Planet Fitness Inc. Marketing Analysis
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION AND PRESENTATION OF THE CASE
VISION STATEMENT AND MISSION STATEMENT
POSITIONING AND DIFFERENTIATION
TACTICAL MARKETING DECISIONS AND ACTION PLAN
ORGANIZATION AND IMPLEMENTATION
HOLISTIC EVALUATION OF THE PLAN
Introduction and Presentation of the Case
Planet Fitness Inc. is a gym/ fitness company that was founded in the early ’90s by Dover NH( (HAMPTON, 2018), based in the Oshkosh area of the USA that operates in the market of fitness centers providing gym facilities and equipment to their members. Also, they are known for their affordable membership offered and perceived customer benefits, they were also known as the fitness center that provides a “judgment-free environment” for everyone to feel at home and free when working out.
The developers of this marketing plan wanted to tackle various issues that planet fitness was facing and decided to follow and apply different marketing concepts to incorporate and get the best results for the company. Some of the major things that were studied include the current target market and how they will expand through promotions(advertising), offering benefits to customers like free pizza that was contributing to the unhealthy lifestyle of their members, having more locations rather than only one in the north of Oshkosh.
This report will be analyzing the discrete marketing strategies and their evaluation of the mission and vision, marketing objectives, tactics and action plan, organization & implementation, marketing control, holistic evaluation and then recommendations these will then help point out the good and bad of this marketing plan, what should be changed/ corrected and how it will best suit their need as a company.
Vision Statement and Mission Statement
Planet fitness was very vague in providing us with what the organization is about and what it will become in the future which is also known as the vision and mission (Deazley, n.d.). A good marketing plan should have these two statements outlined for a better understanding of the reader. Mission and vision are standard and basic components of an organization’s authoritative procedure. Most settled organizations create authoritative statements of purpose and vision explanations that include core values and core purpose of the organization (Porras, 1996), which fill in as central aides in the foundation of organization destinations (Yueng, 1991). The organization at that point creates vital and strategic plans for targets.
For every organization or company to succeed both internally and externally need to consider mission and vision as a vital part of their organization.
In the plan, the macro environment that was given importance or looked into was just 2 out of 6 which were Social and Economic factors. YES! No doubt a company has to take the economic factor of their business very crucial in every step they take which can consist of the inflation rate, economic growth or even exchange rates. This, however, affects most companies directly maybe that might account for why it is taken more seriously than other components in the PESTLE Analysis. Socio-cultural factors, on the other hand, were also acknowledged in the marketing plan referring to society. This factor does not provide enough information to help them in evaluating their external environment.
In the marketing plan, made a mention of their opportunities and threats in relation to the competition:
YMCA which was viewed as a competition of planet fitness had a relatively higher price than them. This was perceived as an opportunity in which most customers prefer product/services that have low price & high quality referring to the law of demand; it states that the lower the price, the higher the demand. Studying or applying this law can provide planet fitness with approximately higher potential customers in correspondence with high demand.
It was also stated they get perceived an increase in demand during different holiday times leading to growth in revenues/profit which is as a result of charging high rates in summer. Having that in mind, they are various threats like gym membership included in college tuition this will most likely affect the revenue negatively because if it is included in the tuition there will be no need for the college student to pay for gym membership.
Planet fitness had a strength of judgment-free zone that attracts a larger demographics this will help in looking into the threat of small location and a narrow target market of having only people living in Oshkosh area by attracting more members. The low monthly membership cost will them a competitive advantage over their competitors mentioned YMCA that had a relatively higher price for their membership. The weakness that wasn’t handled and that I think will lead to loss of competitive advantage was “members not having access to other gym facilities and group exercises which is relatively important for planet fitness considering the fact that potential competitors (other gyms around the area) are most likely to offer to their members. Adding to that, one of the big threats that should be evaluated is the one concerning college students already having the membership as part of their tuition, this will not only give competitors the advantage to gain higher income in membership but will also lead to a decrease in the profit of the company.
In the marketing plan, the objectives are clear enough in the sense that they allocated percentage rates to each objective they want to attain and the specific time period that will take to achieve that (Performance Development Review, n.d.).
- “To create 40% total awareness year1”. This incorporates the characteristics of marketing objectives… It gives a measurement figure of (40%) to know if they’ve achieved their aim within 1 year which is the time frame, it is precise about when (1 year), what (create awareness of the Planet Fitness facility and its benefits among local college and high school students). The drawback here is not indicating how and where they will want to accomplish this objective.
