1.) Executive Summary
Uni-eText Solution is an academic e-book provider, offering 3 main products and services categories relevance with education e-text books to meet the various requirements of niche target groups in education sector including undergraduate and postgraduate students, lecturers and researchers in universities and academic institutes all over Australia. The company solution is one of an innovative products and services which is developed from the idea of lifelong leaning where anywhere, anytime learning is an important aspect and even on any devices is currently possible as the emerging of information and communication technology era especially from the popularity and trends of mobility and internet on mobile devices including mobile phone; iPhone, Smartphone, Blackberry, Android, Laptops, Netbooks, Tablets, iPad, and e-book readers which is a part of one's daily life. So the company's products and services is designed to operate as an intermediary web portal collaborating with publishers, authors and academic institutes providing e-book online subscription (online reading), e-book electronic rental supporting to read in anytime, anywhere and any mobile devices and/or computer-based devices with desired specific rental time period (offline reading) and the buyout option available while the company's free stylish and trendy e-book reader software is available on most of popular devices which also concerning with intellectual properties and be able to maintain the copyright for the publishers and authors.
Uni-eText Solution's business objective is to be one of the best e-text book providers with high quality services and support to meet high customers' and partners' satisfaction while reasonable and affordable pricing scheme for academics is concerned. The company's marketing objectives is aimed to have gradually positive growth at 5% every month during the first year and increasingly growth by 10% monthly within 2 years. The company also target to achieve 10% market share (around 100,000 units sales) in the first year and to reach 20% market share (around 200,000 unit sales) within 2 years. In addition, the company intend to maintain and increase customers' buying retention rate (repeat order and networking to others peers) to increase market penetration rate to achieve as one of the top five academic e-book provider in Australia within 2 years while achieved partners' (publishers and academic institutes) and customers' high satisfaction rating at 80% from conducted survey. Uni-eText Solution will be one of a desirable source as academic e-text portal website, online knowledge sharing and social networking connecting academics, institutes, students, parents and communities.
In order to achieve the business objective and financial object expecting the sales revenues to reach $2.2M in the first year and increased to $5.4M in following year with overall Net Profit Margin at 15% and 20% respectively, the company will focus on niche market strategy and product differentiation to gain competitive advantage. The company will use push strategy, cooperate and create good relationship with academic institutions by giving them profit sharing and incentive scheme in order to have them as distribution channels and get them involve in marketing activities in order to create more opportunity for repeat purchasing and increase market share and sales revenue. Uni-eText Solution also emphasizes on providing high quality of consulting, supports and services and competitive pricing scheme for retaining reasonable and affordable solutions which we belief that Uni-eText will provide excellent return of investment, successfully in long-term business and sustainable.
2.) Table of Contents
3.) Business Overview
Uni-eText Solution will be a valuable and favorable source of academic knowledge for students' and academics' lifelong learning. We will be the best provider of one stop academic e-books to serve all customers' requirements and satisfy partners and shareholders with sustainable business values.
Uni-eText Solution is an innovative academic e-books web portal providing a high quality and standard source of online, rental and buyout academic e-books and knowledge sharing that is affordable and accessible for customers from anywhere, anytime and any devices. We continue develop our products, services and technology to contribute to educational development, enhance customers' experiences and achieve the high level of customers' satisfaction and sustainability as well as profitability for partners, shareholders and communities.
To be one of the best academic e-books providers with flexibility and fast growing, Uni-eText using well-experience, productive and efficiency compact team, the marketing team will include four staff responsible for marketing plan development, products & services development, IT marketing, partners and distributors establishment, promotion, market surveys and all marketing activities consisting of: Teerachet Nantsupawat, Natthikarn Chuenwongrat, Natthaphas Panomtanaporn, Prayutsook Mordee. Detail responsibility will be shown in milestone section.
4.) Product Overview
Uni-eText Solution will provide the products and services relating on the academic e-books to meet the various requirements of targeted customers through the information and communication technology emerging especially from the popularity and the trends of mobility features on mobile phone; iPhone, Smartphone, netbook, tablets, iPad or e-book readers supporting an anywhere, anytime, any devices accessibility with easily, friendly environmental and attractive pricing. The company is considered as an intermediary web portal collaborating with publishers, authors and academic institutes to provide three main product categories consisting of online-subscription, electronic rental services and buyout option.
With the first product category, the online e-book subscription, is offering the students and customers to search, subscribe and access the interesting e-books through online website which be able to read online anywhere and anytime where internet available.Â
While the second type of service, e-Rental services provides more mobility functions and accessibility from offline usage of selected E-books where customers can access and read them without internet connection (offline) on desired using semester or trimester period through free e-book reader software (Comparable with Apple iBook or Kindle e-book reader) running on the popular devices such as desktop computers, laptops, tablets, iPad, iPod, iPhone and others smart mobile platform - Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Symbian, etc. while this software be able to maintain the copyright for publishers and authors.
