Marketing plan: home based services in UAE
Table of Contents
This paper examines the plan for marketing a home based service in UAE. The service is a freshly designed product that will be marketed and traded in the country by Domestique, a newly established company. This company intends to open its marketing activities in Dubai in September 2011. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the product with the aim of evaluating the alternative strategies of marketing that would suit the business. The paper has an introduction of the marketing plan, an analysis of the situation and customers, market mix and segmentation and market projections (QuickMBA, 2010). The paper is of relevance to companies and other business that intend to launch new products or services in market they have not operated in previously. It is also useful to students who intend to know the process of developing a marketing plan.
It is difficult to market a new product in a new marketing territory. The marketer will be required to examine several strategies among what is available and seek to use the most effective among the alternatives. To come up with the best marketing strategy, the marketer should evaluate a number of factors in order to come up with the best approach before launching the product in the market (QuickMBA, 2010). The factors to be considered in this regard are social-cultural, legal, economic, political and institutional. Unless these factors are given due consideration, the business may incur very heavy losses in case it is forced to pull out of the market after making heavy investments. Another consideration that should be made is whether the business will be starting from scratch or it will use other already existing facilities such as stores and enterprises. Companies have the choice of partnering with existing enterprises to help introduce the product or service. This strategy is called take-over and it is easy in many situations since the company will not have the need to build new infrastructure.
The market should also be investigated to establish how it is different from other markets. For example, the launch of the new product in UAE, it is crucial to examine the characteristics of the domestic services market in terms of the rate of payment and how they work (JMCS, 2011). In the USA for example, domestic workers are treated just like other members of the family and are paid very good wages. If the company is coming from the US or other market, it must equip itself with all the information relating to the new market. Ignoring this will mean it will be using the information of another market that may not be relevant in the new market. Advertising should be considered as it plays a critical role in entering the new market successfully. The target of the advertisement should be identified and ensure the rules and regulation affecting advertising in that market are understood well. The company can decide whether it is going to launch a fresh product or remodel those already in existence.
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The challenge: home based services
Domestique Co. Ltd is recently formed company that intends to start the provision of home based services in UAE in September. It will provide a variety of domestic services, which will be hired by their customers on hourly or monthly basis. The main services that are in the repertoire of services include housemaids, baby-sitting and gardeners. These services will be availed at rates that the company will determine. Private individuals in their homes or commercial buildings can hire the services. People can leave their homes in the care of the company while they go on holiday or enlist their services when holding parties (JMCS, 2011). The company will hire people to help in carrying out the services. These people will be highly trained and be equipped with all that they need to provide the services to the satisfaction of the clients. It will make use of the latest technology in the field to make sure they are of the best service to their customers.
A client who needs the services of the company will have to make a request to Domestique Co. Ltd. A contact will have to be entered into spelling out the terms on which the services will be provided. The company will make invitations to people who may be interested in working for the company. These people will then be trained and equipped with the relevant resources to make their performance in various fields of the work as they have chosen them (JMCS, 2011). The people who are trained in to provide various services will be expected to give the customers service of the highest quality which is hoped to create a firm basis for growth and effectiveness. The company will require that those people it has trained will commit themselves to providing the services in every part of UAE.
Domestique intends to have a management structure that will ensure its stability financially in all economic conditions. It will operate within already established standards that will guide the activities of all its members towards creating new opportunities for the company. There will always be need for domestic services, which means that if the company is well established and all are committed to the provision of the best services, there is a huge potential to do well in the market (JMCS, 2011). House helps will be sent to the homes of the clients according to the terms of the service contract. The worker will be expected to follow the client’s instructions that will be recorded in the profile of the client at the time of making the agreement.
Company analysis: Domestique Co. Ltd
Domestique company is expected to be launched in the UAE in September. It will have it initial offices in Dubai. It has huge plans to expand and grow rapidly into the largest home based service provider in UAE. It will mainly focus on providing maid services and cleaning of homes on a rental basis (QuickMBA, 2010).
Goals of the company
The key aim of the company is to provide services of the highest quality by training its employees to the highest standards in the market. It will aim at attaining customer satisfaction with every client they will be serving. The expectations of the customer will be captured in the profile at the time of engagement. The achievement of this endeavor will propel the company to the top of the competition as the best provider of the services in the whole of UAE. The company is not selective in its proposed clientele, as it will have a package for all classes of the market from the high-class society to the low-income earners who would be in need of their services (QuickMBA, 2010). The services provided will practical and action oriented. They will also provide advice and information to their clients to help them improve and make their homes and other premises more attractive.
