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Critical Analysis On Spark Bikes Marketing Strategy

Question

Task: A good marketing plan helps to identify the prospective customers and competitors. It develops a strategy to make the business stand out. While creating the Marketing Plan, the process helps creating a solid, well-structured set of strategies tailored for the business
Writing and researching for your marketing plan gives you the chance to:
1. Identify your target market and understand how your product or service meets their needs.
2. Identify your competitors and what your target customers think about your competitors' strengths and weaknesses.
3. Position your brand, products and services so that your target market sees your business as better than, or different from, the competition.
4. Set specific, measurable goals and time frames for your marketing activities.
5. Map out a strategy to reach the target audience, including the messages, channels, and tools will be used.
A marketing plan assists to integrate the total marketing effort. It ensures a systematic approach to developing products and services to meet and satisfy your customers’ needs.
While writing a marketing plan, the clear idea about the company’s objectives, and how to achieve them, is essential. A good marketing plan sets clear, realistic, and measurable objectives, includes deadlines, provides a budget, and allocates responsibilities. A plan can consist of these elements:
• Analysis of your current market;
• Your business objectives;
• Key strategies;
• Steps to achieving your objectives;
• Proposed budget;
• Timing.
The marketing plan should remain an ongoing process throughout the life of the business. Marketing planning is an ongoing business activity. As the business changes many of the strategies in the plan will need to evolve to ensure the business is still heading in the right direction. Having the plan up to date can keep the team focussed on where they are heading and ensure they are ready when it is needed again. An ideal marketing plan should consist of following information under specific headings:
Executive Summary; Target Customers; Unique Selling Proposition; Pricing & Positioning Strategy; Distribution Plan; Your Offers; Marketing Materials; Promotions Strategy; Online Marketing Strategy (Keyword Strategy, Search Engine Optimization Strategy, Paid Online Advertising Strategy, Social Media Strategy); Conversion Strategy; Joint Ventures & Partnerships; Referral Strategy; Strategy For Increasing Transaction Prices; Retention Strategy; Financial Projections;

Answer

The Market
Unique Selling Proposition: The business of Spark Bikes Company is unique in the market as it follows effective Spark Bikes marketing strategy and offers highest quality electric bikes on rent (including rent to own) for supporting food delivery in Australia. The product of the company can be differentiated from other products in the market as it involves free servicing and basic maintenance and do not charge any fees for signing up for the bike. This, in turn, costs the customer less for starting earning through food delivery and meets the product gap for the customer. Also, the electric bike comes with USB phone charging slot, secure lock, phone holder and a helmet and therefore, meets every requirement of its customers for delivering food which, in turn, helps this company to stand out from the competition (Spark Bikes, 2020).

Customers/ Clients
Customer Demographics
The target customers of Spark Bikes marketing strategy include both males and females between 18- 35 years of age who are generally students or are searching for a part/ full time jobs. It covers people from low to middle class status who are interested in delivering food for fulfilling their need of money. They do so by delivering food in partnership with companies like UberEats and therefore, the search for a cost effective bike is reflected in their behaviour. The product targets those who have an active lifestyle and wants to work for earning money irrespective of their age. It targets customers from different locations of Australia including Sydney, Parramatta, Melbourne, and Brisbane (Fishman, 2017).

Key Customers
The key consumers of electric bike offered by Spark Bikes Company involve students and travellers who are new to Australia and in search of a job. The major customers of the company are covered under this category and therefore, their satisfaction is a key to the success of Spark Bikes. These are the customers who are unable to pay huge costs for renting a bike and therefore, they will be targeted by offering best quality durable electric bikes at minimum prices and no extra joining fee. The product will be delivered to the customers after they make a reservation for the same. After that, the customers can pick up the e-bike facilitated with secure lock, phone holder, etc. and start riding (Spark Bikes, 2020).

Customer Management
Spark Bikes marketing strategy aims to maintain a good relationship with its customers by offering extra benefits along with providing the electric bike on rent. This technique will provide satisfaction to the customers as they will be provided value for their money by the company. The company will offer free services for maintenance like flat tyre replacement and brakes adjustment. This will play a great role in keeping the customers coming back as they will be able to focus on their job without worrying about expensive mechanic fees. However, currently, there are no customer service standards and the services are governed by the terms and conditions agreed by the customers at the time of accepting the bike on rent which can be considered as its code of practice (Spark Bikes, 2020).

