ZZ Asian Mart Marketing Plan
The ZZ Asian Mart overall strategy is to offer Asian products to its target consumers ensuring that the demands and preferences of the consumers are satisfied. The target market is comprised of international Asian students and millennial who like enjoying Asian cuisines and culture. The store faces competition from other grocery stores that are already well established and that provide more product varieties to a wider market. The purpose of ZZ Asian store marketing plan is to increase the brand awareness and increase the store traffic, result in increased sales. Sales promotions, social media engagements, direct marketing, and newspaper adverts will help in attaining these marketing plan objectives. The addition of more product varieties will also enhance the competitive position of ZZ Asian Mart in the Asian food market.
Current Marketing Situation
ZZ Asian Mart is located in Kent, Ohio and was established in June 2015 by Xin Lin as the first Asian grocery store. The grocery specializes in providing uncooked and unprepared food products, frozen goods, condiments as well as packaged snacks and drinks. The mission of ZZ Asian Mart is to offer a distinct taste in their products that ensures the consumers enjoys a close to the home experience. Offering uncooked Asian products ensures that the targeted market of Asian students at Kent State University (KSU), who have adequate time to prepare meals and enjoy cooking have an opportunity to experience their Asian culture and cuisines away from their country of origin. ZZ Asian Mart has a Partnership with CSSA (Chinese Scholars and Students Association), which provides a good avenue for influencing the Chinese students living within Kent City to become loyal customers to the Mart. The Mart is also required to abide by the requirements of the Ohio Department of Health Food Safety Program and the Food Safety Laws & Rules under the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
In the Asian grocery stores category, the market for ZZ Asian Mart products will be influenced by the number of Asian students in KSU and who are not comfortable consuming the American foods. The numbers of consumers who are willing to try different cuisines from other cultural backgrounds will also influence the stores market. This group of consumers is likely to be the people in the age bracket of 18 to 34 years since they have higher chances of being influenced to try new things. The marketing plan will help in increasing brand awareness among the targeted consumers, thus increasing the market share of ZZ Asian Mart and its overall sales.
The demographics of Kent City are greatly affected by the development of Kent State University. In the city, Asians contributes 3.7 percent of the total population while the population of individuals between the ages of 20 to 39 is 44.1 percent and 29.4 percent for those under 19 years. The percentage of Kent City residents in the age bracket of 18-24 years is higher than the national average. The KSU is the largest employer in Kent City and the median income for households was $ 46,848 in the city in 2010. There are international students in Kent University, with some of them being of Asian descents and prefer to consume food products that reflect their Asian culture and cuisines. Technological advancements have a huge influence on the internet access and use of technological devices throughout Kent City. The city has a stable political environment that promotes the establishment and growth of businesses. Food safety regulations from the agricultural and health departments in the city license and control the establishments in the food business.
ZZ Asian mart faces competition from other Asian stores located in Cleveland that are larger and have a higher number of customers including the CAM International Market, Park, and Shop grocery store and Lego grocery store. However, ZZ Asian mart is more competitive in terms of its sales per transactions, with daily sales ranging from $ 800 to 1,000 and weekend sales being more than $ 1.000. In Kent, Lego Asian Mart is one of the close competitors, but it has fewer customers, lower average daily business and do not sell freeze products. ZZ Asian market also has a better location than its competitors making is accessible to Kent State University students and clean décor as compared to Lego and other Asian grocery stores in the nearby areas. In product variety, CAM and Park and Shop grocery stores offer more varieties as compared to ZZ Asian Mart.
The major strength for ZZ Asian Store is its specialization in Asian products that allows it to tackle its weakness of higher prices and smaller product selection since only foods focused on Asian culture that are of higher quality are offered. The partnership with CSSA is useful in increasing the store’s publicity among the students. The Mart’s opportunity as the first grocery stores with loyal customers and the presence of a few competitors will play an important role in increasing its market share and improving its brand awareness. The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of ZZ Asian Mart are summarized in the table below.
