Story Factory Marketing Plan

Introduction

A marketing plan explains the strategies that an organization will use to advertise its items to customers. The strategy specifies the target market, the value added to the product or brand, the campaigns to be begun, and the metrics to be used to analyze the performance of marketing initiatives. There are both positive and negative outcomes for businesses working under market circumstances Short-term goals may have been asserted at the expense of long-term objectives, with a concentration on performance and profit in the short term irrespective of market growth, resulting in the absence of any marketing strategy.

Having a solid marketing strategy in place is essential for effective marketing, as it ensures that all marketing activities are aligned and helps to create an environment that makes it easier to flourish in the marketplace, Therefore, A market plan will aid Story Factory in achieving effective market growth, development and align its operation in an effective manner.

Story Factory aims at providing writing expertise to people aged seven to seventeen from under-resourced communities, especially the Aboriginals. It is surprising that the company attempts to achieve this mandate without demanding a penny from the participants. Therefore, a well-designed market plan will help the organization align its operations effectively to continue supporting the less privileged. The marketing plan will not only aid the firm in effective operation but also forecast the future and how best they can grow, become more competitive and help more less privileged in the society. Through analyzing the organization’s strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats, the organization will come up with new strategies, how to implement them, and the measurable tools to use in order to achieve its set objective as per the plan; thus, the plan will act as a road map to Story factory.

Executive summary

Story Factory, a nonprofit company, is a good resource for people aged 7 and 17 from under-resourced communities, particularly Aboriginals. The firm acknowledges that stories can change lives. Thus, the company delivers a range of services aimed at helping young Aboriginals to become experts in writing. The company leads a remote-based business model. The present report is a detailed assessment of the company’s market approach. The firm then offers meaningful recommendations on how the entity can advance its marketing concept. From Porter’s Five Forces analysis and SWOT analysis, the firm has several opportunities. As such, the company has to target more under-resourced groups and not just Aboriginal students. Besides, the company has to provide more innovative services. A writing contest for students to showcase their talents and win internationally acknowledged awards is suggested. The company must also increase its presence on social media and remain active, mainly to engage the audience. If the company indeed follows these suggestions, the marketing concept of the company will expand vastly. The company’s position in the market will widen. Therefore, the firm will become a true leader in the industry.

Market Analysis 

Specifically, this section will address Story Factory’s present market position, target group and audience, contemporary strategic direction, and other nonprofit participants in the same field. The Story Factory is a nonprofit creative writing center that targets young people aged between seven and 17 years from communities that are under-resourced. Nonetheless, to understand the company even further, it is pertinent to perform a marketing mix and micro/macro environment, competitor, marketing positioning, and differentiation evaluation.

Marketing Mix

Broadly, marketing mix refers to the set of tactics or actions that an entity usually applies to promote its product or brand in the market. The marketing mix is traditionally attributed to the Four Ps of marketing (Peng, 2021). These are product, place, price, and promotion. However, there are two other strategic elements that greatly contribute when analyzing the marketing mix: people and process. The following discussion will present an analysis of Story Factory’s marketing mix.

Product

Story Factory is not a product company but a service one. To enhance literacy, creativity, and confidence in young people in the 7-17 age range who are members of low-income or at-risk communities, nonprofit organizations offer free narrative and creative writing courses. The company specializes in four unique services: big projects, school programs, teacher resources, and after-school and holiday programs. The chief aim of the big project is to bring learners from diverse schools together to create an exciting public outcome. In most cases, the big projects run hand-in-hand with other arts entities. The projects are rare for students to participate in a robust learning event.

As for the school programs, Story Factory often works with a select group of schools throughout Sydney, Greater Sydney, and Western Sydney to deliver term-long, one-off, and year-long curricular-aligned writing events. The organization also provides teachers’ resources delivered by qualified, experienced pedagogists passionate about writing and expertise in getting young people excited to write (Xerri, 2016). Among the resources provided by these teachers include online workshops for students, professional learning programs, and pre-recorded video writing prompts. All these resources usually draw on the company’s tried and tested strategies for engaging the learners in writing. The after-school and holiday programs are online spaces where the youth can create, write, and dream big. The Story Factory storytellers facilitate the workshops, all of which are designed to support the development of ideas, writing, and access to support resources.

