There are a few key points of differentiation that make the bracelet program unique. It is the first program that allows live tracking. Existing programs can do little more than identify a child once they have been found. The current systems in place for finding lost or kidnapped children still rely on eyewitnesses for success. The bracelets work even in the absence of such eyewitnesses. Another area where the bracelet program is differentiated is in the response time. In all missing persons cases, the speed at which an investigation is launched is critical to a successful outcome. According to many law enforcement sources, the first 48 hours after a person is noticed to be missing are the most important. The bracelets allow a child to be tracked and found well within the 48-hour period. This ability to deliver accurate, timely results is what differentiates the bracelet program apart from existing programs and services.
We will use several appeals in the marketing of the bracelets, since there are essentially two target markets that we must attract simultaneously. When evaluating whether or not to adopt the bracelet program, law enforcement officials will need to consider the potential response of parents. Many chiefs and sheriffs, for example, are publicly elected officials. Moreover, if they are to invest time, energy and money into setting up the bracelet program, they will want to feel comfortable that our appeal to the parents will be successful.
We will demonstrate a program that will appeal to parents on both an emotion and practical level. Parents are motivated by fear, and concern for their childrens safety. One of the things the bracelets will do is help to alleviate that fear, since the parents will know that their child can be found quickly in the event of a disappearance. From a practical perspective, we will offer them the knowledge of how the product works, to give them an understanding of how it will help law enforcement to retrieve their child. When a child disappears, parents often panic because not only do they not know where their child is, but they also have no real sense of how their child will be found.
When appealing to law enforcement, we will appeal strictly on a practical level. We will outline the benefits of the product, its uniquenesses, and the value that it brings to parents. We will show them how simple the implementation process will be, so they understand not only the benefits of the program, but that the cost of these benefits is low enough that they can see the value of adopting the tracking bracelets in their communities.
There are two target audiences for the tracking bracelet programs. The first are law enforcement agencies. These agencies are represented in every community in the country. They all operate independently, with different structures and decision-makers. They do all, however, share the same basic goals. The similarity in goals is perhaps most apparent in missing childrens cases – to bring the child back safely, as quickly as possible. The decision making chain within law enforcement agencies is typically comprised of the sheriff or chief (political leader), the budgeting committee or department (the money) and sometimes there are political decision makers such as mayors who exert significant influence over the process as well. It is these key decision makers who comprise the core target market, particularly in the first couple of years of the program, since we need their support to help reach the parents and to implement the program.
These decision makers are typically politically astute and deeply committed to the service of their community. They make their decisions often during a complicated budgeting process that weighs the needs of many different groups of stakeholders. With a fixed budget with which to work, they must allocate funds to best service the community. For us, the challenge is to convince them that the bracelet program will be successful enough to justify allocating a portion of their budget to its adoption and implementation. To do this, we must address them on the basis of their needs. Some of these needs are to ensure the safety of the community, which is at the core of their position. Many are subject to tight scrutiny of the public funds that make up the bulk of their budgets, so they have a need to demonstrate results to their overseers. Also, the more political savvy among them may also have a need to demonstrate personal innovation, success that was achieved only by virtue of their work as leader.
The other target audience is the parents. They span a multitude of demographics in terms of income, geography and race. The only limitations on their demographics are age, with the vast majority of young parents falling between the ages of 20-40 years old. Since we are initially targeting major markets, we will use urban and suburban parents as a more specific demographic target.
Many parents of young children fit a specific psychographic profile. Their most important values include security and safety of their family, comfort and a desire to provide the best future possible for their children. Their interests and lifestyles can vary significantly, but amongst the urban and suburban young parent segment, work is a dominant factor since the cost of living increases significant with children, daycare, and often new homes as well. No matter what other differences they may have, interest in their children are an overriding similarity.
The behavior variables of young parents tend towards a willingness to try new things. Parenthood changes peoples lives and during that time of change this willingness shows through, in particular with regards to their childrens well-being. They are demanding of excellence for their children, but loyal when they find something that works.
The benefits that parents of young children desire are safety and security foremost, with cost being a much secondary factor, in many cases insignificant. They often hold the view that the most priceless thing in the world is their child. Many of their investments, from education savings funds to life insurance, to housing in better neighborhoods, reflects this sense of priority. They need to know not only that the bracelet can give them an extra sense of security, but they need to know that it works, and that law enforcement is on board with the program.
In terms of media used to reach these audiences, the first target market will be approached initially. The strategy involves two parts. One is to gain an audience with key law enforcement decision makers at law enforcement conventions. These shows are where many new products for the field are introduced, and contacts between the company and key decision makers are made.
There are two reasons why the trade shows are a vital part of the process. First, this target audience is very limited, and the trade shows give direct access to this market. At the beginning stage of the marketing process, it is only key decision makers who need to be contacted. The product will require demonstrations in order to illustrate its effectiveness. Moreover, our physical presence will not only signal our seriousness to enter the business, but will allow our sales agent and other key staff to meet face-to-face with the target audience. A personal pitch is expected to be a requirement of any sale we make during the launch and proliferation stages. We expect to spend at least two years on the trade show circuit. We may need repeated pitches to each key decision maker in order to secure the sale. We also wish to expose the bracelet program to as many key decision makers as possible.
The trade shows will be supplemented with a two-part program involving mailouts of printed materials introducing the product to key decision makers around the country. We wish to build exposure to the product over the course of the first two years. The mailouts will begin six months into the program. There are two reasons for this. First, we hope that the mailout is directed to warm leads, those who have seen us at the trade shows. Second, we would like to incorporate some of the feedback we receive at the initial shows, both into our marketing and possibly even our product. The other component will be direct visits with interested decision-makers. These will require us to visit on-site, bringing our presentation to them. That part of the program is expected to begin immediately after the first trade show, and continue throughout the first two years of the program, and likely even further beyond that.
Reaching the parents will be something we rely on law enforcement for. Their endorsement is critical to reaching that market. We will provide information pamphlets for them, build a website and work to generate publicity in the form of news reports and public service announcements. By doing this we hope to, in concert with law enforcement, reach the parents.