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You will assume the role of an independent marketing agency

You will assume the role of an independent marketing agency responding to a Request for Proposals (RFP) from Smoky Ridge Apparel Company. The agency will prepare a marketing campaign and accompanying marketing action plan (MAP) along with supporting materials in response to the RFP. In addition to the preparation of hard-copy deliverables, the agency will develop and deliver a brief presentation its plan through video.

Smoky Ridge Apparel Company is a start-up activewear company based out of the Lynchburg, VA area. As a start-up, there is no prior operational history. The company was recently founded by Lance Hatfield, a native East Tennessean. Both of his grandfathers were coal miners, and, yes, he is related to the feuding Hatfields of the Hatfields and McCoys. Proud of his mountain heritage and sporting background, Hatfield aspires for the fashions and products of Smoky Ridge to be reflective of the diversity of sport and leisure activities of Southern Appalachia.

Smoky Ridge shall begin operations as an internet retailer. There will be subsequent efforts to have Smoky Ridge branded products carried in select retailer locations. While Smoky Ridge’s focus on the diverse sporting and leisure lifestyles of Southern Appalachia is a point of differentiation, similar region-focused competitor brands include: Southern Fried Cotton, Over Under Clothing, Peach State Pride, Palmetto Shirt Company, Old South Apparel, and Southern Tide.

While Smoky Ridge will be focusing on numerous target markets, Hatfield has submitted for review a RFP to solicit marketing agencies to assist in his efforts to reach a specific targeted group: college and university students in Southern Appalachia. The expectation is that the proposals in response to this RFP will be largely turnkey (i.e., comprised of primary research, strategies and tactics, and related marketing collateral materials).

Target Market

The target market for this project shall be college/university students ages 18 – 24 who attend schools in the Southern Appalachian region. Students do not have to be from this region, however, Smoky Ridge shall appeal mostly to those students who identify in some way with the history, culture, and/or active lifestyles of the Southern mountains.

In addition, it should be noted that Smoky Ridge will not be positioned as a premium, high-dollar brand nor shall it be positioned as a discount brand since both relative positions would be contrary to Smoky Ridge’s branding efforts. Aside from these considerations, each agency shall further refine the segmentation of the target market predicated upon their approach to attaining Smoky Ridge’s goals for this campaign.

Campaign Goals

It is expected that the agencies shall develop their respective campaigns and MAPs with the following expected outcomes in mind:

1. Generate awareness of the Smoky Ridge brand among the target market.

2. As a result of this awareness and subsequent interactions with the brand, the target market shall begin to develop affinity and preference for Smoky Ridge.

3. The campaign shall sow the seeds required to nurture a sense of community among those of the target market who have affinity and preference for Smoky Ridge.

All elements of the project shall have congruence with Smoky Ridge Apparel Company’s Mission and Core Values statements.

Project Outline

Below is the outline of the project and its requisite deliverables. The written portions of the project must follow current APA format.

Part 1

1. You must develop a name for your marketing agency as well as craft your agency’s Mission Statement. These elements should reflect the personality of the agency as well as foreshadow the type of approach the agency will take.

2. Your agency must engage in marketing research of the target market. To do this, you must draft and administer a survey. The survey shall help your agency ascertain actionable insights that will help drive decision-making in the development of the campaign, MAP, and collateral materials.

3. Your agency must develop a campaign tagline to communicate its approach and to help ensure subsequent deliverables are aligned with its approach. The tagline should be based upon insights gleaned from the results of the survey research. It should also be congruent with Smoky Ridge’s branding, Mission, and Core Values.

4. Your agency shall produce a graphic design concept for a t-shirt that reinforces the Smoky Ridge brand as well as the sporting and leisure lifestyle of Southern Appalachia.

5. Your agency shall develop a fashion accessory or gift concept that reinforces Smoky Ridge branding and that would be appealing to the target market.

Part 2

Your agency shall develop a MAP that will:

a. Reinforce the agency’s overall marketing campaign theme.

b. Achieve Smoky Ridge’s promulgated campaign goals.

c. Be congruent with Smoky Ridge’s Mission and Core Values.

The MAP shall contain the following sections/information:

1. An Executive Summary including the title of the campaign and its rationale.

2. Statements of positioning, strategic tie-ins, unique marketing points, and SWOT analyses.

3. Customer analysis including target segment demographics, psychographics, behavioral, economics, and value drivers as well an explanation of how the results of this research impacted the campaign and MAP.

4. Competitor Analysis including competitor’s strengths, weaknesses, current target markets, market share, sales figures, and marketing strategies.

5. Statement of the goals for the campaign (provided for you already).

6. Description of the strategies to be used.

7. Identification of tactics and projected budget.

8. Identification of both marketing plan control measures (e.g., evaluations of progress) and success metrics correlated to campaign goals.

Your agency shall develop a video that will introduce the Smoky Ridge brand to the target market. The length of the video shall be approximately 60 seconds. The video shall be congruent with the overall theme of the marketing campaign.

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