Apart from those two main product and service, three is an available option to buy out for the customers who enjoying those particular e-books where they can perpetual accessible or read and keep those books as the collections while still maintain copyright protection and anti-piracy to publishers and authors.
5.) Situation Analysis
The outline for the typical Uni-eText Solution customer consists of the following geographic, demographic, and behavioural factors:
For the initial phase of the business, higher educational institutions, such as universities, and colleges in Australia will be a geographic target area for Uni-eText Solution. Since, Uni-eText Solution is created to support their needs in text books of enrolment subjects. Also our innovative technology can make their life easier, more convenience and is suitable for lifestyle of today students who rely largely on the internet and high technology electronic devices.Â
The estimated targeted population is 1,037,945 customers (Department Education of Australian Government, 2010)
This product is designed to serve different age groups (between 17-50 years old) of academic people in higher education.
- Users who are ages between 18-35 tend to be higher education students (Australian government)
- As Australia is a major educational country for overseas students, target users will be consisted of multi nationality students.
- Most target users familiar in using high technology device, including PC, laptop computer, iphone, ipad, blackberry, and etc.
- Lifestyles of most target users rely on the internet.
- Nowadays, people, especially the target users, act positively to learn and adopt new technology to their lives.
- Customers that need the flexibility, accessibility and mobility of academic e-books reading products and services which is useful for their learning and studying where ease of use and convenience are concerned.
- Customers/students whom are concerned with the reasonable price and affordability of academic e-books while valuable to technology of anywhere, anytime, any devices learning and reading features.
- Trend of social network, trendy and stylish devices with new way of learning, social network, knowledge sharing affected in customers behavior that are degree of interaction among people in social as the common of the most trend in their social.
Uni-eText Solution provides e-book reader software which can perform in several popular operating system and mobile devices including Desktop computers, Laptop computers using Microsoft Windows, Linux, MacOS, Tablet:Â iPad, e-book reader and mobile devices:Â i-phone, i-pod, Black Berry - RIM, Nokia - Symbian and others mobile phone using Android and Windows Mobile OS. The variety of devices could be an advantage for Uni-eText Solution. Moreover, the product and service of Uni-eText Solution is accordant and supported by the increasing trend of internet and smart phones using in Australia.
According to the 2008-09 MPHS, 72% of Australian households had home internet access and 78% of households had access to a computer. Between 1998 to 2008-09, household access to the internet at home has more than quadrupled from 16% to 72%, while access to computers has increased from 44% to 78%.
The number of households with a broadband internet connection is increased by 18% from the previous year, to an estimated 5.0 million households. Broadband is accessed by close to two-thirds (62%) of all households in Australia and 86% of all households with internet access. A small proportion of respondents (2%) did not know the type of their internet connection at home. (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2009)
Futhermore, the trend of mobile internet using also increases continually in all generations. The age group that have heaviest usage is ranged from 16 to 49 (digitalmarketinglab, 2010), which is the same range of the expected target market.
Industry Structure and Risk Analysis
Uni-eText solution focuses on the current situation of academic e-textbook and content industry.Â The company analyses the industry rivalry, threat of new entrants, threat of substitutes, suppliers and buyers.
The potential rivalry of this industry can be the local bookshops and university bookstores.Â These rivalries provide many academic books in hard copy and for sales so they may lack of available academic books for students which take long time approximate a week or two weeks depend on publishers.Â Anyway, Uni-eText will provide the academic e-book through online which directly contact to publishers therefore the company has academic e-book provide student over the year.Â The company also provides more option such as subscribe and buyout to student which printable as a hard copy as well.Â Â As a result, the industry rivalry is low.
Threat of new entrants:
The potential of new entrants are quite high in academic e-book and content industry due to it is not only low investment and easy to enter but also low risk of investment.Â Many new investors may take this opportunity to grow and receive profit from this industry.
Threat of substitute:
The printable academic books are one of substitute products of e-textbook.Â The substitutes are low or high rely on customers' requirement such as some prefer to read textbook instead of e-book.
Bargaining power of suppliers:
The academic e-book and content industry lean to have high bargaining power of buyers due to the main supplier of academic e-book is publisher.Â The publishers need to be a single seller to provide the books to universities.Â Moreover, publishers will not allow Uni-eText solution publishes in term of e-book as well as they need to protect their copyrights.Â
Bargaining power of buyers:
The primarily buyer of Uni-eText solution is the university and students so the bargaining power of buyers is high in this industry.Â It is because customers have many options to get the academic books.Â They can contact to publishers or suppliers directly as well as they may borrow the book and copy from others.Â Moreover, there are many second hand textbooks with the cheaper price provide in the market.Â In addition, customers can buy textbooks from local bookshops and university bookstores.
In the Australia political situation, it has political stability in Australia due to Australia has the policy to export the education to international students.Â The Australia's education is acknowledging and recognizing widely from overseas.Â The government also support the education system all schools such as colleges, academic institutions, and universities.Â Moreover, the Australian government also concerns on the copyright of the intellectual property of publishers and authors so Uni-eText needs to concern and follow the regulation.
