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West Virginia University

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West Virginia University ...

    West Virginia University

    Challenge X

Marketing Plan

    Prepared for:

    Challenge X

    Prepared by:

    Emily King

    Outreach Coordinator

    November 13, 2007

     West Virginia University Marketing Plan 1

    Table of Contents

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY……………………………………………………………….2 1. SITUATION ANALYSIS………………………………………………………3

    1.1 Sociological Factors……………………………………………………3

    1.2 Trends and Drivers……………………………………………………..3

    1.3 Customer Analysis……………………………………………………...3 2. OBJECTIVES…………………………………………………………………..4

    2.1 Team Objectives………………………………………………………..4

    2.2 Marketing Objectives…………………………………………………...5 3. MARKETING STRATEGY…………………………………………………….5

    3.1 Market Segmentation Strategy………………………………………...5

    3.2 Targeting Strategy……………………………………………………….6

    3.3 Core Strategy…………………………………………………………….6 4. MARKETING PROGRAMS…………………………………………………….7

    4.1 Advertising………………………………………………………………..7

    4.2 Media……………………………………………………………………...7 5. IMPLEMENTATION PLAN…………………………………………………….8

    5.1 Marketing Requirements………………………………………………..8

    5.2 Scheduling for Year Three.……………………………………………..9

    5.3 Year Four Outreach and Marketing…………………………………..10 6. FINANCIAL INFORMATION………………………………………………….12

    6.1 Financial Capsule……………………………………………………….12

    6.2 Financial Assumptions………………………………………………….12

    6.3 Budget……………………………………………………………………13

    West Virginia University Marketing Plan

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

As a part of the Challenge X Competition, each team is required to form an Outreach Program.

    West Virginia University has identified its Outreach Coordinator as Emily King, and a Team Radar

    as Brian Hannan. The goal of the Outreach Program is to market West Virginia University’s hybrid

    Equinox while increasing awareness of the Challenge X Competition, as well as to shift the

    public’s perception about advanced vehicle technology, alternative fuels, emissions, and fuel

    economy. West Virginia University has identified and divided their target market into three

    distinct groups. The first target audience is that of public leaders and decision makers. These

    are the people who have influence over the rest of the public. The second target market is the

    current decision makers. This group would include anyone who currently owns a vehicle,

    especially those currently in the market to purchase a new vehicle. The third and final group

    would consist of the country’s future decision makers. The team will advertise and market their

    vehicle to these groups through many forms of public events, media relations, and entertainment.

    In conjunction with marketing, West Virginia University will focus on educating students K-12 as

    well as increasing community awareness about going green.

    WVU has many events planned for the 2007-2008 competition year. The team has a rare and

    special opportunity for international outreach. The Team Captain, Jeff Kubichan, as well as a

    school faculty advisor will travel to South Korea for an International Undergraduate Research

    Competition at the end of November 2007.

    The team’s main focus for its marketing will be the city of Morgantown West Virginia, while also reaching out to surrounding cities in the state of West Virginia. The team will visit neighboring

    states during car shows and other events and has plans of planning some events with

    neighboring schools.

West Virginia University Marketing Plan 2

    1. SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS

1.1 Sociocultural Factors

Over the last 20 years, our nation has gone from one that cares little for the environment

    to one that has started to realize the effects that we are having on our planet due to our

    lifestyle choices. This can be seen very clearly in the automotive industry.

    Fuel economy has increased over the past 50 years as technologies have improved.

    There has been more focus on the environment and the effects of burning fossil fuels.

    Government officials and many automotive companies are jumping on board for support

    of going green. Emission regulations are changing and becoming a major driving factor

    for new vehicle development. Companies are focusing on designing cars which can be

    more environmentally friendly while staying cost efficient for the customer.

1.2 Trends and Drivers

Vehicles have come a long way in the past twenty years. Recently there has been a

    movement throughout the world to “go green”. With this movement, automotive

    companies have been investing in research to improve emissions from their vehicles

    while still providing the luxuries and performance that the customer expects.

    Currently, Hybrid technologies are a competitive market. All the larger companies are

    competing to come out with the most efficient hybrid with the highest customer approval

    ratings.

    West Virginia University has successfully altered the factory based Equinox into a

    working Hybrid Vehicle. The team will be marketing their vehicle along side of other GM

    hybrids as well as Ford and other companies.

1.3 Customer Analysis

    1.3.1 Segmentation Dimensions

    The Focus of the WVU Challenge X outreach team will be Morgantown West

    Virginia. Morgantown is located along the Pennsylvania border in north

    central West Virginia. The city of Morgantown has a population of 28,292

    people and is the home of West Virginia University. Morgantown is part of

    Monongalia County which has a population of 83, 918. West Virginia

    University has an annual enrollment of 26,051 students. The daytime

    population of Morgantown West Virginia is approximately 50,000 people.

