Sunday, September 22, 2019

Marketing Plan Essay Example for Free

Marketing Plan Essay 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 1. Fact-based 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: â€Å"How far should the plan go to meet objectives?† and â€Å"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. It improves communication among those responsible for marketing and is great help in orienting outside advisors such as advertising agency staff and website designers. 4. Assistance in measuring marketing success A marketing plan is a tool of marketing management, because it provides the basis for controlling and evaluating marketing activities. 5. Continuity in long-term planning Marketing plans complement strategic market plans and provide a link between short and long-term planning. They ensure that an organization’s long-term goalsare always kept in focus. Because they are carefully rationalized and detailed, marketing plans remain useful even if their originators leave the organization. CONTENTS OF A MARKETING PLAN There are three parts to a marketing plan: the execurive summary, the marketing plan rationale, and the implementation plan. 1. Executive Summary is a brief summary of the major highlights of the marketing plan; it is for the organization’s executives to quickly review. The executive summary should be no more than two to four pages long and should be easy to read. It is called â€Å"executive† because executives can pursue it quickly, but still get it a ggod grasp of the main reason, intiatives, and costs for the marketing plan. A good approach is to sum up the highlights of each of the main sections of the markting plan rationale and implementation plaan. These highlights can be presented in the order in which they appear in the plan, according to the five key questions in the hospitality and travel marketing system. 2. Marketing plan rationale explains the facts, analyses and assumptions upon which the marketing plan is based. It describe the marketing strategies, target markets, positioning approaches, and marketing objectives seleccted for the plaaning period. The marketing plan rationale provides a historic record for those putting together future marketing plans and strategic market plans. It is also very helpful to outside advisors, such as advertising agencies and website designers, who are asked to handle only one specific task. The marketing plan rationale has two parts: a. Situation Analysis Highlights (where are we now?) is a study organizations strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. It plays an important role in constructing marketing plans because marketing plans must build upon the organization’s marketing strengths, address major competitive weaknesses, and capitalize on identified opportunities. * Environmental Analysis The marketing plan should list and briefly discuss the major opportunities and threats presented. It should explain what impact is expected during the planning period. * Location and Community Analysis New factory or plant openings, major events to be staged, business closures or workforce reductions, residential development, industrial expansion, and new highway construction or redesign are just a few things that can have a very positive or negative effect on an organization or destination in short time span. The events should be identified and summarized in the marketing plan, and their impacts reviewed. * Primary Competitor Analysis It should also highlight each side’s competitive strengths and weaknesses. * Market Potential Analysis Should include the highlights of special marketing research studies. * Services Analysis The market plan should discuss such development projects and how they will be integrated with other marketing-mix (8P) activities. * Marketing Position and Plan Analysis The marketing plan and position analysis does just that; it goes over what has been done before so important lessons can be learned for future marketing planning. A synopsis of the organization’s current positioning in its target markets and the effectiveness of activities in previous marketing plans is presented. * Major Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Constraints This part of the plan is similar to summary. It forces marketers to consolidate all key situation analysis and other research findings. It should involve attaching relative importance weightings and priorities to identified strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and constraints. b. Selected Marketing Strategy (Where would we be like to be?) This details the strategy that the organization will follow in the next one to two years. It explains the facts, assumptions, and decisions influence strategy choices. * Market Segmentation and Target markets The plan should briefly review the segmental approach and characteristics used to divide the market. Some statistics should be presented on the size of the market segments and the organization’s penetration or market share of each. The selected target markets should be discussed, along with the reasons for choosing them. It is also useful to briefly review why other market segments are not being targeted wnd how the chosen target markets will interact with each other. * Marketing Strategy The plan should explain the analysis and assumptions that supported these choices. * Marketing Mixes The market plan should review these individually for each target market. A more detailed list of activities comes later in the implementation plan. * Positioning Approaches The marketing plan should explain how the positioning approaches will be reflected in each marketing-mix element (8 Ps). * Marketing Objectives The objectives for each target market should be clearly stated. They have to be result-oriented, stated in numerical terms, and time specific. A good idea suggested by some experts is to break up each objective into milestones. This means dividing each objective into sub-objectives with specific time deadlines. 