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The Marketing plan

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A Marketing Plan is a highly detailed, heavily researched and a well written report that is used inside and possibly outside the organization to evaluate marketing activities. It is an essential tool …

A Marketing Plan is a highly detailed, heavily researched and a well written report that is used inside and possibly outside the organization to evaluate marketing activities. It is an essential tool for the success of a business for both large corporate companies and for start up companies. There are many ways to develop and format a marketing plan. Here is an outline with some key components which must be present in all marketing plans.

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  • 1. MARKETING PLANA Marketing Plan is a highly detailed, heavily researched and a well written report that isused inside and possibly outside the organization to evaluate marketing activities. It is anessential tool for the success of a business for both large corporate companies and forstartup companies.There are many ways to develop and format a marketing plan. Here is an outline with somekey components which must be present in all marketing plans. 1. Executive Summary 2. Situational Analysis • Market Summary • Competitor analysis • Social and Political Environment 3. Marketing Objectives 4. Marketing Strategies 5. Financials Analysis (Budgets and Forecasts)THE EXECUTIVE SUMMARYThe Marketing plan starts with an executive summary to give a quick overview of the mainpoints of the plan. It acts as an abstract of the whole marketing activities that have beendiscussed in the plan. In other words it can be said that it is a high-level summary of themarketing plan.The executive summary should state who is in charge of the business, company description,business form (partnership, corporation, etc.) product description, competition, and keystatistical proof why the business will succeed. It should also be able to answer questionslike: “How is your business unique?” and “why are you or why do you want to be inbusiness?”For instance, an Executive Summary for a business manufacture of metal door and windowframes can include points relating to how the current market of metal doors and windowDocument complied by: Timothy Kumwenda, Bs in Bus. Admin
  • 2. frames is productive. Information about the major competitors in the market and a briefanalysis that looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the business and how these shouldhelp influence the firm’s response to such opportunities and threats in the market placeshould be included. A brief scope of historical and forecasted financial data such as annualrevenue and net income for at least five years should not be left out. Finally, the section canlist the strategies that should be followed to penetrate the metal door and window frameindustry and seek to identify trends which will influence growth of the market and estimatesof payback period for the investors.The Executive Summary is a significant section of the business plan as it is mainly intendedfor outsiders like capital and private equity investors, bankers, and corporate investmentofficials who typically receive many business plans more than could possibly be read fromcover to cover. The primary objective is to attract these busy-potential investors to get thewhole idea of the entire marketing plan in a single section.Although the executive summary will be the first section in the final document, it is oftenbest to write this upon completion of the first draft. It helps to check whether the wholeplan makes sense and whether there are any significant omissions.SITUATION ANALYSISThe Situational Analysis is designed to give a picture of where things stand at the time theplan is presented. It involves laying out information on how the product will function invarious environments and how it will be perceived in the marketplace.In most marketing plans, the first section could be the product analysis. If there is already anexisting product you should start with this to familiarize the readers with where you are atwith your current product(s) and/or service(s) especially to readers who are not familiar withthe company. That section covers the product attributes, current pricing, currentdistribution and services offered. These elements try to define the market and this is whythe first part of the situational analysis is called the “Market Summary”.For example, in our marketing plan, we can describe how our research has shown that metaldoor and window frames are products that do require the customer to research beforeDocument complied by: Timothy Kumwenda, Bs in Bus. Admin
  • 3. making buying decisions and do price comparisons, hence the reason why location andpromotional strategies are extremely critical. Also to mention that seasons do not play anyrole in customer’s buying decision therefore resulting in almost constant cash flowthroughout the year.This subsection of the situation analysis section should be able to provide actionableinformation on selling to target buyers and stimulating purchases or usage by the ultimateend users. Key questions answered in this subsection include: • description of target buyers in demographic, psychographic, and lifestyle terms target buyer wants • needs, attitudes, and perceptions of category products and services where target buyers are located • Which segments of the total market or category are growing or declining and why.The second part of the situational analysis can be constructed to deal with the competition.It is appropriately called “Competitor Analysis”. This section validates that statement thatevery owners of a product believes that their product is the best on the market. It does notjust validate but also portray the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats alongwith trends of their competitors and their own.In our case, a description of large international and national franchises as well as localizedfirms would be relevant. However most of the competition will be in the form of localwelding businesses beside the roads as there are less well established companies that areinvolved in manufacturing of metal door and window frames in Malawi. This section mayalso benefit from the use of comparison tables and SWOT Analysis diagrams to describedirect competitors in terms of: • Target markets served • Distribution including the • Product attributes distributor network • Pricing • Services offered • Promotion • Discuss competitor’s strengths and weaknesses:Document complied by: Timothy Kumwenda, Bs in Bus. Admin
