Q. Evaluate Owen’s different options for growing MANU’s customer equity. A. The case study gave us four options that Owen is considering for ways to grow his customer equity. Option 1: Increase retention among kids over 14 years old. This option is tough because once kids get started in high school and get involved with school activities, it is hard to entice them to keep playing soccer in a non-school league. Many times, they school coaches/teachers will “ding” the students for missing games or events at school so kids will choose to miss a non-school related game vs. issing a school-related event because it affects their grades. Option 2: Encourage customers to buy more. I feel that Owen has offered a lot of variety in his academy offerings. I’m not sure what else he could add to get enough ROI on other products. Option 3: Grow the business by entering new markets and acquiring new customers. This option might be possible if Owen is able to hire more people to help him manage the programs at the different locations. He can’t be everywhere at once.
Option 4: Serve more kids in surrounding markets such as Loveland, Longmont and Greeley. Owen will need to figure out how best to serve these kids. Build a program within their market, or have them commute to Fort Collins? Q. Develop a set of marketing strategy ideas for each of the options. Option 1: Marketing strategies for increasing retention among kids over 14 years old. I believe this option will be difficult, but Owen could try to start some programs for high school kids that involve refining their skills in order to prepare them for possible soccer scholarships.
I might be able to develop a program around the idea of preparing the kids for college soccer, helping them understand soccer scholarships, helping them understand how to be successful in making a college team, etc. This strategy might attract the parents so that they keep their kids in the academy programs with the hopes that they will get an inside scoop on paying for college, getting into certain colleges of preference, and just helping their kids make the college teams. Option 2: Marketing strategies for encouraging customers to buy more.
Although I think Owen has a lot of products in his product line already, he might consider looking at his branding. He already has a great word-of-mouth reputation in Fort Collins. Maybe he could come up with a logo and brand name for his academy that people will recognize. If he uses this brand on all of his advertisements, paperwork, and signage, then more people will begin to recognize his product. This will not only bring potential customers to his door, but it might also help to spread the word about his academy to other nearby markets.
He might also think about giving away/selling shirts for his academy with this brand and logo on it. If parents and kids are wearing them, they are spreading the word for free to many people. Option 3: Marketing strategies for entering new markets. Branding is the key to moving to new markets, I think. I think Owen must get a brand in place in Fort Collins and then begin to feel out the new markets for recognition and interest in his product line. Option 4: Marketing strategies for serving more kids in the surrounding areas.
These markets might be easier to break into than the markets further from Fort Collins. However, I still think branding is very important to this strategy as well. I think that Owen needs to get his brand in place and then entice some of the kids in nearby markets to his program. He should keep track of how many kids from these nearby areas are attending. Once he gets to a designated number of participants from each area, then he can think about opening a satellite program in those areas to promote more customer satisfaction among those families.
Q. What could Owen do for market research to better assess his options? A. Owen needs to do a SWOT analysis in order to figure out his product’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for each of these new options. He needs to find some way to research these options with his current customers and potential customers in the markets that he is thinking about working in. He might conduct surveys via email with a targeted set of potential customers.
He might speak at parent meetings held at schools in the new markets he is trying to develop to see what level of interest might be available. Owen might also offer program samples in the new markets where he wants to grow his business. In other words, he might offer an off-season 2 day camp, or 1-day camp program for kids in his target market. At the end of these programs, he can survey the families on future interest and he can assess the success of the sample programs by the number in attendance and the attitude of the kids and families during and at the end of the programs.
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