Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Looking for Inspiration: The Marketing Plan

"Marketing is so basic that it cannot be considered a separate function. It is the whole business seen from the point of view of its final result, that is, from the customer’s point of view… Business success is not determined by the producer but by the customer" (Peter Drucker)
"Today marketing is not simply a business function: It’s a philosophy, a way of thinking, and a way of structuring your business and your mind" (Philip Kotler).

A marketing plan may be part of an overall business plan. Solid marketing strategy is the foundation of a well-written marketing plan. A marketing plan is a comprehensive document that outlines a company's marketing efforts for the coming future.
Done properly, your marketing plan will dramatically improve the success of your organizationThe right marketing plan identifies everything from:
  • who your target customers are to
  • how you will reach them
  • to how you will retain your customers so they repeatedly buy from you.
In the 1990s, PR Smith created the SOSTAC framework. This means breaking your plan down into six elements:

S stands for Situation Analysis – which means where are we now?
O stands for Objectives which means where do we want to go?
S stands for Strategy which summarises how we are going to get there.
T stands for Tactics which are the details of strategy.
A is for Action or implementation – putting the plan to work.
C is for Control which means measurement, monitoring, reviewing, updating and modifying.

This are the key sections you must include in your marketing plan (based in Dave Lavinsky,
Marketing Plan Template: Exactly What To Include):
  1. Executive Summary. Your Executive Summary will be helpful in giving yourself and other constituents an overview of your plan.
  2. Market and competition research(including benchmarking). Gathering and classifying data about the market the organization is currently in.
    As a first step, marketers need to understand customer needs and wants and the marketplace within which they operate. Examining the market dynamics, patterns, customers, and the current sales volume for the industry as a whole. Also, the marketing plan should identify the organization's competition.
    Benchmarking is the process of comparing one's business processes and performance metrics to industry bests and best practices from other companies.
  3. Target Customers. Being able to identify your target customers is basic to help you succeed.
    Write down your brand-positioning statement for your target customers.
    The best way to define your target audience is to create buyer personas and identify tribes.
    A Persona is a description of a specific person who might want your services.
    As Marketers we need to move away from market segments based on characteristics, and instead embrace consumer tribes, which are based on behavior. Tribes are now a part of the social landscape and companies will need to learn to engage with them if they are to be competitive.
  4. Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Having a strong USP is of critical importance as it distinguishes your company from competitors.
  5. Pricing and Positioning Strategy. Your pricing and positioning strategy must be aligned.
  6. Distribution Plan. Your distribution plan details how customers will buy from you.
  7. Promotion Strategy. Blended Marketing. Mix Offline and Online to create a more complete, overall marketing strategy.
    Paid Owned Earned Media (P.O.E.M) is a framework that marketers use which incorporates a blended approach of traditional marketing, digital media and engagement as a more holistic marketing strategy.
    Social media has become an essential part of businesses' marketing plans because every type of customer is on some type of platform, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn and other networks.
  8. Events and BTL Actions Strategy. Events are a powerful marketing tool and a great opportunity to assist in creating, changing or reinforcing brands.
  9. Conversion Strategy. Conversion strategies refer to the techniques you employ to turn prospective customers into paying customers.
  10. Joint Ventures and Partnerships. Marketing partnerships are a powerful way to expose yourself to customers you might otherwise never reach.
  11. Referral Strategy. A strong customer referral program could revolutionize your success. For example, if every one of your customers referred one new customer, your customer base would constantly grow.
  12. Retention Strategy. Identify and document ways you can better retain customers here.
  13. Financial Projections. Your financial projections, include all the information documented in your marketing plan and include, for instance, the promotional expenses you expect to incur and what your expected results will be in terms of new customers, sales and profits.


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