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Sales & Marketing Course

This marketing plan is providing an outline of the initial introduction of a learning management system (LMS), which will improve the students and teachers experience and accordingly can be sold to schools. This plan is created for Evorestte, the owner of the LMS.
As a $1 billion USD e-learning industry that continues to expand, the trend is for preferable user experiences that help schools earn higher market shares in the digital education and e-schooling. By paying attention to student-centered design and information architecture, LMS creates a learning environment that is considered an exemplar to what today’s student is looking for in an educational portal, with a modern look and feel, communication, and collaboration.
This high-tech integrated learning management system that eases the navigation to destination and increases user satisfaction by making content easier to find and navigate. This is achieved by a specific design for the end-users, prioritizing their needs. Features include appealing design, bright colors, and other interactive elements, such as integrated video and dynamic menus. High levels of user engagement and their satisfaction could also help schools attract new students and future staff, as well as becoming one of the leading institutions in the digital education world.
By increasing user satisfaction, Evorestte will continue to be leading the digital education industry. By examining the company’s previous successful performance, combined with the new user experience on LMS, a growth rate of 2.5% per year is feasible – increasing the company’s market share by up to 10% within the next five years.

Stating the area of investment and why I chose it

I choose to invest in building a Learning Management System; Education is a vast market that serves hundreds of millions of students around the world and millions in the middle east, with the need to approach many people in remote areas. So digital learning is the future of the world, accordingly providing a digital platform for eLearning is a good selection for investment.


The segmentation bases that I will focus on in order to gain the maximum value from the market

The e-learning market continues to expand. The global training and education markets are a $2 trillion USD industry, with a market of $1 billion USD in the Middle East, the greatest demand for e-learning in the Middle East comes from the schools sector in addition to the banking sector, which is still running traditional classroom instruction.

I will base my market segmentation on:
1-    By Geographic segmentation, which includes the Market Size & Region, there are hundreds of educational institutions around the middle east that need such a service. We will target the Middle East & Africa (GCC and Rest of the Middle East & North Africa).
2-    By Consumer Predispositions segmentation, which includes the Consumer Problems, these institutions are seeking an integrated solution to serve as an alternative to classroom instructions.
3-    By Behavioral segmentation which includes Occasion and Benefits, due to the COVID-19 the whole world is seeking a solution to digitize their educational process, and this is an amazing opportunity to start such a business; also we provide institutions with a solution that provide them with full control on the learning process.
4-    By Component
•    This market sector is seeking an integrated learning management solution.
•    Services include Consulting Services, Implementation Services, and Support Services in the digital learning market.

5-    By Deployment
•    The cloud solutions market is an important future market.
6-    By Organization Size
•    Small & Medium size Enterprises market includes of Schools.
•    Large Enterprises market includes School Corporations, which are aggregates of schools.
7-    By End-User
•    K-12 Schools.

K-12 are our target market. With the large population of students are natively using technology, the brick-and-mortar system that cannot expand quickly enough to accommodate them is getting obsolete. E-learning is becoming a necessity for institutions as much as it is becoming an expectation among students. This also well offers educational opportunities to students outside of their traditional geographical boundaries.


Define my target segment and the characteristics and size of the target market
   
I am targeting K-12 international schools in Egypt, North Africa, and the GCC, the size of this market is around 1500 schools.

Measurable
Consumers are clearly identifiable as International Schools. My target market is quantifiable in terms of income and the potential to buy. The total potential exceeds $1 Billion USD.

Accessible
It is accessible in terms of geography and economy due to the online nature of the application and the high accessibility of the future recruited team in multiple countries. The countries where we will base our work is economically high and have the power to purchase.

Profitable
It is worth pursuing. The market is based on a subscription model that produces annual income; the consumer is educational institutions that have part of its budget directed to digital learning.

Market Responsiveness
Our consumers are responsive to the Learning management products meant for them.


The details of the Micro-environmental & Macro-environmental factors
The Macro-environmental factors include societal, economic, and technological factors, and this is clear in a better-educated population who send their children to international schools, a more white-collar workforce with higher income, more technology-oriented population that will create a demand in the schools to implement technology in education.
The Economic Environmental factors also include the inflation that affects the purchasing power and push our customers to demand more value for the same price.
Key Technological Trends is a main factor where there is a rapid change in technology, which leads to a stressful challenge to catch up with the market demands. New technologies as well create new opportunities and markets for new ideas and new companies to exist in the market.
The Cultural Environmental factors is very impacting, due to the perception of institutions for the implementation of technology, and this affects their behavior in buying our product.

