Contributed by: Arya Kumar Chief ED & IPR UNIT BITS, Pilani
A marketing plan outlines the specific actions you intend to carry out to interest potential customers and clients in your product and/or service and persuade them to buy the product and/or services you offer.
For successful business marketing, you need to develop a proper business marketing plan, and then gauge its performance for your business growth. There are many things that your business marketing plan needs to address and these points may include some of the following: -What are your business marketing goals ? -What is your target audience ? - Deciding business marketing system
SWOT Analysis A basic marketing plan begins with SWOT analysis about your company and the SWOT should be : A summary of the key elements in your business Brief, concise and interesting, without being too abbreviated Focused on the real issues facing your company Action-oriented, so that positive proposals can be envisaged
Strengths - You can bank upon these. Weaknesses - Definitely need to be corrected Opportunities - Help you in setting the target where you want to reach. Threats - Make necessary contingency plan to combat threats which would automatically become a part of the marketing plan.
Scope of Marketing Research Identifying Target Market Identifying Market Characteristics Measurement of Marketing Potential Competitors Analysis Sales Analysis Identify and forecast Business Trends Sales Forecasting New Product/Service Acceptance and Potential Long Range Forecasting of Marketing Mix Variables Pricing Strategies and Studies
Market Research How to collect certain information about your customers, market and competitors. This information tells you about your potential market, prices, trends, competition, target customer, its preferences, income, habits, accessibility, convenient time and plans. This information should be accurate, and reliable to help you make the right business decision.
Market Research Step One : Defining the Purpose or Objectives Ask people what they think of the product or service and collect some background demographics & attitudes of these individuals. How much potential customers would be willing to pay for the product or service. Where potential customers would prefer to purchase the product or service. Where the customer would expect to hear about or learn about such a product or service.
Market Research Step Two: Gathering Data from Secondary Sources Data that already exists i.e information from Trade magazines Libraries Government Agencies Universities Internet The entrepreneur should exhaust all possible secondary data sources, observation, and networking before beginning any more costly primary data research.
Market Research Step Three: Gathering Information from Primary Sources Information that is new is Primary data and involves data collection procedures like Observation Networking Interviewing Focus Groups Experimentation Data collection is done with the help of Data Instruments like Questionnaire.
FOCUS Groups: They are more informal method of gathering in-depth information. A focus group is a sample of 10-12 potential customers who are invited to participate in a discussion relating to the Entrepreneurs’ research objectives. Step Four: Analyzing & Interpreting the results The results should be evaluated and interpreted in response to the research objectives. The data can then be cross tabulated to give better insights and interpretations regarding the segmentation of the market.
CULTURAL BELIEFS & VALUES, LIFE STYLES SOCIOLOGICAL SOCIAL CLASS, STRUCTURE FAMILY/GROUP INFLUENCE,LIFE CYCLE, OPINION LEADERSHIP ECONOMIC PRICE, DELIVERY, PAYMENT TERMS, SALES SERVICE INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOL- OGICALFACTORS COGNITION, LEARNING PROCESSES, INTERPERSONAL RESPONSE, ATTITUDES MOTIVATION, PERSONALITY THEORIES BUYING PROPOSITION PRODUCT OR SERVICE
Understanding Consumer Characteristics CHARACTERISTICS Innovators 2-3% Early Adopters 12-15% Early Majority 33% Late Majority 34% Laggards 12-15% PERSONAL Social, Income, Occupation, Education, Housing, Family Influence, Time orientation PSYCHOLOGICAL Nature of needs, Perceptions, Self-concept, Aspiration Groups, Reference Groups
Changing Priorities Stage Priorities Major Purchases Fledging : Teens & early 20s Self,Socialising, Education Appearance Products, Clothing, Automobiles, Recreation, Hobbies, Travel Courting :20s Self & Other, Pair bonding,Career Furniture & Furnishing, Entertainment, Savings Nest Building:20s &early 30s Babies & Career Home, Garden,,Baby Care products, insurnce Full Nest 30-50s Children, Career, Midlife crisis Children Food, clothing, education, transportation, life counseling Empty Nest 50-70 Self & others, relaxation Furniture, Entertainment, Travel, Hobbies, Luxury Automobiles, Investments Sole survivor 70-90 Self, health,loneliness Health care , Diet, Security, Comfort, TV, Books, Long distance telephone services
OCCUPANTS WHO SERVICES WHAT OCCASION WHEN ORGANISATION WHO IS INVOLVED OBJECTIVES WHY OPERATIO HOW
Marketing Strategy to be Based on WHO MAKES THE BUYING DECISIONS DECIDER INFLUENCER BUYER USER GATE KEEPER
Characteristics of a Marketing Plan Should provide a strategy for accomplishing company goals and missions Should be based on facts and valid assumptions Should provide for continuity so that future plans can be built on it for long-term goals Should be simple and short Should be flexible i.e. should provide scope for inclusion of “what if” scenarios Should specify performance criteria that will be monitored and controlled
Marketing Plan- The Algorithm Defining the Business Situation – Describe the past and present business achievements of the new venture. Defining the Target market – Market Segmentation- Dividing a market into definable and measurable groups for the purpose of targeting market strategy.
