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Marketing ProjectSummary:

Revenue at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore often fluctuates depending on state and local economic conditions.  When the economy declines, the zoo receives less funding from the state and city of Baltimore as well as less support from corporate and private sponsorship.

However, membership has remained relatively steady. Membership has remained at more than 10,000 members despite spending changes on marketing and communications by the Board of Directors. (See the Maryland Zoo's Annual Reports for financial details at http://www.marylandzoo.org/publications/)

Assignment: 

Create marketing plan for the Zoo's Board of Directors that is designed to increase membership to the Maryland Zoo using a direct mail postcard campaign.  Your final report should include the following:

  1. Executive Summary
  2. SWOT Analysis 
  3. Environmental Scan 
  4. Promotion Strategy 
  5. A postcard promotion


a.     PHASE 1: Market Research

                                               i.     SWOT Analysis 

                                              ii.     Environmental Scan


Refer to the Kerin (2019) textbook on how to conduct a SWOT Analysis and Environmental Scan and create your SWOT Analysis and Environmental Scan for the Maryland Zoo. Make certain you are using supporting evidence and data with references to support your analysis. Sources you may want to consider are the Maryland Zoo Annual Reports, Census Bureau Date, Maryland State Data Center, Baltimore City Department of Planning, etc. Your analysis should not be based on your opinion, but on trends and analysis that you have found in your research.

(Worth 10 points. This is your opportunity to get feedback on this portion of the assignment before you turn in the final project in Phase 4.)


b.     PHASE 2: Recommended Promotion Strategy using a postcard campaign. Now that you have conducted a SWOT Analysis and Environmental Scan for the Maryland Zoo, you should have a better idea of the challenges and opportunities facing the Maryland Zoo.


The next step then is to identify the target market segments that would be most relevant for the Maryland Zoo to promote membership sales.

Your Recommended Promotion Strategy must include the following:

                                               i.     the target market segment;

                                              ii.     the marketing message;

                                             iii.     the estimated cost of printing, acquiring target market lists, and mailing the postcard;

                                             iv.     your projections showing how you expect the campaign to perform;

                                              v.     and how you will track the results of the campaign to determine if it was successful;


Here are very good resources for selecting a target market list:

http://www.marketmappingplus.com/mktgWithLists/choosingAList.html

https://www.infousa.com/



Here are a few resources you may find helpful when creating your postcard:

http://www.postcardmania.com/postcardmarketingmanual/ten-elements-of-effective-postcard-design

http://www.bizbest.com/10-tips-for-postcard-marketing-success/

http://www.businessknowhow.com/directmail/postcards/minibillboards.htm




c.      PHASE 3: Create the actual postcard you recommend sending to prospects based on the promotion strategy described above. You may create the postcard in any format you desire, but it must be submitted with the rest of the project as part of the final report. In this phase, you will need to address the following:

                                               i.     The size of the postcard.

                                              ii.     The message you will use on the front and on the back.

                                             iii.     Images you choose to use. (You can use images from bigstockphoto.com for example and use the "download preview" to show the image(s) you plan to use without making any purchases.)

                                             iv.     The call to action. What do you want people to do? Call for details? Go to a website to sign up as a member? Send an email? Attend a special event?

IMPORTANT: Your assignment should therefore include the actual postcard you plan on submitting in the final phase of the project. It must include all of the elements listed above to earn full credit for your work.


More resources of designing and creating a marketing postcard:

https://www.psprint.com/resources/postcard-marketing-tips-tricks/

http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/article/tips-improve-direct-mail-response-postcards/


(Worth 10 points. This is your opportunity to get feedback on this portion of the assignment before you turn in the final project in Phase 4.)


 

d.    Phase 4: Final Report & Postcard Submission

As you have been building each section of the project and fine-tuning it based on the feedback you have received during the semester, it's now time to put your plan and promotion together into final report. 

Here is how you will be evaluated.

Your final report should include the following:

a.     An Executive Summary the gives a brief overview summarizing the challenges facing the zoo and briefly explains each part of your plan.

b.     SWOT Analysis

c.      Environmental Scan

d.     Recommended Promotion Strategy using a postcard campaign. Your Recommended Promotion Strategy must include the following:

                                                        i.     the target market segment;

                                                       ii.     the marketing message;

                                                      iii.     the estimated cost of printing, acquiring target market lists, and mailing the postcard;

                                                      iv.     your projections showing how you expect the campaign to perform;

                                                       v.     and how you will track the results of the campaign to determine if it was successful;

e.     Your sample postcard promoting the zoo that you would propose sending with the goal of increasing membership. 

Please see the grading rubric for points that are awarded for each item.

Background:

Member Benefits (Maryland Zoo, n.d.)

  • Unlimited, year-round admission to The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore for one year while the Zoo is open to the public
  • Free or reduced admission to over 100 other zoos nationwide
  • Free subscriptions to members-only publications ZOOgram
  • Discounts on Zoo camps and in Zoo gift shops
  • Discounts on Special Events, including the Breakfast with the Animals Series and Brew at the Zoo and Wine Too!
  • Discounted guest admission passes everyday
  • Use of the members express entrance - quick entry on busy summer days
  • Invitations to the annual members' picnic and members-only events


The Mission of the Maryland Zoo (Maryland Zoo, n.d.)

The Zoo's mission is to inspire and educate people to join with it in the active support and conservation of wildlife and wild places. The Zoo is committed to serving its communities by engaging people with the wonder of the living world through personal encounters that foster lifelong harmonious relationships with nature.


The Story of the Zoo (Maryland Zoo, n.d.)

The Baltimore Zoo was created by act of the Maryland state legislature on April 7, 1876. (Its name was changed to The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore in 2004.) The Zoo is the third oldest zoo in the United States, behind Philadelphia (1873) and Cincinnati (1874). It actually had its beginnings as early as 1862, when the first of many citizens gave animals (the first being 4 swans) to Druid Hill Park for public display.

Today the 135-plus acre zoo property is owned by the City of Baltimore and leased to the State of Maryland. The Maryland Zoological Society, established in 1967, operates the Zoo under a lease agreement with the state. The Zoological Society assumed full management of the Zoo in 1984. Currently the Zoo's animal collection encompasses birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles, representing nearly 200 species. Animals are displayed in natural settings replicating their native habitats.

The Zoo's new state-of-the-art exhibit for African penguins, Penguin Coast, opens September 27th. Enhancements will include special underwater viewing areas for guests in addition to a larger, more natural habitat for the birds allowing for a doubling in size of the colony. The Maryland Zoo is home currently to 46 endangered penguins, and proud to be one of the largest and most successful African penguin breeding colonies in all of North America.

Polar Bear Watch, the Zoo's exhibit about life on the edge of the Arctic, features an authentic Tundra Buggy® from which visitors can watch Anoki cavort in and out of the water. At our camel ride exhibit (open seasonally), visitors get up close and personal with our favorite humped animals. Be sure to take a ride on the back of one of these incredible creatures. Visitors learn about animals in their own backyard, as well as those in more exotic locales, when they take a trek through the Maryland Wilderness, home to the award-winning Children's Zoo, or embark on an African Journey.

References: 

The Maryand Zoo. (n.d.). Visitor Information. Retrieved from http://www.marylandzoo.org/visitor-information/

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Marketing Project Summary: Revenue at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore often fluctuates depending on state and local economic conditions.When the...
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