· Local specialized products
· Asian owners
· Partnership with CSSA (Chinese Scholars and Students Association)
· Price are a little high,
· Smaller selection,
· Target market is small (off-campus),
· Publicity (not well-known)
· Time (Open-Close)
· Leased location thus it cannot expand
· Location: close to Walmart and KSU (KSU grows toward Walmart)
· Restaurant and Shopping(there will be hot pot store open in next store)
· Very few competitors
· It is first Asian grocery store they have loyalty customer
· Competitions (CAM Market, LEGO ),
· In climate weather,
· Adoption (people don’t catch on)
The main target segment in the consumer market for ZZ Asian Mart is the international students of Asian descent, attending Kent State institutions and who prefer the Asian cuisines as compared to the American food. This target segment also enjoys preparing its food and has adequate time to cook. The consumers also miss to be home are wish to have a close to the home experience. This target segment lives on campus or around campus and has discretionary incomes that they can spend on grocery items that are moderately priced. The other target segment is the millennial or the individuals between the ages of 18 and 25 years. In this segment, consumers are tech savvy and have access to mobile technological devices. This group relies on the internet to make nutrition choices and identify places to buy food items. They also spend a lot of time on the internet and social media and like to discover new things and the opinion of the peers is taken into consideration in the kind of decisions that they make. Both of these target consumers are found within Kent city. ZZ Asian Mart will position its self as a store with a goal of ensuring its target consumers enjoy the Asian culture and cuisines and offer a close to home experience for those missing their home countries.
Objectives and issues
The marketing plan financial objective is to increase the sales by 35 percent in the second and third quarters of the year. The increase in sales will be achieved if the market share of ZZ Asian markets is increased. The lack of a wide variety of products offered at the store is likely to be an issue since consumers are may prefer to shop at other stores providing a wider product selection.
The marketing plan objective is to attain a brand awareness of 60% among the target segment in ZZ Asian Mart consumer market. This will be attained by using advertisements that will be aired at least three times over the next three years. It is also expected that the store traffic will be increased by 55% over the next six months. The marketing campaign will be used to establish a resonating brand identity with the community. The lack of adequate staff to take part in the marketing activities and resources to pay for adverts may affect the achievement of this objective.
The grocery store will work with the student association to identify Asian students with pressing needs and help in solving some of their issues. They will offer products at subsidized rates to these needy students. The Mart will collaborate with research groups at the University to study the ingredients for producing healthy snacks and drinks products that satisfy customer’s needs. The Mart will also conduct its operations in an environmentally friendly manner by ensuring maximum utilization of its resources, recycling of waste and adopting proper waste management practices.
The overall strategy of the marketing plan is to reach the target consumers and inform them about the benefits of the ZZ Asian Mart products. The plan will communicate to the consumers how the products will allow them to enjoy the taste of Asian cuisines without having to travel outside Kent city.
The desires of the target marker to consume Asian products have assisted in identifying other benefits that are particularly valued by the consumers that are associated with specific features of the product. Presently, ZZ Asian Mart has a few varieties of products in the market. To ensure more product varieties are offered to the local market more product varieties of uncooked and unprepared products will be introduced in each of the second and third quarters. Proper labeling of the products should be done to make sure that consumers are aware of the ingredients of the product, enabling them to make better health choices and avoid allergic reactions. In the category of snacks and drinks, the store will add other varieties of the products that meet the customer’s tastes and preferences. In this case, more healthy snacks and drinks will be provided to the consumers by ensuring that organically produced ingredients are used in preparing them. The added snacks and drinks will also cater for the needs of consumers suffering from conditions such as allergies, obesity, and diabetics. They should introduce popular ingredients like iron, calcium, fiber, vitamins and minerals to their products.
In pricing the ZZ Asian Mart products, there are significant factors that need to be considered including the cost of sourcing for sustainably produced ingredients from the domestic and foreign markets. The store concentrates on providing products that have an Asian orientation, and some of them will be sourced from foreign locations such as Asian nations that produce Asian food products. Therefore, ordering and holding costs should be considered in the pricing of the products since these costs are increased to ensure continuous and adequate supply of the products are available. The quality of the Asian food items offered will also be enhanced through proper storage and preparation, which implies that costs storing, and preparing food will increase as more varieties of the products are added and as new features are added to the products. A value pricing strategy will be used to come up with the price of the method such that consumers will pay for better value and taste of the products. International students with a preference for Asian food items are more concerned with the ability to access products that offer a close to home experience. The pricing strategy will support the ZZ Asian Mart in positioning itself as a Mart providing quality Asian food products and a close to home experience. The price will reflect the high value the consumers place on the ability to enjoy Asian culture and cuisines provided by ZZ Asian Mart.