Our Micro-environmental Factors include:
The company structure: our company is a small one with few employees, we lack a marketing a sales team which is considered a challenge. But we provide a very good aftersales customer support.
The customers: our customers are educational institutions that are very demanding when it comes to the features of the software and very hard to pay for the service, they need very high negotiation skills and a very talented salesperson.
The competitors: the market has two types of competitors, IT companies and Education companies similar to ours. IT companies destroy the reputation of the LMS in the middle east due to the lack of aftersales support, while education companies, on the other hand, lack technical knowledge.


My details a SWOT analysis
Strengths
•    Provides all the features students and faculty expect to find
•    Improves website organization through streamlined information architecture
•    Easily navigable interface translates to fewer clicks and helps users find information
•    Aesthetically-pleasing, modern, customizable visual design specifically tailored to end-users
•    Maintains a high accessibility standard
•    Shows an increase in satisfaction among end-users
•    Modern Design
Weaknesses
•    Features include more text and colors, but less visual icons, and other interactive elements, such as video and dynamic menus
•    The cost of redesigning the interface could exceed the budget
•    Implementing a new system may take some time
•    The information must be transferred from the old system during the transition period
Opportunities
•    Improve learning outcomes with a new system that is engaging for learners and educators
•    Create a mobile application for LMS, which mirrors the web platform in terms of design and organization
•    Expand to the corporate sector, introducing the system to human resource departments for learning and training purposes
•    Break the traditional perception of eLearning design and management and redefine what it means to learn digitally
Threats
•    Possible alternatives from different companies that focus on human-centered design
•    Possible competition that possess more sales force and marketing opportunities
•    The readiness of schools to implement a successful learning management system



The best positioning for our product and the value proposition strategy to enter the market, the how and why

Positioning our LMS

For eLearning companies who are looking to enter the Middle East markets, our company offers a unique team of experienced managers with long proven expertise, on a permanent basis. Unlike most eLearning companies, our company is specialized in a very focused expertise that is hard to duplicate, which is Education & Technology.

Competitors
International Companies form Europe and the States
Local companies that provide the same service

Points of Difference
What makes us different and our provided value
•    Integrated Solution
•    Integrated web-conference
•    Integrated Curriculum Management
•    All platforms compatible

What would make a customer want to buy from another competitor?
•    Bigger size of the support force
•    More technical sales team
•    Separate mobile application

Points of Parity
What we do equally to our competitors
•    Similar Base platform

Our Brand Positioning Statement
For schools who are willing to incorporate digital learning platforms in their regular practice, our company is the best education technology company of choice because of the existing expertise and unique integrated product, convenient and attractive prices.

Value Proposition
Connecting the artistic design and the science of information architecture is the core value of our LMS. By creating a strongly engaging online environment for all users, our LMS exemplifies what today’s student is looking for in a learning portal with a modern look and feel; this is based on strong data in the form of student user feedback. A system designed for student use will help with the product’s perceived value and help promote the experience at the institution.
Value Proposition Strategy
1. Analyze and identify the market segments of international schools, and target those the solution has the potential to deliver value and profit for.
2. Analyze and define the value experience that the schools will get from the current activities of my company.
3. Define good and bad experiences and the effectiveness of the proposition depending on the collection of customer and employee feedback.
4. Define the value mix capable of boosting the value experience with our defined target market.
5. Assess the benefits of our offers in the context of the value experience we are able to deliver to the target market.
6. Analyze alternatives and differentiation, what alternative options does the market have to our product?
Marketing Strategy
Our marketing strategy for the first year requires that the company:
•    Initiate as many personal contacts as possible
•    Demonstrate excellence with every personal contact
•    Identify six to eight key clients, and “win them over” through demonstration of expertise with limited initial client investment
•    Provide excellent LMS implementation services with enthusiasm and a personal touch
•    Establish the company brand name.


1.    The main competitive advantage that will be considered the most appealing to our target customers.
Our LMS provides multiple competitive advantages which include
1-    An online Conference System and classroom with multiple controls.
2-    Online examination system.
3-    Full learning management experience.

2.    The level we would position our product (attributes, benefits, values, and beliefs).
Attributes
•    Easy to use system
•    Attractive design
•    Ready anywhere

Benefits
•    Full learning management platform for student-teacher interaction, which includes a web-conference & Virtual Classroom with an integrated Curriculum Management platform.
•    Web-based application compatible with all platforms.
•    Very competitive price
•    Strong aftersales support

Values & Beliefs
•    Transparency
•    Integrity
•    Partnership
•    Best Service

3.    Pricing & Distribution:
1.    The pricing strategy
•    Our product depends on an annual subscription per student.
•    The starting price will follow the market average and will provide the service for $5 per student per year.

