Three Rivers Optical is a lab supplying privately company based on the suburb of Pittsburg; Pennsylvvania. The Company manufactures all types of optical lenses and ophthalmic products such as frames bases and glass, as well as hi-index lenses among other types of lenses. This paper tries to give a critical analysis of some of the company’s strategies as presented in the particular case study in reference. The paper firstly begins by exploring the growth and development plans for the company as presented in the case study. A review is then given as to whether these growth plans make sense on the basis of the data on the geographical distribution of optical goods and stores in the US. The adoption and use of trade shows as the main marketing strategy for Three Rivers Optical is also critically analyzed in this paper. Of major importance here is the viability of trade shows in fostering increased sales and new customer accounts for Three Rivers Optical. The paper ends with giving a critical proposal on what the company’s strategies should be based on the shows currently organized by the company. Proposals about the kind of tactics to be adopted by the company in these shows to enable it strengthen its presence in the US lab products retail industry has also been given in this paper. The conclusion part of this paper gives a small summary of the main points covered in the body of the paper.
Three Rivers Optical: Case Analysis
The management of Three Rivers Optical is projecting the company to realize a commendable growth in its business in such regions as Western Ohio, Indiana, and South and Central Michigan. The Denver area and California are also seen as major target areas for the expansion of TRO partly due to the increased number of existing accounts in these two regions. From the geographical distribution of optical goods and stores in the US, these growth and development plans for TRO can be said to be viable and making sense. This is because there douse not exist optical stores in most of these targeted regions. These regions thus present good potential markets for the diversification of TRO’s business in the lab products retail market in the United States of America.
The use of trade shows are partly paying off for Three Rivers optical in its business activities in the US lab products retail market. This is because; these shows have helped the company to acquire a formidable number of customers. Trade shows have consequently provided Three Rivers Optical with an opportunity to learn from other experienced companies in the organization of trade shows. A good example of this is in the first trade show for the company organized in 2005 at International Expo East. This show was attended by such companies as the I-Concepts Inc. The presence of these companies not only gives Three Rivers Optical an opportunity to learn from its competitors but also presents potential business partners to the company. This is demonstrated by the fact that, Three Rivers Optical has since forged a strategic alliance with I-Concepts . This is a clear indication that the use of trade shows as the core marketing strategy for the company is partly reaping a lot of benefits.
Trade shows are also useful in furthering Three Rivers Optical business because they can consequently be viewed as marketing and publicizing the name of the company. A trade show organized in the name of Three Rivers Optical such as the 2007 Vision Expo is likely to serve an advertisement purpose for the company. This is because those in attendance are able to acquire some knowledge about the company’s products thus serving as a major advantage to the company. In addition, the publicity given to these shows in media houses and other advertising organs such as the print media further helps to advertise TRO and its products within a wider geographical region which possibly helps the company to increase its sale.
On the other hand, Three Rivers Optical is bale to find new buyers in these trade shows since people other than the targeted audiences are likely to attend these shows and possibly develop a desire to purchase Three Rivers Optical products in the near future. This fact is supported by the research carried out by the center of Exhibition Industry Research(CEIR) where it was found out that, exhibitors at trade shows often found hidden buyers in these exhibition shows. TRO is thus able to secure such groups as Optometrists and Ophthalmologists as its new target groups of buyers. This could otherwise been difficult to achieve through the use of other marketing strategies. Trade shows are also helping TRO to stay at the top of the latest trends in the lab products industry as well as helping the company to gain competitor insights; these shows are in addition likely to help the company in solidifying its relationship with its current base of customers. Exhibiting at trade shows has had the potential of fueling the company’s bid to expand its wings across the US as well as increasing the ability of the company to add its increasing number of salespeople.
