What Are the Steps Involved in Developing a Marketing Plan?

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Developing a marketing plan provides the framework for direction and process in any business. It also helps establish goals and provides reasonable expectations as to the progress of a company. Developing a marketing plan is mainly divided into marketing mix, SWOT analysis, budgeting and last but not least evaluation. According to Dogra (2011), the marketing mix is usually well-known by the term 4 P’s which mainly constitutes of product, price, place and promotion. A product is any item that can be offered in a market for sale. A marketing research department needs to decide on how the product should look, function and used by customers. As for the price that is to be set in the market, depends on various factors such as features and substitutes of the product. While in regard to place, it is the availability of the product in the market at any place and at any time for the customers, by selling the product either directly or through a retailer or wholesaler. As for promotion, it involves publicising the uses of the product which is through advertising, branding, public relations and promotion. According to Berry (n.d.), SWOT analysis is a vital step in developing a marketing plan because it shows a deep insight of critical and potential matters affecting the business. In other words, it shows the internal strengths and weaknesses of the organization in the present and compares these with the external opportunities and threats in the future. Strength can be illustrated as positive attributes that are within the company’s control which can be tangible such as location of the business and intangible such as specialist marketing expertise. Whereas, weakness can be illustrated as negative attributes that are within the company’s control that hinders the ability to sustain or acquire competitive advantage such as poor quality of goods and services. While, opportunities can be illustrated as favourable external environmental factors that can give the company a chance...
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