HandyLab Company, Marketing Plan Example

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Marketing Plan

Executive summary

This report is a marketing plan for Handy Lab a medical diagnostic company that was established in June 2000. This company specializes in the production and selling of clinical diagnostic testing products. The company’s headquarter is situated in Michigan and has obtained 22 patents and has applied for more than 40 patents in different states. This plan has a brief introduction of the products to be marketed and the accompanied goals such as sales figures and strategic goals. The plan addresses the situational analysis of the company whereby the company goals, focus, culture, strengths, weaknesses and market share are covered, customer analysis whereby number of customers, type of customers, value drivers, concentration of customer base and decision process are well explained. Additionally, competitor analysis is covered where the company market position, strengths, weaknesses and market share is elaborated. Handy lab market plan also covers the market climate where the climate is analyzed using SWOT analysis, which organizes the environmental factors as follows; internal attributes of the firm are classified as strengths and weaknesses while the company external environment presents threats and opportunities.

The plan also, touched the macro-environment briefly by stating PESTEL analysis. Furthermore, this report covers how handy lab will segment its market to gain the competitive advantage and be the leaders in the market. Market segmentation helps handy lab to have a proper description of the customers, percentage sales, the customer needs, price sensitivity and learning how the customers use the products. Alternative marketing strategy is provided in this plan to maximize the sales by rebranding, positioning the medical l diagnostic products as premium.

Finally, the plan provides both long-term and short-term marketing strategy for the new products. The short-term strategy is intended to hurry entrance into the market before other competitor enters into the market. This is intended to stop the difficult of entering the market after competitors’ have established themselves in the market.

The challenge

This section of the plan presents a brief introduction of the product to be marketed and its associated goals. HandyLab Company is concerned with selling or introducing a lab-on-a-chip product. This clinical product has never been in the market although competitor companies of HandyLab had prepared similar products for the drug discovery market and a few were about to be unleashed into this market. Handy Lab was under pressure to hurry up and introduce the product in the market before other companies introduced their products in the market, which could pose a challenge to them or make it difficult for them to penetrate the market later. The company had many more other opportunities for diagnostic applications in food and beverage, the environment, bio-defense and drug development. Lab-on-a-chip technolgie, which HandyLab had embrased in manufacturing the medical diagnostic device was current, and it, offered numerous advantages as compared with the traditional systems in life science industry. The strengths of the product included, improved performance, speed, reproductively and throughput, reduced costs and reagent consumption, lower contamination and operator error and an integration, which is more.

Price for the lab-on-chip-product ranged from $10000 to$50000 for the equipment.

The driving force of lab-on-chip product was government support especially in 2002. The national institute of health produced almost $4billion in grant and research funding for genomic-based research.

HandyLab established research in for areas namely software, hardware, optics and micro fluidics.

Strengths of HandyLab

HandyLab technology of manufacturing micro fluidics was different form the one the competitor companies used. Its technology riled on simplicity and widely utilized accepted clinical PCR (polymerase chain reaction) process. Its technology placed it at a better position of being the first company to integrate all processes onto single chip and devise. This technology obtained a quick acknowledgement from medical professional since it provides quick and highly accurate diagnostic using small samples without needing to use highly trained professionals to take samples of fluids or blood for preparation.

The product of HandyLab

HandyLab Company had a disposable chip and portable docking station products. Disposable cartridge/chip contained a chip with sample preparation and analysis component, internal quality control and docking station interface. The cartridge contained the products that were injected into it ensuring that there was no contamination.  Docking station from HandyLab was a device held by hand, into which the cartridge was inserted. The device contained all the appropriate control circuitry to operate the cartridge. It also had a sensitive system to detect biochemical assays and display them.

Business planning for Handy Lab

The company aimed at selling its docking station/ hand held computers at low price margins of $300-$500 range. This price strategy was to make the product penetrate the market easily, reduce the company capital costs barriers, and make the product affordable.

HandyLab’s market drivers selected market strategy

The company strategized and identified areas where its advanced unique technology would lead to easy market penetration and end user adoption. Four major areas identified for focus are:

On site diagnostics

HandyLab major advantage was speedy production of results as compare to existing technologies. The –lab-on-a-hip products from HandyLab technology eliminated most of the processes involved in diagnosis through its DNA decomposition process and this reduced the time dramatically from 2days to 30min.

