Ingredients of an Effective Marketing Plan
There is no use of a marketing plan that looks gorgeous in the board room but fails in delivering the realization of the organisational objectives. Any effective marketing plan should have the following ingredients.
Analysis of the situation: The prevailing market scenario differs from product to product, industry to industry and country to country. The prospective customers that have been targeted should be analysed and studied. Even the competitor’s strategy and approaches have to be taken into consideration. The need of the product should be studied. If the need is already there then it is fine otherwise it has to be created.
Opportunity: If your product is unique there is no competitor and it is a monopoly market for you. Nowadays there is no monopoly market because there is competition in each and every sector. The only thing a business can do is to identify a niche for itself or else create it for a particular segment of the society. Nowadays usually opportunities have to be created. The way a product penetrates the market is a way of creating opportunity. If the product is offered to the customers at a discount and the sale is good we can have a rough idea of creating the opportunity for the sale of that product.
Objectives: The effectiveness of the marketing plan depends on its ultimate objective. Marketing plans have to be different for different objectives such as increasing the market share, expansion of market to new horizons, increasing the sale of one product or a range of products of the same company. The objective of the marketing plan should be clear. This objective should be in quantifiable terms so that the effectiveness and performance can be measured. The ingredients for marketing plan of one product are obviously going to be simpler than those for marketing plan of a range of products. The objectives serve as one of the basis for the formulation of any marketing strategy.
Message: The message that is conveyed by the marketing plan should be unique and different from that of you competitors. The message should confirm the product awareness in the minds of the prospective customers or clients. It is the message that helps the customers to indentify your products or services from the rest. The best example of message is the unique selling proposition which is an integral and inevitable part of any advertisement, so much so that some of the products are bought because of the unique selling proposition.
Strategies: The strategy is one of the most important parts of any marketing plan because without that a marketing plan is not possible. The strategy provides a guideline as to how the marketing plan should be implemented. If the strategy is applicable in the present market and facilitates the achievement of the organisational goals then the strategy is appropriate but if the whole marketing plan goes unsuccessful because of bad strategy formulation then the strategy is a failure. The magnitude of the strategy formulation depends on the magnitude of the organisational objectives to be achieved. The strategy for a marketing plan for one product has to be different from the marketing plan for two or more than two products. When a strategy is formulated for marketing a product and it has to be backed by a strategy for the executives who would be implementing the strategy.
Tactics: Strategies can be implemented in more than one way. This is called tactics. Tactics can be called set of specific actions taken to implement any marketing strategy and plan. Suppose the product offered by the company caters to two segments of prospective customers. The tactic applied for one cannot be always applied for the second. This is especially true in case of the two segments being different from each other in terms of earning and potential to spend money. The tactics are thus vital in the effectiveness of any marketing plan.
Time: More the time spend for implementation of any marketing plan more are the expenses. Thus the efficiency of any marketing plan has to depend on the time factor. The set objectives should be achieved within stipulated time duration. If the marketing plan takes a longer time to be executed then it can lead to financial loss rather than profit.
Flexibility: The market scenario is never the same for years together. There are some variations. There can be variation not only in market but also your employees and the overall economy. The marketing plans should be flexible to accommodate and compromise with the changing situations. A marketing plan has to be a bit flexible to be effective.
Personnel: For the maximum effectiveness of any marketing plan the contribution of the employees is compulsory. If the employees are inefficient and ineffective and making the marketing plan a reality or they are not able to execute the things mentioned in the marketing plan then the marketing plan is never going to be effective. So the employees are also an important ingredient of any Marketing Plan.
Market Research: Any marketing starts with the customer and ends with the customer. Relevant, accurate and recent information is the need of any market research. If the market plan is regarding a present product already in the market then the feedback of the customers has to be taken for consideration. This forms the basis of market research. The analysis and conclusions of any market research lead to the formulation of a marketing plan. In accurate data can bring disaster not only to the marketing plan but to the whole organisation
Commitments: Commitments play an important role in success of any marketing plan. If the products or the services fall short of the expectations of the customers or clients who availed the products and services after seeing the advertisement it can have a very bad effect on the sales of the company. The marketing plan should avoid false commitments especially with reference to products and services being advertised on various media such as television.
Experience of the team of employees who formulate the marketing plan is the most important and crucial ingredient for the effectiveness of any marketing plan.
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