You need to have a marketing plan or a market development strategy if you really want your marketing strategy and marketing campaign to be successful. Now let me ask, are you concerned about launching out a new product, service, or probably a new marketing campaign, but then you’re not sure of how to get started? Then, you need a marketing plan for it.
In this guide, I will work you through how to execute an effective market development strategy that’ll help you carry out a successful marketing strategy, campaign or even launch that unique product or service.
This guide will take you from the elements of marketing plan, its objectives, marketing communication and most important, the way you should structure your marketing plan.
If you are new to marketing, this is a comprehensive guide on what is marketing 101.
So, let get started.
What is a Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan is a written-down document that sets out your marketing attempts of your business in an upcoming period, which is generally a year. This market plan should outline or entail your marketing strategy, promotional, and advertising activities planned for the period.
Elements of a Marketing Plan
Now let discuss the essentials of your market development strategy and how to plan, a marketing plan will normally include the following elements:
1. Marketing objectives of the business:
The first of your market plan would be the purpose of which you want to carry out such intent for the business. You must ensure that your objectives and development strategy should be Attainable and measurable – these two goals are associated with SMART, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
2. Current business marketing positioning:
The next step is the analysis of the present status of the business concerning its marketing positioning. What is the stand of your brand in the market? What are you audience talking about your brand, do you have a ready market waiting for you? Or you need to start marketing for a new audience. All this and more are what you need to consider to help you structure an effective marketing development strategy.
3. Market research:
For you to start planning your marketing campaign, you need well-detailed research about recent market trends, what your customers’ needs, what the industry sales volumes is, and expected direction.
What is Marketing Research?
Market research is described as the procedure of evaluating the feasibility of a new product or service, by way of study, conducted openly with possible consumers.
This process lets you, organizations or businesses to ascertain the target market, gather and keep a record of peoples’ views and thereby letting you make an informed marketing plan that will impact on your market development strategy.
Market research can be steered directly by organizations or businesses or can be contract out to marketing agencies which have proficiency in this process.
The main purpose why you need to conduct market research is to understand or scrutinize the market related to your particular product or service, to help you carry out a marketing plan to decide how your audience will react to your product or service.
4. Outline of the business target market:
After having a well detailed marketing research, the next is to have a business target market demographics. Who are in your target market? Who are those is your product or service meant for? What age is your product or service meant for? What location and area that best fit into your product? All this question should be answered in your marketing plan.
5. Marketing activities:
The next is to make a list of any actions concerning marketing goals that are planned for the period and the indicated timelines. You’ll need to set a time frame to achieve your goals.
No matter how many goals you plan to set for your marketing, ensure to set a time frame so you will be able to measure and take necessary actions on what is working and what is not.
6. Key performance indicators (KPIs)
The next in line on your marketing plan is the key performance indicators: this is the main variance in metrics or components documented in the market plan to be tracked. This may include Revenue variance analysis, Market share analysis and Expense analysis.
7. Marketing mix:
A marketing mix is a blend of factors that may impact your customers to purchase products. It should be suitable for you or any organization and this will largely be positioned on the 4Ps of marketing – i.e., product, price, promotion, and place.
8. Market Competition:
It’s important here that you find your organization’s competitors and what strategy they make us of. Now you’ll need ways to neutralize the competition and expansion your business’s market share.
9. Marketing strategies:
Strategies aimed at developing your business, to gain more exposure and recognition should be part of your marketing plan. These marketing strategies will include promotional strategies, advertising, and other marketing tools at the disposal of the organisation.
10. Marketing financial plan:
A detailed market development strategy should include an outline of the organization’s provision of financial funds for marketing activities. The market plan will need to be carried out within the marketing financial plan.
11. Intensive and performance structure:
A marketing plan ought to be in place to pin point if the marketing tools in place are yielding fruit or need to be reviewed according to the past, recent, and anticipated future position of your business, industry, and the general business setting.
Your market development strategy should reflect the 80:20 rule – In reality, it is for maximum impact, this rule should concentrate on the 20% of the products and services that explains the 80% of volumes and the 20% of purchasers that bring in 80% of revenue.
