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Center Marketing Plan Outline - First Childrens Finance

By Jane Hayes,2014-05-16 23:49
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You can do a SWOT Analysis of your center to help you position yourself aheadThe SWOT analysis challenges you to see beyond the walls of your center to

    Developing a Marketing Plan

    for Your Child Care Center

Many child care directors think that marketing is just advertising. They assume that if they are

    doing advertising, they know all about marketing. Marketing, however, is much more than

    advertising. Marketing is about strategically positioning the child care center in the marketplace.

Marketing is part science and part art. Two child care centers located in the same geographic area

    may have very different marketing strategies. In fact, a center owner or director wants her

    business to be different to create a unique market niche.”

    The purpose of creating a unique market niche is to make the child care center stand apart from the competition. Customers will view the center as offering more perceived added value than

    competitors and they prefer to purchase child care where they get more value.

Often that perceived added value may only exist in the mind of the customer. It can be a real

    difference in quality child care or it can be just the feeling the customer has that the way the center

    presents itself and provides service is different and better.

A marketing plan is a written document that details the actions needed to achieve one or more

    objectives. When it is part of the overall business plan, it is one of the most important sections and

    the one in which you should spend the most time and energy. You can use this outline to start

    drafting your child care center’s marketing plan.

    MARKETING PLAN OUTLINE

1. Executive Summary

    The Executive Summary is written last and can include the following key items:

    ? Purpose of the marketing plan

    ? Brief description of the business mission statement, services offered, target market

    ? Keys to success (how you will know when/if the plan is successful)

    ? Brief summary of marketing budget

2. Program Mission and Identity

    ? What is your program’s unique market niche? What makes your services special or unique?

    There are several exercises you can do to help you determine your unique market niche. You can do a

    competitive analysis to learn all you can about your competitors and a SWOT analysis. These are

    described in more detail in section 5 below.

    You can also use our tool “Promoting the Benefits of Your Child Care Program” to help you figure out

    the true benefits of your program. Many child care providers can easily list the features of their programs

     the hours the program is open, the ages of children served, the fact that they are licensed. However,

    this does not give much information to parents trying to figure out the best program for their children.

    Parents want to know how a program will meet their needs and those of their children.

    ? What is your child care program’s vision/mission statement?

    Now that you have good information about your unique market niche, you can write your program’s

    vision/mission statement. You should keep the statement to one to three sentences.

    www.FirstChildrensFinance.org

    1-866-562-6801

     Permission is granted for duplication provided no changes are made and FCF’s logo is retained.

    3. Objectives of the Marketing Plan (Keys to Success)

    ? How will you know your plan is successful?

    Some examples of statements of objectives include:

    “We will reach and maintain enrollment at 90% of licensed capacity in six months.”

    “By the end of our fiscal year, private pay parents will represent at least 30% of our enrollment.”

    “In seven months, we will have a waiting list of at least half the size of our licensed capacity.”

    4. Market Analysis

    ? What are the demographics of families in your target area?

    Your state will probably have U.S. Census Bureau demographic information on its official website.

    Depending upon its size, your county or city may also have U.S. Census Bureau information broken out

    by neighborhood on its website. You may also check the website at the U.S. Census Bureau at

    www.census.gov or call your local library’s reference desk for help.

? What are trends in the child care industry, especially in your local region or area?

    Your local or state child care resource and referral agency will probably be the best source of this

    information. You can also check on the internet to see if your state has completed an Economic Impact

    of Child Care.

    5. Competitive Analysis

    ? Who are your main competitors?

    Why is it important to know your competitors? Seeing what others are doing (both good and bad) can

    help you really figure out your vision for your child care business. Once you know your vision, it will be

    much easier to tell parents what you have to offer that’s special, that’s unique from all other providers.

    You can use our tool “Competitive Analysis: Who Are My Toughest Competitors? to help you with this.

? What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?

    You can do a SWOT Analysis of your center to help you position yourself ahead of competitors. SWOT

    stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Strengths and weaknesses help you

    focus internally on how your center is doing. Threats and opportunities are external and focus on

    conditions in the real world. The SWOT analysis challenges you to see beyond the walls of your center

    to determine what opportunities are out there and how to capitalize on your strengths.

    6. Target Customers/Audience

    ? Who are your target customers age, income, lifestyle, education level, and so on? As you write this section, keep in mind the following questions: How many target customers are there?

    Where are they located? What are they currently using for child care? Can you offer them anything they

    are not getting now? How can you persuade them to bring their children to your center? Exactly what

    services do you offer?

    7. Marketing Strategies

    ? Is your image consistent from your business name and logo to the appearance of your center?

    ? Can you tell prospective parents the top two to three benefits of your program? ? Are your prices consistent with your benefits?

