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“He who fails to plan, plans to fail”<br /><ul><li>Definition of Market Plan</li></ul>A marketing plan outlines the specific actions a marketing officer intend to carry out to interest potential customers and clients in the product or service and persuade them to buy the product and services the business organisation offers.<br />The marketing plan implements the marketing strategy. The marketing strategy provides the goals for the organisation marketing plans. It gives the direction to the organisation to where the it wants to go from here. The marketing plan is the specific roadmap that shows how to get there. <br />A marketing plan may be developed as a standalone document or as part of a business plan. Either way, the marketing plan is a blueprint for communicating the value of the products and services to the customers<br />It can also be defined as the written document that describes the advertising and HYPERLINK "http://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/term/82450.html" t "undefined" marketing efforts for the coming year: includes a statement of the marketing situation, a discussion of target markets and company positioning and a description of the marketing mix that the business persons intend to use to reach the marketing goals of a company<br /> <br /><ul><li>1.1 Importance of Market Plan</li></ul> Behind every successful product or service is a well-researched marketing plan. A marketing plan guides a company step-by-step how to market its product or service to a specific target market and it helps a company remain focused on its marketing objectives.<br />A marketing plan is important for the business because it gives focus, objectives, and goals and it allows a heads up view of the entire marketing plan.<br />The importance of having a marketing plan is that gives to every business person focus, so that he or she knows where the shortfalls are and what need to be done for improvements. Once everyone has a clear idea of the marketing plan, then roles can be delineated and the plan can go forth in full swing. Everyone knows what to do and has no excuse to not do it. A marketing plan also gives objectives and milestones that must be met at certain times. Such deadlines and marketing timetable will help the team as well as the management an idea on how much progress has been made and whether the current capital injection into the plan . It can also target what the weak links are in the plan and help to reformulate objectives. A marketing plan also can be a useful motivational tool, especially when goals achieved are celebrated. This sort of motivation is the kind of thing that people need to be getting up and, know that they are all the more closer to the target. It also gives the people on top a heads up view on the progression of the entire campaign, as in the end of the day, they are the ones responsible for deciding if the plan is working, introducing new strategies, putting in more manpower and capital or even changing its direction completely.<br />A well-researched and logical plan is important to have a better chance of building a long-term profitable relationships. A marketing plan will serve as a reference or the basis to execute a marketing strategy. By laying out plans, it will set out a clear objectives and explains how it can be achieved <br />A marketing plan is backed up by a solid marketing strategy. It would be useless without a working strategy. So you need to be clear about your objectives and how is it going to be achieve. A good marketing plan should assist the business person to integrate the total marketing effort and ensures a systematic approach to developing products and services to meet and satisfy the customer's needs.<br />Having a solid marketing plan will help in identifying the customer's needs and wants and can thus determine the demand for product and aid in the design of product that will satisfy and fulfill consumer needs and wants. It also helps to identify competitors and analyzing what are their advantages over the business or the business’ advantages over them and focus on those things.. You will be able to identify new product areas and new or potential customers<br />Marketing and plan go together because a business person cannot place the future of his or her business at risk with something that is vague and all too general. Specifics are what win out in the end of the day and once he or she starts with something focused, with clear goals and objectives; then the achievement of the target will be all the more closer and even exceeding it. The importance of having a marketing plan for the business is the anagram to many large corporate successes in the world today. Once this concept had firmly entered in the mind of business persons then the realisation that it is integral to the overall corporate strategy and will launch the business ideas right into the stratosphere.<br />A company needs a marketing plan just as it needs a business plan. Here's how to write a five-part marketing plan that works as hard as you do:<br />Section 1: Situation Analysis<br />This introductory section contains an overview of the situation of the business as it exists today and will provide a useful benchmark as the business organisation will adapt and refine the plan in the coming months. Begin with a short description of the current product or service offering, the marketing advantages and challenges the business organisation face, and a look at the threats posed by its competitors. Moreover the description any outside forces that will affect the business in the coming year as this can be anything from diminished traffic levels due to construction( if the business is of retail nature or a change in law that could affect a new product introduction if the person is an inventor, for example).<br />Section 2: Target Audience<br />All that's needed here is a simple, bulleted description of the target audiences. Before the marketing to consumers, it would be useful to first write down a target-audience profile based on demographics, including age, gender and any other important characteristics. Marketers should list the target audiences by category (such as lawyers, doctors, shopping malls) and include any qualifying criteria for each.<br />Section 3: Goals<br />It is important to list the company's marketing goals for the coming year. The key is to make the goals realistic and measurable so that the evaluation of the performance can be easily done. "Increase sales of peripherals" is an example of an ineffective goal. The business persons or entrepreneurs would be in a much better position to gauge the marketing progress with a goal such as, "Increase sales of peripherals 10 percent in the first quarter, 15 percent in the second quarter, 15 percent in the third quarter and 10 percent in fourth quarter."