|“||If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying "Circus Coming to the Fairground Saturday," that's advertising. If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk it into town, that's promotion. If the elephant walks through the mayor's flower bed, that's publicity. And if you get the mayor to laugh about it, that's public relations. If the town's citizens go to the circus, you show them the many entertainment booths, explain how much fun they'll have spending money at the booths, answer their questions and ultimately, they spend a lot at the circus, that's sales.||”|
The Marketing Plan
The Marketing Plan combines - for a given period (one year for example) and a given range of products and services - all aspects of an organizations' marketing efforts into one coherent plan. It tries to blend these efforts in a synergistic fashion for maximum results. Marketing plans will vary from organization to organization but all have the core components listed here.
The Executive Summary outlines the key elements of the marketing plan, with a specific focus on product, pricing, promotion, and placement. Other elements that may be discussed are: people (staff), process (of providing a service), physical evidence (make service more tangible to potential customer), and philosophy (whereby the product reflects the philosophy of the organization).
Example Executive Summary
An example of the executive summary is as follows:
'Forum For International Trade Training (FITT) 2006 international marketing plan of the year.'
"The eastern seaboard of the United States has witnessed significant growth in the security industry since the tragedy of September 11, 2001. Reaction by both government and citizens alike, has left little doubt that the United States is determined to enhance security and in doing so, provide its nation with greater protection and peace of mind. In response to the World-Trade Center bombing government, citizens, and institutions have purchased a significant number of security related products and services. Now, 5 years later, people are beginning to recognize the inherent need for security products that can help predict and ultimately prevent potential threats to their citizens. It is with this in mind that the general public of the United States, and more specifically those on the eastern seaboard, have come to realize the need for greater public surveillance. In response to this cry for help, March Networks is in an ideal position to propose the installation of public security cameras for multi-purpose use.
March Networks is to be credited for its eastern seaboard market penetration as it pertains to security in the areas of banking and public transportation. In recognition of these significant achievements, it is highly recommended that March Networks continue to take advantage of its dominant and respected position by expanding the use of recognized products in two new, but complimentary market areas. Preliminary analysis suggests that the public property and traffic management sector and the taxi industry are ideally suited for current product application and market expansion.
With vandalism and the cost of vandalism reparation on the rise, there exists a clear market for security products aimed at enhancing public safety while at the same time curbing the ever increasing associated public expense. Having selected Boston as the test market area, preliminary research suggests the municipal government would achieve significant benefits and financial gains by installing March Networks security cameras to monitor public parking. Reduced vandalism, lower maintenance and repair costs, improved traffic flow and enhanced public safety are the benefits that will materialize from this bold, yet innovative application of technology to an everyday part of life.
A second area that can gain from the application of this type of technology pertains to the taxi industry. In the United States, driving a taxi is considered the 10th most dangerous job, yet it is one that will continue for the foreseeable future. Hence a viable and sustainable market area that is longing for improvements that would enhance the safety of both taxi drivers and patrons alike. Combining the security offered by March Networks cameras with an interactive, touch-panel advertising medium, is the differentiator March Networks requires to overcome its competitors and continue the successful expansion of security technology in the general public market.
This marketing plan proposes the application of March Networks security technology in two new public safety domains. Utilizing the Boston area as a test bed, this plan takes advantage of previously established credentials and marketing successes, while at the same time, identifies an opportunity to apply proven technology in a new and innovative manner that is paramount to the well being of every day citizens."
Sourced with permission by the author - Casey Schlegel
Situation Analysis (SWOT)
The situation analysis examines all the aspects that may impact sales of a specific company. The strengths and weaknesses should be focused upon the brand and its attributes, not the market conditions. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
- Strengths & Weaknesses: Highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the brand in the current marketplace.
- Opportunities & Threats: Identify potential opportunities and threats that exist outside the organization that may impact the brands sales potential. Focus on market trends, consumer confidence, and technology advances.
- Competitors: Analyzes what competitors are doing in the marketplace.
It should be noted that the SWOT analysis is a tool used to help direct the thoughts of the individual or group drafting the marketing plan and it should not be included in the body of your report as it lacks professionalism. If you feel pressured to include your SWOT with your marketing plan include it in an appendix.
Provide continuous, reliable and current up-to date information to the Army Reserve personnel (Soldiers, Civilians, Contractors and Family Members)on the development of tools, task force initiatives, training opportunities, best practices, lesson learned, communication products, trends and ongoing initiatives in the safety realm.
The action plan lists the specific actions that need to be taken to reach the goal of the marketing plan, and also lists which department or person in the organization is responsible for carrying out the action.
The marketing mix or 4 P's describes how the target market is reached through a specific blend of attributes listed above: product, pricing, promotion, placement, people (staff), process (of providing a service), physical evidence (make service more tangible to potential customer), and philosophy (whereby the product reflects the philosophy of the organization). For each of the "P's" be sure and describe how altering that specific component helps the organization to encourage customers to buy the product being sold.
The Product strategy is complex. It not only includes the development of the correct product attributes to meet the needs of the target market, but must focus on the benefits (perceived or real) the customer anticipates the product will provide.
Promotion is communication between the "seller" (producer, wholesaler, retailer, service provider, etc) and relevant stakeholders (usually referred to in terms of the Target Market/s). Promotion or Marketing Communication utilizes tools such as Advertising, Sales Promotion, Direct Marketing, Personal Selling, Marketing Public Relations and Publicity.
Pricing objectives directly affect an organizations pricing policy:
- Profit oriented objectives-attain a specific profit level, or as much profit as possible
- Sales oriented objectives-target a predetermined unit sales level or market share
- Status quo objectives-seek to maintain current price levels, peg them to an index, or match them to a competitor
Placement or place refers to the distribution channels that a company will use in order to take its product to the final customer (or consumer).
Specify the total resource allocation available for the marketing plan, and the potential return on this investment.
Budgeting is most important of the marketing for direct and indirect customer
1. Examine the role and importance of marketing research within a firm's overall marketing mix.
2. Outline and discuss the stages within the marketing research planning process.