Market Segmentation- The process of segmenting & targeting the market should process in the following way Decide what general market or industry you wish to pursue Divide the market into smaller groups based on Characteristics of the customer Geographic Demographic Psychographic
Buying situation Desired benefits (e.g. Product features) Usage (e.g. frequency of usage) Buying conditions (e.g. time available & product purpose) Awareness of buying intention (e.g. familiarity of product & willingness to buy) Select segment or segments to Target Develop a marketing plan integrating product, price, distribution & promotion (together called THE MARKETING MIX )
Marketing Plan- The Algorithm Contd…. Considering the Strengths and Weaknesses – The SWOT analysis which was discussed earlier. Establishing Goals & Objectives – Asking oneself “Where do we want to go?” in terms of Market share, profits, sales, market penetration, new products launching etc. All such goals n objectives should be quantifiable and could be measured for control purposes.
Marketing Plan- The Algorithm Contd…. Defining Marketing Strategy – Outline all the activities needed to meet the venture’s business plan goals & objectives. The 5-P’s In the marketing plan, you should endeavor to follow best practice to maximize your competitive advantage in each of the following key areas: Product – packaging, the brand name, warranty, image, service, delivery time, features, style etc.
Price – Pricing of a product or service has to be done very carefully considering numerous things like quality, prospective demand, margins, competitor’s prices, discounts, market segmentation etc.. Promotion – The promotion plan itself a mini-marketing plan. Advertising is an effective as well as an expensive way & has to be taken care of. The procedure to be followed includes : Set specific campaign objectives (building sales, market share) Decide your strategy (budget, media choice, geographical profile) Target the Audience (market segment, demographic profile) Decide the advertising content (specific product/service benefits to highlight) Decide the execution and style
Place (Distribution Plan)- The distribution plan must match the other elements of the Marketing MIX to maintain the differentiation and focus of the Company. If your product is of highest quality, with price & promotion to match, it must be available in the major quality stores. The choice of distribution channel, therefore can make an important contribution to both your company differentiation & to reaching your target group of customers.
People – The final ingredient in the marketing plan jigsaw must be quality salespeople who can consistently maintain your marketing differentiation. A well remunerated & motivated staff will act as enthusiastic sales promoters and act as eyes and ears of the company in the competitive market place.
Marketing Plan- The Algorithm Contd…. Coordination of the planning process Designating responsibility for implementation Budgeting the Marketing Strategy Implementation of the Market Plan Monitoring Progress of Market Actions
Why some Plans fail ? Lack of a real plan (particularly regarding goals & objectives) Inadequate situational analysis – There is no point in deciding where you want to go if you do not know “ where you are?” and “ where you have been? ” Lack of Goal Clarity and Unrealistic Goals – This generally happens due to lack of understanding of the situation. Unexpected competitive moves, product deficiencies, Delay in Getting Finance, and acts of God.