The following report discussed the marketing plan for Declan Cobalt Inc which is now called 21C Metals. The company has the majority of its exploring operations in Canada and the Czech Republic. It deals in drilling, geophysics, and surface trenching for determining or exploring Cobalt and Palladium rich sites or zones. In addition to this, it also analyse and estimate the overall resource after carrying out further exploration. It was determined that the investment in the field of exploration depends on the demand-supply of the elements in the market. It was identified that the demands and supply of the elements are governed by the automotive industries primarily. With the rise in the demand for cars and stability in the economy of Canada and Europe, the profits of the company are growing. It was determined that the company's main focus is on increasing the value of shareholders' profit by exploring and development while keeping the main focus on Cobalt and palladium. Talking about the positioning strategy of the company, it is focusing on local market competition and governing the projects as per the regulations. In addition to this, it is focusing on reducing time to the market by conducting proper market research. Based on the market demand, investors would show interest in investing in the company. There is a large target market for the company in Canada and Europe. In Ontario, Canada, the competition for the company is very serious and this has put tremendous pressure on the company to control its rates. A SWOT analysis of the company has been done that helped in identifying the weaknesses of the company. It was identified that the company failed to work in collaboration with other firms having a different culture. In addition to this, poor feedback mechanism system caused by poor communication was also identified as the major weakness. In addition to this, some threats were also mentioned. These include global recession, regulations, disasters, market fluctuations causing destabilization of rates of cobalt and palladium, etc.
Talking about the strategies involved in attracting investment, the company follows three strategies. The first is selling by building trust. The other is the referral system and the last one is building a relationship by advising clients. The overall marketing budget has been set $25900 and most of it would be spent on advertising and campaign. The report ended after discussing the implementation plan and after sale strategy for the company.
21C Metals formerly called Declan Cobalt Inc. is one of the leading exploration enterprises in Canada that aims at exploring production grade metals deposits that are highly demanded by modern and future automobile industry. It was founded on August 24, 2005, as per the laws of British Colombia. The organization is listed in the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE). The company deals in high-grade palladium and cobalt. The former metal is widely used in the internal combustion engines for converting catalytic converters and the latter is used in automobile batteries and heavy vehicles batteries. The company understands well that as the demand for the palladium converters decreases the demand for the cobalt base EV batteries would eventually increase. Therefore, for better sustainability of the business, the company has invested in both Cobalt and palladium.At present, the company has two primary projects, namely Tisova Cobalt Project located in the Czech Republic and other is East Bull Palladium site located in the Gerow Township, Ontario, Canada. This property benefits from surface trenching, drilling, and some geophysics that are full of some precious minerals and metals.
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The vision of the 21CMetals is to lead the metal exploration industry with a prime focus on creating value within Europe and Canada through a vertically integrated business model. The company is aiming at becoming the well-respected Cobalt and Palladium producer while delivering high values to the shareholder in an ethical way.
In other words, the vision statement is "to grow shareholder value by exploration, mining, and development with the main focus on Cobalt and Palladium."
The vision of the company is based on the following key strategic pillars:-
- Achieving target production to gain mid and long-term benefits and growth
- Focusing on various potential exploration sites to get a mineral-rich site.
- Continuing to invest in local communities as the prime value of the business.
- Leveraging strong financial position of the company
- Having a strong commitment to the environmental protection and safety of all the workers and local contractors with zero harm to all.
Being a Canadian exploration company and listed in the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE), the company is pretty much committed to explore, operate, and develop exploration projects within world-level mineral provinces with a prime focus on Cobalt and Palladium. In addition, the company is committed to make use of advanced technology and best industry practices to evaluate and develop projects to maximize the economic performance of the company.
The mission statement is “to determine and acquire projects within mineral-rich provinces and to develop a cost-effective and innovative basis to maximize the shareholder values.”
The major values of the company are:-
- Safety:conducting operations with proper standards and safety
- Honesty:carrying out operations with utmost integrity, fairness, and transparency.
- Respect:establishing trust, dignity, and respect among all the prime stakeholders.
