In the future you may be asked to write a marketing plan. For the final project you are to provide what the marketing plan is and research the different components of the marketing plan. You will also provide how the marketing plan is helpful to the organization. The final project in qualitative and you are not required to provide any quantitative data.
Specific information on the marketing plan is in chapter 16 of our e-book.
Figure 16.2 gives us an example of the Marketing Plan Outline.
Please use any of the concepts we have covered within this course.
The Final Project needs to be in a word document and in APA format. Page requirement is at least 4 pages in length. This does not include the cover and reference pages. Make sure to provide at least four outside sources to support your work
A marketing plan, as part of a business plan, is a document majorly designed to communicate a firm’s marketing efforts and advertising for the coming year. As much as a company must set the expectations of customers, they should also set the organizational marketing expectations. This document is typically prepared by the firm’s chief marketing officer(CMO) The party responsible for the formulation of the market plan not only depends on the CMO but a team of the marketing segment in the firm. The CEO of the firm must also put major contributions in the market plan. Therefore, a marketing plan is a responsibility of the firm as a whole. An effective marketing plan is one that the whole firm is involved. The marketing plan primarily focuses on the realistic marketing expectations of a company or any organization. Also, they communicate with the members of a firm on who is responsible for the marketing strategy and the how the responsibilities in the plan will be executed. The market plan defines the current situation and establishes the objectives for the firm’s product and outlines how the organization will try to achieve the goals specified in the plan.
Marketing objectives are included in the marketing plan. The marketing objectives have certain characteristics. First, the objective must be articulated precisely and in an easy way so that the organization’s workers can comprehend the objectives in the plan. Also, the targets in the plan should be accurately measured for weighing whether the goals in the plan are achieved or not. Lastly, the marketing objectives should be time-specific. A firm must specify the period in which the marketing plan will operate.
Components of a Marketing Plan
Marketing plan as a document contains various components. To begin with, the first phase of the marketing plan is to define the target market. The target market is characterized by factors like the product usage, geographic or demographic factors, technological factors, psychological profiling factors, and so on. To prepare the plan, the CMO should focus majorly on satisfying customer needs. At this stage, the firm should take note of the distribution, promotion and mix-product parameters that soothe the target market.
The plan is majorly based on the systematic research made in the market important for the organization’s strategy (Cravens, 2006). The key elements of a marketing plan are classified into two categories namely situation analysis which focusses on the firm’s ultimate ability. Situation analysis majorly gathers the market information that can trigger changes in the business that help in the identification of the target audience and the market mix that involves the controllable variables that the firm defines to satisfy customer’s needs. First, in the situation analysis also known as the 5C’s strategy (Reed, 2010), the marketing plan should have to document the company analysis report. In this section, the CMO has to focus on the main competitors of the organization and be able to predict the future behaviors of the competing firms. This section of the plan features the strategy undertaken in coping with the competitive environment especially the competitive product in the market. First, in situation analysis, the CMO has to specify the distribution channels and the research and development projects involved in the implementation of the plan. Also, he/she should define the marketing share and the promotional campaigns for the product in question. One of the recommended tools for this section is the Strengths Weakness Opportunities and Threats(SWOT) analysis tool pioneered by (Valentin, 2001, p. 57). Strengths can involve the expertise and the procedures that the company possesses. Weakness involves average products or the lack of creativity that the company shows. Opportunities are the holes that the firm finds in the market that is created by a weak competitor. Lastly, threats are an issue to deal with strong competitors in the market, for example, a price war.
The marketing plan should also conduct consumer’s analysis. In case the firm directly deals with the customer, it should include the consumer market segmentation that aims at the geographical location, demographics and the behavioral patterns of the users of their products. In the case of a company operating in a business-to-business form, the plan should contain the market segmentation factors like the industry the company is involved in, macroeconomic factors, the price preferences, geographical location, the quality of the product and the size of the firm. Also in this part, the organization has to check on the suppliers and the order size that the other business requires. Consumer analysis is necessary for the for targeting consumers efficiently and in the reasonable allocation of the marketing resources.
Lastly, the firm will also include collaborators analysis and the climate analysis in the plan. Collaborators Analysis simply contain the third party that is involved in the running of the business in the market. These are the merchants, distributors, subsidiaries and so on. Collaborators analysis is important in identifying the needs of the parties that the firm interacts with in the success of the business. Climate or context analysis is also known as the PEST analysis is an assessment of the environment around the company’s operation. The plan should stipulate the effects of these factors in the plan fully. Examples include the economic level in the market, technological factors that influence the operations of the company, social and cultural factors and the political and legislative factors.
Importance of a Marketing Plan
The market mix is an essential part of the marketing plan since it defines the controllable variables that meet customers’ needs. This stage is also known as the 4P’s strategy (Goi, 2009). First, product mix is a tool that analyses the characteristics and the importance of the firm’s product. Decisions are made by the enterprise regarding the product or services offered to the customers. These decisions include brand name, functionality, packaging, pricing, bundling, price discrimination and so on. Secondly, the price is the primary variable in this stage. This part includes price setting approaches. Commonly the price plan should match the results of the competitive analysis. These plans include the retail price suggestions, discounts, wholesale price suggestions, distribution channel, locations, logistics and distributors margins. It also includes the sales force and the firm’s sales methods. This section includes the place phenomenon of the business. It includes information on how the products or services of the business can reach the customer. Lastly, promotion as a part of the market mix involves the information on how the firm communicates its products and services to customers to raise consumer response. The section majorly includes communication to the market decisions. Examples of these strategies are majorly advertising methods and procedures. Alternatively, after all, the analysis in the situation part and market mix audit, one can draw conclusions in a finding and with the help of SWOT, the CMO will be able to make crucial decisions.
An effective market plan is fruitful since it exerts a positive effect on the tactics on the goals of the firm in that retention of customers, expansion of the market shares in generating profits and exploration of the future growth of the firm (Mullins, Walker, & Boyd Jr, 2012). It not only boosts the overall tactics in the plan of the company but also acts as an affluence for future upgrading of the business. People prefer the use of a formal marketing plan. Marketing planning is essential in the development of a sustainable competitive lead to the enterprise or the brand. Hence, the most crucial part of the marketing plan is the analysis that is concerned with the long-run impact of marketing actions on a company’s performance.
Conclusively, the marketing plan reviews the specific plan or strategies a firm intends to work with to increase the number of consumers for its products or services and trigger them to enter into a business agreement or a relationship with other companies (Pride & Ferrell, 2016). As a CMO, it is important to do a market analysis in conjunction with the marketing team to be able to meet the goals of the organization. A consumer response to the company’s marketing plans and objectives should be evaluated and examined every so often. The process helps the allow the firm to make any necessary changes in the commercialization strategy to meet market real market requirements.
Cravens, D. W. (2006). Strategic Marketing. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Goi, C. L. (2009). A Review of Marketing Mix: 4Ps or more? International Journal of Marketing Studies, 2.
Mullins, J., Walker, O. C., & Boyd Jr, H. W. (2012). Marketing Management: A Strategic Decision-making Approach. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
Pride, W., & Ferrell, O. C. (2016). Foundations of Marketing. Cengage Learning.
Reed, P. W. (2010). Strategic Marketing: Decision Making and Planning. Cengage Learning.
Valentin, E. K. (2001). SWOT Analysis from a Resource-Based View. Journal of marketing theory and practice, 9(2), 54-69.