THE MARKETING PLAN AND THE 8 P’S
(Where We Would Like to Be?)
Marketing Plan is defined as written plan that is used to guide an organization’s marketing activities for a period of two years or less. It is quite detailed and specific, and it helps an organization coordinate the many steps and people that play a role in marketing.
* Marketing plan is also called as tactical plans or short-term plans. * Strategic plan or a long-term plan is a three-year or more that is more general and less detailed than tactical plans.
REQUIREMENTS FOR AN EFFECTIVE MARKETING PLAN
It must build on previous research and analysis. A plan is established on managerial hunches is like a house of cards; if one key assumption is proven wrong, the whole plan falls apart. 2. Organize and coordinate
It must be as specific and detailed as possible. It needs to clearly identify the departments and people responsible for specific tasks; it must also describe the promotional and other materials that are required. The required level of sportsmanship should be clarified, including the quality and level of effort and service from all involved. 3. Programmed
It must be orchestrated so that activities are carefully sequence. Timing is vitally important in marketing. Thus, a marketing plan must have a detailed, staged timetable. 4. Budgeted
Every marketing plan must be budgeted carefully. In fact, several tentative budgets should be prepared before the organization decides on a final figure. 5. Flexible
Unforeseen events will happen. Therefore, no plan should be cast in stones. The marketing plan should be adjusted if it appears that objective will definitely not be achieved, or if there are unexpected competitive moves. Contingency planning must built in. This means allowing some room in the plan and marketing budget to take care of unexpected events. 6. Controllable
Making a plan work as it was originally designed is perhaps even more difficult than developing it in the first place. Every plan must contain measurable objectives and ways to determine, during the planning period, if adequate process is being made toward satisfying these objectives. The plan must also define who is responsible for measuring progress. 7. Internally consistent and interrelated
Most parts of a marketing plan is interrelated and, therefore, need to be consistent. For example, advertising, internet marketing and other promotions must work together for better for greatest impact using integrated marketing communication (IMC). 8. Clear and simple
Being detailed does not have to mean difficult. It is not enough that the plan’s architect is the only one who understands it. The efforts of many go into creating a successful marketing plan. Objectives and tasks must be clearly communicated. Possible areas of overlap, confusion, or misunderstanding needs to be eliminated.
BENEFITS OF HAVING A MARKETING PLAN
1. Activities matched with target markets.
Assuming that a segmented marketing strategy is being used, a plan ensures that the activities are focused only on chosen target markets. One of the steps in writing the plan is detailing the marketing mix (8 Ps) on a market-by-market basis. Budget waste from appealing to unattractive target markets is avoided. 2. Consistency of objectives and target-market priorities. The questions: “How far should the plan go to meet objectives?” and “Should each target market get equal attention?” are resolved by a good marketing plan, which ensures that the level of effort is consistent with the marketing objectives for each target markets and the relative size of each market. The more ambitious is the objective, the greater the required effort. 3. Common terms of reference.
A marketing plan details activities for many people both within and outside an organization. A good plan provides common terms of reference for all. It carefully coordinates their efforts....