Price

is the other aspect of the marketing mix. The organization does not charge the students or other participants, such as teachers, any money to access the services offered. As identified earlier in the paper, the other pertinent aspect of the marketing mix is the place. As Thabit and Raewf (2018) relay, the place is typically the region to which products and services are distributed. The primary target regions include under-resourced places within NSW and Sydney.

Place

Story Factory’s actual locations in NSW, Redfern, and Parramatta host the workshops. These facilities are open to a wide range of local groups and educational institutions. Besides schools and community groups, workshops are offered online and in seven local government areas (LGAs). These initiatives include long-term school sessions called School Residency.

Promotion

Story Factory has a very interactive website listing pertinent information about its services to students. Besides the website, the company usually has a vast presence on social media. Thus, the company is very vocal on Twitter. Similarly, the firm has a Facebook page that allows the audience to voice their complaints and provide suggestions apart from communicating fundamental messages using different formats, including video and text. Story Factory also displays products such as books and other critical resources on its websites. The display is crucial as it serves to promote the company’s offerings.

People

Story Factory involves many people in its operation. This range from English teachers, Educators, writers, visual professionals from different backgrounds, and enthusiastic volunteers who significantly contribute towards the effective operation of the talented team.  The most considerable portion of Story Factory’s income comes from Philanthropy and Massive Donors, which includes training sessions for educators; bookstores sales of documented creative pieces of artwork by children featured on the official site, then Government, corporates earned, and Other Revenue which involves the income from people and fundraising.

Process

Most of Story Factor`s programs are delivered in person, with professors interacting directly with attendees. They frequently work with other creative institutes on their “Big Projects.” The workshops can also be accessed on the Internet. This means that the company follows certain operations processes, which are conducted through a well-documented market plan.

Story Factory’s micro/macroenvironmental analysis

The microenvironment is defined as the environment that is in direct contact with the company on a daily basis. The term Macro Environment refers to an environment that is not peculiar to a single company but can have an impact on the operations of all business groupings as well (Yang at el., 2014). Comparing the macro and micro environments, the environment in which a company operates is a feature of every corporate organization. No organization can operate in a vacuum because the business environment encompasses a wide range of influences, both near and far. Both the microenvironment and the macroenvironment might be considered (Cheng at el., 2015). Both have an impact on a specific business, but only one has an impact on all business entities operating in the economy. One of the most pertinent tools for analyzing an entity’s micro and macro environments is Porter’s Five Forces. According to Sadq et al. (2018), these forces include the threat of substitutes, the threat of new entrants, industry rivalry, the bargaining power of the customers, and the bargaining power of the suppliers. The threat of new entrants is high. The environment in which the company operates is primarily online. If this is the case, any company in the same mold as Story Factory can enter and leave the industry at will.

In addition, with the digital nature of the industry, not much capital is needed to operate. Therefore, the industry is open to any willing industrial player. While this is the case, the threat of new entrants is mitigated by the fact that Story Factory has already established a name for itself. Therefore, customers see it as a credible firm relative to other entrants. Therefore, it might be overwhelmingly difficult for new entrants to knock Story Factory off its perch. The threat of substitutes is also high. Hence, the substitutes are presented by the brick-and-mortar firms whose business strategies resemble that of Story Factory. These alternative firms provide similar services and products. They are perhaps more ideal to the customers considering that they make personal contact with them, unlike the case of Story Factory. Therefore, the level of trust maintained between the substitutes and their customers is greater relative to the outcomes for the firm under consideration.

The bargaining power of the suppliers is high, as well. As noted earlier in the paper, the resources delivered to the audience result from the work of teachers and other relevant experts. Most of these experts render their services free of charge or for a small monetary token. These experts can shift allegiance to other service providers without sacrificing much. If anything, some of the industrial players are for-profit firms. Therefore, the suppliers (the teachers) might offer better value than Story Factory. They can move to other like-minded companies whenever they feel like it.

