The marketing plan enables analysis, criticism, and improvement of company’s operations including past marketing and advertising programs. Successful organizations do not separate advertising plans from overall marketing programs and prognosis. They view each other as a vital block for success. It must reflect the goals of the company and be consistent with the capabilities of the various departments of the company.
A good marketing plan needs to have certain qualities it needs to be able to meet what it is supposed to do and be considered an effective plan that helps to convert customers. A model marketing plan includes four basic elements, viz. situation analysis, marketing objectives, marketing strategy, and action programs. Besides these, the proposed plan also talks about the monitoring/controls, review, resource allocation, etc. Now we will discuss each element in detail.
The situation analysis needs to review the following broad areas:
- The company’s history, growth, products or services, sales volumes, etc.
- The current value and share trends for the category of the concerned brand and competitive products.
- The brand’s share and volume objective (that is, how much is to be increased in a given period of time). The specific changes that are required in consumer behavior. This must answer whether the company is looking at increasing trial, multiple uses (like Hamdard’s Roghan Badam Shirin sweet almond oil which can be taken with milk, massaged on the scalp, and put in the nose and ear), the frequency of use, switching brands, or improving loyalty.
- The past advertising, that is, they must look at the evaluation and impact studies, if conducted and pick up cues about changes in awareness, knowledge and attitudes.
- The market structure, that is, consider from the consumer’s point of view, how the product category, in which the brand competes is segmented to learn about the brand’s primary competition. Consider segmentation by product type, benefits, the kind of people who use it, price, and value, both at tangible and intangible levels.
- The economic, political, social, technological or commercial environment in which the company operates must be considered. This means analysing the market trends affecting the brand, establishing whether it is competition, political situation (instability, change of guard), economic situation (recession, inflation, devaluation of currency, crash of stock market, hike in interest rates on borrowing, withdrawal or extension of better credit facilities, etc.), price (hike in excise, taxation structure, withdrawal of subsidy, removal of import constraints, etc.) and packaging (statutory requirement, technological advancement, etc.).
- The most relevant consumer trends, both demographic and attitudinal (psychographics), currently affecting the brand, must be observed.
Select your Target Audience
Collect useful information about the people or the market to be reached through advertising. Decide upon the nature of the message to be conveyed to the target market. Search for an ideal match of the audience characteristics of media with the target market. You can describe prospects in terms of demographics—age, sex, family composition, earnings and geographic location—as well as lifestyle. If you’re a business-to-business marketer, you may define your target audience based on their type of business, job title, size of business, geographic location or any other characteristics that make them possible prospects.
Set Measurable Objectives
From here we work to set measurable objectives that we frequently revisit to measure our collective progress and effectiveness.
This step allows us to answer the “why” behind the “what.” Setting well-defined strategies save time, money and energy on everyone’s part. We then work with our clients to ‘build key messages’. This is where the storytelling comes into play. We strive to clearly and concisely communicate who they are, what they do and what makes them unique. A strong key message foundation is critical to any internal and external communications campaign.
The “what” involves launching tactics. This is where we can get truly creative – whether its a memorable media relations event, an attention-grabbing social media campaign or an inspiring employee news magazine. We strive to implement tactics that are cost-effectiveness and memorable. In addition to developing our own ideas, we partner with our clients to bring their ideas to the surface.
From here, we roll up our sleeves and do the work. Depending on the size, scope and direction of our engagement, we build the right team to implement your communication and marketing plans.
Measuring and adapting
plans are vital parts of the overall communication effort. We measure our efforts by returning to the objectives and working with you to quantify the effectiveness of our work. Along the way, when public relations or marketing opportunities arise, we’re quick to assess the situation, make recommendations and take action. The planning process truly is a cycle.
Know more about marketing and branding: 6 Ways to Position Your Brand In The Market