Competitors
Spark Bikes marketing strategy give tough competition to its competitors however, it is rated slightly lower because the competitors are more reputed and offer other benefits to its customers as well. Spark Bikes can improve its business by starting the minimum rent period from one week like its competitors as currently it is four weeks. The competitors also provide the option of purchasing second hand e-bike which can also be adopted by Spark Bikes marketing strategy for increasing its customer base.

Competitor Details

Competitor

Established Date (year)

Value to Customers

Strengths

Weaknesses

Bolt Bikes

2017

Allows customers to earn more through a flexible contract (Bolt Bikes, 2020).

- Affordable Products

- Reputed Brand

- Only located in Sydney and Melbourne

Volition

2016

Provides value to its customers through stylish and high performing e-bikes.

- Reasonable prices

- High performing products

- No facility for rent

- Only serves NSW

Sunmono E-BIKE

N/A

Offers best quality economic and green transportation at affordable prices.

- Diverse range of products

- Affordable price

- Serves only customers from Sydney

- Higher bond amount

Cargo Cycles

N/A

Provides value to the customers by providing wide range of products that reduces the environmental footprint.

- Minimize environmental impact

- Easy Availability

- Diverse range of products

- Limited Areas served

-

Sydney Ebike Rentals

N/A

Provides diverse e-bike models at lower prices and better services.

- Provides ebike for a week, fortnight, and month

- Option of purchasing second hand ebike

- Large product range

- Serves limited locations

Market Research
Secondary research has been completed for the analysis of the Spark Bikes marketing strategy. The analysis provided that the market of electric bikes is growth at a fast pace in Australia. It is also found that the food delivery riders are using electric bikes as they are faster, cheaper and allows bypassing traffic. The electric bikes are also prices reasonably especially when they are taken on rent which do not require much investment and allows easy availably of the bike whenever required (Dowling and Maalsen, 2020).

Market Targets
Spark Bikes marketing strategy is planning to set a target of $ 500,00,000 which involves both rent and rent to own electric bikes offered by the company. The planned time frame for the set target is one year. It will focus on selling (rent to own) at least 5,000 electric bikes in the said period and earn rest of the revenue through routine renting procedure (Macaulay, Still and Sawyer, 2016).

Environmental/ Industry Analysis
The analysis provided that the population of Australia is expected to reach 30 million by the end of 2029. (Gomes, 2018) The economy of Australia is also stable which operates with the help of a strong judicial system in an independent and impartial manner. The business of food delivery is increasing with a rapid pace in Australia with rise of companies (employers) like UberEats, Deliveroo, Menulog, etc. as it is a recent trend to order food online which have increased opportunities for earning money for several people by delivering food. Therefore, this has increased the business of electric bike companies like Spark Bikes. There are not much seasonal variations in the food industry and therefore, the demand for e-bike is going to be the same. According to the Spark Bikes marketing strategy, the size of the market is constantly increasing as people are taking steps for earning more money through delivering food along with their studies or part time jobs which increases the growth potential of business. This product will change the market as it will not require people to invest huge amount for making a purchase rather they can get it on rent. External factors like changes in lifestyle patterns of people can reduce their food delivery business and therefore, the electric bike business as well (Johnson and Rose, 2015).

How effective sustainable Spark Bikes marketing strategy is? Discuss.
The Spark Bikes marketing strategy will be based on the environmental benefit of using an electric bike on rent for delivering food to people in Australia. It will highlight that the company provides durable and high quality ebikes with free services to customers at lowest prices. The goals will be achieved by taking steps for advertising the business over different platforms like newspapers, social media, billboards, television, radio, etc.

Marketing activity/milestone

Person responsible

Date of expected completion

Cost ($)

Success indicator

Print Advertising and Public Relations

Chief Marketing Officer

30 June 2020

$ 500,000

Increase in enquiries/signup

Online Advertising, website, blog and social media

Digital Marketing Officer

30 September 2020

$ 200,000

Increase in customer queries and engagement

Branding and artwork

Brand Manager

30 October 2020

$ 300,000

Increased customer enquiries

Giveaway and event

Marketing manager

30 November 2020

$ 500,000

Increased customer engagement

Advertising & Sales
Advertising and Promotional Spark Bikes marketing strategy

Planned promotion
/advertising type

Promotional Spark Bikes marketing strategy

Expected business improvement

Cost ($)

Target date

Print Media Advertising

This strategy will be used as it is capable of driving action and increases brand loyalty. It will be used through pamphlets, newspapers.