- “Increase membership 10% per year for the next 3 years”. This is somewhat realistic/attainable, it is not an outrageous figure that makes it attainable due to the resources and capabilities of the organization. It will increase their customer base by quite a reasonable number, this can also be measured by looking at the number of members after each year before the following years commence.
The obvious things that should be considered are geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavioral. (Cohen, 2005)
Planet Fitness identified some segments of the target market which I think we will be helpful in developing a marketing plan, you tailor your products/services in a way to suit your customers’ needs and wants. Here, they discovered the Demographics; 15-44 years had a large portion of the population about 32,300, Psychographic factors treated were the active lifestyle of the individuals wanting to involve physical activities to stay fit and keep healthy, Geographic; the residents in the Oshkosh area, this area also showed a number of high schools and big business contributing to part of students and customers. However, this relevant to some extent because some areas of demographics weren’t treated like gender, income, and occupation (Cohen, 2005). This is vital because by evaluating the income you know the percentage of people that can or will purchase the gym membership and also this can be affected by their occupation, what they do for a living. Attitudes, beliefs, and interests which are psychographic factors (Cohen, 2005) are ignored, interests will let you know if the customers are interested in the product you provide and how the beliefs will influence their purchasing behavior. One aspect of behavioral that is relevant is the usage occasion, how often will your target market want to visit the gym. For example; how many days per week.
Positioning and Differentiation
Planet fitness has failed to recognize a clear position or competitive strategies in their plan. Positioning is a key marketing strategy that should be adopted by every business in order to succeeded and acquire competitive advantage, its simply portraying the products/services of the company in a way that resonates with the target market or looking at the segments and using a factor that appeals to all segments in a way such as niche marketing (George P. Moschis, 1997). Without positioning, differentiation cannot be achieved because the company is not taking competitive analysis too seriously in a way that they will come up with the idea of having a specific product to stand out among its peers.
Tactical Marketing Decisions and Action Plan
Planet Fitness products offered according to the marketing plan were tailored the marketing strategies which in particular are the weaknesses part of the SWOT analysis. For example, the plan outlined introducing yoga and biking which will elevate their weakness of not offering their members outdoor activities. Another is that the product mix focused on providing gym extras like water bubbler and various drinks to cool off their gym members which are perceived as a competitive strategy for them since competitors had this feature as part of their benefits. Relating to theory, the benefit is the most significant factor in the product mix keeping in mind customer value. (Kotler, 1999)
This marketing mix analyzed their target market and location of having high schools involving students and offered a low-cost membership which will attract that specific target market since customers like the lower price. There was also a belief that they were viewed to have the competitive advantage over their competitors because of the several privileges are given to the owners of membership card, they also introduced a new card for interested participants during summer which can be both ways either an opportunity or threat.
The advantage/opportunity will be the revenue generated from the membership charged during summer and the disadvantage/ threat is not every customer will pay during this vacation period. With this, I think planet fitness employed the “nonmonetary cost approach of social marketing; in such a way that the consumers view the price as psychological risks and losses, effort, energy and physical discomfort that can affect their buying behavior”. (Lee, 2015)
In this aspect of the mix, it concentrates on brand/product awareness. They carried out several surveys putting emphasis on their target segments and extended segments to reach a wider demographics of young people. They adopted various advertising methods that was used in achieving their marketing objectives of creating awareness to various groups such as tv, radio, social media marketing of achieving their marketing strategies (objectives) of creating awareness and cheaper ways for the younger audience like free flyers, pens, t-shirts and Friday events thus matching the concept of “touting any monetary and nonmonetary incentives”. (Lee, 2015) This helped in a lot of ways by reaching a large audience at a low cost of advertising.
This mix talks about how to make your products available for your customers focusing on direct selling or selling through middlemen (Kotler, 1999)which depends on the industry of the business. For this plan, the above choices cannot be applied though they pointed out solutions to gain their potential opportunities like expanding to other areas and targeting another segment. Kotler p’s theory can, however, be applied in such a way that they open a new gym in other areas making it accessible to their customers.
