The importance of a marketing plan to an organization cannot be undermined. A marketing plan lays out detailed aspects of a company’s positioning, market approach, and actions it should take to achieve its marketing goals. A good marketing plan is specific about what you will do and how you will do it.
Understanding the Importance of a Marketing Plan for an Organisation is vital for companies to grow. Read about how you can market yourself effectively with a marketing plan
Because one aspect of a marketing plan affects all of the others, coordinating your activities is critical to eliminating interference and maximizing your profits. A marketing strategy looks at all of the areas of your selling activities and helps each one support the next, making sure all of your departments are aware of what each is doing. Understanding how to create an integrated marketing strategy will help you make better individual decisions regarding specific marketing tactics.
Streamlines Product Development
A marketing strategy helps you create products and services with the best chances for making a profit. This is because marketing strategy starts with marketplace research, taking into consideration your optimal target customer, what your competition is doing and what trends might be on the horizon. Using this information, you determine the benefits customers and clients want, what they’re willing to pay and how you can differentiate your product or service from the competition.
Helps Determine Optimal Prices
Part of a marketing strategy is setting the right price for your product or service based on what you learned in your market research. If you learned that customers want a high-end product in your category, your pricing strategy might require you to sell at prices that create a high-end perceived value. If your target customer is bargain conscious and is willing to accept fewer bells and whistles on your product in exchange for paying less, your pricing strategy will require you to sell at or below the competition’s price.
Establishes Effective Distribution
Once you know what product features you’ll offer, who your target customer is, and what your price points will be, you can select where you want to sell to maximize your marketing effectiveness. Younger customers will be more likely to shop using a smartphone or on a website, paying with PayPal or a credit card. Older customers might prefer to shop at retail outlets. If your market research shows you need to be in retail stores but you don’t have a sales force, you can use a wholesaler or distributor.
Assists with Marketing Communications
Your market research will help you create the brand or image you want to establish about your business. Without marketplace research and a strategic marketing plan, you might respond to solicitations from advertising salespeople on an individual, reactionary basis, sending messages that don’t fit in with the brand identity you’ve created based on your product development efforts. A marketing strategy lets you determine if a particular magazine, radio station, or website fits into your selling plans.
Organizational Impact and Communication
When you have a marketing strategy, your departments can better work with each other, because they are all working from the same plan. For example, your advertising people will talk with your product development people to determine what message you should send about your benefit. Your salespeople will talk with the people responsible for managing your image to determine if they can offer discounts, coupons, or rebates without damaging your brand.
The importance of strategic marketing in an organisation:
- Helps in evaluating the current environment: Strategic marketing helps in assessing the positioning and performance of an organisation. It is important to know what resources are at the disposal of an organisation at any given time. The data that is collected helps in understanding how well an organisation is performing within the overall competitive environment. This will also help the organisation in planning for future strategic marketing activities or plans.
- Helps in establishing clear marketing objectives: Having a strategic marketing plan in place helps in establishing achievable marketing objectives. The objectives should have a specific time-frame and should be measurable.
- Streamlines product development: Strategic marketing helps in creating products and services that provide the organisation with high profits. This is because strategic marketing starts off by conducting a SWOT analysis of the organisation, a market analysis of the consumers and the existing trends in the market. This information is then used to create the optimal products and services for the consumers.
A marketing plan is an important factor that affects the economic status and value of a business venture. Planning for marketing shows a clear idea and directions for successful and intelligent marketing procedures. Planning is the process of deciding what should be done and how to achieve a target. Planning is the first stage before marketing and it includes preparation of the policies, marketing procedures, budgets, etc. proper marketing plan increases the market and economic value of the business.
A marketing plan works on the principle of marketing-based actions for the future minimizing the cause of any uncertainties and risks and producing decisions for that. Marketing planning determines the future of a business or an organization, showing light upon the product and marketing development, sales promotion, and profitability.
The importance of proper planning for marketing are:
- It helps to avoid occurrence of any future uncertainties.
