In Week #3 you'll complete your first Entrepreneurial Marketing Report. For this assignment I'd like you to identify a small or medium sized business that is competing effectively by applying the concepts explored in your book (Marketing That Works).
For example, one company that I think is interesting is Flatworld Knowledge. They offer low-cost text-books to professors and students. What I like about the venture is:
- The entrepreneurs have industry experience, having worked for big academic publishing companies
- They have an expert team of advisers
- They are seeking a small piece of a huge market
- They provide value to both students and professors. In fact, professors can publish their own digital text-books for their classes.
If I were writing about this company for this assignment I'd go through the text and identify areas where they are excelling. For example:
Chapter 1 - Market Driven Strategy
I don't need to tell you: The prices for textbooks are outrageous. I like the fact that these entrepreneurs are taking on the challenge and trying to provide a market-driven solution.
Chapter 3 - Entrepreneurial Pricing
They are using a penetration strategy. A lot of students (especially those from lower-income segments of society) cannot afford books and this may force them out of school. In this model, students only pay for what they need, which is innovative.
Chapter 4 - Distribution Channels
The internet allows for 24/7 access to digital texts. Since many students have lap-tops in class, the company can bypass the regular distribution channel. Of course, this may place students without a lap-top at a disadvantage.
Some areas of concern, based on what I've seen so far, is:
Chapter 7-0: Public Relations & Marketing Issues.
It doesn't seem as if a value proposition has been articulated well enough. It also isn't clear that the company has really done a good job segmenting the market. They could do a better job with their target marketing. Also, the quality of the texts does not seem to be as good as that which you'd get from a $100+ text book.
Will this company be successful in the long-run? It is probably too soon to tell. However, what they are doing is very interesting and the entrepreneurs deserve a lot of credit for their efforts.
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