Organization and Implementation
In the planet fitness marketing plan, they laid emphasis on the issues their company was facing including the weaknesses and threats which is a good way to implement. According to this theory (Best, 1997)regarding implementation, it identified how or factors to look at when implanting and they are; establish the plan, support the plan and “adaptive planning”. “Adaptive planning consists of these steps; leveraging the unique talent of team members, organization commitment to the strategy implemented, the essential role of continuous improvement.” (Best, 1997)I noticed this plan took some of this steps into consideration. For example, this is how it can be applied to the plan when new employees are retained for promotions and fitness experts for group exercises and the part of making up for startup fee in their revenue that is related to the continuous improvement.
The measurement in this plan was clear enough giving figures and time period that was estimated for the objectives and implementation to be achieved. For example, it was stated that the will track the increase in the customer base after every year that will give us and the information to evaluate the increase in profits and which areas to lay more emphasis on for improvements. Based on the concept of control in the book marketing management, they are specific aspects of control in order to carry out effective marketing control which is “annual-plan, profitability, efficiency, and strategic control” (Philip Kotler, 2009)that this plan clearly failed to adapt.
Holistic Evaluation of the Plan
For every theory was written work, there must be demerits and merits as well as this planet fitness marketing plan. Throughout this report, we have carefully and critically analyzed each aspect of this marketing plan according to the specific marketing strategies/tools and have identified the pros and cons of it.
The demerits of this plan are:
- The mission and vision were not properly outlined, this is a demerit. For every organization, a clear mission explains what the organization is doing presently and vision states what the organization wants to achieve (Deazley, n.d.) therefore indicating their importance, planet fitness should have pointed out this two concepts in their marketing plan for better understanding for both employees and customers of the company.
- During the external environment analysis, the plan used the familiar approach known as PESTLE analysis and unfailing used it wrongly by evaluating only two aspects which were Economic and socio-cultural this when related to (Gupta, 2013)is a wrong way of adapting this tool and will not give the company maximum benefits or efficiency they wish to gain.
- In the SWOT analysis which is used for evaluating the internal environment of a company and for giving directions to follow, this plan did not use the tool effectively because there was a vague recognition of their competitors. They only mentioned one competitor (YMCA) that will not be sufficient for analyzing.
- Planet fitness failed to carry out market positioning for their company. In the plan, there is no statement or writing talking about how they want to position their company in the market in which they operate.
The plan had merits of good using the SMART objectives for their marketing objectives, the implementation stage too was good they highlighted their issues and ways to implement changes. Also, the tactics and action plan of planet fitness was a merit because they were in line with the organizations marketing and competitive strategies and target markets.
PESTLE ANALYSIS. Studies show that when carrying out a research for a particular business, PESTLE analysis is a good strategy to adopt. Having that in mind, I strongly recommend and believe that Planet Fitness should have looked at the remaining factors rather than only the two mentioned above. WHY? This is because these other factors are relatively essential for the business. A particular study identified that using this tool alongside all its components will let the company recognize a fit between its capabilities and external environment so as to react to changes that may occur. (Gupta, 2013)
MISSION AND VISION STATEMENT. This is crucial to every organization in such a way that the mission provides the employees of what they will do to promote the company and theory shows knowing this will have the positive impact on employees like performance commitment, motivation, and inspiration(ref)and organization at large. Additionally, the mission statement is viewed as a statement that promotes the financial performance of a company. (Bart, 2001. ) The vision will be useful for the stakeholders of the company, that I recommend solely for planet fitness to make appearances in order to gain more recognition in the market.
SWOT ANALYSIS. Planet fitness carried out SWOT analysis for their marketing plan even though they did not utilize it well, the reason for this assumption is because for any company’s SWOT analysis carried out a specific factor they should do is competitor analysis. By carrying out competitor analysis at part of the SWOT analysis in order to act towards the opportunities/strengths of the company to eliminate their weaknesses/threats. The recommendation will be to create a competitive strategy according to (Porter, 1979), they will research about threats of entry, the power of suppliers and buyers and substitute products in order to carry out the competitor analysis thus gaining competitive advantage.
SEGMENTATION AND POSITIONING. There was no apparent section in the plan that addressed market positioning or even segmentation. Though it was mentioned that the segment they target was a demographics of about 15-50 and the geographic to expand. It is recommended that the plan should incorporate the approach of market segmentation known as product differentiation considering the fact that the segments they are looking for our young people, adults and older people of the society and also to use the different base type of segmentation criteria which consists of 1)profile 2)psychological 3)behavioral (Trout, 1972). They could also adapt the STP(Segmentation, Target, Positioning) process which involves firms to carry out market information, market research and marketing decisions and for the positioning recommendation, the plan can encompass the 2 fundamental elements of positioning which are the physical attribute and communication (Trout, 1972).
