Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 1021
, Published on 02 January 2016
Any company, product and service need a marketing plan to succeed. Research has shown that companies with good planning perform better than companies without a marketing plan. A marketing plan provides a framework to ensure that all the steps and processes are in line with the company’s vision and mission and also helps in evaluating & tracing progress. In this article, we will see various steps how to write a marketing plan.
Why do you need a marketing plan?
A marketing plan helps provide directions to employees, take informed decisions, capitalize on the opportunities and avoid threats. It also helps understand the results of past marketing decision.
Steps to write a marketing plan
A good marketing plan would include the following steps :
This step includes defining the objective that the company wants to accomplish with the product or service that they are offering. Marketing managers must ensure that the objective must be in line with the company’s vision and mission. Marketers must also ensure that the goals are SMART i.e. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable and Timely. Specific means that the scope of the goals must be limited. Measurable means that the goals must be tangible and it must be possible to quantify the extent to which they are attained. Attainable means that it must be possible to achieve goals under the given circumstances. Reasonable means that the goals must not be too high for the company to achieve and lastly the goals must be timely that is they must be completed or achieved within a reasonable amount of time.
Marketers must analyze the current scenario of the company and the market before taking any decision. They must be well aware of the company’s financial position, image in market and its objectives. Also they must dedicate more time to do a thorough market study. The market study helps in gaining a deeper insight of the target market and helps a company to better understand its target customers. This is an important and time consuming step. The market study will include key areas such as
1. Existing products in market 2. Market condition and growth prospect 3. Distributor network 4. Competitors 5. Financial Analysis
Here the marketers decide the general marketing strategy, keeping in mind the objective and the market condition. The 4 P’s i.e. product, place, price, promotion come into play here.
Product– Products are the goods or the services a business provides to the market Price – Price is the amount of money the customer must pay to avail the goods are services Place – Place is the location where the business intends to provide the goods and services to the customers. Promotion – Promotion is the means of communicating the value of the product to the target segment
Selecting the target market is first major task after which marketers can use marketing mix tools of product, price and promotion to reach to and influence the target segment.
Some of the commonly used strategies are
1. Market Penetration strategy – Sell more to existing customer base 2. Market Development strategy – Sell existing products to new customer group 3. Product development strategy – Augment or improve existing products 4. Diversification strategy – Enter a new market with new products
Outline your Tactics with measurement for each tactic
After deciding your marketing strategy you must outline your tactics. Tactics would be how you will implement the marketing strategy to accomplish the objective. An example of tactics could be, to ensuring multiple quality checks to accomplish the goal of high quality products or zero defect products. Ensure they are inbuilt checks to understand if the tactics are working or not. These inbuilt checks would allow you to take informed decisions
Evaluation and monitoring plan
In many cases the strategies or tactics may not work well for a business. Marketers must ensure the respond quickly to such situations. Marketers must ensure that a monitoring plan is in place. This would ensure that every step is performed according to the strategy and avoid any risks which may arise in future.
Implementation and performance analysis
Here the plan is set into action. The plan acts as a roadmap to the actions needed to achieve the objective. Detailed schedule of tasks and responsibilities should be maintained for successful execution of plan. Marketing managers must monitor the entire process to ensure that there are no time lags and assess that the strategies are able to meet the overall objectives. Manager must ensure timely feedback and assessment and make appropriate changes to plan accordingly to ensure that they are in line with the changing market needs. This analysis helps is keeping the marketing strategy in-line with the changing dynamics of the market.
The entire process may require a lot of resource. Managers must keep in mind the financial health of the company before taking any decision to avoid unnecessary losses. Manager must outline the spending requirements at each step and expected returns to measure the performance.
The article has been authored by Mudit Jain, SIBM Pune.