    Because Morgantown is so close to many metropolitan areas, it is important

    to introduce the community to hybrid vehicles. In educating the people of

     West Virginia University Marketing Plan 3

    Morgantown the West Virginia University Challenge X team will in fact be

    reaching out to a much larger demographic area. Morgantown is largely a

    college town, and therefore is full of current and future consumers. This is

    the perfect age group to educate about the use of alternative fuels and hybrid

    systems. The hybrid technologies that the West Virginia University Team

    used will be particularly appealing to students at WVU as well as many other

    West Virginia residents. Among the university students, many will be

    graduating soon and purchasing their first vehicle. WVU Challenge X will

    target this population and advertise the hybrid Equinox in ways that will

    interest the young people and encourage them to purchase the vehicle as if it

    were being produced.

    1.3.2 Target Market

    Besides the WVU graduating students, the main target market for WVU is the

    general Morgantown community especially consumers looking to buy a new

    vehicle. The secondary focus group includes community and state leaders.

    However, as an extension of these groups, WVU will also focus on educating

    school aged children about hybrid vehicles, and the environmental, energy

    security, and public health benefits they can provide.

    1.3.3 Forecasted Changes

    Customers are continuously expecting more from their vehicles. The WVU

    Team Equinox has a lot to offer to the consumer from improved fuel

    economy, to user displays. The WVU Team’s vehicle is ahead of it’s time

    which is a benefit for marketing.

    2. OBJECTIVES

     2.1 Team Objectives

The primary purpose for West Virginia University’s Challenge X Outreach in year four is

    to encourage citizens to purchase the new hybrid equinox designed and built at West

    Virginia University. The secondary purpose is to educate the Morgantown community

    members of all ages as well as West Virginia Officials, about the advantages of driving a

    hybrid vehicle for both the environment and the consumer. The overall goal ideally is to

    encourage the community to purchase the West Virginia University Challenge X Equinox.

    The team has the opportunity to participate in an international undergraduate research

     West Virginia University Marketing Plan 4

fair. This is a special opportunity for West Virginia University to incorporate international

    outreach into the marketing strategy.

     2.2 Marketing Objectives

The main objective for the WVU Challenge X Outreach Team is to encourage consumers

    to purchase the WVU hybrid by showing them that they can be environmentally friendly

    without sacrificing their needs for performance and luxury. Many consumers have the

    impression that hybrid vehicles sacrifice performance convenience and utility in the

    pursuit of fuel efficiency. The WVU Challenge X vehicle has improved fuel economy and

    will not only save the consumer money, but still maintains all of the luxuries of a factory

    stock equinox. The WVU Equinox has all of the perks of the stock equinox plus many

    more including a user touch display.

    Ultimately the team would like to change peoples attitudes and opinions about hybrid vehicles all together. The team will convince their audiences by presenting the vehicle at

    different events throughout the 2007-2008 school year along with data for comparison

    and support.

    3. MARKETING STRATEGY

     3.1 Market Segmentation Strategy

    ? Geographic Segmentation- WVU will focus mainly on the Morgantown

    Community and extend that into the West Virginia Area. However, WVU does

    plan to extend their outreach program to neighboring states such as

    Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia, as well as International Outreach.

    ? Product-User Segmentation- The primary focus audience will be current

    consumers and decision makers. This would include the older audiences as they

    are the people who currently have the opportunity to purchase and drive a

    vehicle. The secondary focus will be on future consumers which would include

    high school students as well as college students.

    ? Lifestyle Segmentation- there will be a large focus on lifestyles of consumers

    with this marketing. A big part of the WVU marketing strategy is to change the

    ideas and habits of consumers. Many people drive large vehicles and “gas

    guzzlers” therefore; this would be the main target audience for outreach.

     West Virginia University Marketing Plan 5

    3.2 Targeting Strategy

    The target audience for this marketing plan includes many different groups. School age children, the general community, and local decision makers all require different marketing strategies.

3.2.1 Target Market

    The main target market for WVU is the general Morgantown community especially consumers looking to buy a new vehicle. The secondary focus group includes community and state leaders. However, as an extension of these groups, WVU will also focus on educating school aged children about hybrid vehicles.

    3.3 Core Strategy

     3.3.1 Positioning Strategy

    WVU will focus on marketing the physical vehicle to those consumers who are in the market to purchase a vehicle. The team will do this through many local events paired with businesses, car dealerships, and school events. The marketing strategy will include advertisement by media as well as commercials, and promotions for the vehicle during state-wide ride and drives. WVU also plans to market a second product which is actually an idea and education. The team desires to market to the younger community seeing as they are the future consumers. These community members may not be able to purchase the current WVU Equinox but it is important that they be educated on the advances in vehicle technologies. Through different events and school visitations, the team will show the vehicle with an informative display for hybrid vehicles. The use of displaying the vehicle will demonstrate and promote the Ideas and focal points of the WVU team.