  • 4. The final part of situation analysis is the discussion of Social and Political environment. Thisdescribes trends, events, conditions that are external usually uncontrollable by the firm andthat may impact the firm’s product(s) or the market. In our situation, government policieson import quotas; ethical conduct of the business on waste disposal and other socialsettings that may affect the business may be described in this section.MARKETING OBJECTIVEIndividuals reading a marketing plan need a clear picture of the direction the product willtake. They also want to see that some accountability has been built into the plan so that theplan is not just fluff but rather show results which are measurable and actionable. The bestway to provide this information is to identifying the key objectives of the business and thenstrategies are developed to achieve these objectives.The marketing objectives section will indicate targets to be achieved across severalmarketing decision areas, but it is proper to develop marketing objectives that are in linewith our overall company mission. The section of the business plan dealing with thecompany’s mission affords executives the opportunity to assess and articulate the overalldriving force in the business.The first part of this section is setting out the overall objectives in the marketing plan andthen the Marketing Objectives are broken down into focused sections. To add strength tothis section, the following areas can be included in our business objective setting. • Target market objectives – this should cover the market share we plan to achieve and the customer we are trying to reach. • Channel Objectives – the dealers, distributers and the number of order processing and delivery the company plans to use should be indicated in this section • Promotional Objectives – the level of brand and company awareness, product trials and sales force should also be explained in detail.The marketing goals developed should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound, ethical and recorded. For instance, the objective for a manufacture of metal doorDocument complied by: Timothy Kumwenda, Bs in Bus. Admin
  • 5. and window frames might be to gain at least 30 new clients or to sell at least 250 productsper week, or to increase our income by 30 percent this year. The objectives might includesales, profits, or customers satisfaction.MARKETING STRATEGIESStrategies are simply action plans that detail how the marketing variables of product, price,place and promotion are used to attain the marketing plan’s annual objectives. This sectionis the heart of the marketing plan. It contains descriptions of detailed tactics to be carriedout to achieve the objectives and goals established while taking into account the marketenvironment analyzed in the situation analysis section and considering the resourcesavailable.For instance, in a manufacturing business of metal doors and window frames, the marketingstrategies can cover the marketing objectives by answering the “Who, Where When andHow” questions. If the marketing objective is to: Then the strategies might be: • Advertise in building and construction magazines.1. Create awareness of metal • Distribute product samples to construction companies doors and window frames and local builders. products among construction • Create seminars with construction firms and housing companies. companies 2. Increase sales of metal doors • Increase distribution outlets (distributors) in the and window frames to gain existing market. large market share. • Exploiting new markets by establishing the product in other locations • Reducing selling price of products to beat competitorDocument complied by: Timothy Kumwenda, Bs in Bus. Admin
  • 6. FINANCIALS ANALYSIS (BUDGETS AND FORECASTS)This section will offer a financial overview as it relates to marketing activities. This willaddress break-even analysis sales forecasts, and expense forecasts of any other financials asseen fit for the relationship to marketing.BudgetsThis section estimates the cost of the marketing activities described in the marketing planand a budget is made to keep everyone on track over the course of the year. It should layout spending requirements necessary for meeting the plan’s objectives.Typical marketing expense categories are marketing communications, market research,promotions, advertising, events and public relations. Some of the methods used most toestimates the costs by business owners are: • Allocating a small percentage of gross sales for the most recent year • Analyze and estimate the competition’s budget and either match or exceed it.In our case, we can outline spending requirements for each tactical marketing decision andthen breakdown each tactical category, for example, types of advertising, types of servicesoffered, marketing research expense, etc. After this is done we can show detailed spendingtimetable either by month or by week. We can also show our spending by Product(expenses of metal doors and that of window frames); Segment or geographic area; or byDistribution network or channel.ForecastsProjection is an important part of the marketing plan. Projection work is used to attractpotential investors and for direction to achieve a better performance in the future andcorrecting past performance with which cannot be entertained. In our marketing plan weDocument complied by: Timothy Kumwenda, Bs in Bus. Admin
  • 7. can do this by finding out what profit contribution each unit sale makes and multiply bybudgeted units to be produced.When making a marketing plan for a metal door and window frame business, we can workout sales forecasts and expense forecasts, and be able to formulate profit projections for aspecific period.Performance AnalysisPerformance Analysis section should contain financial implications of the plan in terms ofcontributions to the company’s bottom line. In our company, we can show figures ofprevious sales, contribution and profits. It is expected that several tables and graphs will bepresented along with narratives explaining in this part of the marketing plan.The most important elements of this section are the financial forecasts — the balancesheets and the statements of cash flow and income. They must be consistent with thediscussion of the company’s past performance trends and the data presented in othersections of the plan. For marketing plans used to solicit financial backing, just like ourcompany of manufacturing metal doors and window frames, this section will also include afunding request that states how much money is needed, why it is needed, and how it will beused. Finally, we can provide figures to show the likely payback period for the investors.Apart from the key areas discussed above, it may be necessary to include other sections likeappendixes and attachments only when it is appropriate.Once all of these sections have been formulated, the plan is ready presentation. Extensiveediting is highly recommended, along with careful attention to presentation details. The planshould be tailored to the preferences and concerns of its readers, including insiders usingthe plan to guide the company. Given the dynamic markets within which growing businessesoperate today, periodic revisions of the business plan will be necessary in order to maximizeits utility as a tool for management and investors.Document complied by: Timothy Kumwenda, Bs in Bus. Admin