In term of Australia's economic situation, the overall of GDP growth rate trend to grow approximate 0.7% in December last year.Â (Trading Economics, 2011) It can be seen that the trend of the economic situation is growing from the last year.Â Therefore, Uni e-text solution appreciates to invest academic e-book in Australia to increase its sales due to people have high purchasing power to spend on products and services.
The main customers of Uni e-Text solution are the higher education students either domestic or international students.Â From the study, it identifies that the number of domestic and international students in higher education level are increased approximate 6.5 percent from 2008. (Australian government, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, 2009) It can be seen that the trend of number of higher education students both male and female are increased.Â They need the textbooks in their education as references and examination.Â Therefore the company provides academic e-book to customers which support them in order to company's policy which the customers can accessible and affordable in academic e-books in their education.
According to the research, the number of Australian users the age between 16 to 50 years old are using mobile internet is quite high due to nowadays new and high technology has an influence in change in people's daily life.Â (digitalmarketinglab.com.au, 2010)Â All students have their personal computers for studying in higher education level as well as they use the mobile internet which can download the programme into their mobile phones. Â So, Uni e-Text solution provides products and services of academic e-book which is supported by electronic devices such as computers, laptops, and mobile devices to support the academic e-book.Â The change in technology can lead the company concerns on Research and Development to develop the products and services to match with the Australia's technology factors and trend.
- Refer to the academic e-book and content industry; it is low investment to run this business. The company aims to get return on investment faster than high investment.
- As the company concerns on the environmental friendly by using electronic book version to reduce the waste of paper and ink as well as decreasing the company's operational costs.
- High knowledge, experience, and skilled in information technology and network system of management team will be benefit to run the business.Â The company has the high qualification and experience as well as knowledge background staff to work and operate their job.
- The company is new business with innovative products to serve the customer around Australia with fast and easy to understand in new technology.
- The company is the small business as the small medium enterprise (SME) which fast growing and decision making, high creative, innovative, and initiative therefore it can lead company reach profit maximization quickly.Â In addition, there is low hierarchy and bureaucracy within the company.
Although Uni e-Text's staff has strong knowledge in information technology background but they might lack of some experience in related field due to academic e-book and content industry is new business so it may require in-depth skilled.
The company needs the high qualification and experience labors; they might to recruit workers with high cost and increase in company's expenses so it can lead to low return on investment.
The company may not able to protect an investment through the patents because others can copy the idea to become their own assets.
The company can face the cost of research and development (R&D) due to small size of management team and less number of staff can lead to high expenditure.
As the company is small medium enterprise (SME), it can lead to lack of adequate of funding to expand the business in the future.
The customers can accessible and affordable with the electronic devices that support the academic e-book.
Nowadays, there is advance technology and devices to help the readers connect to the internet through website and download information easily.
Increasing in customers can help the company to have more bargaining power of suppliers and publishers to make contract on the copy right of academic hard copy.
This business can be successful in the market then it may enter to the public and the stock market to gain more revenue for the shareholders.
The electronic devices such as iPad, computer, and mobile phones are expensive, the customer cannot support with the cost.
The illegal action can be one of threat due to the hackers may steal the information without authorized.
The customers may not accept the new technology; they may prefer the traditional printed books instead of e-book.
The suppliers and publishers may not allow Uni e-Text solution sign an agreement on the copy right so the company may not have academic e-book provide to customers.
Competition and competitor analysis
In the competition, the main competitors of Uni e-Text solution are the university's bookstore and local book shops.Â The company provides the rental, online subscription and buyout of academic e-book to university and students through the online and website of university and company's website with less expensive than competitors.Â Furthermore, the company also gives support in service consultant after sales and deal with network disconnection.Â
On the other hand, the main competitors have less available academic books provide to students which may take time for a week or couple weeks to receive the books but they may have good reputation to create the customers' loyalty.
Uni e-Text solution's competitors can be both direct and indirect competitors.Â As the company us the first academic e-book provider in the academic e-book and content industry so there is no direct competitors exist.Â The potential indirect competitors can be Amazon and the local books shop such as Border and McGillsÂ as well as university's bookstore that affect to Uni e-Text solution.
Amazon, for instance, it has a strong brand image and reputation due to Amazon promotes its product and service as the advance technology and low price.Â It also provide the products as the hard copy and Kindle e-book reader which customers can purchase it online but Amazon does not provide the rental e-book service.
Local book shops such as Border and McGill is one of the indirect competitors that influence to Uni-eText solution.Â The local book shops also provide the hard copy academic textbooks which cooperate directly to the university by giving discount to students but sometimes the local book shops do not have available academic books to provide students.Â It needs to take time to order the textbooks from publishers or other bookstores.Â The local book shops also do not provide the rental and online subscription to the customers as well as the printable books are quite expensive and heavy than electronic books.
Therefore, e-book rental is a competitive advantage for Uni-eText to provide either products or services to university and students in electronic version that much easier than printable books. Moreover, it can be benefit for the students who have low income to buy the textbooks.Â The e-book rental service has strong comparative advantages with low rental fees and easy to access that will allowed Uni-eText maintain the market share.