Increase brand awareness

$ 200,000

June 2020

SMS and Mailout

This strategy is being used because it makes it easy to target customers and track the result of the campaign (Stafford and Faber, 2015).

Increases awareness and keep customers updated

$ 50,000

June 2020

Online Advertising and Social Media

This strategy is used because it is affordable and expands business on a large scale. It will be used through website, blogs and Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Increase in enquires, feedback and engagement on website and social media through likes.

$ 200,000

September 2020

Giveaway and Event

This strategy is used as it is helpful in generating leads, saving time and increasing brand awareness. It will be used through sponsoring events (Hackley and Hackley, 2017).

Increasing brand awareness and website clicks.

$ 500,000

November 2020

Social Media Strategy
Through social media strategy, Spark Bikes marketing strategy aims to increase brand awareness along with sales of the product. For this, Facebook, Twitter and website will be used and engaging strategy will be adopted for networking and communicating with the customers. The strategy will focus on low cost and high quality of products. Digital manager engaged from an external organization will upkeep the social media presence of the company (Effing and Spil, 2016).

Sales Strategy
The sales technique of Spark Bikes marketing strategy will be based on highlighting the benefits and low cost of the product for the customers and the environment as it will reduce the environmental footprint. The strategy behind this technique is to use the mindset of the customers for the benefit of the company Also; the technique will focus on asking for referrals for further increasing business. It is better than the competitors as the competitors are focusing less on the environmental aspect of the business and more concerned about the products. However, the environmental concern is increasing in the society and customers and can play a great role for the business (Adamashvili and Fiore,2017).

Sales and distribution channels

Channel type

Product/Services

Percentage of
 sales (%)

Distribution strategy

Internet

-Spark X Bike

-Spark S Bike

-Spark M Bike

70%

This channel for Spark Bikes marketing strategy is being used because most of the target customers use internet for bookings as it is convenient. This channel will provide 24/7 booking option. Strategy behind this is to provide ease to the customers.

Shopfront

-Spark X Bike

-Spark S Bike

-Spark M Bike

30%

This channel will be used for those who are unable to use internet or not comfortable with it. This channel will be used during 9am to 6 pm and the deliveries will be provided at the same time. This strategy is used for supporting those who are in urgent need for the e-bike.

References
Adamashvili, N. and Fiore, M., 2017. Investigating the role of business marketing techniques in sales process. European Journal of Management Issues, 25(3-4), pp.135-143.

Bolt Bikes. 2020. Home. [Online]. Spark Bikes marketing strategy Available from https://getboltbikes.com/home-au/ [Accessed 02 May 2020].

Dowling, R. and Maalsen, S., 2020. Familial mobilities beyond the private car: electric bikes and car sharing in Sydney, Australia. Applied Mobilities, 5(1), pp.53-67.

Effing, R. and Spil, T.A., 2016. The social strategy cone: Towards a framework for evaluating social media strategies. International journal of information management, 36(1), pp.1-8.

Fishman, E., 2017. Changing lanes: The emergence of e-bikes. ReNew: Technology for a Sustainable Future, (139), pp.42-45.

Gomes, L.H. 2018. Australia's population forecast to hit 30 million by 2029, [Online]. Available from https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/nov/22/australias-population-forecast-to-hit-30-million-by-2029 [Accessed 02 May 2020].

Hackley, C. and Hackley, R.A., 2017. Advertising and promotion. Sage.

Johnson, M. and Rose, G., 2015. Extending life on the bike: electric bike use by older Australians. Journal of Transport & Health, 2(2), pp.276-283.

Macaulay, S., Still, A. and Sawyer, A., 2016, July. Taking electric bikes for a spin with the RAC WA e-bike trial. Spark Bikes marketing strategy In Australian Institute of Traffic Planning and Management (AITPM) National Conference, 2016, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Spark Bikes. 2020. Home, [Online]. Available from https://sparkbikes.com.au/home [Accessed 02 May 2020].

Stafford, M.R. and Faber, R.J., 2015. Advertising, promotion, and new media. Routledge.

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