Marketing Plan

A plan of marketing actions and objectives
that fits a business model

 
A marketing plan gives details, for a specific period, of the objectives
and actions decided by a business in relation to its marketing strategy.


It is built on a "marketing mix" aimed at customer satisfaction
and whenever possible at market share development.

It must permeate the whole organization.

The combination of customer segments and the range of products and
services are the backbone of this action plan


From the business  presentationmodel
to the marketmarket arena.

Definition

A marketing plan, used by a business (or any institution that make public
proposals), is an action plan.

It defines how
a general marketing strategy will be practically
applied
, and thus it details:
* The main action actions to do

* With precise goal objectives to reach

* Within a precise plancalend period (for ex. one year)
It is like preparing a military campaign within the overall war.

The strategic approach
and the customer approach

A marketing strategy, and the related plans, are made by an organization,
usually a
business, that offers goods or services, to

- either the general public
- or "niches" of identified customer / users segments (groups
   of existing and prospective customers / users with similar traits).

Its dual purpose is:
* To satisfy the needs of those targeted customers / users
* To contribute to the organization's survival, development and
     prosperity
.

The marketing strategy itself depends on the general business
strategy
, inspired
by the "business model".

Reciprocally, the marketing strategy inspires the business strategy and
model.

But what is a business model, 
seen under the marketing angle?

Typically, it defines:

"What place the business intends to occupy
   on the market so as to create value".

luck "Value"
is sought, as well for the customers as for the
              organization
.
    If the first does not get value, the second would not either.

The consequence is
that a business model, a business strategy
and
of course a marketing strategy should put customer satisfaction
as the operational priority of priorities.

This implies to choose carefully the main customer segments to target
as priorities (market positioning).

To make money should be a consequence of this close attention given
to customers.
That is the difference between marketing and
poach extortion.


Top executives usually know that.
B
ut a free reminder is sometimes useful ;-).

On what bases to build a marketing plan?

The preliminaries to define the business model and the marketing strategy
are:
  • An microscope analysis of the (existing and prospective) customer needs.
  • A SWOT (*) analysis of the business
(*) Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
      Other methods with other acronyms exist
  • in relation with the markets in which it operates or aims to operate.
As for the marketing plan itself, it is the operational marketing
document.

It states in a precise way for a given period (typically a commercial
campaign / season, or a year, or several years) how to execute what is
often called
the marketing mix.

It is meant to be the
best combination of the best culinary
ingredients:
1) What ranges of products and services will be offered,

2)
At what price levels,

3)
Where, when and by using what means (production, 
     promotion, distribution),

4)
To each targeted customer / prospect segment.
Actually, 1) and 4) are the basic elements to build a "Product range /
Customer segment"
matrix, which is the backbone of the plan.


The
key ingredients shown above are sometimes referred as the

"4 P: Product, Place, Price, Promotion".

Or better, the "C + 4 P", so as not to forget the
5th element
(actually the first and most crucial
one, as seen above) :
Customers.

Note: to sell and distribute is not enough
Among the aspects of the plan mentioned above, a crucial one in
many businesses is to determine appropriate means to promote,
sell and distribute
the products / services.

Those jobs often needs important human, technical and financial
means
, an efficient organization (distribution channels...), and
adequate and creative techniques and methods.


But this aspect linked to selling, however visible on the
outside and however crucial, is not to be confused,
as
sometimes done, with marketing itself,
a more complete concept.

The overall aim of marketing is to adapt the firm to the customers' /
prospects' needs, and
as a result to develop its activity and profitability.

=> This is why, as shown below, all the units in the firm
        must contribute.
=> This is also why a marketing plan is an important element
        of a Business plan.

Implementation and control

A marketing plan should involve not only the Marketing Department
but the whole business
, as all units contribute to its success.

This ranges:

* from research and development activities
*
to production itself
* obviously to selling and distribution
*
and also to "support" activities (IT, training, human resources,
   
procurements, management control, finance....)

The plan includes operation
al goal objectives:
  • Qualitative ones
such as actions and programmes to launche, related for
example to product / service innovations, efficiency
investments, recruitments, sales campaigns and whatever
else is needed...
  • Quantitative ones
(volume of sales, number of customers, market share,
profitability for the related period).

The actions and objectives can be detailed for each box of the product /
customer
matrix mentioned above, as well as for each operational unit
within the firm.
Important:
The marketing plan focuses mostly on short term objectives, but 
the marketing strategy should include also long term objectives
(developing future products and services...).

Also enough flexibility has to be accepted, so as to react to
problems, to avoid counterproductive effects and dead alleys
and to seize opportunities.
A related management information system (MIS) is used to monitor
how these objectives are met.

Summing it up

1. Targets (*) (**)
* by customer segment
* by product / service
2. selling / distribution
        Channels 

* by customer segment

* by product / service
Be prepared for deep impacts on organization,
incentives, coaching, monitoring,
so as to
create
a "selling machine"

3. Price policy

* by target
* by channel
* by action

4. planned Actions

* by target
* by channel
* by action

5. Means & Methods

* by target
* by channel
* by actio

6. Expected Results
(***)

* by target
* by channel
* by action

(*) A segment is a group of customers / users (people or organisations)
       with similar traits. The marketing aim is to maintain the loyalty of the 
       existing ones and to find new ones in carefully chosen segments.

(**) Existing products / services and new ones

(***) Here comes the Management by objectives /
          Management information system.

Source and further readings


  visits (sample / échantillon)

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M.a.j. / updated : 13 July2015
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