Based on your Research about Foot traffic sock company Analyze the following( Look at their website,read the case study provided + (marketing plan)I. Current Performancea. Salesb. Marginsc. Profit
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Marketing Plan Group Project – Spring 2019
As a group, you will create a complete marketing plan for a local company. This project is
especially exciting as in addition to applying your knowledge to a project (and getting a grade),
you will also be contributing to a local business, gaining an outstanding entry for your resume,
talking points for job interviews, and possibly multiple letters of recommendation.
You will be creating a marketing plan for Foot Traffic. This document includes background and
specific instructions you can use for every section in the marketing plan. This is intended to be
helpful and give you structure on the expectations for each section. Your objective as a team is
to provide a written marketing plan (see deliverables on page 15) that wows the FT
At the point noted in the syllabus, you will upload a status report on your progress to Canvas.
This is to assure things are moving in the right direction. The status report should include a
bulleted list of what you have done and what you still need to accomplish with dates and
accountabilities for each member. You will also turn in a draft of the paper in its present form
(unlike the final plan you will turn in, this does NOT have to be well-written, grammatically
correct, formatted, etc.). The status report needs to be uploaded to Canvas 15 minutes prior to
class on the date marked in the syllabus. Failure to submit the status report and current version
of the plan on time will result in a deduction of 30 points from your final project grade.
A PowerPoint presentation will also be required of each team the end of the semester. You will
present this to a panel of judges from FT. The purpose of the presentation is to showcase to the
panel what you have done and sell them on your group as the winner. Your presentation should
be 18 minutes long and there will be 5 minutes of questions by FT after you are finished.
Presentations should feature professional looking visuals and a well-rehearsed verbal
presentation. All team members do NOT have to present, you can decide who and how many
presenters there will be. To facilitate the grading process, each team should give a copy of their
PowerPoint slides to me and the judges prior to their presentation (please bring 3 copies). The
presentation is worth 20% of your project grade. Some criteria for grading of the presentation
portion are provided below:
Quality of presentation information
Quality of presentation delivery (making points clearly and concisely; not reading from
notes; avoiding pauses; making eye contact, etc.)
Effectiveness of slides and visuals used
Ability to hold audience interest
Time management (not going beyond allotted time, not too short). Rehearse!!!
Professional appearance of presenters
Effectively answering questions
**Please note, 18 minutes is LIGHTNING fast for a presentation. To avoid a poor grade on the
presentation, do NOT have your main presentation be your first run through. You could easily
present for an hour with all that you have done in the project. As such, you will need be
selective in your presentation. Be sure to calibrate your timing so your presentation is neither
too short nor too long.
The FT panel will pick a group with the best project and presentation. The group chosen as the
winner will receive 3% added to their FINAL COURSE GRADE. They will also be awarded gift
certificates to FT for purchases of their choosing.
When you are finished with everything, you will e-mail me the following things by the due date
listed in the syllabus schedule:
Your finished marketing plan
Papers should be double spaced, Times New Roman 12-point font with top and side margins of
1 inch. Also, all assignments are to be well-written and free of spelling, typographical, and
grammatical errors. Page numbers should be included at the bottom right of the page.
Projects must be turned in by the deadline posted in the syllabus. Any projects turned in after
the deadline will receive a 30-point grade reduction.
All information in the projects that is not your own intellectual contribution must be cited using
APA formatting (you may wish to use The Pocket Guide to APA Style by Robert Perrin).
For content-related questions, please read this document carefully before contacting FT or me.
We have included a great deal of detail, so you should be able to answer most questions on your
own. If you do need to ask FT questions, please aggregate them and send in no more than one
email per week.
About Foot Traffic
At Foot Traffic, we strive to design, produce, and distribute premier fashion legwear and
novelty socks. We offer consistent quality and fit to men and women who desire great value,
superior customer service, and distinctive legwear solutions.
How It All Began
In 1986, a young retail entrepreneur, Charlie Barnard, opened a specialty sock store under the
name “d.b.a. SOCKS”. He learned early on he needed a bigger selection of quality, fun socks
and fashion-forward hosiery than he could find. Although “d.b.a. Socks” stocked every available
style and color, it just wasn’t enough to fill the store or satisfy consumers.