About the services
The services provided by the company will span a wide range and it will enter into agreements with owners of residential services to provide the services at a fee. The services will be invoiced at hourly basis. The services will be provided for a minimum of four hours every week. One-off and regular services will also be provided depending on the requirements of the customer. The employees will be in the uniform of the company and they are expected to demonstrate high levels of expertise. The cost of transport the employee back from the client’s premises will be borne by the client. Irregular booking of house cleaners will be expected to be done upon the payment of a deposit that will be required to be handed to the employee once the work is completed (JMCS, 2011). A customer can cancel or reschedule the cleaning visit by giving a 24-hour notice. If this is not observed the customer will be billed as if the service was provided. To ensure high quality service is maintained the company will hire supervise who will oversee that the provision of work is up to the expected standards at all times. In case an employee is not available for duty due to sickness or other reasons, the company will provide a replacement to fill the void.
Maid services will mainly comprise of vacuum dusting, mopping and polishing the furniture. Commercial buildings are also targeted to be part of the clients who will be served by Domestique. The company will also provide employees to take care of the home of their clients when they are away on holiday. These members of staff will ensure the houses are cleaned, flower gardens are watered, check and control any equipment that may be in use and place order for treatment of the homes. The company will also provide their clients with staff to provide services in preparation for parties. The company will do any cleaning that will be necessary at the venue of the party. The different types of services are provided on part time basis, hourly, daily, weekly or long-term basis depending on the needs of the client. Baby sitting services are also provided on an hourly basis (JMCS, 2011).
Domestique will seek to provide services of the highest quality. It will be able to achieve this by engaging staff that are adequately qualified and trained. These services will be provided at rates that can be as low as 400 AED each month. This rate will be affordable to a large number of people in the region. The company trains the staff well and provides them with the support they need in the execution of the execution of their duties. This kind support is vital in the provision of the services, as the employees will have an easy time of doing the work, which will lead to a respectful relationship between them and the clients. Most of other providers of domestic services do not give the need for staff training the seriousness it deserves. Without the training, the customers will underrate the services rendered by such staff members (UAE Ministry of Economy, 2008). The provision of the training and other support will give the staff an advantage over their competition and makes them have credibility and reliability to the customer as well as the company (JMCS, 2011).
The services are designed to fit the needs of the customer. Customers can select to have the services on an hourly, daily, weekly or long-term basis. The staff is motivated to provide top quality service that will contribute to the attraction and retention of customers (JMCS, 2011). The company has a website to help promote its services in the UAE by utilizing the internet and web technologies as tools of marketing. In the next three years, the company intends to open two new branches in Abu Dhabi a move that will increase its market share in UAE.
As a new company in the region, Domestique is trying to find a place in a market that already has other players. In this regard, it has to train its employees to catch up with the rest. This will take some time in money. The initial workforce of the company will be about 30 employees and four others who will take managerial positions, which will be charged with overseeing the smooth running of the operations. The number of staff members may be small at the beginning but is expected that more people will be hire as operations expand. Due to the limited number of staff, it means that some part of the management will work as task heads and supervisors to ensure the extended level of service is maintained (Bangs 2002, p. 12). The other challenge the company has to face is the low rates that may be inadequate to cover the costs of marketing and advertising that are being incurred at the moment. The company however has its sights on acquiring more business that will be able to cover all the costs of the business and return a profit.
In the UAE there are not a large number of people who have adequate skills to be employed in the firms that exist in the region. Those that are available work for the government and they earn very huge salaries which businesses may not be able to afford. This situation has led to the influx of job seekers from other parts of the world that come to seek employment in the region (UAE Ministry of Economy, 2008). This means it is very hard to get someone to work on the domestic scene and those available are hired from abroad. There have been cases of abuse and slavery where those hire as house helps are forced to work without pay in deplorable conditions. This situation has led to some governments in the world to ban the activities of agencies that hire people to go work in the region. Thus, the agencies who have been in the business are now finding it hard to get the people to work in various positions as house helps in the UAE. As a result of the abuses meted on the employees, they are not able to provide satisfactory services. This a perfect condition for Domestique to provide the market with people who are well trained and motivated to deliver the services needed by many people in the region. By being behind the employees and giving them the support they need the company will definitely be a step ahead of the competition. This if exploited properly is a marketing advantage to the company (JMCS, 2011).