The bargaining power of the consumers is also high. This is due to the notion that they can seek services from elsewhere without incurring any switching costs. Even so, there are several factors that prevent customers from pursuing the services of other industrial players. One of these is the price factor. Story Factory’s products and services are provided without any cost. Therefore, it does not make sense for most customers to seek premium services at the expense of Story Factory’s free ones.

The other facet of Porter’s Five Forces analysis is competitive rivalry. There are indeed several entities that operate in the same mold as the Story Factory. However, most of these firms are for-profit. Therefore, based on price, these entities do not compete much with the company. However, those operating a not-for-profit model fiercely rival Story Factory. To this end, the company thrives on differentiation. The most dominant competitors in Australia include the Jasper Picture Company, Lumar Pixel, Laneways Agency, and Laundry Lane Productions Pty Ltd.

Force Low or high Reasons
The threat of new entrants Low The industry is open to any willing industrial player

Story Factory has already established a name for itself

Threat of substitutes High  
Bargaining power of customers High They can seek services from elsewhere without incurring any switching costs

Story Factory’s products and services are provided in the absence of any cost

For most customers, it does not make sense to seek premium services at the expense of Story Factory’s free ones

Bargaining power of suppliers High v  Experts are free to shift allegiance to other service providers without sacrificing much

They can move to other like-minded companies whenever they feel like

Industry rivalry   High Most companies operate a for-profit model

For those that operate a not-for-profit model they pose great rivalry to Story Factory

Story Factory thrives on differentiation

Market segment, target, positioning, and differentiation 

Market Segmentation

Market segmentation is the process of determining how a market can be divided into separate groups of customers, each with specific needs, characteristics, or habits, and each of whom may need special products or marketing strategies. Below is a table showing how Story

Factory`s market is segmented

Behavioral Geographic Demographic Psychographic
A varied group of young people from indigenous and other non-English-speaking backgrounds. From their two headquarters in Sydney to seven local government areas (LGAs) and several schools around New South Wales Most of them are 7-17-year-olds who score above 100 on the Family Profession and Knowledge Index (FOEI). Teachers and students are also included. Young people from low-socio-economic backgrounds who are more likely to have low literacy levels or to have dropped out of school prematurely.

 Market Target

Identifying the most viable market segment is done by examining essential features that separate a market into multiple relevant and actionable parts and identifying which clients belong in which category. Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander children for whom “English is an additional language or dialect” are the primary focus of Story Factory’s efforts. They were chosen because of their obvious disadvantage and because they require the most help developing the skills needed to deal with the outside world.

Market positioning

Market positioning refers to the capacity of a firm to influence the perception of the consumers concerning a product or service, or even a brand, relative to the competitors. We utilize market positioning as a tactical tool to help shape consumer perceptions of a brand or product (Neirotti, Raguseo, and Paolucci, 2016). Promoting, pricing, location, and product are all part of the four Ps of marketing. When defining the Ps, more is better when it comes to place. Story Factory has a solid market positioning (Bryson, 2018). The customers, both students, and teachers, firmly believe in the services rendered to them. Especially due to the market proposition that the Story Factory presents, for instance, that teachers with great expertise prepare the resources provided, the customers are more likely to engage with the resources disseminated by the company and not those from the competitors (Stichnothe, 2014). In addition, Story Factory has positioned itself as a company dedicated to nurturing and improving the writing skills of learners from disadvantaged communities. Therefore, the firm has developed a reputation for working towards reducing the performance of low and high-SES communities.

