Unit 8: The Marketing Plan
The marketing plan provides the strategic objectives and actions to be undertaken to successfully market the goods and services offered by the firm. An understanding of the written plan of marketing objectives and initiatives, a plan of execution, and a schedule of timely reviews of the execution tactics and results will be demonstrated.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 3 hours.
8.1: Review of the Analysis of the Current Trends Within the External Macro Environment
8.2: Statement of the Firm's Marketing Objectives
Marketing objectives must be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Bound. Therefore, using the SMART acronym provides marketers a guideline to set and write down effective marketing objectives. For example, writing an objective that sets a sales target of a 10% increase is inadequate, because it is not time bound. The objective must further say that the 10% increase must be achieved within the next fiscal year.
8.3: Components of the Marketing Plan
The marketing plan is an important part of the organization's strategic plan. It fundamentally leads the direction of the organization's strategic plan. For example, the firm, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, needs to know how much money it will be working with over the next year. Marketing is responsible for providing these revenue estimates.
The starting point for determining revenue is customer retention. Is the likely retention of customers 60%, 80%, or 90% from the previous year? This is fundamental to determining how much business and revenue will come into the organization. Maintaining satisfied customers is far less expensive than finding new customers, so the customer retention estimate also determines how much work will be required by marketing for the new year to develop new customers.
The components of the marketing plan consist of a review of the external environment and adapting the marketing mix (the 4 Ps) to changes or recent trends within the external environment. Marketers have no control over the external environment and therefore can only change or adapt the strategic marketing plan through changes in the management of the marketing mix.
8.3.1: Report of Product Strategy, Target Market, and Positioning Strategy
The product, target market, and positioning of your product or service offering must be strategically planned and decided upon before marketing actions are undertaken.
8.3.2: Report of Pricing Method to be Used
We covered pricing in Unit 7. We know from that unit that several strategies and methods are used to price goods and services. Marketers must determine the most effective pricing strategy for their specific good or service.
Industry norms often determine pricing, and pricing methods are usually set according to the rivalry among competing firms. For example, real estate purchases and rentals are often negotiable, so a buyer does not expect to pay the asking price. On the other hand, consumers who buy toothpaste will not attempt to negotiate the price at the checkout counter. So, marketers must pay close attention to the prices of competitive offerings within their competitive industry environment.
8.3.3: Report of the Promotional Strategy and Execution
Marketers have various promotional methods and media available to promote their products. These various avenues come at different costs and variable results. For example, direct mail promotion is rather inexpensive, but marketers may only expect a 2% response rate at best.
On the other hand, TV advertising during the Super Bowl costs about $5.6 million for a 30-second commercial. This airing cost does not account for the additional cost of producing the ad. Unlike measuring the response rates for direct mail promotions, attempting to measure sales results from a TV ad is not feasible. Marketers, therefore, attempt to gain brand recognition through a marketing term called "brand lift" resulting from an expensive TV ad viewed by 100 million viewers. Therefore, an increase in brand recognition from a TV ad generally can lead to an increase in brand sales, but this is a process that occurs over time. Regardless of the promotional method, marketers expect a return on investment (ROI) in sales response.
Although we often think of promotion as "advertising", as effective marketers, we must consider promotion as a broader concept with other factors. Sales and selling, trade shows, educational seminars, end-of-aisle retail store placements, and so on are all examples of the broad mix of promotion.
8.3.4: Report of the Distribution Strategy and Execution
We reviewed distribution and distribution strategy in Unit 6. We know that distribution and selected distribution channels vary according to our offerings and industry-established practices. Therefore, a Boeing aircraft and a shipment of commodity goods like soybeans are distributed to the customer in different ways.
The marketer must therefore decide on what channels of distribution and logistical functions are required to satisfy the customer's needs and are within the budgetary constraints of the marketer.
8.4: Monitoring the Results of the Marketing Plan Execution
Developing and writing a marketing plan sets the direction of the marketing activity of the firm and channels the human, capital, and technological resources to execute the plan. So, it is one thing to say what you are going to do, and then another matter in doing it, or simply executing the plan.
8.5: A Marketing Plan Template
Unit 8 Discussion
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Study Guide: Unit 8
We recommend reviewing this Study Guide before taking the Unit 8 Assessment.
Unit 8 Assessment
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