<br />Section 4: Strategies and Tactics<br />This section is more about giving an overview of the marketing strategies and the listing of each of the corresponding tactics that will be employed to execute them. Here's an example: A client of mine markets videotape and equipment. One of his or her goals is to increase sales to large ministries in three states by 20 percent. Together the development of a strategy will be set up and will include making a special offer each month to this prospect group, and one of his or her tactics is to use monthly e-mails to market to an in-house list.<br />The tactics section should include all the actionable steps the business person plan to take for advertising, public relations, direct mail, trade shows and special promotions. He or she can use a paper calendar to schedule the tactics or use a contact manager or spreadsheet program that is what matters most is that he or she sticks to the schedule and follow through. A plan on paper is only useful if it's put into action.<br />Section 5: Budget Breakdown<br />The final section of the plan includes a brief breakdown of the costs associated with each of the tactics. So if it is planned to exhibit at three trade shows per year, for example, then it is important to include the costs to participate in the shows and prepare the booth and HYPERLINK "http://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/term/82450.html" t "undefined" marketing materials <br />. If the selected tactics are too costly, the business person can go back and make revisions before the arrival at a final budget.<br />1.2 Roles of Marketing Plan<br />1.3 Marketing planning aims and objectives<br />Meeting marketing objectives should lead to sales. (If the need to set different marketing objectives.) They should:<br />be clear <br />be measurable, and <br />Have a stated time frame for achievement. <br />Examples of marketing objectives follow:<br />Increase product awareness among the target audience by 30 percent in one year. <br />Inform target audience about features and benefits of our product and its competitive advantage, leading to a 10 percent increase in sales in one year. <br />Decrease or remove potential customers' resistance to buying our product, leading to a 20 percent increase in sales that are closed in six months or less<br />Specific The more precise you can be, the more useful your objectives will be. “We want to be leaders” does not tell us a lot. “To achieve sales of $125,000” does. <br />Measurable We need to be able to evaluate these marketing plan objectives later, so they must have some quantifiable dimension! The sales objective above does that, but you can also have comparative objectives -- leading in market share might be one. <br />Achievable The whole point of having marketing plan objectives is that they tell us where we will be down the road. Thus, they should be feasible and within our grasp! Overly-ambitious objectives that are never met are just as bad as those which are too easy. <br />Realistic This means the objective is worthwhile! For instance, why have an objective like “We will hire two salespeople”? You could hire them immediately and forget that objective! Make it meaningful. <br />Time-Based Bearing in mind that we will want to evaluate how well we are meeting our objectives, we need time frames. These also help us along the way, as we can see if we are on track. For example “We will achieve sales of $125,000 in the first year of operations.”It is:<br />Specific -- it measures sales. <br />Measurable -- it has a $125,000 target. <br />Achievable -- we presume this is a reasonable goal for the firm. <br />Realistic -- we presume that sales are a very important thing to check. <br />Time-Based -- we are working within a one-year time frame<br />Some examples of SMART objectives follow:<br />1. Profitability Objectives<br />To achieve a 20% return on capital employed by August 2019.<br />2. Market Share Objectives<br />To gain 25% of the market for sports shoes by September 2018<br />3. Promotional Objectives<br />To increase awareness of the dangers of AIDS in France from 12% to 25% by June 2017.<br />To increase trail of X washing powder from 2% to 5% of our target group by January 2019.<br />4. Objectives for Survival<br />To survive the current double-dip recession.<br />5. Objectives for Growth<br />To increase the size of our Brazilian operation from $200,000 in 2017 to $400,000 in 2018.<br />6. Objectives for Branding<br />To make Y brand of bottled beer the preferred brand of 21-28 year old females in North America by February 2017.<br />Marketing Planning Process<br />There are eight steps to developing a solid marketing strategy for your business as shown in the following diagram.<br />Define your vision and goals: Start with a vision that describes what you want your business to be. The vision should inspire, energize, motivate and stimulate your creativity. Define goals you would like to accomplish in a 12 month period. Your goals set the direction you want to take with your marketing activities. Do you want to create visibility for your company? Are you trying to generate demand for your services? Do you want to establish yourself as the expert in your field? Your goals need to be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based.<br />Understand your ideal client and competition: Determine what motivates your ideal client, what causes them pain, and why they would be interested in buying from you. Then determine how you are different from your competition and how you want to be viewed by your target. Highlight why you are different and what value you offer to your clients.<br />Develop your core message: Your core message is a short description of your business that enables prospective buyers to know who you work with and what value you bring to the relationship. It conveys this message in a manner that literally attracts the right customers to you. A good core message projects what makes you unique and a benefit to your ideal client. <br />Identify your brand identity and apply it consistently across all of your marketing efforts: You may need to define your personal brand and your corporate brand depending on your business. In either case, your brand should fit your personality and help get you noticed.<br />Determin marketing strategy and budget: Identify the strategy you will use to achieve your goals. Strategies will fall within the 8 marketing categories: Internet, social media, advertising, direct marketing, public relations, events, word of mouth, and strategic alliances. The types of marketing you choose within your strategy will depend on your unique requirements. Your budget will help you determine your cash flow by mapping the budget needed for your sales tools and each area identified within your marketing strategy based on the tactics you decide to use.<br />Identify activities for each strategy: Your activities should be selected so they accomplish your goals, reach your ideal client, make sense for your business, can be executed regularly and effectively, and are affordable.<br />Create your sales tools to support the tactics: These tools can include business cards, brochures, a web site or blog, white papers, testimonials, or promotional items<br />