He decided to design and manufacture “d.b.a. SOCKS” own styles to fill what eventually
became an eleven-store specialty chain with locations in New Orleans, Atlanta, Washington
D.C., Boston, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
The retail store experience put him in a unique position to understand the needs of consumers,
and ultimately, other wholesale accounts. He started with novelty socks, expanded into printed
tights, then other tights and leggings, and “on-trend” knit hosiery.
Soon, other retailers looking for unique, quality socks, tights, and hosiery began asking if they
could order from “d.b.a. SOCKS”. It was during this period that “d.b.a. SOCKS“ changed it’s
name to “Foot Traffic”. Over time, it phased out of the retail store business to focus on creating
and manufacturing the kind of innovative products its wholesale customers demand.
Eventually, Foot Traffic started selling direct-to-consumer in an effort to build its brand. It
began with a consumer catalog, subsequently created a branded website and began selling on
Foot Traffic is celebrating its 32nd year in the sock business and is recognized as an innovation
leader by industry retailers and competitors alike.
Foot Traffic is located in the Crossroads Arts District in Kansas City, Missouri in the historic
Liquid Carbonic building. We are a cornerstone in the district, supporting our local community,
and are a natural fit within this inspiring culture of new and old businesses.
Charlie Barnard: Founder and CEO. Charlie has undergraduate and graduate mechanical
engineering degrees from Vanderbilt University and the University of Kentucky respectively.
He also has an MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia, with an emphasis in
finance. Charlie focuses on overall direction, finance, supply chain and wholesale customer
development. He travels to Asia three times a year to oversee production, maintain supplier
relationships and quality. He knows an opportunity when he sees one!
Victoria Barnard: President. Victoria has been with Foot Traffic for 6 years. She has an
undergraduate degree in business from Marquette University and an MBA from the Darden
School at the University of Virginia, both with an emphasis in marketing. She spent three years
at Ogilvie Advertising in New York and thirty years at Hallmark Cards. At Hallmark she had
extensive product and marketing experience and her last three assignments were General
Manager, Season Cards, VP acquisitions strategy and Integration and Vice President Corporate
Strategy. She focuses on product development, product line management, brand
development, consumer experience, pricing, digital marketing and trade shows.
Denny Pickett: Vice President of Sales. Denny has been with Foot Traffic for 32 years. He has
an undergraduate degree from Kanas State University and a background as a retail buyer with
Dillard’s. Denny focuses on trade shows, wholesale and retail catalogs, wholesale order input
and inventory management It is all hands on deck to fill orders during the holiday season and
Denny is known as the fastest order filler on the team.
Max Haefele: Vice President of Operations. Max has been with Foot Traffic for 29 years. He has
an undergraduate business degree from the University of Kansas with an emphasis in
marketing. Max is in charge of running the Amazon business as well as order processing for the
wholesale and retail portions of the business, our internal printing operation, website
maintenance, IT and data management. Five employees report to Max, who run the printing
press or fill retail and wholesale orders. Max has earned the nickname “MacGyver” for his
unique problem solving skills.
Nancy Ornce: Director, Branding and Product Development. Nancy has been with Foot Traffic
part time for 10 years. She has an undergraduate degree from Iowa State University in
Advertising Design. Nancy had a 15-year career at Hallmark Cards with extensive creative
leadership across a wide variety of businesses including gift-wrap, Keepsake ornaments, party
goods, albums, gifts, and stationery. Nancy focuses on creative product development and
model line management, creative brand development including photo styling for catalogs, the
website, Amazon, trade shows and digital marketing. She is our resident blogger and has a
wide set of relationships in Kansas City’s creative community.
Christine Dong: Graphic Designer. Christine has been with Foot Traffic part time for 3 years and
is our resident millennial with awesome graphic design and technology skills. She reports to
Nancy and also focuses on graphic product development, photography for catalogs, the
website, Amazon, trade shows and digital marketing. Christine runs our Facebook and
Foot Traffic has 1,959 stock keeping units (SKUs) in inventory spread across multiple product
categories. Entering product categories is driven by consumer need and innovation. Remaining
in categories is driven by inventory levels, which are determined by the cyclical nature of the
fashion business, minimum run quantities and the ability of competitors to fast follow.