Portability

The size of HandyLab lab-on-a-chip devise was small and portable as compared to existing competitors devises. The devise was hand held unlike other competitor devises which were table held. HandyLab product had an upper hand when field-testing was needed.

Price

The price was reduced significantly to $300-$500 range as compared to $20000 for tabletop lab-on-a-chip devises. This price improved the product competitiveness in the market. Costs for diagnostic cartridges reduced to as low as $50 per test as compared to typical test, which costed $100, and from a lab-on-a-chip technology, which ranged from $10-$500. Total integration was also reduced reducing per test cost.

Accuracy

HandyLab innovated a generic technology, which produced products, which provide highly accurate results. Initial results had proven that 50 samples from the handy technology had 100% correlation with the typical lab results. This will give the company a very strong ground of beating its competitors. Additionally, HandyLab systems provided both qualitative and quantitative results unlike other existing systems, which could provide very accurate quantitative results but could not provide same qualitative results.

Simplicity

The systems of HandyLab introduced simplicity in sample detection processes. These devices could reduce over reliance on trained experts to carry out fluid sampling and detection. The device also could reduce the fear of inaccurate results from tests.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis 3 to 5 year time horizon to analyze the effect of a managerial decision on the organization in terms of the overall environment. The analysis is used to propose target markets in which the business can profit from its strengths and future opportunities and protect itself against weaknesses and threats.

 Strengths Weaknesses
1.      Innovation – An efficient R&D department.

2.      Potential partnerships with environment and veterinarian applications.

3.      HandyLab technology was extremely simplistic and flexible; it could be adapted to any DNA analysis application.

4.      Developing a broad product range catering to a number of applications.

1.      Lack of clarity regarding the company’s marketing strategy among board of directors.

2.      The company did not obtain any bio defence government grants in spite of repeated efforts.

3.      No online presence.

4.      Availability of limited resources and man power

Opportunities  Threats
1.      Markets with less entry barriers and regulations were identified Eg: Drug development, the environment, food and beverage etc.

2.      Size of the lab-on-a-chip industry was estimated at $128 million in 2002 and  $710 million in 2008, offering tremendous growth rate.

3.      Penetrating emerging and foreign markets.

4.      Developing new products targeting niche markets with specific needs.

1.      A number of competitors had also developed products similar to lab-on-a-chip.

2.      Competition increased as 100-150 companies worked in the industry. In 2002, 50 lab-on-a-chip products were in the market.

3.      High entry barriers: FDA approval, slow adaptation rate, reimbursement approval from HCFA (insurance).

 Markets, opportunities, and segmentation strategies

  • Limited recourses available made it had to exploit the market opportunities.
  • The market where it was competitive resolved around speed, accuracy simplicity and price. This gave it competitive advantage.

Market segmentation

Clinical diagnosis of infectious diseases

HandyLab Company considered the markets in which it could venture into and get a fast entry as well gain competitive advantage. One of the markets was clinical diagnosis of infectious diseases. Diagnosis of infectious diseases was expected to rise by over $20billion in 2000 and was expected to grow to $26.6 billion by 2004 according to Bolton biomedical consultants.HandyLab approached this market by focusing on the infectious diseases led by group B sexually transmitted diseases. This market required speedy results, which the company could provide. So venturing in this market with advanced technology device could be a breakthrough in this market.

Pharmacogenomics market

This market needed a devise, which could reduce guesswork in determining genotypes to avoid improper prescription of drugs.  Pharmacogenomics was very expensive and many people could not afford it.  In 2002 the cost of bringing a drug into the market was estimated from$500-$750 which was a very high price. HandyLab technologies and products served to provide a product that could reduce the cost in the clinical trial process. HandyLab targeted over 50 pharmaceutical companies, which continuously performed clinical trials and they estimated that probably, about 1000 clinical trials in which genotyping were appropriate could exist. This is a very competitive market for the company to venture into.

Bio-defense

Bio-defense market grew significantly after the September 11 attacks of the US government. The government placed emphasis on bio-terrorism and in 2002, the federal government budgeted $11.1 for identification of biologic agents, both human and environmental. The government contractors were given the chance to develop and manufacture the identification technology. HandyLab made significant attempt to enter the market by applying more than two dozen grants and contracts. the contracts focused on development of a hand held screening system that could detect multiple animals, human, environment , pathogen etc. Although            HandyLab did not have any government contract or grant, it was very optimistic of getting even one. This market is a strategic one in the sense that it is government owned, hence, it is subject to good returns. By HandyLab, focusing on this market is a great boost to its products. This market was very competitive especially from those companies, which had received grants earlier. Other research companies were setting up to develop new technologies. If HandyLab takes the advantage of its advanced technology it can easily be the leader in this market. This market is worth noting.