3.3.2 Branding

    The main focus of the WVU Challenge X team is to sell the idea of purchasing the team’s hybrid vehicle design, but also to sell the idea of driving hybrids in

    general. The WVU Equinox is not solely a WVU design since the hybrid started with the General Motors Equinox. Because of the partnership with General Motors, during the marketing and outreach, WVU will incorporate the General Motors brand name. The other sponsors of Challenge X will also be included into the marketing.

     West Virginia University Marketing Plan 6

    4. MARKETING PROGRAMS

    4.1 Advertising

    The specific goal of advertising other than reaching out to the community and change people’s attitudes and habits is to convince the consumers to purchase

    the WVU Equinox. In advertising to the general community, the team will focus on preserving the earth and environment for the future of America including children, grandchildren etc. This will be done through emotional appeal. This emotional appeal will be backed up with factual advertising. WVU will present data to support the beliefs that hybrid vehicles are better for the environment. This is where comparative marketing will come in. WVU can compare directly the original equinox with the new hybrid design for emissions, fuel economy and so forth. Not only will WVU compare the new equinox to the original but also compare the GM hybrid to other brands.

    4.2 Media

    With so many different audiences to reach, all types of media usage is necessary. There are different forms of media. When reaching out to the older members of society, West Virginia University will have events covered by newspaper, radio, and television. As for youth outreach through media, WVU will work mostly through the internet. Both A facebook group with discussion forum, as well as a myspace page, will be posted. Students will be able to view these pages for information about the WVU hybrid Equinox as well as receive information about the Challenge X program and the college of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University.

    One means of outreach through the internet that will apply to a wider audience is You-Tube. WVU will create a commercial featuring the school’s equinox. The

    team plans to have a comical commercial which would be more appealing to watch. The team plans to have this commercial also posted on local television and the jumbo-tron at a basketball or football game.

    A WVU Challenge X website has been maintained and improved over the duration of the competition. The website this year will be maintained by Paul Roccini. All outreach events and press releases will be posted on the website. There is also information about Hybrid vehicles in general including links for General Motors, and other sponsors of the Challenge X competition.

     West Virginia University Marketing Plan 7

    5. IMPLEMENTATION PLAN

    5.1 Marketing Requirements

    Although WVU Challenge X has a designated Outreach team, the main duties of implementation for the marketing plan will be followed through by the outreach coordinator as well as the team radar. The team radar will assist the outreach coordinator in writing all proposals and assist in writing press releases. In the past three years, WVU has concentrated on involving outreach into their Challenge X program.

    During year three of Challenge X, Lindsay Boyd was the outreach coordinator. The events for year four are similar but different from the past Outreach events at West Virginia University. The requirements of year four are not only to educate the community but to actually market the individual school’s Hybrid Equinox. The

    team is expected to market and promote the vehicle through creative and innovative strategies. The WVU team has planned some events and is continuing to come up with more innovative ideas as funding becomes available. On the following page, the year three events are listed in a chart. Many of these events have become annual events and have been or will be completed by WVU during year four of the Challenge X competition.

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5.2 Year 3 Scheduling

    Youth Events

    Activity Date Location Audience Participants

    Elementary/

    Student Middle 1 10/17/2006 Ottawa, Canada Radar-Dan Adamson Outreach school,

    Grade 4-8,

    Outreach Coordinator-High School Lindsay Boyd, Radar-Science Career Day, Dan Adamson, Hybrid classes, 2 Liberty High 10/26/2006 Clarksburg, WV Leader-Josh Lantz, grades 9-12, School Team Members-approx. 80 Howard Mearns, Mark children Shroyer

    Outreach Coordinator-

    Lindsay Boyd, Derek Students and High School West Virginia Johnson, Team parents, 3 Visitation 11/4/2006 University, Members-Dan Cook, Grade 12 Day Morgantown, WV Mark Shroyer, Jeremy (approx. 150) Sigley, Colin

    Hultengren MTECH Outreach Coordinator-grade 8 Eighth Grade MTECH, Lindsay Boyd, Radar-4 11/15/2006 approx. 350 Visitation Morgantown, WV Dan Adamson, Hybrid children Day Leader-Josh Lantz

    Team Captain-

    Visiting Christopher Gee,

    2/21, 4/3, students, Outreach Coordinator-West Virginia Many WVU 4/19, 4/23, grades 5-12, Lindsay Boyd, Radar-5 University, Tours 4/26, approx. 50 Dan Adamson Team Morgantown, WV 4/30/2007 children per Members- Josh Lantz,

    tour Mark Shroyer, Colin

    Hultengren

    Freshman Outreach Coordinator-Freshman West Virginia engineering Lindsay Boyd, Radar-

    6 Engineering 3/13/2007 University, students Dan Adamson Team

    Tours Morgantown, WV deciding on Members- Josh Lantz,

    their major Colin Hultengren

    Talked about Outreach Coordinator-vehicle to Lindsay Boyd, Radar-Waynesburg high school 7 4/20/2007 Waynesburg, PA Dan Adamson Team High School students Members- Mark Approx. 500 Shroyer and Josh Lantz students

     West Virginia University Marketing Plan 9

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