Uni-eText solutions provide 3 main services and product categories, the main features of each product are:
- Online subscription: The main features of this services is that customers will be able to read the selected or subscribed e-book through every web browser such as Microsoft internet explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari in the period of time they subscribe as anytime, anywhere where internet available but this services will not available or accessible without internet (offline).
- E-Book rental: Customers can rent e-books they desired then the e-book will automatic download to their Uni-eText free e-book reading software (developed and free for download) on any devices such as iphone, ipad, tablet, netbook or PC. Customer can read those selected e-book from any devices they owned at anytime, anywhere without internet (offline) before the expired date or the return date of those rental e-book.
- Buyout option: When the rental e-book expired or return date due, customers could not be able to access or read those e-book anymore but if they like to need to own those e-book they can purchase and get the right to read them for unlimited of time.
At the beginning, Uni-eText solution runs the business; the company may face the critical issues as follows:
- Uni-eText sets the value of company's products and services as anywhere, anytime, and any devices to meet customers' condition.Â
- The company also develops the products and services keep up to date and support with software as well as easy to access and use.
- The company needs to increase the valuation of business by providing the products and services with high standard to gain high level of attention.
- The company's growth needs to operate the revenue over expenses which can maximize the profit.
- The customers' need is the key strategy that company needs to concern due to the firm should provide best services which all customers can get high benefit while using company's products and services.
Marketing objectives (2 years)
- Aim to have gradually positive growth; 5% each month during the first year and sharply growth; 10% monthly within 2 years.
- Increase the market share rate to achieve 10% market share (around 100,000 subscribers) in the first year and to reach 20% market share (around 200,000 subscribers) within 2 years.
- Increase market penetration by maintain and increase unit or revenue sales per customers (repeat order and networking to others peers) to achieve as one of the top five academic e-book provider in Australia within 2 years.
- To achieve partners' (publishers and academic institutes) and customers' high satisfaction levelling at 80% from conduct survey.
To be one of a desirable source (50% recognisable from market research survey) as academic e-text portal website, online knowledge sharing and social networking connecting academics, institutes, students, parents and communities and attained company image as eco-friendly and social responsibility.
Financial objectives (2 years)
- To attain the short period break-even by the first quarter of launch date.Â
- Preferable choice from publishers and academics by achieve double digits sales growth from academic institutes and/or customers.
- Aim to have at least 15% net profit margin in the first year and increase profit margin to reach 20% within 2 years.
- Maintain significant marketing budget at least 5% as the percentage of sales revenue and at least 6% of sales revenue in second year while producing high quality, easiness of products and services environment using technologies innovations.
- Targeted to payout the dividends up to 90% of retained earnings return significant of investment to shareholder and attract investors' investment decision for future expansion and growth.Â
- Market size is estimated to be at least 1,000,000 units sold according the forecast from information of market survey and summary.
- Market share of the company is targeted to be 10% (100,000 units sold) in 2011 and 20% (200,000 units sold) in 2012.
- Advertising and Brand awareness is one of the objective which customers can be able to name our Uni-eText and seen our advertisement especially from our online marketing or social network as one of the best academic e-book provider.
- Customer satisfaction that the company aim to reach 80% satisfy level and investigate customer loyalty and retention rate of buying our products and services.
Uni-eText solution's target marketing strategy is trying to classify and evaluate the different groups of customers which including undergraduate and postgraduate students, lecturers and researchers in Australia as well as all university in Australia.Â Regarding to the target marketing, the company selects these groups due to the firm provides the products and services of academic e-book through online and offline which benefit for all users in their education.Â Moreover, the company also offers the different price range with different products and services to enable to maximize its revenues.Â Uni-eText solution focuses on the developing either products or services to reach customers' requirements.Â As the company is not only provide the different products but also offer the reasonable price to different customers.
The company positions itself asÂ the academic specialist on e-book provider, evenÂ it can provideÂ the servicesÂ toÂ the wider market but withÂ this positionÂ itÂ aimÂ to emphasis on academic activitiesÂ andÂ focusÂ to meet on specific needs, wants andÂ the problemÂ facing by academics. Also, evenÂ the company provideÂ the optionÂ toÂ purchaseÂ theÂ bookÂ butÂ itsÂ positionÂ is moreÂ onÂ rentalÂ andÂ onlineÂ subscriptionÂ servicesÂ andÂ toÂ be differentiating from others traditional book or e-book stores.Â
In order to the competitive advantage, Uni-eText solution focuses on the niche market with differentiation due to the first company provide renting and selling academic e-book to customers such as students and universities as well as lecturers.Â The company services on the online subscription, rental, and buyout textbooks in form of electronic version through electronic devices.
