The online marketing and advertising plan illustrated in this project came from the idea of working with a real business in order to apply the knowledge and skills gained during the Master degree into real life. The author decided therefore to focus on a Café Bistro business in conjunction with the Bistro Manager, Ms. Mihaela Marian, who is managing its launch on the market.
The management of this project is handled by the author, who used a project management plan to ensure deadlines were reached in accordance with timeline and budget. Macro, micro, primary and secondary researches were made in order to give directions and insights. The research showed that, despite the strong importance of online presence, restaurants in the Portsmouth area, Southsea in particular, are not exploiting their potentials in terms of branding and sales. This seems to suggest the idea that competition is not so strong in this area of digital marketing, while it is strong when it comes to price choice and friendliness of service, which are the two most important factors for a positive experience in a restaurant (primary research results). The project therefore represents a very good opportunity to gain competitive advantage in such a competitive industry. The project also illustrates models and latest trends of digital marketing that are used to reach final aim.
A short presentation of the Book Corner seems necessary before proceeding further on this project. The idea of opening a new Bistro Café in Southsea came last year to the Manager, Ms. Mihaela Marian, in conjunction with an investor because of the extensive experience of both of them in areas such hospitality and real estate development. Their idea to open the Book Corner was motivated by the absence of a student Café Bistro offering affordable but healthy food and drinks as alternative to some students’ usual places in the area. Some places for students are still affordable but the range of menu they offer is very limited. Ms. Marian and her business partner found a gap in the food sector and decided to open a new place, situated behind the University library, in close proximity to the Dental Academy. In that area there are shops and students places offering small range of basically unhealthy food and coffee. The other alternative of the area is Le Café Parisienne, which for students might represent an expensive alternative.
The Book Corner has a capacity of 30 places and it’s planning a staff of 6 people working as following: one chef, 1 assistant chef, 3 part-‐time waitresses and one manager supervising their work and it will be open from 08.00 am until 10.00 pm every day. Ms. Marian will be working on the premises supervising the business management, the staff and serving the customers. I have approached Ms. Marian to propose the digital marketing project during the summer period of 2012 and reasons why she accepted the offer were the following:
• The new Bistro had in mind the target market but did not know how to reach it using digital media marketing;
• Newly opened business was in need of visibility and to increase brand awareness in order not to miss new customers and be able to communicate with them efficiently and in the long run;
• Digital marketing is new and trends and phenomenon are still partly unknown to marketers using traditional marketing approaches.