The UAE has very strict labor laws and this is a threat to Domestique. For example, when hiring a person who is a national requires the Labour Department to be notified in writing specifying the name, age, wage and type of work involved (Gulf Talent.com 2007, p. 44). Employees have to be issued with registration certificates that will show that they are allowed to work in the region. Such laws can be an impediment in a situation that requires immediate recruitment of new staff members. People from other countries will not be allowed to work in the region unless they have a certificate from the labor department giving them permission to work. Another threat is that UAE laws do not allow women to work at night. Thus, any service provision involving women will have to end at 6pm (GulfTalent.com 2007, p. 8). If Domestique would wish to provide services at night for those people who are not available during the day, it will be difficult to hire women to provide such services. The other threat is that since the company is offering a differentiated kind of service it is likely to face stiffer competition from other players in the sector. However, it will have an over the competition as its services are aimed at customer satisfaction.
The design of the services [provided by Domestique is that it will provide the working class with people they can trust in their homes while they are away at work. The service is not meant for the wealthy class but it is designed to cater for a wide range of people irrespective of their earnings. The low class people can hire the services for a few hours during the day to do some cleaning in the house. The company targets to provide its services to clients in residential homes, commercial buildings, shops and hotels (Bangs 2002, p.162).
Market environment analysis
Legal and political environment
The UAE is a federation of monarchies and emirates that include Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Sharja, Umm al-Qaiwain Abu Dhabi and Ras al-Khaimah. A president who is the head of state and a prime minister who heads the government heads the politics of UAE. There are three arms of the government namely executive, legislature and judiciary UAE Ministry of Economy, 2008). The government has established labor laws that should be followed by all companies establishing their activities in the region. These laws are applicable in all the seven state of the federation. These rules spell out the terms and conditions of every employment contract. These rules are particularly friendly to women and children (GulfTalent.com, 2007, p.6). Domestique will be expected to observe these rules in relations with the employees. There have cases of abuse in the UAE states such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi that have turned the attention of human rights organization on the region, calling on the government to be part of the internal labor organizations to make the emirates subject to core conventions.
The UAE has the sixth largest oil deposits in the world. Its economy is one of the most developed in Western Asia. In terms of the strength of market exchange rates, its economy is ranked 35th. The per capita GDP of UAE is very and it as among the fast developing economies of the world (UAE Ministry of Economy, 2008). Dubai, where Domestique will launch its services for the first time is known for prostitution though this trade is illegal in UAE. The presence of prostitution in Dubai can be linked to tourism and the increase in trade, which are the main drivers of the emirate’s economy. The people engaged in prostitution can be targeted by Domestique as its new employees and take them away from the social vice. A study by the American centre for international policy studies indicates that most of the prostitutes come from Ethiopia, Russia some African countries and a few from India. Once the service has been established it will take these women and train them then give them work in the company. They will be able to work freely as they will be registered with the relevant authorities (Baker 1995, p. 67).
The government is at the moment taking measures to diversify the economy to other sectors such as the provision of services, tourism based enterprises among others UAE Ministry of Economy, 2008). In this line, the real estate market has been established on a large scale. Thus, the UAE is familiar with the renting business and this is an indication there is potential for growth. The real estate market in the UAE is reported to be on a steady growth pattern. The government is encouraging the establishment of service enterprises.
Social – cultural environment
The population of the UAE is estimated to be nearly 5 million people. Less than 20% of these are nationals of UAE while the rest are expatriates. 50% of the expatriates are Indians, while Iranians and people from other parts of the Arab world account for 23%. Dubai which is Domestique’s [point of focus has a population of about 1,771,000. 17% are nationals of the emirates while 71% are expatriates from countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Philippines and Somalia. The state religion is Islam and the Arabic is the national language. The company has identified the country to have the potential to grow as indicated by the country’s demographics (Bangs 2002, p. 23). Most of these expatriates are in the working class and therefore home based services will definitely be in demand for a long time.
Being an oil producing country, UAE is faced with the challenge of getting land for agricultural purposes. Therefore, the government is making investments in agricultural technology that will go a long way in improving food production to lower food imports. The availability of drinking water in the UAE is a major problem. The people there use bottled water in large quantities making it to have the highest per capita bottle water consumption globally. Technology is being employed in the treatment of water biologically to reduce the importation of water. It is also making heavy investments in environmental technologies in partnership with global companies. The energy sector is also seeing the use of technology to provide other forms of technology such as solar, hydro and geothermal energy. In the business sector may global companies have made investments in the emirates improving the conduct of business. The internet is the main use of communication in the UAE and businesses will benefit from the investments made in this regard. The internet and other web bases technologies are crucial in advertising and marketing. The company will make use of these services to advertise and market its services (Bangs 2002, p. 32).