No Shows and
knee socks, Over
Micro Fiber Fuzzy
Tights, Plus tights,
socks, tights and
Boot Socks, slouch
socks, anklets, etc.
No Shows and
<1% 2% % Sales 73% 5.5% 2.2% Toe Socks 1% 5% 1% 3.2% 1% 2% 3% 1.5% 22% 6.2% 3% 29% 2% 0.9% 7% 1.5% The novelty sock category has been in an uptrend for a number of years. It is driven by clever ideas that reflect the wearer’s personality or interest, or, in the case of 3-d socks (click to see examples of 3-d socks: https://www.foottraffic.com/prod_detail_list/womens-3d), entertainment value. The men’s portion of the category is especially strong. Because many novelty sock wearers have a “full drawer”, new ideas or new depictions of favorite themes are critical to driving sales. A large percent of purchases are made as gifts. All of our designs are internally generated and exclusive to Foot Traffic. We do not license in or out. We introduce about 60 new designs a year, mostly focused on novelty designs, slipper socks and 3-D socks. On a more limited basis, we introduce new color options in fashion legwear. With a few exceptions, the fashion legwear categories are currently in a downtrend. 2018 category introductions include men’s and kid’s 3-D socks. New 2017 categories included kids novelty socks and low liners for men and women. We are considering entering the novelty portion of the compression/support sock category. 5 Consumer Segmentation Consumer legwear segmentation is driven by style preference primarily and demographics secondarily. There are three broad style segments: preference for basics, fashion and novelty, each having many sub-segments. Style Segment Basics Fashion Novelty Sub-segment examples Material (Bamboo, wool, cotton, etc.) Occasion (athletic, work, dress etc.) Function: (warmth, odor, etc.) Values- Made in America Lifestyle (Hipster, Rocker, Natural, Trendy, Goth, etc.) Values- Made in America, fair trade. Upbeat: Fun and funny Edgy: Sarcastic to subversive Occasion (athletic, work, dress etc.) Values- Made in America, irreverent fairtrade. There is not much cross over among the segments. For example, it is rare for someone who self identifies in the fashion segment to buy a novelty sock. It is not who they are. That said, someone in the fashion segment might choose a basic legwear product as a supporting role to her fashion statement. Women are the primary purchaser of all products, including men’s novelty socks. Women’s novelty socks: the category is one of self-expression, so the primary consumer is a woman who uses socks as a form of self-expression or buys them as a gift for someone who does the same. The demographic distribution probably follows that of the population with large numbers bought by and for the boomer and millennial cohorts. Men’s novelty socks: Although self expression through socks is the major segmentation characteristic, men’s novelty socks seem to be purchased by and for millennial men more often than boomer men. Women purchase fashion legwear. For basics, the demographic distribution follows that of the population at large. Fashion oriented products skew more heavily to the millennial cohort. Channels of Distribution: We are both a wholesaler and retailer of our products. Our primary wholesale distribution is to single unit women’s fashion boutiques, gift stores and on-line retailers. We purposely do not sell to mass merchants. We sell directly to consumers on Amazon, the Foot Traffic.com website and the Foot Traffic catalog. In addition, we have a distribution partner in Australia. 6 Channel Women’s Fashion Boutiques Percent of Sales 9% Gift Stores 30% On-line retailers 27% Amazon 29% Foot Traffic.com 2.5% Foot Traffic catalog 2.5% Categories sold A mix of all of the women’s sock and legwear categories. No printed Men’s, Women’s and Kid’s novelty socks, 3-D Socks, Novelty knee socks. No printed A mix of all categories, depending on the focus of the retailer. Heavy on novelty socks for men, women and kids at this time. No printed Almost all categories other than printed. The majority of sales come from novelty socks, 3-D socks, leg warmers, slipper socks and micro fiber fuzzy socks All skus and categories with the exception of printed All skus and categories including printed. Gift stores are wide ranging, from large “sock super stores” such as Sock Market with stores in Mandalay Bay - Las Vegas, Fisherman’s Wharf - San Francisco and Universal Studios - Los Angeles, to laser focused niche boutiques such as The New York City Library, The Hollywood Bowl, etc. We also sell a number of hospital gift stores. Buyers