12. Marketing communications
Marketing communication channels pay attention to any way a business connects its message to its desired or target market, or the market in general.
A marketing communication tool can be whatever thing from: advertising, personal selling, direct marketing, sponsorship, communication, social media and promotion to public relations.
Marketing communication are the design of the marketing mix which is made up of the 4P’s (Price, Promotion, Place and Product) for a goods-selling-business, and made up of 7P’s (Price, Promotion, Place, Product, People, Physical evidence and Process) for a service-based business.
Market Development Strategy vs Marketing Communication
Let’s quickly address the relationship between marketing development strategy and marketing communication. Marketing communications consist of marketing, promotions, sales, branding, campaigning, and online advertising. The procedure lets the public to recognize or understand your brand and get a distinct picture about what your brand has to offer.
Nowadays, with the growing know-how and methods, the direct involvement of customers is made. This market development strategy is completed by including the customers’ ideas and creations, in product development and brand promotion.
Effective branding takes in the targeting of audiences who recognize the value of the organization’s marketing program.
Advertising is a small but a very important portion of marketing communications; the marketing communications mix is a set of kits that you can use to distribute a clear and reliable message to a targeted audience. It is also generally called the marketing mix.
All terminologies have a similar meaning in the context of the 4ps (product, price, place and promotion). The price you set can send a message to the target audience. For instance, measuring up a $50 bag to a $10 bag, the former may be seen as a luxury or more long-lasting item.
The marketing communication helps you identify key opportunities, risks, weaknesses and strengths, sets objectives and develops an action plan to realize your marketing goals. Every single section of the 4P’s sets its peculiar object; for example, the pricing goal might be to multiply sales in a specific geographical market by setting a price of a product or service lower than their competitors.
This creates an important transformation in the market for the reason that more people of the target market would object to do business with your organization than your competitors, because pricing is one of the greatest substantial aspects of marketing that can alter the whole market positively and or negatively.
What is The Purpose of a Marketing Plan?
The purpose of a market development strategy should consists of the following:
- To without a doubt define the marketing objectives of the business that bring into line with the corporate mission and vision of the organisation. The marketing objectives specify where the organisation wants to be at any precise period in the future.
- Marketing plan generally assists in the marketing development of the business by asserting the proper marketing strategies, for example, plans for increasing the customer base.
- It helps state and review the marketing mix in terms of the 8Ps of marketing – Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process, Physical Evidence, and Performance.
- With new strategies, to increase market share, go in into new niche markets, and increasing brand awareness are also incorporated within the marketing plan.
- The marketing plan will encompass a comprehensive budget for the funds and resources needed to achieve activities specified in the marketing plan.
- The assignment of tasks and responsibilities of marketing activities is well articulated in the marketing plan.
- The identification of business opportunities and any strategies fashioned to achieve them is important.
- A marketing plan adopts the review and analysis of the marketing environment, which needs market research, customer needs assessment, competitor analysis, PEST analysis, reviewing new business drifts, and continuous environmental scanning.
- A marketing plan incorporates business functions to operate with uniformity – particularly sales, production, finance, human resources, and marketing.
What is the structure of a Marketing Plan?
The structure of a marketing plan can include the following sections:
1. Marketing Plan Intents
This section of the marketing development strategy outlines the likely outcome of the marketing plan with distinct, to the point, practical, and attainable goals. It encompasses specific targets and time frames.
So, metrics, like target market share, the target number of customers to be reached, penetration rate, usage rate, sales volumes targeted, etc. should be make use of.
2. Market Research – Market Analysis & Consumer Analysis
The next on the market development strategy is market analysis which consist of topics such as market definition, industry structure, market size, market share and trends, and competitor analysis. Consumer analysis also may include the target market demographics and those things that influences their buying decisions – e.g., loyalty, motivation, and expectations.
3. Target Market
In marketing plan, target market defines the target customers by their demographic profile, like gender, race, age, and psychographic profile, such as their interests. This metrics will help out in the correct marketing mix for the target market segments.
4. SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis will focus at your business core strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats. SWOT analysis contains the following:
These are your business’s competitive pros that are not and cannot be easily copied. They denote the skills, expertise, and proficiencies that your business possesses over your competitors.