The company also focuses on the value of education and customers that can afford and access that value to reach personal's requirement.Â The company provides the rental academic e-book in all electronic devices format, the rental condition divides in form of monthly, semester/trimester, and yearly.Â Then the customers can buyout after rental expire which cheaper than the printable books and buyers are able to print and copy as a hard copy as well.Â As the hard copy is quite thick and heavy so the students will avoid buying books therefore the company appreciates to supplies this rental option to all students to take advantages from this services which low price, save time and more convenience than printable books.Â Moreover, the company also provides technical support and consultation to all users in order to the technical problems such as server interruption and disconnection.Â Furthermore, the company realizes on copy right of publishers and authors due to students may resell the textbooks at the end of semester so the company can help publishers and writers protecting intellectual property and earn money after first sale as well as the writer will get loyalties on second and third rentals.Â In addition, the company also directly concerns on green and environmentally friendly by using paperless and reducing cutting trees and inks.
Broad overall strategy
In order to achieve fast and long-term business success and growth within 2 years the company will:
- Focus on niche market and product differentiation to gain competitive advantage. The Uni-eText Solution is the first company who provides online subscription, rental and buyout e-book to the academic people in higher educational institutions.Â
- Using push strategy, cooperating and creating good relationship with academic institutions by giving them profit sharing in order to have them as distribution channels
- Provide high quality of consulting, supports and services.
- Provide competitive pricing scheme and retain cheaper and affordable solutions
- Provide preferable environment using various formats (online access, online e-book rental and e-bookÂ buyout)Â forÂ allÂ academicsÂ comparing withÂ theÂ traditionalÂ sources;Â bookÂ stores,Â onlineÂ bookÂ stores,Â book rentals,Â whileÂ concerningÂ withÂ intellectual propertiesÂ andÂ copyrightsÂ issues.
- Operate concerningÂ withÂ environmentalÂ friendlyÂ byÂ usingÂ GreenÂ IT,Â lessÂ paperÂ orÂ paperlessÂ andÂ social responsibilities policies.
Uni-eText solution is considered itself as a hybrid service business which can be seen as an academic e-book web portal service provider collaborating between publishers, authors academic institutes and customers/students to accomplish lifelong learning concept while anytime, anywhere and any devices is possible with its academic e-book services (rental and subscribe with time period) and/or products (buyout option) via internet (online reading) and/or e-book reader software in various computer formats or mobile devices (offline reading).
The company's suppliers/partners to provide the sources of academic e-books are from popular publishers or authors such as Pearson Education, John Wiley & Son, Cengage Learning, McGraw-Hill, Lexis Nexis Butterworths, Prentice-Hall, Thomson etc.
As Uni-eText uses product/service differentiation as its business strategy so our services and products will provide ease of ordering process, delivery, installation, maintenance - upgrade/fixed by using leading edge information and communication technologies combining with good customer and consulting services, training and also rich features, performance, reliable, stylish and trendy design of e-book reading software tools.
So to reach the ease of ordering process and understanding of services & products information while meet varies customers' requirement, Uni-eText will provides three main service & products consisting of:
- E-book Online subscriptions
- E-book Rental services
- E-book buyout option
The e-book online subscriptions:
Students or customers can search, select, subscribe according to desire specific time (trimester or semester time period) and read the preferred books with standard web browser through online web site from their desktop computer, laptop, tablet and mobile devices. The subscription services also can combine with institute or universities' course or customisable for automatic enrolling with relevant academic text book according to their subject enrolment.
The e-book rental services:
This rental services will provides more accessibility option for customers to read the chosen books off-line on their various types of reading devices. The rental period is selectable base-on trimester or semester time.
Customers are required to download the e-book reader software which available for free in most of popular operating system and mobile devices including Desktop computers, Laptop computers using Microsoft Windows, Linux, MacOS, Tablet:Â iPad, e-book reader and mobile devices:Â i-phone, i-pod, Black Berry - RIM, Nokia - Symbian and others mobile phone using Android and Windows Mobile OS.
This e-book reader software technologies help to provide easy and attractive reading features, great performance, reliable, stylish and trendy design while maintain copyright and usage of those books in specific time-period according to rental time selection. After the expired rental period, those selected book will not be able to access anymore but customers can re-order to extend reading period or using the buyout option to gain perpetual reading right in their devices.
E-book buyout option:
With this service, when students and customers are enjoying and valuing the selected reading books and would like to keep them as their own library collection. The company will provide buyout option in which customers can purchase those e-books and maintain perpetual accessible reading right with free e-book reading software (the same rental software devices)
Free e-book reading software
This e-book reading software will develop and maintain by IT outsourcing company and estimate costs of development is around $50,000 per year. The portal web site is also design, create and maintenance by the web hosting outsourcing company (iPage) with the estimate costs of $10,000 per year.
Packaging and delivery process:
As our services & products are base-on internet, computer technology there is no need of physical packaging but it can be seen as books on the bookshelf or the cover page from each customer screen while delivery process is done via internet networking and does not need physical transportation.