for the Sock Market and on-line retailers, such as “John’s Crazy Socks,” will buy one wholesale of every new design and reorder the best sellers. The buyers for chain or niche gift stores or women’s boutiques are very selective in their purchases, but want something new for their customers every season. Marketing and Sales Wholesale: Foot traffic sells to 2,500 accounts that represent 66% of our sales volume. The top 10 customers account for 30% of our business. There is a fair amount of churn among boutique and gift stores and we add 50 new accounts per year and lose around 20. Both channels have been under pressure for some time from mass channels, “disposable” fashion chains such as H&M and Amazon. In addition, novelty socks are a hot category for many gift stores who did not carry them previously. Gift Stores are a trend driven channel, posing a risk when novelty socks “ go out of style” Our primary method of attracting new accounts is at fashion and gift trade shows. We have a booth at the WINN apparel and accessories show in Las Vegas in February and August, at the New York Now gift show in February and August and at the Atlanta gift show in January and July. Current customers also attend trade shows, can see new products on our website or in our wholesale catalog. We print 5000 wholesale catalogs in the fall and spring to coincide with the trade shows. We mail 1000 each time, distributing the rest at trade shows or through sales reps. 7 We use sales reps selectively. We have a permanent showroom in Atlanta that is open for 8 shows a year and managed by a rep. This rep also does 6 other road shows a year. We have a similar situation in Denver, which is open for 6 shows a year and the rep does 6-8 road shows a year. We will occasionally send an email blast or product package to existing accounts regarding news from Foot Traffic, but it is not a regular part of our marketing. We are aware of other vendors selling to the gift channel who use a regular call system to stay top of mind and generate reorders for their product. We have not implemented such a system, nor do we employ a CRM system. The trade shows also provide an opportunity to gain insights from our customers, stay abreast of trends and understand the competitive landscape. Direct to Consumer: Direct–to-Consumer sales represent 34% of our volume, the majority of which come from Amazon. The growth in Amazon sales is driving the growth of the entire business. Sales from the Foot Traffic website and catalog have been steady for some time. Most of the Foot Traffic website sales are from wholesale orders places through the website. We are the only seller of our products on Amazon, which gives us control over product pricing and maximizes our product ranking opportunities. We have 639 SKUS listed on Amazon, spread across all product categories. We use “Buy Box” Consultants, to drive our ranking and sales, help us introduce new items and keep up with the changing algorithm and set of rules. The most robust consumer brand experience is through the Foot Traffic website and catalog. Consumers can experience all of our product selection, lifestyle photography, and customer service. We have increasing opportunities to engage consumers on Amazon including product photographs, product details, product descriptions and a new feature called Enhanced Brand Content which can best be seen on the Foot Traffic Opaque Fashion tights page. In addition we have the mailer and invoice as another opportunity. Our consumer marketing is limited to digital efforts, which include SEO, SEM (primarily Google Ads), Social Media and Amazon advertising. We have been doing each of these for a number of years and have found: 1) SEO is a “have to”. Although we have attempted to improve page rankings for specific categories (example: fun socks) or SKUS (example: chemistry sock) our best results have been to maintain page placement for the branded website. Ifocus is our SEO consultant. 2017 annual spend: $12,000 2) Google product ads work well for us given the visual nature of our product. We focus on those products and seasonal times where we can discern an economic payback. Dewitt Digital and Marketing is our SEM consultant. 2017 Annual spend: $ 23,000. 3) Amazon has a number of on-site marketing tools and we use a combination of price promotion, sponsored product ads, etc. In addition, Amazon will invest in SEO and SEM for our best selling products and they will often get product specific SEO placement. 4) Social Media. We ... Purchase answer to see full attachment