Marketing plan is the central instrument for directing and coordinating the marketing effort. The marketing plan operates at two levels: strategic and tactical. The strategic marketing plan lays out the target markets and the value proposition that will be offered, based on an analysis of the best market opportunities. The tactical marketing plan specifies the marketing tactics, including product features, promotion, merchandising, pricing, sales channels, and service. Marketing plan is a written document that summarizes what the marketer has learned about the market place and indicates how the firm plans to reach its marketing objectives. It contains tactical guidelines for the marketing programs and financial allocation over the planning period. It is one of the most important outputs of the marketing process. Marketing plans are becoming more customer and competitor oriented and better reasoned and more realistic than in the past. Marketing planning is becoming a continuous process to respond to rapidly changing market conditions.
What is a Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan provides direction for your marketing activities. Marketing plans need not be long or cost a lot to put together. Think of it as a road map, with detailed directions on how to get to your destination. Sure there may be a few bumps in the road, perhaps a diversion or two, but if the marketing plan is carefully researched, thoughtfully considered and evaluated, it will help the organization achieve its goals. The marketing plan details what you want to accomplish with your marketing strategy and helps you meet your objectives.
The marketing plan:
• Allows the organization to look internally in order to fully understand the impact and results of past marketing decisions. • Allows the organization to look externally in order to fully understand the market in which it chooses to compete. • Sets future goals and provides direction for future marketing efforts that everyone in the organization should • Understand and support.
• Is a key component in obtaining funding to pursue new initiatives?
Components of a Marketing Plan
A marketing plan consists of following components:
1. Executive Summary
2. Situation Analysis
3. SWOT Analysis
4. Marketing Goals and Objectives
5. Marketing Strategies
7. Marketing audit
8. Evaluation and Control
The executive summary is the first part of the marketing plan, but should be written after all other parts are completed. It is a brief overview of the entire plan and covers only the main points. It is useful to people you approach with your plan, such as investors, who may want to read a synthesized version to determine if they are interested in it before taking the time to read it in depth. The executive summary is also useful internally, as it helps to remind you and your employees of the organization's desired marketing goals and how to achieve them.
The situation analysis helps you to determine where your organization presently stands. It should examine what's going on outside of the organization, what's happening with consumers, and how the business is functioning internally.
What changes are taking place in your city, county, state, country and around the world that could potentially impact your business? Some things to investigate are:
• Changes in political positions and legislation at the local, state, and national level. • Changes in technology
• Trends in society's values and habits
• Identify competitors and list their characteristics
• Economic conditions
Before developing a marketing plan it's important to find out what consumers want and how they make purchase decisions. This may require some marketing research. Think about these factors: • Current and potential...