 Market Differentiation

Differentiation refers to the ability of a firm to set itself apart from its competitors. Thus, the products and services a firm delivers to the market have something unique not found in those offerings disseminated by the competitors. If this is the case, a differentiated product or service delivers better value than the rivals (Weking et el., 2018). This is indeed the nature of the services delivered by Story Factory. For example, when it comes to Big Projects, unlike other competitors, the initiatives present the students with a rare opportunity for students to engage in something big, for example, authoring books, creating films, organizing events, and writing publications. The teachers’ resources are also differentiated. For example, the resources are digitalized. Besides, they are designed so that the teachers can engage students remotely, thus circumventing challenges due to uncertainties, for example, Covid-19. The differentiation of Story Factory is also visible in that the firm supports productivity and writing with children who struggle with online learning. The resources are very easy for the teachers to implement.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis refers to a strategic tool that a firm uses to investigate the strengths and weaknesses of an entity and the opportunities and threats existing in the external setting. Performing a SWOT analysis on Story Factory will assist in identifying the internal strengths and weaknesses of the organization. It also aids in the discovery of external opportunities and risks you may face at any given time (Phadermrod, Crowder, and Wills, 2019). As a result, it is a very useful tool for internal and external tasks and project analysis of situations.

Strengths Weaknesses
Opportunities Threats

Strengths

Story Factory depicts a set of strengths. One of the greatest is that it focuses on a target market that is continually overlooked, namely, under-resourced students (Story Factory, 2021). Another important strength is that the organization boasts an ever-increasing donor base. The other key strength is the firm’s knowledgeable and skilled workforce. Besides, even though they work for free, the staff members are highly motivated and dedicated. An additional strength is that the company has a large service portfolio that is very creative and innovative (The Not-For-Profit Foundation, 2021). A large customer base is also a strength of which the firm boats. What is more, the company has an outstanding reputation. Indeed, interested stakeholders usually place Story Factory as one of the benchmark solutions for disadvantaged students. The company leads an e-commerce model, which means that it operates remotely. Such a model is essential because it allows the company to disseminate its services faster.

Weaknesses

The company’s crucial weakness is its focus on a limited market segment. Story Factory delivers its services to students aged between seven and 17 years who reside in under-resourced communities (Story Factory, 2021). This is indeed a major weakness because it prevents the firm from using its full capacity. Another weakness is that the organization’s PR is not solid. This is fundamentally due to the fact that the company’s presence on the various communication channels is blunt. If anything, the company’s website is the primary method through which Story Factory communicates with its clients. Even though the firm is on Facebook, it is not very active. This is illustrated by the inability of the company to share frequently. In addition, the company habitually does not attend to most comments sent. This is detrimental because it limits the audience’s engagement with the company.

Opportunities

There are several opportunities for the company. In this age of Covid-19, more and more learners in Australia are finding it challenging to purchase premium writing resources (Reimers et el., 2020). This is primarily due to the ongoing recession associated with the pandemic, which according to the World Bank (2021), has been the worst since the end of World War 2. Nevertheless, this is an opportunity for Story Factory. As such, more and more target customers who otherwise preferred premium writing services might turn to the free services which the firm provides. If this is the case, then it is pertinent that the Story Factory customer base will continue increasing. A further opportunity lies in the current trend in which more and more Aboriginal students are motivated to excel academically (Story Factory, 2021). Story Factory provides specialized or tailored support to these learners. Therefore, they might turn to the company to fulfill their education dream. Thus, this trend will serve to increase the firm’s customer base.

 Threats

A chief threat to the company is competitive rivalry. Numerous companies usually offer the same services as Story Factory. Examples of the most dominant rivals include Jasper Picture Company, Lumar Pixel, Laneways Agency, and Laundry Lane Productions Pty Ltd. The threat posed by these firms is indeed severe. This is primarily so because the competitors are always inclined towards differentiating their offerings. Thus, any lapse on the part of the Story Factory will see its customers shift towards the competitors. Even so, Story Factory perhaps has the edge over its rivals. This is so because the company provides more for less. The inadequate PR is also a threat to the company, as, with limited engagement, it is inevitable that customers might become less enthusiastic about the company irrespective of how its programs or services are revolutionary (Gaecia et el., 2017). The limited market focus is also a threat. The needs presented by the Aboriginal students are always the same. This is so because it prevents Story Factory from taking its creativity to the next level. As Short and Lyssa (2017) show, when diverse needs confront a firm, it is challenging to develop distinct innovative products. However, as long as the needs of the Aboriginal students do not change, the incentive for Story Factory to create new creative services does not exist.