The Uni-eText solution's pricing strategy concerns on the customers' preference and the value of products and services which reasonable and affordable. The company will set the price comparing with the printed books, simple, easy to understand and minimize the process of purchase decision of customers. The price of academic e-book is also depends on the negotiation and collaboration suppliers -publishers and authors.Â
The pricing objective:
Uni-eText solution sets the pricing objective as attaining the maximum the market share for the initial state - first year and aim increase the profit and economy of scale in the following year which the company will maximize the profit as well as increase in shareholder's wealth , partners' profit and to attract new investors.
According to the price elasticity of demand, the pricing of academic e-book and content of industry is quite elastic in the present where the academic e-book may not as popular as printed book and it is also new technology and new way of reading to the customers so increasing or decreasing in price may affect more in quantity of demand.Â On the other hand, after the academic e-book is well-known, popular and seen as necessary, adjusting in price, may less affect with the quantity which is less elasticity of demand or inelastic in near future.
In the initial stage, the company sets up the products and services price by comparing (going rate) to the average of traditional hard copy academic book which is estimate price of AUD$100. The Uni-eText e-book price range according to the three main categories is as follows:
- On-line Subscription Pricing: The price of online subscription per year is $20 (approximately at 20 percent of printed book).
- E-book Rental services Pricing: The rental fee will charge per semester at $50 and also provides the buyout option after the rent with the rate at additional $20.
- E-book Buyout is at $70.
From those sales price, the cost of goods sold (costs of e-book from publishers or authors) are estimated to be 50% of Online- subscription, e-book rental and buyout's sales price which are $10, $25 and $35 respectively.
According to the distribution/place strategy using academic institutes or universities as distributors / partners, the single pricing policy is used to eliminate channel conflict and profitable for partners where from company pricing above, universities will get 5% profit margin from the sale price and additional rebate/kick back from target reached which will mention in distribution strategy in following section.
While those prices still can make the company achieved the marketing objective and financial objective with final projected net profit margin at 20% from sales price. All detail information will be shown in financial part.Â
Uni-eText solution's pricing strategy is based on single pricing/national pricing policy due to the company provides the range of online subscription, rental, and buyout at the same rates over Australia.Â The company also applies the pricing method of going rate pricing as price strategy which set up the price by concerning on the market and competitors' price.
In addition, Uni-eText solution is differentiate in products and services which focus on the niche market and expertise in education industrial which expected to provide better consulting and supporting to academic customers while the company tries to maintain the pricing as customers' valuable and affordable.
Lastly, With this pricing strategy, the company beliefs that Uni-eText can reach the marketing and financial objectives which will create enormous customers and networking to get targeted 20% market share and later on increase shareholder's profit within 2 years.
Place / Distribution
As Uni-eText's products and services is base-on internet and computer technology which has widely and openly accessibility from customers. All products and services can be sole, deliver and distribute through internet directly to customer.
But according to our marketing objective to gain targeted growing rate, penetrate in the market share, and attain order retention rate with high (80%) satisfaction rate altogether with financial objective to reach short-period break-even, double digit growth of sales revenue and meet the net profit margin so the company should has strong partnership with partners/distributor to push the products and services to the market.
So the company will use University/academic institutes as a main distribution channel while using profit sharing and rebate schemes to attract and motivate distributors to push, promote and support company's products & services.
With using universities/institutes as distribution channels, the company believes that this could reduce company's operation cost such as aftersales support, sales which can be done by conduct the train the trainers' workshop for universities' staff to reduce cost of direct support or first line support while company can be more focus on marketing activities, market researches, consulting and collaborating with suppliers and partners for product and services quality and more e-book content availability, software and web portal development.
So customers/students can select products and services through university website which is linked or integrated with company's ordering and delivering back end process regarding to their enrolment courses.Â Â
However, Uni-eText also can provide the direct sales from own portal web to customers but to avoid channel conflict, the pricing scheme in the company web site is the standard price while buying from distributors (universities/institutes) could provide a lower discounted price for their students. So the main purpose of company direct web site is to provide information to partners/distributors, online marketing activities - online survey, web board, feedback, knowledge sharing communities.
The profit sharing scheme mention above will initially provide 5% profit margin of sales revenue generated from those universities/institutes and additional rebate (1%-3% profit) kick back for target sales reached (1% of $50,000 target reached , 2% of $100,000 and 3% for above $200,000.)
In addition, to support universities' sales and marketing activities the company will provide marketing fund such as universities' activities sponsor and online marketing activities budget. (Detail marketing budget will be shown in promotion and financial plan.)
The delivery processes will use virtual logistic channel through internet and web site or directly to customers' e-book reading software and devices which can cover all over Australia which is costless to distributors.
1.) For the first year, in order to create an effective marketing promotion to meet the marketing objectives, the estimated promotional budget will be around 7.59 percent of sales revenue, or approximately $174,603 per year. In order to increase market share and because of the growth of total sales revenue, the estimated promotional budget in the second year will turn to around 8.15 percent, approximately $447,436 per year. The detail marketing budget and expenses calculation can be seen in Marketing budget plan and financial section.