- Innovation:encouraging the use of advanced technology and innovation.
- Delivery:Delivering to the local communities what is promised.
- Responsibility:Conducting operations for environment and stakeholders.
Over the past few years, the global market of Cobalt and Palladium mining industry is undergoing some serious setbacks in terms of low ROI and a vague perception in the market that the Cobalt supply is high in the market. In addition to this, there are other factors also, such as losses faced by the company due to environmental regulations and constraints. In order to keep the company profitable and sustainable, management is shifting to remote locations in Europe, Canada, and up to some extent to the South African region with its mining and exploring infrastructure. However, the company is still lagging in some field when it comes to tech-enabled changes in real time. The company is using some revolutionized techniques and machines to change the procedures for exploration and increase the productivity of the company that would ultimately lead to better earning and high profitability (Looand Leung, 2016).
The positioning strategy of the company is comprised of a few components that help the company to do well in the Canadian as well as in the European market. The first and foremost is to assess the local market competition. Understanding the local competition is crucial for gaining the client's loyalty but it is a very complex task and might not be very easy for the company due to lack of useful information and data. However, the company with its R&D is carrying out market research and determining the right prices for the products (Looand Leung, 2016). Its market research is helping in developing an effective and useful market entry strategy. Another positioning strategy is identifying the right clients and scale of opportunities. The first and foremost thing in the market is to survive the strict competition. The company is acquiring new exploration sites after deep research for future expansion. However, the company is facing problems in dealing and collecting data regarding the clients. With its market research team, the company is addressing these issues and improving its position in the market. It is using its market intelligence services in order to have a better insight into the target market and build an effective market positioning strategy (Leff, et.al, 2014). Another thing that is a part of a market positioning strategy is understanding the impact of regulations that are affecting the operations of the company in Canada and other parts of Europe. These regulations are related to safety, quality, procedures, technology, and environmental parameters. These might hinder the growth prospects of the company as they are required to invest a large section of their production fund to maintain the regulation.
Another positioning strategy is to reduce time in the market. Majority of the sources of the company present a disconnected marketing story and strategy. But, Declan Cobalt is formulating a right market hypothesis in order to deal with clients seeking to purchase cobalt and palladium. This helps the company to pinpoint the right client in the niche and emerging market. It is putting efforts in exploring and assessing market dynamics and estimating the net profit.
As it is already discussed that Declan Cobalt (21C Metals) are operating in Canada and Europe, it is important to study the target localinvestors in these two regions or across the world. The company is focusing on persuading boards and investors to get funds for carrying out exploration. Shareholders and investors seek high returns for their capital for the long term. In addition to this, exploration field has high risks. Therefore, the reward has to justify the risks.21C Metals can make use of some of the advantages and USPs to attract the investors. For instance, majority of the exploration sites are at a paramount location. These locations have high deposit’s potential and high success rate. In the past few decade, there have been a multitude of exploration discoveries in Canadian and European sites that have instigated the investment.In addition to this, the investment in the field of exploration depends upon three strategic factors. 1) The prices of Cobalt and Palladium, technology, existing operational synergy with technology, environmental considerations, alignment with organisation’s goal, geographical locations, etc. 2) Governmental factors, such as political risk and fiscal regime. 3) Financial and geological aspectshaving indicators of potential development and exploration cost and organisation’s short-term cash flow. According to Khan (2014), Government regulation and universal environment of demand and supply of the exploration product affect the investment in Canada and Euorpe from perspective of investors.
The European and Canadian Cobalt market is strongly competed by the industries located in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The metal is an important part of modern technology-based lifestyles. However, in the past few years, the instability in the cobalt market of DRC has forced the investor to look more reliable and better cobalt producing markets. This has increased the investment in the Canadian and European market. In the past three years, Cobalt rush began in Canada in the famous town of Cobalt i.e., Ontario. In recent time, the investors are turning back to Ontario as it is offering high ROI and other benefits to them while they invest in Cobalt and Palladium. According to the Northern Prospectors Association, over a dozen investors have come to invest in the Canadian town. The DRC remains one of the favorable locations for the global investors but due to deterioration of the investing climate caused by the strategic alliance. This has instigated the investment in Canada and Europe due to high potential in the Cobalt and Palladium in the two regions. With the signals investors are getting from these two markets, it seems that there is a high potential for the marketers and investors.
