The city council in Charles Town, West Virginia, has a keen interest in hosting one of the expansion teams of the Carolina League. The city officials believe that representing an expansion team would benefit the Carolina League and the city itself in numerous ways. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the Charleston consumer market as a whole, and its smaller segments that would be most interested in hosting a baseball team. The explanation of the marketing mix, or the 5 P’s (product, price, place, promotion, and positioning), will also be provided as an essential part of the marketing strategy.
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Analysis of the Charleston Target Market
Determining the target market is one of the most critical objectives of a successful marketing strategy. The city of Charleston is a historic community with over 6,000 residents. Despite its size, however, the city is developing, with new businesses, such as restaurants, coffee shops, and cafes occupying now about eight blocks of the downtown area (LaFave, 2019, para. 3). Small business owners would be most interested in minor league baseball since it creates potential revenue inflow. In addition, the hotel and real estate business has developed in recent years in the area. Having an expansion team in the city would benefit hotel owners by providing an opportunity for a new stream of revenue from renting rooms and venues for business events. In return, this would offer fresh opportunities for creating new jobs and expanding the labor market.
Demographically, the city is represented by a mostly young population and families with children with a median resident age of 37.9 years old (World population review, 2020). Thus, the popularity of having a minor league baseball team will be represented on a full scale. Besides, skilled workers would benefit from the presence of a new baseball team in town since it will increase the number of new job positions to support the functioning of a new sports team.
Analysis of the Charleston Target Market
The marketing mix, also known as 5 P’s, is an essential part of a successful advertising strategy aimed at growing business and reaching the desired audience.
The product offered in the case of an expansion team can be considered a new product delivered to an existing market. The product is not only the team itself but also the intangible services associated with it. It may include sporting events, such as baseball games and tournaments, sponsorships, recreational programs. The presence of a brand name of the Carolina League affiliated with the Major League would impact the whole community by giving a chance of first-hand experience.
The price decisions related to the product are quite complex due to the subjective nature of the sport. However, providing an enticing price to the services and goods can serve as an opportunity to connect with the target groups and generate revenue. Since the demand is high due to the popularity of baseball in the area, it is wise to offer lower prices to encourage higher participation. Discount policies should also be put in place to influence customers’ decisions, as well as price differentiation for various levels of the product, such as better seats or memberships.
The central location for the product is going to be on the territory of the town. There are already several ballparks in the area, all within a reasonable distance. Since the city does not occupy a large area, territorially the product will be accessible to a large number of people. Due to the excellent geographical location of Charleston and its proximity to the greater Baltimore-Washington, D.C. metro area, which is less than an hour’s drive, the product is also available to that bigger stratum of the population. Apart from that, games can be viewed at home through TV, mobile or electronic devices.
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The promotion element of the marketing strategy refers to the ways of communication with the target audience. In analogy with Major League Baseball, promotions can be done through banners, TV commercials, print media, among others (MLB Major league baseball marketing mix strategy, 2020). Other ways of creating awareness and stimulating demand would be merchandising and social media coverage. Using various promotional techniques will increase the opportunities to deliver the message to the target groups.
Positioning is a particular way in which the consumers view the product and distinguish it from the competitors. Minor league baseball teams are all positioned as a traditional sport, low-priced, good developmental league. To reach Charleston’s target audience, it is beneficial to position the presence of an expansion team as a family entertainment since one of the largest target groups is young couples with children. This way attending the games will be perceived as family entertainment. The long-term nature of the product will reach the target group of business owners providing an extended prospect of continuous income inflow.
The analysis of the target market helps to create brand loyalty, build consumer interest, and find potential for business growth. An in-depth understanding of the marketing mix elements is crucial in developing the correct advertising tactics. The review of both of these features is essential in creating the marketing plan for owning a new Carolina League baseball team.
LaFave, J. (2019). A look at two downtowns in the Eastern Panhandle. The Journal. Web.
World population review. (2020). Web.
MLB Major league baseball marketing mix (4 Ps) strategy. (2020). Web.