1.1)Â As the company is new in the market, in the first year, in order to create awareness and interest to students and academics, who are the main target market, the company will emphasis on promoting and introducing Uni-eText Solution in academic institutions' seminars and exhibition events which is the way that the company can meet the and demonstrate our product and service directly to the potential customers. Thus the main proportion (60.95 percent) of promotional budget will be used for facilitating those activities, approximately $106,000. In the second year, the expenses in this part will be increased to $286,000 or 64.27 of the sales revenue.
- Uni-eText Solution aims to attend in 50 universities or academic institutions' orientations and seminar events within the first year, and the expenses for this activity will be at $50,000. Then in the second year, in order to achieve the increase market growth, the company will raise the budget for this activity to $150,000, which will be cover for 100 universities or academic institutions' orientations and seminar events.
- Within the first year, Uni-eText Solution will spend $6,000 to promote itself at least 3 times in important academic and IT exhibitions which will be organized annually through Australia, for example MBA&POSTGRAD Expo, Queensland education resources expo, the educationshow and so on. Also, the expenses in for this promotional activity will be provided more to $16,000 for at least 4 times in the next year.
- Uni-eText Solution will also promote itself as sponsor in important events in academic institutions and educational expo. The budget for sponsor promotions is provided at $50,000 and $120,000 for the first and the second year, respectively.
1.2) The internet will be the second major source for the promotional activity. Promotion and advertising on the internet will be a significant way that can reach a huge number of target markets, as it supports the increasing trend of internet using and lifestyle of most target audiences. Also our product and service rely on the internet, so the internet is the most effective way for Uni-eText Solution to communicate with the customers. 28.41 percent of promotional budget or $49,400 will be invested for all online advertising.
- The company will outsource the third party which is Ipage.com (as the following figures) to get done about online advertising through several well-known website such as Yahoo, Google, and Facebook.
- As Uni-eText Solution plans to use its website to interact with customers and businesses, also the information concerning our promotion will be posted on our website.
- Free trial will be offered through online marketing activities, such as
1.3) Uni-eText Solution proposes to gain more awareness and create advertising through the consumers. The company will invest $12,500 (7.19 percent of promotional budget) for Uni-eText premium gifts with the company's logo, such as memory drives (USB drive), T-shirts, and caps. As the sales revenue increase, also the budget for this part will turn to $27,000 or 6.07 percent of promotional budget.
1.4) In the first year, 3.45 percent of promotional budget or $6,000 will be used in providing printed material advertisement, for instant handouts for seminars and exhibitions, and posters for university information boards. In the second year, this budget will increase to $13,200 or 2.97 percent of promotional budget, in order to support the growth of market share.
2.) In order to achieve the market objective, Uni-eText solution emphasis on using profit sharing scheme as an important strategy to attract universities and academic institutes to get involve in marketing activities, create more opportunity for repeat purchasing and increase sales revenue. 5 percent of sales revenue will be offered to those academic institutions as a sales incentive.
2.1) Free trial will be provided for market influencers, such as lecturer or course committee or management for reviewing in order to stimulate their interest.
2.2) In order to stimulate sales activity and increase sales revenue, additional rebate (as mention in place or distribution sector and financial plan) will be provided to academic institutions who can reach the sales target as a marketing fund support.
As Uni-eText is one of the hybrid service innovations, people and staffing are important aspect to success for the company so the company will provide IT and technical support with the strong experience consultant for users' technical problems such as server interruption and disconnection.
Also Uni-eText Solution will collaborate with academic institutions in order to ensure customers' needs, high satisfaction and repeat purchasing by using specialists who are credible and has strong experience in Australian academic field will be hired as a company's advisor to create effective communication and good relationship with influencers and decision makers of educational institutions.
Another concerning part is training where knowledge of staff, partners to provide information, sales, support and also customers' knowledge of using and superb using experienced are important so the company will emphasise the knowledge transfer and development through online, offline and on-site training including train the trainer, peer-to-peer advise through social network and on-line activities.Â Â
Using the new internet, computer and communication technology, Uni-eText can provide simply, fast and efficiency through all the process.
From customers' point of view, it seems to be only one stop services point from their universities web site which is linking back to the back end service of the company IT data center where customers can find, select, subscribe or purchase in a few step while the services and products can delivery almost instantly to their computers, tablet or mobile devices through the computer network, wireless or internet.
Uni-eText solution web site also one of the channel for facilitating customer relationship management. Customers can contact directly via the web site for any assistances.
However, the company will encourage the customers communicate through their universities website in order to reduce operational cost and channel confliction between universities and the company.
Although, the company also provide customer service telephone number as a second line support for any problem which cannot be solve from the universities or partners frontline support immediately through 24/7 IT outsourcing company.
As described in Uni-eText products & services and process strategy, our solution is based on IT technology which is the websites and backend services which is developed, running and maintenance by IT Datacenter outsourcing.