Domestique intends to launch its services in Dubai, which is the busiest of the seven states. It is from this state that it is likely to spread to other states as it establishes itself. The market segment that will be targeted for the services will be the working class who may not have the time to clean the homes on their own. All the working people require domestic services and this will continue into the future (Brassington & Pettit 2000, p.34). The company hopes that it will be able to establish itself in the market in the first year of operation. It is estimated that it will have a strong base of about 5,000 customers. During the first year of operations, the company will aim at acquiring new customers and enhancing customer service in order to retain them. These two aspects are seen to be key in determining market performance effectiveness. The low rates it has set for its services are intended to attract and retain clients.
Alternative marketing strategies
Differentiation that will make the services unique will be applied by Domestique and introduce professionalism into a field that has not experienced it before. The company already has set up a website that will be used to market the services online to potential customers in the emirates (Brassington & Pettit 2000, p. 36). The company has appointed a marketing manager whose responsibility is to use various marketing channels like advertising, public relations and personal selling as the main forms of promoting the product in the market. The manager has a mobile phone that has enough credit to facilitate personal selling. The company is also working with other organizations in its marketing campaign to ensure that it establishes itself in the market. Two months before the launch, brochures will be printed and distributed to create awareness of the impending launch. These brochures will first be distributed to the staff of the organizations working with Domestique in marketing, which will in turn spread the word around. After the launch and the company will start issuing an electronic newsletter every month, but this will be done if the business starts to do well. The magazine will cover various topics of interest in the field of home based services. The company will also employ direct mailing to follow up on customers. The marketing manager will work with other companies and the trade department to make presentations during trade forums and exhibition held in the emirates as a way of spreading awareness about their services.
Marketing mix refers to the 4Ps of marketing that are product, place, price and promotion. Product relates to the decisions that have to be made in relation to the product or service so that it will have an edge over other competing products. The decisions that have to be here including the name of the product, its quality, packaging and product line (Brassington & Pettit 2000, p. 48). In the case of Domestique, the product is branded as Domestique home service. This name is easy for the customer to identify what kind of service is being provided and how they can make use of it (JMCS, 2011). The service is of high quality as it is rendered professionally. Price is the strategy that will be used to determine the price the market is ready to pay while the company makes a profit from the provision of the service. The rates that Domestique is charging are very low and the customers are expected to make payments direct to the employees of the company once the services have been rendered as agreed in the contract. Place refers to where the business deal is closed and in this case the place is the company’s offices while the services will be offered in the customer’s premises. The customer is free to request for a change in the staff allocated to do the cleaning. When it comes to promotion, the company will use various means of advertising to attract new business. The available marketing methods include web marketing, internet and public relations (Conrad & McLaughlin 2004, p.6).
Short-term and long-term marketing projections
Marketing strategies are projected to bring an increased number of customers. Domestique aims at having about 5,000 customers in its first year of operation. It anticipates that it will be attracting 1,700 new customers every quarter of a year. This is possible as the marketing strategies in use involve getting to the customers in their homes or places of work (QuickMBA, 2010). In the next three years, the company will have opened two new branches in Abu Dhabi. The company believes that the quality of service will help it acquire the kind of clients it anticipates. As time progresses there will be more offices being opened in various parts of the emirates that will see the increase in business and profitability. In order to market its services effectively, the company has earmarked 50,000 AED per quarter for marketing of the products. According to the estimates of the company, the various strategies will rake in about 150,000aed in every three months (QuickMBA, 2010).
This is a plan outlining the home based services that will be provided by a new company called Domestique that will be launched in September. It will set its first office in Dubai. The product and strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the company have been analyzed. The UAE market has also been analyzed by scanning the business environment, technologically, politically, legally, economically and social-culturally (UAE Ministry of Economy, 2008). The paper has also looked at an analysis of the market and customer and the alternative marketing approaches that are available as well as the marketing mix and services projections (QuickMBA, 2010).
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Bangs, D 2002, The Market Planning Guide: Creating a Plan to Successfully Market Your Business, Products, or Service. New Jersey: Kaplan Publishing.
Brassington, F & Pettit, S 2000, Principles of Marketing. Harlow: Prentice Hall.
GulfTalent.com 2007, UAE Labour Law. Retrieved on 24 June 2011, from: www.gulftalent.com/HRZone