Marketing Strategy

Story Factory needs to incorporate new ideas into its existing strategy. Marketing strategy describes how a company intends to reach and convert potential customers into paying customers for its goods and services (Morgan et el., 2019). The market strategy includes the perceived value of the company, important brand messages, demographic information on target customers, and other elevated elements, such as ((Varadarajan, 2015). There are short-term, mid-term, and long-term strategies that Story Factory can implement as their market plan.

Short-Term Strategies

Short-term strategies usually range from a period of three to six months. The following are some of the short-term strategies that Story Factory can implement as part of its market plan.

  • Increasing the Stability of the Website: Other than enticing users to come back often, Story Factory must have the task of persuading individuals to identify with and implement their goals (Hoefer & Twis 2018, p. 263). Simple, low-cost changes include looking at the website from a performance angle rather than just how it looks and feels. This can be achieved through An SEO audit, website speed testing, and traffic analysis.
  • Increasing participation on social media: To boost the number of likes, shares, and followers, it is necessary to run regular campaigns on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Campaigns involving paid advertising and Influencer marketing should be well-thought-out before implementation. Story Factory’s YouTube Channel (2021) reports only 105 subscribers on YouTube thus, that number needs to be boosted. Similarly, Story Factory’s Facebook and Google Reviews require greater activity.
  • Increasing the level of participation of volunteers: Camps and meet-ups for volunteer advocacy and awareness are required to establish a feeling of purpose in volunteerism. Volunteers should be encouraged to see their work as a stepping stone to a career in the humanities or community service in addition to making an impact in society.

Mid-Term Strategy

            These strategies run between six to twelve months. At the end of this period, an organization is expected to have achieved its goals and objectives. The following are some of the mid-term strategies that Story Factory should implement.

  • Brand Partnership: Pro-bono collaborations with entertainment brands and gaming industries and children’s toys are required for publicity, sponsorships, and donations. Brands in the retail and FMCG industries might be some of the brands that Story Factory can partner with.
  • Corporate and professional storytelling: The ‘Teacher training’ storytelling module might be expanded to include a new paid storytelling module for corporations, startups, and other professionals. Managers, corporate leaders, and professionals who wish to communicate themselves better would benefit from these custom storytelling seminars. Story Factory will be able to continue operating as a result of this.
  • Reaching out to new customer segments: The Opportunities section indicates that new target groups should be approached to see if they are interested in creative writing and how to motivate them through beginner camps. To find a True Friend or an audience that needs creative expression, Story Factory will use this method. Those clients who discover the best match in a company’s offerings are known as True Friends. Additionally, this might be done in an effort to ‘expand the product line,’ in the sense that an organization goes above and beyond its current product-providing range to fill a market gap.

Long-Term Strategies

These Strategies usually take between twelve to twenty-four months. They require more resources for implementation and operation. Below are some of the long-term strategies that Story Factor can implement to gain a competitive advantage in the market it operates in.

  • Sustainability: There must be an entrepreneurial attitude in Story Factory’s implementation of creative techniques and pursuit of advanced methods to provide better value for their target audience, which will provide them a competitive advantage. As a result, a long-term strategy based on ecological sustainability and creativity must be devised. Additionally, youth sustainability education initiatives must also be developed.
  • Rebranding: To transform Story Factory into a one-stop shop for the development of storytelling and creative writing for Aboriginal communities’ most vulnerable members, a gradual shift in positioning must be attempted. However, the focus on teenagers aged 7 to 17 must remain intact. As a result, modules targeting different portions of the original community should be carefully created and evaluated in pilot workshops. Similarly, the website’s design, feel, and focus on children must be shifted to accommodate a different audience. This way, the path from ‘only for children’ to ‘open to anyone, especially young adults experiencing indifference and desperation, who would like to find a purpose and make anything of their lives’ will be paved.

