Marketing Plan -Definition, stages, components and types of Marketing plan
Marketing is very important to any good business. Marketing is simply the activities that a company adopts to encourage the buying or selling of their product and services. It helps a businessman reach and connect with his targeted audience.
It speeds up the growth of the business in the long run. Marketing is important because, without it, your business will remain at the bottom unnoticed and may eventually die. It is possible for one to advertise your business without any direction. It is also possible to advertise your business with a clear plan.
At this juncture, a marketing plan is a necessity, not an option.
Definition of Marketing Plan
According to James Chen, a marketing plan is a process of organising and defining the market aims of a company and gathering strategies and tactics to achieve them. It is an operational document that outlines an advertising strategy that an organization will implement to generate leads and reach its target market.
The marketing plan should be considered when making a business plan. It singles out the target market for a product or brand. It does not deal with a list of actions without a sound business plan.
Stages of Marketing Plan
The first stage of a marketing plan entails sales projections and evaluation of former promotional activities to assess their potency. Analysing a product qualifies a company to identify areas that the plan should really focus on and areas that focus will be adjusted.
The analysis also involves the new strategies of the business goal can be implemented.
The second stage of a marketing plan is to outline marketing objectives, goals and strategies. Here, it is pertinent to establish the relationships between the designed activities so as to achieve an effective plan.
Components of a Marketing Plan
A good marketing plan should focus on the creation, timing and assessment for specific campaigns and include the metrics that will determine the result of the marketing efforts.
1. Market Segmentation and Target Market: It involves assessing the whole population that could be possible for the customers of your product and then parting them based on varying measures. The company or organization choose the group that it feels its product can best serve and is in line with the budget.
This segment forms your target market. One important aspect that has been overlooked over the years is knowing who makes up the market, the product or service. There has to be a collaboration with the target market and marketing channel decisions.
For example, a company that sells coloured contacts may have a primary target market of makeup artists in the film and theatre industry. However, they may find that there is significant revenue to be found in entering more mainstream channels and marketing to women in their twenties who are eager to experiment new eye colours on special occasions.
2. Marketing Mix: It is the combination of component that influences customers to purchase a product. They are Product, Price, Place and Promotion. They are usually called the 4P’s of Marketing. Product is the material and immaterial good that a business offers.
Price according to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, is the cost required to gain possession of something. Great attention should be paid to price because customers tend to consider it a lot. Promotion can be done as the avenues which the company advertises a product.
Promotions are targeted to a certain audience and may involve endorsement, eye-catchy words or slogans, and attractive graphic designs. These promotions can be done through the radio, newspaper, posters, billboards, flyers, social media (Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Snap chat, Instagram) or Television.
3. Budget should be put into consideration. The budget and marketing plan must work for hand and hand so that returns are not overestimated, overspent or underspent.
Other components include Customer Relationship Management, Key Takeaways, Additional Resources and Distribution Channel.
Types of Marketing Plan
There are two types of a marketing plan. There are long term marketing plan and a short term marketing plan.
A long term marketing plan is a plan that is more than one year. It looks at marketing research program, selection of channel of distribution, selection of price policy, media advertising and sales promotions.
A short term marketing plan is a plan that covers less than one year. It looks at the medium level of management.