Marketing is a big part of every business. Without marketing, a business cannot grow or prosper.
It has also been called the lifeblood of any enterprise, as it drives sales and keeps customers coming back. However, marketing sometimes gets in the way of business operations. This is when business owners and managers encounter conflict over what marketing activities to engage in and how to go about it.
A marketing plan refers to the overall game plan of a business s strategy for turning prospective customers into actual customers of the company’s products or services.
A marketing plan includes the business of value proposition, message, and various high-level strategic elements. One of the most important components is a marketing strategy. It is where the company lays out a course of action for marketing activities. It is also where decisions are made regarding which marketing activities to pursue and which to avoid. Some of these activities are pursued consistently, while others are chosen only at random.
The strategy must include both long term goals and short term goals. For example, a company might set long term goals such as expanding customer base or increasing profitability. On the flip side, a marketing strategy might also include short-term goals such as increasing sales and cash flow. The two goals could be coupled or they could be different.
A marketing plan covers a lot of ground. It begins with the identification of the problems and opportunities facing the company. It continues with a description of the issues and potential obstacles that need to be anticipated and dealt with. Then there is the analysis of the situation and the implementation of various strategies.
Once these objectives have been identified, the next step is to determine what resources are available to meet these goals. The first thing to do in this stage is to conduct market research. This can take many forms – from consumer behavior research to survey data to focus groups and more.
Once the market research is complete, the next step in the marketing plan is to formulate realistic plans. It is vital to set realistic goals and to come up with reasonable estimates for fulfilling those goals. Without doing this, the likelihood of the plan falling through is greatly increased. Also, it is important to consider contingency strategies. This simply means that additional strategies will be implemented if a particular goal is not met.
The third and final stage of developing a comprehensive marketing plan is to develop a series of key elements that comprise the plan. These key elements are then divided into separate “inks” that should be employed in a logical sequence and in order to make the entire plan work. These key elements include the marketing objectives, the marketing tactics, the target audience, the transitional stages, and the contingency measures. Again, it is important to develop these key elements in an organized manner and in an order that makes sense to the overall marketing situation.
Developing and executing a marketing plan can be a complicated process. However, when done correctly it can have a tremendous impact on the company’s ability to achieve its goals and to effectively serve its customers.
When properly executed, it provides a foundation for creating a profitable business that can withstand any adverse economic conditions. By creating a well-developed and carefully thought out marketing plan, the executive summary can accurately state the key elements of the plan and provide the necessary information to help achieve those goals.
One of the most important goals of a successful marketing plan is the creation of long term viability that relies on the ability of a company to continually generate new business.
This is particularly important during times when market share and consumer loyalty are at stake. In order to have a solid hold on a particular industry, a company must create a strategy that focuses on the company’s competitive advantages and the likelihood of sustained growth. In addition to market share, the other important goal is to obtain a larger customer base that will drive sales and profits.
In order to accomplish these goals, a company must devise a marketing plan that lays out a comprehensive strategy.
The goal of this plan is to lay out a plan of action that is anchored on a number of high-level metrics. Typically, the executive summary for the marketing plan will address these metrics individually. However, in some cases where a company faces both short term and long term goals, it may be more effective to outline the key elements in a single statement that includes all of the short term and long-term goals.
For example, if a company plans to focus on increasing brand awareness, it would likely require the services of a chief marketing officer who would be responsible for driving a consistent marketing message through a variety of mediums. Other key components would include creating and monitoring consumer advertising and promotional campaigns, tracking customer response trends, analyzing competitor marketing strategies, and developing and refining internal marketing programs. Additionally, many companies will need to determine their overall ROI by tracking key metrics such as return on investment (ROI). If the goals of a plan aren’t aligned, the strategies will not be productive. It is the job of the executive summary to ensure that a company fully implements the strategies laid out within the marketing plan.