Action items and budget

 ACTION PLAN

Establishing an action plan will help significant edge convert their goals into reality and promote efficiency and responsibility within a company. An action plan defines how your business will fulfill its objectives through comprehensive, actionable steps that define when and how these measures will be taken (Gaecia et el., 2017). This section gives a roadmap for designing and utilizing your group’s action plan. Story Factory should aim to instill the following actions to achieve long, mid, and short-term strategies.

Website, Volunteer Participation, and Social Media

  • Ads on Facebook, Google, and Twitter should be targeted at particular content if donations are to be made and a larger audience is to be attained through paid advertising.
  • To get reviews on Google or Facebook, people should be gently encouraged and provided friendly reminders.
  • Every teacher, parent, practitioner, volunteer, and Story Factory employee must be listed in a database.
  • Graphical statistics or pie charts showing the ‘Impact’ of Story Factory should be prominently featured on the home page. Many of its predecessors use this method of presenting data.
  • Celebrity Endorsement on Instagram necessitates contacting well-known celebrities, such as actors and actresses from major Hollywood films in Australia with a large following.

Partnership, Corporate and professional storytelling, and new customer segment

  • Pro-bono air base should be negotiated with regional or state FM radio stations for 30-second slogans adapted from children’s writings and funded by the FM station’s advertiser base, which will be played weekly or twice weekly.
  • Small spaces can be found on the packaging of FMCG products, toys, and games, which can incorporate excerpts from youth’s people’s literature and writing for a wider audience.
  • The new target demographic is in even more need of transforming their life, feeling free, enlightened, and strengthened by creating an innovative expression, therefore, a robust proposal must be ready for both Partners and Donors.

Sustainability and Rebranding

  • It’s critical to promote sustainable habits among children and youth by including them in stories.
  • Story Factory’s workshops and centers’ interior décor should employ recycled items like handmade paper, organic hues, and art and craft products.
  • Redesigning a website and the communication aspect of rebranding require the help of a creative firm; hence Story Factory must take the initiative of finding a creative firm for the website.
  • As described above in the ‘long-term strategy,’ a high-level blueprint for rebranding must be established that includes a staged, time-bound plan to try to change the organization’s direction.

Budget

 

Strategy Action Item Resources Budget Measurables
Short-term strategies 1.      Website (SEO), Volunteer participation

2.       Video generation

3.      Website manager

1. Digital manager

2. Paid ads

3. Contractual

1. $ 1300

2. Allocating 15% of the marketing budget

3. $ 2530 which is spread out in weeks and months

1. Review Website performance

2. Calculate monthly donations against spent ad

Mid-Term Strategies 1.      Adding new market

2.      Corporate and brand partnership

3.      Pitching to new corporates on storytelling module

1. Aboriginal community Representative

2. At least 3 sales coordinators

3. 3 interns working under the executive team

1. $ 1000- 1300 per week

2. $ 1000 per week

3. $ 900 per week

1. Awareness held on people we agreed to attend events, camps and talks

2. Monthly conversions attained

3. Monthly conversions attained

Long-term Strategies Sustainability plan

Rebranding

Joint effort on top stakeholders $ 275000 Total number of new partners, donors and sponsors on board

Conclusion

This marketing strategy attempts to democratize narrative and innovation while maintaining Story Factory’s present position. The purpose is to offer storytelling to disadvantaged indigenous peoples who may be unable to imagine or even consider an advanced, literate, innovative self. It is barely necessary to prove Story Factory’s product’s uniqueness and its endless possibilities. Storytelling may be the ultimate advantage for people who cannot express themselves, the greatest thrill for those who have never known the joy of inventiveness, the most prominent freedom for those oppressed, and the greatest hope for someone who has never known anything but misery. Story Factory should be renowned as a source of hope and inspiration for those in need. And this marketing campaign sought to connect Story Factory to the people that matter.

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