3. Implementation plan (action plan) details the activities, marketing budget, staff responsibilities, timetable, and method of controlling, measuring and evaluating activities. The function of implementation plan is to specify all the required activities , responsibilities, cost and budget, time schedules, and control and evaluation procedures. It is sometimes called an action plan. A. Activities Plan (How do we get there?) It details the marketing mixes for each target market selected. It provides the specifics on the entire task required for each mix element of each target market. * Activities by Target Market All plan activities should be listed and described. It is best to do this separately for each marketing-mix element, and to arrange task in a time schedule based on when they will be initiated. * Responsibilities for Activities In most cases, several departments or divisions, many organization employees, and some outside firms will play a role in implementing the marketing plan. They must know what is expected in each one of them. A good way to do this is to know the description of responsibilities into the marketing plan and to identify each responsible party in the timetable and activity schedule. * Timetable and Activity Schedule This is a key part of the plan that is frequently referred to as the plan is being implemented. It should show each activity’s starting and completion dates, where the activity is to be carried out, and the persons responsible for the activity. B. Marketing Budget (How do we get there?) Every marketing plan should include a detailed budget that outlines how much will be spent on each of the 8 Ps or marketing-mix element for each target market. Knowing how much money to allocate to marketing as a difficult decision, but a good marketing budget should meet these four criteria: * Comprehensive All marketing activities or task or task are identified and estimated. * Coordinated Budgeting for all activities or tasks is carefully coordinated to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort and to maximize the synergy among budget items. * Practical The budget specifies the sources of the money and human resources for the marketing activities and tasks. * Realistic Marketing budget cannot be set in isolation from other departments’ priorities and activities. They have to be related to the organization’s resources and position in the industry sector. WAYS TO ESTABLISH MARKETING BUDGETS The most effective is known as the objective-and-task or empirical method. This process follows the zero-based budgeting idea, which means that every budget starts at zero each year and then builds up activity. A multi-stage budgeting process is used. The advantages of four budgeting approaches are as follows: 1. Historical or Arbitrary Budgeting This is a very simple approach. A certain amount or percentage is added to the last marketing budget. The budget increase is often set close to the economy’s rate inflation. 2. Rule-of-thumb Budgeting This approach is also known as the percentage-of-sales or heuristic method. In this method, the budget is calculated using an established industry sector average, and is usually a percentage of total sales revenues. 3. Competitive Budgeting This approach is also called competitive-parity approach. Like the previous methods, this one is easy to use. All that is needed is information on what competitors are budgeting for marketing, which can be found by reading published materials on these organizations or by studying their annual reports. Because this method begins by assuming that some amount will be spent in relation to a specific competitor, kt is nat a zero-based approach. 4. Objective-and-Task Budgeting This works exactly the way it sounds; marketing objectives are set first and then the activities or tasks to achieve them are detailed. The budget starts at nothing, which implies that it is a zero-based approach. Some called it build-up method, because an organization establishes the budget from the bottom up rather than starting with a total amount and then deciding how to spend it. C. Control Procedures (How do we know if we get there?) Controlling the plan is a marketing management function. To control effectively, the manager must know what is expected (desired results), when it is expected (progress points or milestones), who it is expected of, (responsible parties), and how expectations are to be measured (measures or metrics). Financial control of the marketing plan is achieved through budgeting and periodic reports that compare budgeted with actual expenditures. D. Evaluation Procedures (How do we know if we got there?) The ultimate test of a marketing plan’s success is the extent to which its marketing objectives are achieved. In addition to this type of analysis, results must be reviewed carefully on an objective-by-objective basis. Effective evaluation requires expected results and measurement techniques, metrics, performance standards, and a timetable for evaluation.

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