Talking about the palladium market, the demand for palladium is continuously growing in the domestic as a well international market of Canada as well in Europe. 21C Metals' major clientele belongs to the automobile sector. The demand for palladium in the automotive sector has doubled in the past 10 years. The Canadian economy is considered as the primary factor for the rising demand for automobiles in the country. This increase in the demand of automobile has created a wide range of opportunities for the exploring industries and mining sector.
Top Three Competitors
- Karmin Exploration Inc
- North American Exploration Ltd
- Montero Mining & Exploration Ltd.
SWOT analysis refers to the strategic planning tool which can be used by the 21C Metal Incorporation managers for doing the situational analysis of an organization. This technique is important as this will help in evaluating the present strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats 21C Metal Incorporation is facing in its present business environment (Zeschky, et.al, 2014). The SWOT analysis framework facilitates the organization in identifying the internal strategic factors that are the strength and weakness of the company and the opportunities and threats which are the external strategic factors. With the use of the SWOT matrix, 21C Metal Incorporation can identify the strategies for exploiting the external opportunities, eradicating its weakness, building the strengths of the company and exploiting the counter threats (Kumar, & Rathore, 2015).
21C Metal Incorporation is one of the leading companies of the exploration industries. The company has numerous strengths which will enable the company to thrive in the market. These strengths will help the company in protecting the existing market share along with penetrating into the new markets.
- The company is highly successful in go to market strategies for its products. Strong and reliable distribution networks have been built by the company by which the company can reach the majority of its potential market.
- Strong management of operation and expertise in the exploration field.
- It is pioneer in resource industry and the exploration is fully capitalised.
- Activities automation brought quality consistency to 21C Metal Incorporation and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the market demand condition (Zeschky, et.al, 2014).
- The company has made expertise at entering new markets and making a success of them. The expansion has helped the organization in building a new revenue stream and diversifying the economic cycle risk in its operating markets.
- The company is relatively successful at the new project's execution and good returns are generated on capital expenditure by the building of new streams of revenue.
- The company has a high rate of attrition in the workforce in comparison to the other companies and has to spend a lot more on training and development of employees.
- The percentage of net contribution and profitability ratio of 21C Metal incorporation are below the average of the industry.
- The structure of the organization is only compatible with the present model of business which limits the expansion in adjacent segment’s product.
- The company is facing the challenge posed by the new entrants as it is not capable of tackling the same and it has lost a small part of the market share in the niche categories.
- The internal feedback mechanism has to be built by the company directly from the sales team on the ground of countering the challenges.
- More investments are required to be made in the new technologies for integrating the process across the board. At present, technological investments are not at par with the company’s vision.
- The company failed to merge with other firms which have different work culture. Poor communication across stakeholders, schedule, and regular constraints, business interruptions, risk management, a deficit of current innovation are the weak points the company suffers from (Kumar, & Rathore, 2015).
- An opportunity is provided by the new technology to the company for practicing the differentiated strategy of pricing in the new market and to create brand awareness.
- General Motors, Volvo, Honda and other car companies are investing hugely in electric cars, thereby creating a large demand of Cobalt in the international market. This would drive up the price of Cobalt from current standstill position.
- Governments of the countries are providing subsidies to encourage EVs. Therefore, Cobalt demand would boom in near future.
- The company will be enabled in maintain loyal customers and building customer loyalty by providing great service and attracting new customers through value-oriented propositions. The core competencies of an organization can prove successful in another field of products. More stability can be brought in the market with a low rate of inflation. Customers can get credit at the low-interest rates. The advantage of the competitors can be diluted due to market development, and it will enable the company in increasing its competitiveness in comparison to the other competitor industries. The company can capture new customers and can increase its market share by the economic up stick and increment in customer spending. An opportunity can also be driven by the government green guide for the procurements of the products of the company by the federal as well as state government contractors (Wade, 2014).
