Analyzing the marketing challenges presented in this case encourages students to conduct research into topics such as Indigenous businesses, unique marketing challenges, approaches to create strong brand identities, product selection, and sustainable food production and its marketing. Students will suggest marketing strategies that take into consideration the factors outlined, to help SF grow and succeed into the future. By analyzing this case, students will be exposed to the following marketing topics:
- Marketing Strategy
- Marketing Research
- Competitive Advantage
- Brand Identity
- Brand Loyalty
- Indigenous Business
- Tourism Marketing
- Food Marketing
- Consumer Behaviour
- Decision-Making Processes
- Marketing Communications
The analysis opportunities given through this case fit any intermediate and advanced marketing course, whether graduate or undergraduate, assuming students have had exposure to basic marketing courses as well as specific marketing topics such as marketing strategy, marketing research, and consumer behaviour.
Suggestions for Use
The information in this case is suitable for specific assignment questions in multiple marketing areas. Instructors using this case may provide students with their own questions, based on the topic of their courses and the content they have already covered. Below are some suggestions on the topics that can be evaluated through an analysis of this case.
- Assess emotional and mental responses of consumers who experience SF at its remote location
- Apply decision-making concepts and steps to this case
- Apply attitude models to this situation and target audience
- Apply concepts of cultural values and reference groups to this case
- Identify suitable subcultures to be targeted
- Determine where these subcultures can be found and engaged
- Identify cultural influences on the behaviour of SF’s customers
- Investigate the benefits of spending time and money to expand the e-commerce operations
- Evaluate the benefits of outsourcing e-commerce services versus in-house solutions
- Identify the need for e-commerce processes based on target markets
- Assess how a co-packing arrangements could affect SF’s e-commerce
- Research the objectives for an improved website
- Research opportunities to tie into other e-commerce operations
- Assess how e-commerce operations can address the Indigenous history and ownership of the farm
- Identify competitors in the e-commerce setting
- Determine appropriate information to be included on potential highway signage
- Evaluate research on the effectiveness of radio advertising for local businesses
- Design an advertising plan and budget for social media ads
- Investigate additional directories and partners that could be beneficial for SF
- Investigate specific opportunities, such as rack cards or ads in the Backroad Mapbooks of BC.
- Suggest additional products and services that could appeal to tourists
- Identify triggers for travellers to stop and explore locally
- Determine appropriate channels for marketing the farm
- Research the success of other tourism options with an Indigenous focus in BC
- Investigate current trends in tourism marketing
Below, please find some select marketing ideas that students can be prompted to identify and research, especially if the case is used in a classroom setting:
- Using the website to sell items that can be shipped easily, providing customers the opportunity to research before a visit
- Pursuing a connection with the Rocky Mountaineer business, currently only stopping in Kamloops, that brings many tourists to the area
- Establishing ties with other tourism and food providers in the area
- Collecting contact information from visitors to the farm, such as email, by using a guest book
- Tailoring the social media content to the typical age of the customer
- Dipping into the RV market by expanding on the camping options
- Focusing on collecting reviews, such as on Google or TripAdvisor
- Weighing environmental concerns against custom-printed packaging to establish a brand identity
Sample Instructions for Students
Considering the information given in this case study, your task is to apply marketing concepts to recommend a marketing strategy and approach for Spapium “Little Prairie” Farm.
Please note that the goal is not to find out what was actually done but to research options. Explain and justify your decisions, and elaborate on your chosen marketing approach. The emphasis is on justifying your choices by utilizing your knowledge of marketing theories and concepts, as well as supporting your choices with academic sources.
Time frame: 2 years
Budget: CA$ 3,000 per year
Components: Marketing channels, messages, timing/schedule, brand personality, target audience, advertising media
The goal is to increase exposure for Spapium Farm by applying marketing concepts in various areas (e.g., consumer behaviour), keeping in mind the limited budget and human resources available. Students should also focus on suggestions that create brand loyalty and form long-term relationships for SF.
All recommendations should be based on a detailed analysis of the location as well as the target audience, including creating a persona. Key performance metrics should be recommended and justified. Benefits and challenges for any suggestions and recommendations need to be clearly stated. Students are expected to research marketing concepts, assess brand positioning, analyze competitors, and justify any product strategy modifications. Recommendations should integrate multiple marketing channels with a combination of mass communications—such as advertising, promotions, or events—as well as personal communications—such as direct marketing, word of mouth, or personal selling.