TYPES OF MARKETING CONTROL. The measurement section in the plan was very practical in measuring the marketing objectives of planet fitness but the control was not given emphasis to, it’s not being addressed. I think the best marketing control that will useful for planet fitness will be these three types of controls namely; strategic, annual-plan and profitability control (Philip Kotler, 2009). The strategic control will help the company look at whether the planned results are being accomplished. The annual-plan, to analyze where the organization is profiting. The profitability control, to analyze whether the organization is seeking after its best opportunities as for business sectors, products/services, and channels.
IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY. The implementation and organizing section in the plan was quite okay but can be better if they consider being responsible for their implementation. (Best, 1997) stated the “adaptive planning” which is recommended because it proves to be a very good step to implementation, it provides benefits and opportunities like team involvement that will provide more improvement in effectiveness of the company and also another way is to “provide time to succeed, resource allocation, communication and the necessary skills to succeed” (Engelhoff, 1993 ).
Anon., n.d. The University of Glasgow. [Online]
Available at: https://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_597942_en.pdf
[Accessed 29 November 2018].
Bart, C. B. N. a. T. S., 2001. A model of the impact of mission statements on firm performance. A model of the impact of mission statements on firm performance., 39(1)(Management decision.), pp. pp.19-35.
Best, R. J., 1997. Market-Based Management. Journal of the Academy Of Marketing Science, Volume 26(3), pp. 237-241.
Cohen, A. W., 2005. The Marketing plan, s.l.: John Wiley & Sons.
Deazley, B., n.d. The importance of Vision, Mission, and Values, s.l.: CICA Publication.
Egelhoff, W., 1993. Great Strategies or Great Strategy for implementation- Two ways of Competing in Global Markets. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Volume 26(3), pp. 37-50.
George P. Moschis, E. L. a. A. M., 1997. Targeting the mature marketing: opportunities and challenges. JOURNAL OF CONSUMER MARKETING, Volume 14(4).
Gupta, D., 2013. International Journal of Mordern Social Sciences. Environmental & PEST Analysis: An Approach to External Business Environment , 2(1)(Florida, USA 2168-9917), pp. 34-35.
HAMPTON, N., 2018. TREAT YOURSELF THIS OCTOBER WITH A ‘KILLER DEAL’ FROM PLANET FITNESS. Make the Most of Your Trick-or-Treating by ‘Working Out’ on Halloween Without Even Knowing It, 1 October.
Kotler, P., 1999. KOTLER ON MARKETING, How to create win and dominate markets. New York, NY: THE FREE PRESS and colophon are trademarks of Simon & Schuster Inc.
Lee, N. a. K. P., 2015. Social marketing: Changing Behaviors for good. s.l. Sage Publications.
Performance Development Review, G. t. w. S. O., n.d. The University of Glasgow. [Online]
Available at: https://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_597942_en.pdf
[Accessed 29 November 2018].
Philip Kotler, K. L. K. M. B. M. G. T. H., 2009. Implementing Marketing Management. In: Marketing Management. Essex England: Pearson Education Limited, pp. 800-801.
Porras, J. C. C. a. J. I., 1996. Building your Company’s Vision, s.l.: Harvard Business Review.
Porter, M. E., 1979. Awareness of these forces can help a company stake out a position in its industry that is less vulnerable to attack. How competitive forces shape strategy, pp. 137-143.
Taggar, C. K. B. a. S., 1998. A MODEL OF THE IMPACT OF MISSION RATIONALE, CONTENT, PROCESS, AND ALIGNMENT ON FIRM PERFORMANCE, s.l.: McMaster University, Michael.
Taggar, C. K. B. a. S., 1998. A MODEL OF THE IMPACT OF MISSION RATIONALE, CONTENT, PROCESS, AND ALIGNMENT ON FIRM PERFORMANCE, Hamilton, Ontario Canada: McMaster University, Michael G. DeGroote School of Buiness.
Trout, R. a., 1972. Market Segmentation and Positioning. In: Principles of Marketing. s.l.:s.n., pp. 216-252.
Trout, R. a., 1972. Market Segmentation and Positioning. In: Principles of Marketing. s.l.:s.n., pp. 216-218.
Yueng, A. C. a. S., 1991. Brief Case: Mission, Vision and Strategic Intent. Strategic Intent, Volume 24(4), p. 145.