    You don’t have to be the cheapest program in your area to be competitive, but you do have to show how

    your program adds value or benefits your parents.

    ? What are your key messages?

    8. Action Plan and Budget

    www.FirstChildrensFinance.org

    1-866-562-6801

     Permission is granted for duplication provided no changes are made and FCF’s logo is retained.

    Marketing Plan of

    __________________________

    (Center Name)

1. Executive Summary

    ? Purpose of the marketing plan

    ? Brief description of the business mission statement, services offered, target market_________

    ? Keys to success (how you will know when/if the plan is successful)

    ? Brief summary of marketing budget

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

2. Program Mission and Identity

    ? What is your program’s unique market niche? What makes your services special or unique?

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ? What is your child care program’s vision/mission statement? ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

3. Objectives of the Marketing Plan (Keys to Success)

    ? How will you know your plan is successful? ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    www.FirstChildrensFinance.org

    1-866-562-6801

     Permission is granted for duplication provided no changes are made and FCF’s logo is retained.

4. Market Analysis

    ? What are the demographics of families in your target area?

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ? What are trends in the child care industry, especially in your local region or area? ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

5. Competitive Analysis

    ? Who are your main competitors?

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ? What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

6. Target Customers/Audience

    ? Who are your target customers age, income, lifestyle, education level, and so on?

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    7. Marketing Strategies

    ? Is your image consistent from your business name and logo to the appearance of your center?

    ? Can you tell prospective parents the top two to three benefits of your program?

    ? Are your prices consistent with your benefits?

    ? What are your key messages?

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    www.FirstChildrensFinance.org

    1-866-562-6801

     Permission is granted for duplication provided no changes are made and FCF’s logo is retained.

    Marketing Action Plan and

    Budget

    8. Action Plan and Budget

    The sample Action Plan and Budget may give you ideas to develop your own Marketing Action Plan.

    Remember although every action takes time, not every action costs money. Use the blank template on

    the back to start your own Action Plan.

     Person Action Step Responsible Due Date Budget Review recorded greeting to make sure that it is up-to-date and Assistant Director 1/31/08 provides the information we want to convey to parents. Update the recorded message if necessary. $0.00 Prepare a list of our top two to three benefits. Tape it up near Executive Director 1/31/08 every phone and on the staff bulletin board. $0.00 Develop parent intake forms that track parent contact information, Assistant Director 1/31/08 ages of children, and how they learned about our center. Keep a stack near every phone along with a pen or pencil. $0.00 Provide training to all new staff and regular in-service for existing Executive Director 1/31/08 and staff about our policies for telephone greetings, knowing our ongoing program benefits, and handling parent inquiries. Get feedback from staff about what’s working and what ways we can improve our interactions with perspective parents. $0.00 Hire a graphic artist to develop a new, more appropriate logo for Executive Director 3/31/08 our center and design new flyers and brochures. $750.00 Print 250 Brochures and 500 Flyers. Assistant Director & 5/31/08

    Kinko’s $550.00 Update all policy and enrollment information to include new logo. Assistance Director 5/31/08

    $100.00 Place a ? page ad in the “Shopper’s Gazette” in May, August, and Assistant Director 4/15, 7/15, September. ($248 for each ad) 8/15/08 $744.00 Distribute flyer to all parents letting them know that we will offer Head Teachers 1/31/08 them $150 off their weekly fee if they refer a child to us that stays at least two months. (5 referrals for the year) $750.00 Hold a Children’s book exchange at our center. Invite current and All staff 11/15/08 past parents and everyone from the neighborhood to participate. Print up 500 flyers ($50) and hire three teens to distribute them in the neighborhood ($100). Send press release to local newspapers, radio stations, and television stations. Have people who attend register to win a $25 gift certificate at the local book store to start a mailing list of friends and prospects. $175.00 Send a letter to past parents offering them a $50 finders fee for any Assistant Director 10/15/08 child they refer to us that stays at least two months. (3 referrals for the year) $150.00 Research cost and time involved in setting up our own website. Executive Director 12/15/08

    Total Budget $3,219.00

    www.FirstChildrensFinance.org

    1-866-562-6801

     Permission is granted for duplication provided no changes are made and FCF’s logo is retained.

    Marketing Action Plan and

    Budget

8. Action Plan and Budget

    The sample Action Plan and Budget on the other side may give you ideas to develop your own Marketing

    Action Plan. Remember although every action takes time, not every action costs money. Use this blank

    template to start your own Action Plan.

     Person Action Step Responsible Due Date Budget

     Total Budget

    www.FirstChildrensFinance.org

    1-866-562-6801

     Permission is granted for duplication provided no changes are made and FCF’s logo is retained.

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