Place /channels and distribution
The products will be made available to the consumer market through two channels of distribution. The store location will be used to offer the products to the consumers. The store is located close to the Kent State University, making it possible for the targeted market to access the store in a convenient manner and buy their desired products. The stores are clean and nicely decorated ensuring that consumers are encouraged to repeat visits to the store. The store should also introduce an online ordering and delivery system that will allow the consumers to make orders from the comfort of their homes. The store will then utilize its delivery trucks to deliver the products as per the orders.
Promotion marketing communication and influence
To promote its product, ZZ Asian Mart will employ a number of promotions and different types of promotions to influence the targeted consumers to select their products. The marketing promotions will utilize sales promotions, social media, direct marketing, and newspapers adverts. The objective of the marketing promotions will be to increase brand awareness among the international students from KSU of the Asian descent and consumers between the ages of 18-34 years. They will also increase the store’s traffic, increase the number of sales in the second and third quarter.
Sales promotions will be mainly used to target the local market. A card will be introduced in the sales promotion whereby it will be incorporated in a community program that allows local and students provided with the card to obtain special offers the first time they make a purchase at the ZZ Asian Mart and a continuing discount each time they make purchases. The community program will help in increasing brand awareness and be a form of free marketing since the people given the card will constantly see it in their wallet and show it to their friends. The program will help to increase store traffic by bringing new customers to the store and increase the overall sales, as more people will be encouraged to shop through the small discount offered in their purchase.
Social media will be used to penetrate the daily social lives of the Asian students at Kent State, who are the main target market. The millennial market will also be accessible through social media. WeChat will be the preferred social media outlet since it is one of the most popular social media forums among the Asian students just like how Twitter is popular with the students. The WeChat will be created to promote ZZ Asian Mart as the “Kent State’s favorite store”. WeChat will enable the store to maintain customer engagements by enabling communication of special products, special sales promotions, and coupons and its most essential role will be allowing ZZ Asian Mart to have a voice that individuals will easily interact and relate to.
Direct marketing for ZZ Asian Mart will be adopted it will involve sending emails sent to KSU students. This will help in making the students identify with the store and help in achieving the Mart’s first objective of reaching 60 percent of the local market by making advertisements three times over the next three months. This will also increase traffic to the store in the long run.
Newspaper advert will be utilized as another significant way to present ZZ Asian Mart as a choice of the locals and increase the brand awareness within the community. The “Kent Stater” which is the local newspaper of the University will advertise the store and capture the ideal of the literalness of “close to home.”
Financial and operating plans
The marketing plan is expected to help in increasing the sales by 35 percent in both the second and third quarter of the year. The introduction of more product varieties, 60% increased brand awareness and a rise in store traffic by 55% will help in attaining the increase in sales.
The addition of other product varieties will require additional resources. A budget will be prepared to cover costs involved in the introduction of other product varieties. These costs include research costs to find out the new products needed by the consumers, costs of ingredients, ordering and holding costs, storage costs and staffing costs to increase the number of staff needed to prepare snacks and drinks. In conducting the marketing activities that will involve the promotions, direct marketing, social media engagement and newspaper advert, a budget will be prepared to cater for all the costs involved. Sales promotions will require resources to set up the community program by designing and producing cards. Social media marketing will require additional staff to engage customers’ on social media forums, direct marketing, and newspaper adverts will require resources to pay for the adverts. The owner of ZZ Asian Store will engage a researcher to study the product varieties needed by consumers. An accountant will be needed to prepare budget forecasts and set the appropriate prices for additional product varieties. Additional resources needed for the marketing plan include additional staff that will take provide different skills to the store
Metrics and implementation control
The ordering levels and quantities will be established to ensure that enough supplies are sourced from ZZ Asian Market suppliers. Marketing activities are planned, and job tasks are divided among the new staff. WeChat will be used to announce the new product varieties introduced. Daily monitoring will be done to determine the percentage increase in sales to find out whether the marketing objectives and financial objectives are being achieved. All costs will be monitored to ensure that proper profit margins have been provided to ensure the growth of the store in revenues.