What Is A Marketing Plan
A marketing plan is a significant business document, which gives a description of the present position of the market for a business as well as the marketing strategy for a specified period as included in the business plan (Calkins, 2012). It is worth noting that a marketing plan is a crucial part of a business plan. For purposes of the success of any business, the business strategist of a firm should gear the contents of the marketing plan towards the overall mission of the business or firm (Calkins, 2012). It is, also, significant to note that a marketing plan should address the sales/marketing tactics, financial situation, and product as well service lines of the business. It should be clear that different firms or businesses usually have different marketing plans. This difference arises from the different missions that different firms embrace.
Development of a successful marketing plan entails assessment of a number of factors by a firm. According to Chernev (2011), the business requires having a record of its own strengths and weaknesses. In the world of business, there are problems as well as opportunities; the business should, therefore, beware of it internal strengths and possible external threats. It should, also, take note of its weaknesses and external opportunities. The strategists can derive this record through conducting both external and internal analysis of the business. Situational analysis prior to development of a market plan has a resounding significance. This provides the business with information regarding the external environment, corporate review, competitive analysis, product category review, and brand review and consumer analysis (Chernev, 2011). This implies that development of a market plan should be considerate of the regulatory policies, political influences, economic dynamics, social dynamics, economic dynamics, and international influences. Corporate review in relation to developing a marketing plan may entail analysis of the mission statement, strategic intent, corporate vision, long term goals and corporate plan (Calkins, 2012).
The marketing plan should display what Calkins (2012) refers to as outside-in thinking. This implies that the business should conduct an analysis of its products and services with reference to the perspectives of the customers. This would provide an insight of what the customer wants. Besides, in order to develop a remarkable and successful marketing plan, the business should have accurate information about the target market. Luther (2011) argues that the business ought to beware of its potential and current competition in order to develop a successful marketing plan. This is significant for helping to improve the position of the business in the market. Through the marketing plan, the business should indicate its decisions on the way it intends to spend its resources on the market especially the target market. It is, therefore, significant that the business uses the information collects about itself, competition, markets, and customers to develop a marketing plan, which provides quantifiable objectives. The market/sales tactics, which the business employs should be effective enough to enable it meet and surpass its objectives. According to Chernev (2011), the business should implement the marketing plan within the required period and budget, and should measure its achievements basing on whether it met its objectives or not. It should, therefore, be clear that a marketing plan is a significant tool specially designed to provide assistance to the businesses as they compete for customers in the market.
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Main Components Of A Marketing Plan
There are five main components of an efficacious marketing plan, which one should take into consideration. The first component is the simplicity of the marketing plan (Luther, 2011). The marketing plan should be well thought-out and impressive in terms of its size and scope. It should be easy to comprehend and be acted upon. It should, also communicate its contents in an easy and practical manner. The second component of a marketing plan is the market focus (Luther, 2011). An efficient marketing plan should define the target market in a narrow manner. This arises out of the fact that there could be many sellers in the market offering similar products. A marketing plan should therefore be discrete about the target market. It should define ideal customers or target markets in terms of classes of trade, geographic location, or trading channels (Luther, 2011). For instance, the target market of a composter manufacturer might be environmental web sites, organic food retailers, farm stores, or various combinations. The third component of a marketing plan is concrete or measurable specifics (Luther, 2011). A reliable marketing plan should contain a lot of dates and other significant details. It should contain strategies, details, programs and tactics. In the marketing plan, there should be a strong connection between the results and activities to result into hard numbers for measuring those results. Therefore, the plan should be specific enough in the sense that it should have concrete and measurable objectives. The fourth component of a marketing plan is responsibility and accountability (Luther, 2011). It is worth noting that individuals are the ones who implement marketing plans, but not the groups or committees. Therefore, various parts of the marketing plan should be assigned to specific people for responsibility and accountability purposes. The fifth component of a marketing plan is the reviews and revisions (Luther, 2011). It is necessary to consider a marketing plan as a process of planning and not the actual plan. The process of planning entails establishing goals, quantifying results as well as tracing performance. For this reason, a marketing plan involves frequent reviews and revisions.
Main Purpose Of Developing A Marketing Plan
The main purpose of developing a marketing plan is to provide a clear indication of the kinds of steps, which the firm should undertake in order to achieve the goals of the business (Dugan, 2012). A marketing plan is helpful in the sense that it provokes firms to initiate specific products as well as services that can satisfy the needs of their target markets. A successful marketing plan is the basis of prosperous marketing, which would enable customers to understand why products and services of a particular firm are more appealing than the rest in the competition (Dugan, 2012). Therefore, a marketing plan is necessary for assisting a firm to access the target market (audience), increase its bottom line, and enhance its customer base.
In conclusion, a marketing plan is a significant business document, which gives a description of the present position of the market for a business as well as the marketing strategy for a specified period as included in the business. Development of a successful marketing plan entails assessment of a number of factors by a firm. The main components of a marketing plan are simplicity, market focus, concrete or measurable specifics, responsibility and accountability, and reviews and revisions. The main purpose of developing a marketing plan is to provide a clear indication of the kinds of steps, which the firm should undertake in order to achieve the goals of the business.
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