So the company web site's goals is to be simply, easy to use, trendy, stylish designed while maintain excellent functions and features. These concepts also use with the development of free e-book reading software which will be install in customers computers, notebooks, iphone, ipad, smartphone, etc. where customers can experienced feeling of lifelong learning in IT technology and social network era. Â
The main communication methods between customers, partners, suppliers and the company also using technology including VDO conference, voice over IP, online chat/discussion board, text message, social network - face book and traditional communication - telephone and fax still available where internet outage or not available can be used in secondary way.
All of our products & services, communication, support seems to happen in the virtual world and it is one of the trend of near future we will experience and used in everyday life where Uni-eText is tried to be the leader and continuing developed those environment according to customers feedback and comment.
Prior to the launch:
In order to prepare for launching the product, qualitative research will be conducted as focus group with students and lecturers in universities to provide needed information, including end-users' requirement, ideas of using and reading e-book, course structures, enrolment information, text book requirement.
Also, secondary data market research will be conduct such as the number of universities' students from Australian statistic bureau will be used to quantify target market including target market size, market growth, economics trend, internet and technology trend.
During implementation and business operation:
The company planned to conduct quantitative market research using mainly online survey which will be conducted with end users to get feedback about our product and service and ensure their high satisfaction and better products & services including software development for cape up with new trend, requirement and technology.
Also the market survey with partners/distributors and suppliers to evaluate quality of products & services provided, also difficulty, performance and efficiency to make sure of high satisfaction and feedback for further improvement.
As Uni-eText products & services is one of the new innovation and with the emerging trend of mobile/tablet and internet technology, the company is expected to be one of the fast growing and profitable business where the financial overview figure projected as below graph. It can be seen that the sales revenue using conservative approach in sales forecast for the first year is projected at $2.2M where net profit expected at $500K (17%) which the objective of the first year is to gain the market share and establish awareness of e-book using to replace printed book while in the second year, expected to gain double digit growth or around $5.4 M and the net profit rate of 21% which reached the financial target. The detail of financial, break-even, financial position, financial performance including marketing budgeting and expenses will be shown in the following section.
Forecasts - sales and marketing expenditure
The Uni-eText is forecast the sales using conservative approach which the number of sales is reachable according to the market research done prior to the completion of this marketing plan. For example in the first month of the launch date, the sales forecast expected to be around 5,000 units which is considered to be only 0.05% of total target market size of around 1,000,000 students. At the first year strategy to take more time to establish network and focus more in marketing activities, sales forecast growth rate estimated at 5% in each month and aim to gain 10% market share (around 100,000 unit sales).
While in second year, the company will focus to increase sales revenue and penetrate the market to gain 20% market share (around 200,000 unit sales) and aim to meet the target of 20% net profit.
According to the sales forecast, variable cost, Fixed cost which is shown in detail financial appendices, the Break-even calculation for the company can be seen from graph and the table below where the average monthly unit sale to reach break-even point is at 1,558 units for average all products & services unit sales or 3,637 unit sales in term of online subscriptions or at $72,750 monthly sales to reach break-even point in year 2011 while the break-even monthly sales revenue is around $93,026 or 4,651 units and 1,993 units for online-subscriptions and average all P&S unit sales respectively.
c.Marketing Plan budget
From the company marketing and financial objective to maintain significant marketing budget to increase market shares and growth in sales revenue, the company is plan the use the budget as shown in the table below where in year 2011, the marketing budget projected at around 7.59% of $2.2M sales revenue or around $174,603 while in year 2012, we plan to increase marketing budget to 8.15% of $5.4M sales revenue which is around $447,426 plan to use in all marketing activities.
The major expenses budget is planned on Seminar & Exhibition event at 60% follow by online advertisement at 28% and the rest for printed materials and premium gifts.
Evaluation & Controls procedures for implementation of the Marketing Plan
During implementation of Marketing Plan, Uni-eText will evaluate and control the plan using the procedures in following area:
- Monitors Sales revenue per monthly, quarterly and annually basis and readjust marketing activities according to the results.
- Monitors the growth rate of unit sales and market share situation every month and quarterly to make sure that at the end of the year, the company should meet the target of 10% market share.
- Monitors marketing activities according the market budgeting plan that should spend and reach the target of expenses 5%-7% from sales revenue.
- Conduct the market survey every half-yearly to measure the satisfaction which is targeted at 80% level of satisfaction and also get feedback for further improvement in e-book content quality, availability and e-book reading software features development.
- Monitors availability, variety and updated of academic e-book guaranteeing to meet the needs of students and universities subjects by collaborating with partners and publishers per monthly basis.
- Monitors cash flow and operation expenses by monthly and quarterly to make sure that the company meets the target of 15% and 20% net profit within 2 years.
To evaluate and control the marketing plan, the company has milestones shown as table below:
Difficulties and Risks
- Preference of consumers in reading books or substitute products.
- Publishers help their distributors (e.g. book stores) to protect their profit and market and do not allow for copyright to Uni-eText Solution who is considered as competitor.
- High cost given from suppliers (e.g. publishers), which lead to uncompetitive prices.
Worst - Case Risks
- Decrease in market growth.
- Insufficient fund to carry on and develop the business.
- Get out of the market and quit doing the business.