A marketing plan is defined as a comprehensive document that can also qualify as a blueprint that outlines the marketing and advertising plan for the next coming year. This document is also responsible for describing business activities that are involved in making sure that specific marketing objectives have been achieved within a set time frame (Cohen, 2005). A marketing plan is a blueprint, and it is used mostly to give the business a particular direction in which the company ought to have in the following year (Goi, 2009). This will be informed by how the market has fared in the current year as per the quarterly, yearly, and even monthly results. This is what sets the tone for the marketing plan.
A marketing plan cannot be formulated if there is no proper reference, which is that of the previous results. This enables the company to strategize and look for a way in which other areas can be exploited or even maximized (Cohen, 2005). If the results are not satisfactory, then there is a need to take a different approach, and this cannot be done by just making a rough sketch. It needs proper planning and gaining information. Furthermore, there is a need to ensure that there is individual research that has been done about the plan and the product that is being or will be used by the company.
At times formulating a market plan entails that the company can also introduce new methods of production and also introduce a product that is improved. At times it could mean that a new product has to be submitted altogether. This has been the case for many companies, but it has, at times, failed because it could have a 50/50 outcome once it is in the market. This has boiled down to a lack of knowledge or not making the necessary market research, and it leads to losses and, eventually, termination of that product (Cohen, 2005).
It should start with the current situation of the company, and this is where the weaknesses are revealed, and they are exploited. The company at the moment is not in bad condition, and business is as usual. However, the figures do not lie, and there has been a stagnation of sorts for almost a year. Sales have not been able to improve they have just stayed the same for the last year. This is not a good indication, and it has resulted in a marketing plan being sought after to try and address these issues. This is also why a couple of people have been laid off, but still, the production is the same, but business is not growing as much in the last year.
In the previous year, some losses and profits were realized, and this is because of the quarterly results that are used by the company. Perhaps these were the warning signs because the loss came before the profit and the loss was not significant enough to impact the business. But with the stagnation, there needs to be a plan to try and avert further recession and losses in the next year.
The target audience of this product as per the marketing plan is the young adults and the youth. However, research and development are also ensuring that other forms of the product are being developed to be consumed by the older generation and the teens. This is important because it may help to fill the gap in the business. Targeting persons of all ages is essential for any transaction, and it enables the company to thrive in different areas and also have a range of products, and this means that the company is both diverse and has variety (Hys, 2017). The company chose to ignore all these ages in the past because there were no products that were tailored to the needs of these age groups, and the fact that the company was still growing was a factor.
There are specific marketing strategies that have been put in place to try and mitigate the issue at hand. The first strategy, as seen, is to include other age groups in the sale of the products in the target audience. This will ensure that the product has an established outreach to every person while also being able to improve the product by conducting polls to gain knowledge of how good the product is in the market (Mulder, 2004). The second strategy is to make sure that the company has been able to use social media to make sure that certain products are available or not and to also introduce new products (Amoo, 2017). The other goal and strategy are to make sure that there is a market study made for our products to make them much better than they are at the moment.
The tactics that will be used for marketing our products are mostly social media and television. There is a need to ensure that there is reduced coverage on print media and billboards because these types of advertising have proven to have a lesser impact on the current generation and also for the incoming generation, especially print media (Goi, 2009). This is what the company has been using, and it has impacted the company as per the results from last year. This has occurred due to a lack of knowledge of the products being sold by the company (Goi, 2009). The marketing budget for this venture has been set at between $20-30 million.
Types of Marketing Research
There has been an array of marketing research strategies that have been used to ensure that the company has been able to redeem itself. This was important because, without it, there would be no target audience, and there would be no information about the types of products that need to be developed, and this was a vital element in the whole process (Walker, 1998). It is safe to say that without research, the entire marketing plan would be undermined.
Market segmentation is one of the market research that was undertaken by the company, and this was the first of six other marketing research strategies. This market segmentation consisted of asking survey questions, and this was aimed at capturing the values, needs, behaviors, demographics, and attitudes of the target audience (Hys, 2017). This ensures that there is a pool of knowledge to know what thing the audience wants to be removed, increased, reduced, and also maintained (Gardner, 1985). These questions can make the work much more comfortable because the company will use the results to address the issues that are pressing, and in return, they will be able to act on the weaknesses.
Product testing was also done as a way to make sure that there was useful market research. This was important because the audience was able to engage and experience the product first hand. The testing was done anonymously, and it was done in a way that the people sampled were not aware of the company that made the product. This would lead to the audience giving a much honest opinion and not holding back on the specifics of the product (Amoo, 2017). This was a much more effective way of knowing how the product was going to be embraced in the market.
A satisfaction and loyalty analysis was also conducted for market research, and it was because the company needed to assess how the product was for the people who have been using the product. Furthermore, the product was tested among all age groups, and it made the company aware of what needs to be taken out. Some of the loyalists indicated that the product was just as good as it was in the beginning and those who tried out the newer products reported that a few changes could be done and all these issues were recorded and factored in to be able to make the adjustments later (Mulder, 2004). This was a sufficient quorum for the company in the long run.