These are drawbacks found in the operations of your business, and they suppress growth. These may include old-fashioned machinery, insufficient working capital, and unproductive production methods.
These are possibilities for growth in your business through the implementation of ways to take advantage of the chances. They may include entry into new markets, implementing digital marketing strategies, or following new trends.
These are external features that can disturb your business negatively, such as a new powerful competitor, governmental changes, natural disasters, or political situations.
5. Marketing Strategy
The marketing strategy of the market development strategy section take in action the actual strategies to be incorporated according to the marketing mix. This strategy may center on the 8Ps of marketing. Though, businesses are also at liberty to use the usual 4Ps of marketing – product, price, place, and promotion. The 8Ps are illustrated below.
The accurate marketing mix is controlled by the target market. The most expensive picks are advertising, sales promotions, and PR campaigns. However, networking and referrals are less pricey.
You also need to pay attention to digital marketing strategies that make use of know-how to reach a extensive market and have also been verified to be cost-effective.
Digital marketing channels, which became widespread in the early 21st century, may in due course overtake traditional marketing methods. Digital marketing includes trending methods, such as the use of social media for business, SEO, digital advertising and so on.
Other strategies within the marketing strategy include pricing and positioning strategy, distribution strategy, conversion strategy, and retention strategy.
6. Marketing Financial plan
The marketing budget or projection outlines the accounted disbursement for the marketing activities written down in the marketing plan. The marketing financial plan may consist of revenues and costs stated in the marketing plan in one document.
It balances spending on marketing activities and what your business can have the funds for. Some of a financial plan of marketing activities to be carried out may include – promotional activities, cost of marketing resources and advertising, and so on. Other facts may include expected product volume and price, production and delivery costs, and operating and financing costs.
The effectiveness of the marketing plan hangs on the budget allotted for marketing expenditure. The cost of marketing should be able to make your business break even and make profits.
7. Performance Analysis
Performance analysis objects to look at the changes in metrics or mechanisms written down in the marketing plan. These include:
· Revenue Deviation analysis
This is an analysis of either a positive or negative variance of revenue. A negative variance is bothersome, and reasons should be presented to clarify the cause of deviations.
· Market share analysis
An examination of whether your business attained its target market share. Sales may be growing whilst your business’s share of the market is decreasing; for this reason, it is utmost important to track this metric.
· Expense analysis
This is an analysis of marketing expense to sales ratio. This ratio needs to be equated to industry standards to help make informed evaluations.
The ratio allows you to track your actual business expenditures as against your budget. You can also compare this metrics to other metrics, like the revenue analysis and market share analysis. You can dissect them into individual expenditures to sales to get a distinct picture.
8. Running of a Marketing Plan
Your market development strategy should be reviewed and changed to conform in the environment at regular intervals. So, the use of metrics, budgets, and schedules to measure your development towards those goals you’ve set in the marketing plan is a nonstop process by marketing personnel.
You need a continuous assessment to authenticate that the goals of your marketing plan are being achieved. Should you have a marketing manager, he should be able to review if the marketing strategies documented are being effective, given the working environment.
It is unreasonable for the marketing administrator to notice irregularities and wait to review at year-end when the state of affairs may possibly have already gone downhill.
Variations in the environment may demand a reassessment of plans, projections, strategies, and targets. So, a formal periodical review – such as monthly or quarterly – may need to be in place.
This may imply preparing an annual marketing plan but reevaluating the plan three-monthly to keep targets and plans line up with closely to environmental changes. It goes without saying that plans are as good as their feasibility to succeed in the given environment.
Final Takeaway on What is a Marketing Plan.
As I conclude, having a cognitive market plan will help your marketing development strategy to strive to the optimum. Marketing plan is not just writing down what to achieve but implementing those things you’ve penned down.
Now that you know the purpose why you need a plan for effective marketing strategy, ensure to follow the twelve elements for informed decision. And remember to structure your marketing plan effectively, so you gain a well-deserved brand exposure and recognition.
I do hope this guide helped you get a point, please share with those that need it, and if I have missed anything, let other readers hear from you in the comment box.