2.    The distribution methods and the recommended channels
•    The application will be distributed as a Software As A Service (SAAS) with a subscription module through the website.
•    The recommended channels for the distribution is the website and will be promoted through Social media and email campaigns as well as direct marketing.
•    The LMS will follow a Business to Customer (B2C) model, so it will serve the schools directly without intermediaries.

3.    Financial Projections
Assumptions
•    Goals are to increase the number of users and ensure user retention and satisfaction for customer lifetime value
•    Increasing student satisfaction, as the largest user base, will help increase the overall user base
•    Enterprise platform = $80,000 / year (annual online subscription)
•    LMS is an online solution built for K-12 schools. Team comprises overhead costs
•    An increase in user satisfaction leads to better reviews, which leads to new clients.

Projections
•    Increase market share by 10% in the next five years
•    Based on a 2.5% market share increase/year plus room for changes/ contingency year

Implementation Timetable
•    2020 – Complete release and receive feedback on the released version, adjusting as needed to increase user satisfaction
•    2021 - Acquire at least three new clients based on new LMS design and functionality
•    2022 - Continue iteration process based on user feedback
•    2023 - Have added nine schools as clients in the middle east


My promotional mix that will help communicate our value to the targeted customer and help in building a long-term relationship with the customer
Product
Our LMS is a modernized online platform for students and teachers. It makes finding and posting course materials more efficient, with clear and easily navigable course content, schedules, assignments, and grades. It is more engaging, and it shows users only information that is relevant to them, reducing cognitive overload through an intuitive and organized design.
Place
Our LMS is intended for schools’ students and faculty. It is available via the Internet on any electronic device. The global accessibility of LMS is essential to ensure users are able to connect to the platform worldwide, as the schools offer online courses, student exchanges, and international co-op placements. LMS is the primary location for all distribution of educational course materials and online training. It is compatible with both PC and MAC computers and on mobile devices through a web browser.
Price
Pricing for our LMS platform covers important costs related to UX/UI design, development, support, and cash flow for future growth. The product will be on an annual subscription fee, along with a special fee for white label rebranding. The fee will allow any school to gain full access to all features on LMS.
Promotion
As a brand, LMS represents a balance between a friendly and a professional brand. It promises to be an LMS that helps students spend less time finding information and more time learning. It offers support through integrated video, right within the interface, and contains its own social media platform to help students and faculty connect virtually. We are targeting international schools, with students and faculty located all over the world; this promotes the importance of virtual proximity.  High levels of students and teachers engagement and satisfaction could help attract prospective schools, as well as get the attention of other institutions and organizations. Using organic and paid Social Engine Optimization could increase the awareness of the product, using Slogans like “Learn everywhere, Engage your students!” will help to sell the product.
Promotional price will be used as a starter package for the first year.

Building my brand equity

By following the below steps, our brand equity connection can then become very valuable.
Brand awareness.
Start with creating the brand identity, which includes logo and colors and Slogan. Then I will build basic awareness of my brand through content videos and social media presence. Then I will make sure customers recognize your brand and see it in the way you intend by using Polls.
Communicate the meaning of my brand and what it stands for.
We are exposing the meaning of our brand by introducing the features as collected from the international schools as well as showing that we recruit the best support staff and using the best servers.
Now exposing what it stands for by referring to serving a high social standard and tackling psychological aspects like online security, control, and privacy.
Reshape the Think and Feel about our Brand.
Introduce quality media to enhance the feeling of providing quality service, and this will increase credibility, also providing online videos with user experiences and exposed features will show how relevant our LMS is to customer needs, and whether our LMS is superior to those of our competitors.
We plan to provide information that will increase the positive feelings, which include excitement, security, and professionalism.
Build a deeper bond with our customers.
I will build deeper customer relationships by providing the best after-sales customer support. This will stimulate the schools to make repeated purchases, and they will feel an attachment to our brand. They can be actively engaged as brand representatives by taking part in online Advertisements, attending events, or following our brand on social media, such as Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

Action Plan
1. Goals
Our goal as mentioned before is
•    To initiate a sales volume of 10% for new customer base on four phases.
•    To enhance name recognition and increase brand exposure.

2. Strategy
Our marketing strategies will include:
•    Personal sales calls
•    Letterhead package and company brochure
•    Direct emails and Newsletters
•    Digital Media advertising (Social Media and SEO)
•    Public relations (speechmaking, feature articles, community relations/community activities)
•    Networking
•    Discounts for large volume customers


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