- The number of players has got increased over the last two years due to the stable profitability in the industry. This has put pressure on the sales and profitability of the company.
- Standstill prices of Cobalt from a very long time is one of the major concerns for the company. This has resulted in sustained revenue threat due to the global economic scenario.
- The development of new technologies by the market disrupter or the competitor can impose a serious threat to the industry in its long term future.
- Regulatory defamation, and policies regarding the health of employees poses the future operation’s threats, the existence of intervention threat by NGO and international organizations over violations of human rights causing an ecological disturbance.
- The threat of rising cost of exploration and raw-material, the threat of regulatory policies and government tax in diverse operational countries exists.
- The contribution of the industry to the economy is overvalued by the politicians and there is a flatter economy in the resource sector.
- Natural disasters, resource nationalism, water, and energy usage, commodity volatility, the license of operating, infrastructure and transportation, export and import of minerals.
21 C Metals has a high reputation in the market. Mining companies are very much effective in providing their services and products in the market to their existing clients. However, they are not very good at marketing themselves. This is the reason why their market share depends purely on the quality and quantity of the products and their timely delivery (Khan, 2014). Majority of deals of 21C Metals are based on referral schemes and the wide network formed in the past. These methods do not need any type of marketing. However, the company has now started focusing on the marketing process as well in order to explore more opportunities available in the market. It is a fact that sales in mining start with marketing. Marketing can help the company to gain both short and long term benefits as well as long term reputation.
The first and foremost strategy is 'sell by building trust'. The company is making use of its long-term and well-trusted relationships with the clients in order to make them loyal and satisfied (Khan, 2014). The company tries to understand the problems faced by the client with the quality or quantity of material being delivered to them. After understanding these issues, it makes efforts to rectify them at the earliest and market these efforts to build a long-lasting relationship with its clientele.
The second strategy is the referral. These strategies are good but not enough as these are confined to the existing network only. In the case of making any new client join the network, this method is not very much famous. In addition to this, these methods are highly impacted by the presence of any competitor (Cavusgil, et.al, 2014). They might take away the clients by offering a better alternative. Presence of any competitor might impact the sales of 21C Metals if it is depending on the referral marketing strategy only as it would leave the marketing plan open to chance. References are good but they are not the best method for marketing in the marketing of Cobalt and Palladium where quality and quantity matter the most. The client wants the best quality at a low price.
The third strategy is becoming a good advisor and increasing market presence. 21C Metals understands that marketing is an ever-going process that aims at client education and awareness and advising them about the product. It is important for the mining and exploring industries to become a trusted advisor and provide the best advice to the client. This can be done by making use of banner, social media blogs, content marketing, SEO optimization, and other media for marketing (Cavusgil, et.al, 2014). The company is investing hugely in the digital and traditional marketing channels to grab major market opportunities and increase its client base. The company is making a large number of benefits like increasing its reputation and market presence in the exploding industry of Canada by making use of videos, blogs, case studies, white papers, etc. In addition to this, it is connecting with its existing and potential customers and leveraging its leads from the credibility it has created.
Unique selling proposition
USP is also known as the unique selling point which is referred to as the essence of making products or services better than competitors. This is the strong marketing concept which can even convince customers to switch to the brand having sound unique selling propositions. The optimal USP of the company should be created; intermediaries and sales force should apply it effectively for increasing sales in the global market and for increasing brand awareness. 21CC Metal Incorporation has various unique selling propositions including-
- Unrivaled assets
- Proficiency in the field of exploration
- Rapid expansion
- Development, production, and exploration of mineral resources properties in different regions.
- It has a large scale mines
- It has an untapped volume of cobalt
- The opportunities in the European marketing for dealing with stocks.
This USP will help the company in communicating the advantage persuasively and clearly, it will differentiate the company from sophisticated and experienced competitors, it will make the sales team more sophisticated.
