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Overview: This section of the marketing plan addresses the organizational objectives and the target market plan for your company. This milestone is due in Module Four. You need to develop at least five marketing objectives as part of your planning process. These answer the question, “What do you plan to accomplish?” Objectives should be realistic, measurable, and time specific. Objectives must also be consistent, and indicate the priorities of the organization. The target market strategy identifies which market segment or segments to focus on in light of what the competition is doing. For this assignment you need to identify segmentation data and determine your target market. The process begins with a market opportunity analysis, or MOA, which describes and estimates the size and sales potential of market segments that are of interest to the firm. In addition, an assessment of key competitors in these market segments is performed. After the market segments are described, one or more may be targeted by the firm. Your target market section should address the following:  Describe your target market, whether a business or consumer market, using segmentation variables. These include the use of demographics, psychographics, geodemographics, geographies, behavioral segments, or other segmentation criteria.  Describe your rationale for selecting the target market(s) that you did. State why these markets are attractive to you as a marketer.  Describe the market in terms of its anticipated growth, revenue opportunities, past performance, etc. Utilize our author’s criteria for segmentation to demonstrate that your target market(s) suggest the likelihood of success—the market needs to be identifiable, measurable, sustainable, accessible, and reachable. If your segmentation is too general, you will find that your subsequent promotional mix will be equally general, as you will not have described your market with sufficient specifics. Thus, have you provided measurable segmentation variables or have you described your market as “everyone who needs PC storage” or “everyone in Smithville who likes Italian food”? In order to be effective, you need to know what your competition is up to. Therefore, a competitive analysis is helpful here. This analysis will be highly dependent on your extensive research into the competitive arena. You want to know what is out there and what the competition is doing. When you enter the market you will either a) already have competition or b) your success will likely invite competition. Regardless, any successful business venture usually results in competition entering the market and reacting accordingly. Your competitive analysis should focus on two key competitors. This may also include potential substitutes if competition is not currently perceived. Your competition might be organized along several tangents—by industry, company type, or firm. For your top two primary competitors:  Indicate why you have selected these two competitors. Offer a SWOT analysis that focuses on the strengths and weaknesses of each competitor.  Describe each company, its current market share, its product or service set offerings, its financials (e.g., revenues, profitability, etc.), current positioning within the market, target market that it seeks to reach, recent history (how are they doing?), and how they market themselves to the target market that you also wish to reach.  Do a comparison of your product or service with that offered by the competition. How will you differentiate your product/service from that which is offered by the competition? Inherent in your presentation will be why your target market would likely select your offering over that of the competition. If you do not have a differentiator, your target market will not see one either.  Describe the likely response that these two competitors will take once you begin to make ample waves, assuming that you are entering a market in which competition already exists. What response should you anticipate? What do you think their likely response will be to your entry into the market, and how will you respond to that? Be sure to address substitutes. Are there any substitutes for your service or product offering? Identify any key substitutes, discussing the strengths and weaknesses of those substitutes when compared to your offering. Guidelines for Submission: Short paper assignments must follow these formatting guidelines: Microsoft Word document with double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins, and APA formatting. Page length requirements: 4–6 pages.

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