believe will drive the results that will help Santa Claus achieve his short and long-term goals. It will be necessary to periodically measure results and make adjustments to ensure success……………..
I have had a lot of fun with this post and I hope you have had fun reading it.
My sincere wish during this season and year-round is that since we all live together on this tiny planet, that we find a way to “Have peace on earth and goodwill to all mankind.” Let’s all do our part to make this a reality.
All my best,