National Marketing Head
- Highest ranking executive in the marketing team
- Make major decisions related to the marketing
- Manage the resources and operations of the team
Zonal Marketing Manager
- Executive level position in the team
- Examines the long and short term needs of the marketing
- Capital utilization for making investments
- Develop and execute marketing strategies
- Creating and developing new innovative ways of communicating the message of the company to the customers
- Liaising with union
- Creating a conducive working environment (Bianca, 2019)
Marketing budget plan
The budget is a significant part of the marketing plan. An overview of all the costs is made clear which is associated with carrying out of the marketing activities. Marketing budget will help the marketing manager of 21C Metal incorporation Company sticking to the plan and avoiding unanticipated costs, thus reducing the overspending possibility. A financial road map is provided by the marketing budget and it reduces the risks. Return on investment can be determined for different aspects of the marketing plan. After the determination of the marketing plan and total annual budget, the budget is aligned with the marketing goals. The main marketing goal of the 21C Metal Incorporation is to increase the brand awareness so that more investment can be achieved by the company resulting in increasing the stock price of the company and can sell it to the mining company. Marketing budget plan will keep the entire team of the company to be focused on the specific goals as for the whole company it is the critical resource (Turnbull, & Paliwoda, 2012).
The marketing budget of 21C Metal Incorporation will show the projected costs for the multiple categories side by side. By this, it will become easier for the company’s marketing manager in comparing the actual and projected costs. The total marketing budget for the company is $25900.
It is important for the successful implementation of the marketing strategy to be integrated across a wide range of marketing activities. In addition to this, it is important to be formed after a proper analysis of the business environment both internal and external. Furthermore, it is important that it should include a feedback system in order to understand the doubts and problems clients are facing. The implementation plan is strongly impacted by organizational resources and objectives, competitor activities, market structure, and willingness of 21C Metals to undergo changes.
The implementation plan begins with a marketing audit which would be do focusing on reviewing the firm's existing objectives, performance, strategies, and its strength and weaknesses. This would help in preparing plans to grab opportunities in the mining sector.
The second is tactical planning which has many sub-elements. 21C Metals is focusing on gaining a competitive edge by offering products that are of high-grade qualities and that too at a reasonable price. The company is aiming at using three generic strategies, namely cost leadership, differentiation, and focus. By focusing on the demands of automobile manufacturers, the company can make its products exclusive and build a long lasting relationship with them. Since the cost is usually not in control of the company due to large uncertainties in the mining operations at the site (Osterwalder, et.al, 2014).
Since the business is B2B, the company is focusing on strengthening its pull strategies by directing its efforts to fulfill the demands of the clients which in this case are automobile companies (Solomon, et.al, 2014). With its personalized services, the company can be able to build a long lasting relationship with the customers. The pull camping with generate the sales. All that is required from the company to manage its distribution channels properly and effectively. In case the distribution channels are not managed properly, then the company should go with the push strategy.
Next, comes setting up the marketing budget and getting all the task within the budget. In case the budget limit is exceeded, then the strategic planning might not be very effective.
The last is monitoring and evaluating marketing performance. Once the marketing plan is implemented, it is important for the manager to ensure that it works effectively. For that purpose, feedback is very important to monitor. 21C Metals can make use of two parameters for measuring the performances, namely sales analysis and marketing cost analysis. The former method works by measuring the total revenue generated by the firm and the latter is concerned about the costs of making profits.
This report discussed the marketing plan for Declan Cobalt Inc. which is an exploring firm and they sell the stocks to the mining companies. Once the site is handed over to the mining companies, they mine and sell the cobalt and palladium in market. The company has its project sites in Canada and Europe and major clientele belong to the automotive sector. It was mentioned that the company's mission is to explore different sites where Cobalt and palladium are found and maximize the profits of shareholders. The SWOT analysis revealed that the company has poor communication among stakeholders, poor organization, and reluctant behavior towards other firms to collaborate. Government regulations, rapidly changing market, and global recession are some threats to the company. The elevator pitch had been provided for the investors to understand the company's operation in a better way. In the implementation plan, various stages of implementing the marketing plan and their importance had been discussed.
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