The company also conducted a brand awareness research; most of the young adults indicated that there was a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram page for the products. However, they mentioned that they had few followers, and they had not been verified, meaning that one would be unaware of the validity of that page (Amoo, 2017). This was not a good thing for the company, and it had to be addressed. This was one of the areas that needed to be directed immediately by the company because it was crucial. Some of the people indicated that they were not aware of the products, and they further stated that they did not know if the company was on any social media platform.
After that a pricing research was done, this was not such a big issue, and the demand and supply forces determined prices. The rate also informed the costs of inflation at the time, which is something that affects many products that are in the market. It would be best if the company would set a pricing ceiling in the future to make sure that the prices do not go beyond a certain point (Goi, 2009). In the last year, the prices have been stable, and they have not moved since, and this has been the period in which prices have been able to stabilize. All these issues can be addressed without raising the cost of the products.
Potential Pricing Alternatives
The issue of pricing had come up as a blanket solution for the company’s stagnation, and this was going to work. However, this was going to work for the short term, and it would blowback on the company in a matter of two years. This would tarnish the company’s reputation, and it was ditched in the end. However, the original product had to get a price bump because its sales were robust. The newer products were priced reasonably, and this was as per the market research that was done. This was important, and also these products had to move quickly in the respective areas of the target audience.
The pricing alternatives were simple; the original product was the premium product, and it costs slightly more than the other products. The outcomes for the young adults and the youth could be regarded as the economy, and this was because these products were made to be cheaper for young adults. This product is slightly less expensive than the premium, and this is because of the target audience, and the fact that it is cheaper than other brands makes it more attractive to buy than other brands (Walker, 1998). This is the most critical aspect of the whole exercise; this is a vital element in how these products are developed.
Furthermore, the pricing alternatives have been done differently for the products that target the much older generation. The company is also working on other products that are used by persons with certain conditions, and it makes sure that everyone is consuming the product in the long run (Cohen, 2005). It also makes the product more accessible by everyone, and it can have the reach, and all these products have their specific prices. It is vital to do this, too, to make the products much more affordable. The affordability is classified in the categories that have been organized; it is also important to note that the prices are set as per the group of persons in it.
The most important fact is that this will not affect the prices and also the sale of the original product. Persons of all ages can consume it, and it has been known for the longest time, and despite the introduction of new products, it will not be a surprise if the original product can have better sales than the other products (Gardner, 1985). These products will have to compete with other brands in the market and also compete with the original product. However, the prices may not be affected, and they could remain the same even if the price of the initial product rise.
Our channel strategy is one of the best around the business, and this is because we value our clients across all the different target groups. In our distribution, there are no middlemen, and this is vital for the growth of our business. However, some people do vend, and they are also responsible for distribution. Our products are delivered, and they are also in the stores, and this increases the availability of the product. However, in the marketing plan, there is more emphasis on delivery rather than selling in the stores (Hys, 2017). Several factors are attributed to this, and it enables the company to cut costs and be much more efficient. The strategy will not be to do away with the placement in stores completely.
The main issue will be to reduce the amount we take to the stores, and there are reasons for this, such as visibility on the shelves. Merchandisers are synonymous with certain malpractices that are common in the stores, and they are known for giving their brand more clarity than the others, and this is due to the fierce competition that exists between the popular brands which ours is one of in this field (Hys, 2017). These activities usually undercut the visibility of the brand. Eventually, it can only be resolved by the owners of the store and not other avenues, and this often is frustrating.
The resolution is to invest in other areas of channel strategy, and this makes it much easier and more convenient for the brand to grow and cut costs. It is important to note that most people these days would rather have a home delivery than having to go to the stores themselves. The home delivery is much more convenient, and it is done in the comfort of one’s home, and it makes the person much more satisfied because they do not have to go to the store and go through the hassle (Mulder, 2004).
This makes the client save on fuel, money, and time, take a suburban homemaker, for instance, who wants to do her shopping. She does not need to go into town to buy our product; she can instead order it for her family. These runs will also be done through our merchandisers, and by making the workload lesser for them in the stores, they will be able to have time to do delivery runs (Mulder, 2004). These runs will be done by a person based on the proximity of their home, and they will do it around a certain radius. This enables them to work more comfortably and has less stress when they are making deliveries.
Our return policy will also be efficient; rather than the five days it would take to return the product, it will now take 3-5 working days, which will include Saturday. This is important because people want the product to be delivered to them on time. To add to this, the marketing plan is also inclusive of finding ways to have certain products, if not all, the products being included in online shopping platforms (Walker, 1998). This will enable the clients to access their favorite products online. Most of the shopping is being done online, and that is how companies have been able to adapt.
