Marketing Plan Project Outline
Instructions: Students are asked to complete an abbreviated Marketing Plan for a local fast food restaurant chain (e.g., McDonalds) and their targeting of senior customers (individuals aged 50 years and older). Students should use the McDonald’s case study provided as a starting pointed but are required to undertake additional research to complete this assignment. Additional research includes, but is not limited to, 1) visits to local restaurants to observe marketing efforts toward seniors; 2) brief interviews with seniors to determine their needs and satisfaction with the restaurant’s products (including menu, pricing, atmosphere, seating, children services, etc… Students should also consult the organization’s website.
The Marketing Plan assignment should contain the following elements:
I. A Market Analysis describing the Company, Industry and Competition. A SWOT Analysis must be completed as part of the Market Analysis.
II. Research on the Target Market which is males and females, aged 50 years and older who visit fast food restaurants. Include observations of the mix of genders; products purchased and time of purchase; average visits per week and day of visit; average purchase amount; level of satisfaction; customer feedback regarding their experience and suggestions for change.
III. A Description of restaurant’s current Marketing Mix (Product; Place; Promotion and Pricing) Strategy.
IV. Evaluation of the Marketing Mix per research.
V. Recommendations concerning future marketing toward senior segment in order to increase sales.
Serving the Senior Market: A Brief
Today, nearly one-third of US consumers are 50 years or older. In many restaurants, a phenomenon is taking hold. More and more senior customers have become not just regular patrons but patrons who have come for daily for meals and stay on to hold meetings with groups of friends… meetings that last up to several hours. Senior patrons might be attracted by the special offers for food and beverage items for individuals 50 years and older but there may be other factors influencing their gatherings including closings or reduced hours at senior centers; increased senior employment at McDonald’s and other “fast food” restaurants; babysitting of younger children or grandchildren who are attracted to a particular restaurant chain’s environment and menu; etc.
For example, McDonald’s corporate philosophy is “to be friendly with its customers and to give back to the communities it serves.” So, in many ways, the senior customers become “friends” of the restaurant and many are known by their first names to McDonald’s employees.
Typically, older customers are an orderly group and pleasant toward other customers. Furthermore, they are neater than most customers and carefully clean up and their tables before leaving. Crowding doesn’t appear to be a problem but as senior groups increase in size, this may change. Fast Food chains are careful about maintaining image. Chains don’t want to discourage any group from visiting, particularly younger customers. They also doesn’t want to confuse patrons about their positioning whether it be “kid friendly,” unique or higher quality menu items, or special pricing. European restaurants, for example, never rush diners and encourage stays of several hours, even for coffee and dessert.
Would permitting senior customers to stay and visit change a fast food’s marketing image? As the U.S. population ages, fast food, convenience restaurants are faced with a growing senior market segment, that is more mobile and improved discretionary income. Should companies do even more to attract this age group?
Using your local McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, KFC or similar restaurant(s), evaluate the chain’s current senior marketing strategy (the 4 Ps/Cs) and how it performs against competition from other area restaurants including neighborhood cafes, other fast-food restaurants and specialty stores such as Dunkin’ Donuts and Dairy Queen. What recommendations would you make? Why?
Please follow the format shown below. Your report should include a SWOT Analysis, and an analysis of each of the Marketing Mix variables for the restaurant. You should also provide recommendations on how the restaurant might improve its marketing strategy. Your report is due on December 12, 2013.
Marketing Plan Assignment Format
Page 1: Cover Page (Include Name, Course and Section Information and Date)
Page 2-3: Marketing Analysis
I. Summary: Identify the restaurant chain selected for analysis, location and number of visits made. Provide relevant information about day/time of visit, number of customers, etc.
II. SWOT Anaysis: Based upon your observations and conversations with customers (50 years and older) and employees, identify what you believe to be the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for this restaurant. Be observant. Take notice of nearby competition, restaurant cleanliness, etc. Consider the Marketing Mix (4 Ps/Cs) when completing your SWOT Analysis.
Page 3: Conclusions/Recommendations: Using the information developed from your visits and the SWOT Analysis, make
a judgment about the restaurant’s effectiveness in marketing to senior customers. Offer evidence for your conclusions.
Under a separate section, present your recommendations for improving its senior marketing strategy. You might organize
your findings and suggestions as follows:
a. Product Strategy
b. Place Strategy
c. Promotion Strategy
d. Pricing Strategy
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