However, trade shows may not actually be the best strategy for Three Rivers optical due to a number of reasons. Firstly, a closer look at the returns accrued by the company in some of these shows does not show a commendable trend. The acquired profits have sometimes fallen way below the projected targets. A good example of this was In the Vision Expo 2007 where the company managed to reap equal returns to its previous show yet the expenses in this show were way too high as compared to the previous one. Another major disadvantage associated with the use of trade shows as demonstrated in the TRO case is the ability of these shows to attract a large group of audiences most of whom are not actually helping in the development of the company.
Three Rivers Optical should try to diversify its trade show options rather than seeking to invest in a single form of trade show. Institutions should however form the main form of shows for the company because they provide a large pool of potential customers than majority of the other forms of exhibit places. The print media should such as magazines should also form part of the company’s exhibit targets since they are accessible to a larger group of people not able to be reached by other forms of exhibits.
A strategic plan for the shows TRO is already organizing should be one which seeks to create and put into action powerful marketing initiatives aimed at engaging potential buyers as well as generating more sales, before, during and after the shows.
In addition, TRO should seek and acquire the best trade show display booth capable of meeting its marketing and budgetary requirements. The company should also secure different sized exhibition booths with different designs and configurations for the uniqueness of its trade show exhibits.
Three Rivers Optical should consequently develop a skills development strategy for its trade show personnel in order to enable these members to foster a professional appearance and wide knowledge in trade show organizations. This is because it is this group of people which represents the image of the company in these shows and they should thus demonstrate a good picture of the company to its target audiences. In addition, a well trained trade show organizing group is also capable of avoiding some of the mistakes witnessed in the company’s previous trade shows such as the distribution of game cards to people not forming part of the company’s target audience.
For the trade shows TRO is already undertaking, the management of the company should seek to employ other new tactics in order to attract a large pool of audience and consequently distinguish it from trade shows organized by other business players in the industry. Some of these tactics should include such practices as organizing and conducting live entertainments in these shows . These may include such activities as comedies and music stints involving recognized musicians in the US in the shows. In addition, TRO should adopt unique trade show booth attractions such as interactive game trade shows giveaways, free food as well a welcoming pool of trade show staff in the company’s trade show exhibitions.
The company should also make follow-ups after the shows to convert leads into sales. This can include such practices as sending written notes along with customized company information packet and other appropriate materials to those visiting its trade show booths. This can be done a few days after the shows possibly within a week or two. The management of the company should also consider making personal phone calls to known or potential top leads to make a lasting impression and reinforce the company’s commitment to its business.
TRO should also seek to develop strong and well thought relationship-building strategies before, during and after its trade shows to steer the company in front of its competitors possibly making a difference between the leads it generated in these shows and the sales made from the same leads.
Prior to the trade shows, TRO should seek to make personalized contacts to would be audiences. This could possibly include presale conference registrants through the use of personalized phone calls, written invitations, direct mail initiatives and other forms of communications. Additionally, other strategies may include the sending meaningful giveaways along with personalized mails introducing the company’s products, sharing its booth locations as well as encouraging potential buyers to visit the company’s exhibit.
Finally, Three Rivers Optical should also take other measures to compliment its trade show activities. A good example here would be taking advantage of the developments in the communication industry to market its products. In relation to this, the company should consider placing its exhibiting information on its website, as well as utilizing social networks and mobile marketing to spread its trade show information to a wider ranger of target groups.
In conclusion, Three Rivers Optical is projecting a viable growth strategy by planning to open new stores in regions where there are no optical stores in the US. This is because such regions serve as untapped optical markets and investing in them will most likely help TRO to increase its sales and consequently cement its presence in the US optical products’ retail market.
Trade shows can partly be viewed as helping TRO to increase its sales in one way or the other. This is made possible by the fact that, these shows helps the company to realize capture a new pool of customers as well as fostering a good relationship between the company and its customers. Finally, a number of strategies need to be adopted in order to make a difference in the trade shows already being organized by TRO. Some of these strategies include utilizing the developments in the communication technology sector as well as fostering a good relationship with would be audiences in these shows and potential customers identified in the same shows. This can be done through the development of a good system of communication between the company and these groups of stakeholders.
Three Rivers Optical background case analysis. Available at