Sales Management Plan
This will be the process of developing a sales force, coordinating sales operations, and implementing sales techniques. Through these strategies, the business will be allowed to hit and even surpass the sales targets consistently. This type of approach is a must-have, and the old one will be removed, and the marketing plan will be allowed to address this specific area. The sales strategy has been stable for the company in the past years, but times have changed, and different dynamics are being looked upon by various companies.
The sales strategy will explore and make use of the four Ps, which are the product, price, place, and promotion. All these areas have to be used by the sales team, and this will be done on several platforms, which may include motion pictures. It is essential to make the brand a reputable brand that can be consumed by every person and to makes sure this happens the four Ps have to be followed to ensure that the company has been able to realize its goals as per the time that it needs to have an assessment (Goi, 2009). Before having the four P’s, there need to be a sales operations, strategy, and analysis. These will be used as the guidelines that will enable the sales team to progress and make the necessary strides forward.
The last thing the company wants is to put pressure on the team because it could lead to having negative results. If the guidelines are followed, there are likely to be no issues, and this is how it needs to be done by the sales managers. Different people will head the various divisions, and this enables the company to have an in-depth view of the whole sales process (Goi, 2009). All these sales approaches are connected, and there is a chain in the entire process that makes the strategy as the whole work. There need to be set targets, assignment of territories, and establishment of goals and quotas.
The strategy needs to show the avenues that are being used, and this means that there are salespeople in play, and they have an absolute duty to identify the persons that need to but the product. Through the analysis, we get a report of the whole process, and this enables the team to gauge themselves and their work, and this makes it easier to know whether the product could do well or not (Hys, 2017). It enables the company to forecast certain products and also to understand certain aspects of the market.
Through these channels, the company is given the knowledge of how well other products are doing and if they are outperforming the competition. This is vital because it provides the company with particular perspectives on how things should change and what needs to be adopted. The company needs to use every avenue possible to get their products out there so that they can be consumed by the clients (Gardner, 1985). That is why the sales management strategy is vital in this case, and if the products are doing well, the company can learn the areas to emphasize or even scale down their sales team to concentrate on other areas.
Some companies typically use little money on advertising, and this is well known for the more established companies which can enjoy the benefit of brand loyalty. This is because these companies make products that are tailored to the needs of their clients, and they are made like that by ensuring that they have conducted market studies and that they have done the proper research that is needed by the company (Walker, 1998). This is the height that this company intends to reach, and it is necessary to follow all the steps that are required to achieve this in the long run.
Process of bringing a new product or service to the market
To have a new market product or service being brought into the market, there is a need to analyze the market and learn the various issues that need to be addressed. Do specific questions have to be asked, such as is the required product in the market? Will it be able to compete with the market leader? Will it be desirable to the target audience? And other questions. These questions are asked to be able to establish a basis for bringing the product into the market, and it enables the company to start on its research by deploying the necessary strategies.
At first, the company will have to conduct a survey, and this survey will be able to establish if the market needs these products. This will be done by identifying the gap in the market for the product. It will tell us whether the different target groups need a product that is tailored to their needs (Mulder, 2004). Once this is done, it will be easier for the company to have the knowledge and develop a product that is capable of satisfying the needs of these persons. Also, it can be able to establish whether there should be gender-specific products in this case, and this will lead to the development of those types of products (Cohen, 2005). These surveys enable the company to have a pool of knowledge that is necessary for creating newer and improved outcomes.
The company will also set out to know what the customers need by engaging and interacting with customers by creating polls that are suited to target the audience who consume a specific type of product (Goi, 2009). These polls can be run on social media, and they can enable the company to gain certain aspects of their products through the results.
Marketing is vital for any business, and if a business is conducted in the professional framework, it has to include marketing. This makes the products much better, and it gives the company many areas to work on by establishing the necessary tools and strategies for the same issue. Most companies have marketing initiatives that allow them to thrive and become profitable and also realize a profit. If the approach is flawed, it could lead to the company having issues in productivity and profit margins that are significant for the company.
Amoo S. (2017). MARKETING STRATEGY: The Science of Perfect Decision Making Taught by Market Wizards Due to Market Research for Better Market Plan. Independently published.
Cohen, William A.. (2005). The Marketing Plan. Fourth Edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc
Gardner, D (1985). “Strategic Marketing: History, Issues, and Emergent Themes.” In Strategic Marketing and Management, edited by Howard Thomas and David Gardner. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Goi, C. L. (2009). A review of marketing mix: 4Ps or more?. International journal of marketing studies, 1(1), 2.
Hys, K. (2017). Mechanisms Stimulating Actions Customer-Decision Maker on the Market: Marketing Mix Instruments. In DIEM: Dubrovnik International Economic Meeting (Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 566-576). Sveučilište u Dubrovniku.
Mulder, D. (2004). The evolution of marketing communication: From selling to integration. Communicare: Journal for Communication Sciences in Southern Africa, 23(1), 220-237.
Walker, O C., (1998). Marketing Strategy: Planning and Implementation. 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill College Div.
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