Food testing market

Food industry was troubled with contamination and spoilage in 2002. Food contamination has a very close link to human disease and illness. In US, it was estimated that about $3 to$7 billion is spent annually for human treatment due to illness from food-borne pathogens. This figure implies that the number of people who get ill from using contaminated food is high as well. Food testing depended on the traditional cultural methods, which took around five days. The introduction of onsite testing would provide great value to food producers by ensuring high product quality, greater yields, reduced treatment costs and elimination of product recalls. This market is wide ranging from, quality assurance department, of food and beverages, retailers of food and dairy products, restaurants, and food sanitation companies.       HandyLab company could make many profits in this market if it diligently vetues into it. However, entry to this market is difficult due to regulatory approvals and fragmented market. In 2002 there was no lab-on-a –chip product for food and beverage industry. HandyLab entry into this market could make it a pioneer and would improve the company competitiveness. It is possible for the company to enter into this market because by 2002 it had developed high technology lab-on-a-chip device.

Drug discovery market

This market was one of the competitive and lucrative one for HandyLab. This was due to the greater number of competitors and the high demand of the products. By 2002, the only commercialized market for micro-fluidics devices in the life of science and environment was in the drug discovery market. Considering that HandyLab had established itself in the line of micro fluidics, this market could be suitable for it. The existence of patents in this market makes this market monopolistic implying that the first entrant will be able to amass many profits. This market is suitable for handy lab due to its strategic product value and manufacture

Conclusion

In summary, the CEO of HandyLab company Mr. James Plower can take this company to another level by making use of the above-developed market plan. By venturing into the markets identified strategically could make the company gain competitiveness in the mark and become the leader in the manufacture and suppliers of the medical devices. The main strength that the company must safeguard and use it as a weapon to beat competitors is unique technology. It is a new technology of making hand-based devices hence shifting from table-based devices. In planning how to venture into the market, the CEO must consider the marketing mix program which covers, product, price, place and promotion this mix is also known as the 4p’s of marketing. It is better for handy lab to hasten its strategies of putting in place the hand held machine to become the leaders. Pioneer companies have more advantage than average woman does. Market entry statistics

Type of market Consumer market Industrial market
Pioneer 29% 29%
Early follower 17% 21%
Late entrant 12% 15%

It is evident that pioneers always have a bigger share in the market than early follower and late entrant. The CEO must look into this keenly.  Customers are the indicators of the success of HandyLab business, it is thereof very important to create customer value during marketing. The CEO should ensure that the company improves on its weakness, increase competitive advantage, create new benefits and build image. In addition, the value can be improved through price reduction, lowering transaction cost and lowering usage cost.

Market placed principles that HandyLab ought to put in place to  keep on track the marketing plan/strategy. They are supposed to be adhered to beginning with the CEO up to the lowest employee in the company.

Principle 1;
Having a passion about your business, your customers, and your employees. This dedication, devotion and commitment are communicated all the time.

Principle 2;
Structuring  of the entire business around the needs of the customer.

Principle 3:
Treating the place of business as like home.

Principle 4:
Recognizing that members of staff who are mostly in contact with customers can make the most difference.

Marketing planning is very essential before embarking on any business of selling, venturing into the market. The plan need to be strategic so that it can enable the business achieve its goals.

Reference

Joseph S. Chen, Muzaffer Uysal (2002), “ Market positioning Analysis: A hybrid approach”,  Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 29, No. 4, pp 987–1003.

HandyLab Inc., InfoGrok Healthcare, Lasted viewed on 18 April 2012, < http://www.infogrok.com/index.php/company-profiles/healthcare/medical-devices/in-vitrodiagnostics/handylab-inc.html > .

Peter Weill, Thomas W. Malone, Victoria T. D’Urso, George Herman andStephanie Woerner (2005) , “Do Some Business Models Perform Better than Others? A Study of the 1000 Largest  US Firms”, Sloan School of Management Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Paul E. Green & Abba M. Krieger (1991), “Product design strategies for target  marketpositioning”, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp 189 202.

Thomas C. Kinnear (2009), “HandyLab Lab-on-a-chip: The Next Generation of Diagnostics”, e William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.

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