- Provides a clear communication and coordination among different sectors
- Helps in achieving higher performance standards.
- It helps in controlling the marketing development of the organisation
- Makes the customers fully satisfied
- It helps in doing the marketing procedures through the objectives and helps in achieving them.
According to Mintzberg, the mission statement of the marketing plan is, “organization’s basic function in the society, in terms of the products and services it produces for its costumers”. The mission of the marketing plan is to provide a clear idea of what steps to be undertaken to achieve a goal, and thus making the marketing venture a success.
The four elements of a clear business mission are:
- Purpose – The purpose describes on why the business exists. What is the purpose of the existence of a business.
- Values – Values are the basic beliefs of the people working for the business. This can include;
- Basic business principles
- Loyalty and commitment of the employers towards the business
- Guidance on expected behaviour – to promote a good work environment.
- Standards and behaviour – This analyse the working pace and everyday activities and take decisions and actions to improve it day-by-day.
- Strategy and scope – This explains two things;
- The products and services it offers
- The competences and method it follows
This describes the boundaries of a business that is set by the management.
Mission and Objectives
The main objectives of the marketing plan are:
- To increase the market and the economic value of the business venture.
- Increase the sales and brand awareness
- Achieve the target
- Launch and promote new services and products
- Enhance the relationship with the customer
- Make a stronger coordination with different sectors
- Improve internal communication and the stakeholder relationship
SWOT analysis simply means Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
SWOT analysis enables us to identify the internal strengths and weaknesses of the business.
Strength – The strengths of the organization should be identified in comparison to the competitors. What characteristics of the company are better than others, its unique selling proposition, low-coat market value service or item, advantages compared to the other companies, etc. are studied in this part.
While analyzing the strengths of the company, it must be always analyzed in comparison to other ventures or companies. And all the internal aspects, as well as the concepts from the consumer side, should be known.
Weakness – This part helps to identify the flaws that should be improvised. All the factors that must be studied and improved, what made a loss to the business, what should be avoided, etc. are to be studied in this area.
In this case, both the internal aspects and the customer side review should be considered and taken into a note.
Opportunities – Opportunities are like the chances that help in promoting the venture. Identifying any interesting factors or trends, making one of the characteristics an opportunity, any local events, changes in policies and technologies are some of the things that can be done.
Opportunities can help in promoting the business and increase its market standard, by taking part in any local events and improvising any visible weaknesses. Utilizing the unique feature of the organization is also a good method.
Threat – Threats analyses the possible risks or problems that could arise in the future. Competitive policies of other companies, weak factors of the company, technologies, lack of proper updating and knowledge about the modern market, cash- debts, etc. are some of the possible threats.
These can be identified using PEST analysis, or similar features, and this helps in avoiding the most possible risks.
Fig 3.3: SWOT Analysis
Segmentation is a marketing planning procedure where one or more market segments are identified. One or more market segments where the company can provide service are identified based on the marketing criteria. These criteria should be based on the products that the company sells or the services they provide.
The market segments should be divided based on the market around the company. The type of customers should be considered in this process.
Any common criteria can be used, any common characteristic of the customers, company products, etc. possible types of criteria are:
Geographic Segmentation – This includes the distance from the store and its position.
Demographic Segmentation – This segmentation is based on the factors like age, gender, or education.
Psychographic Segmentation – This includes the personality, values, etc of the segment users.
Behavioral Segmentation – Behavioural segmentation is based on the benefits, usage, user structure, etc. of the consumers.
Every possible criterion would not match the marketing plan all the time. It always depends on the type of business plan. So, the choice of criteria should always be careful as it affects the marketing plan. The chosen criteria should match the marketing strategy of your business.
If the marketing plan is to focus on only one segment, then choose the criteria that seem more attractive to the segment customers. On the other hand, if the plan is to focus on multiple segments, then the criteria should be chosen to develop multiple marketing approaches.
Marketing strategy outlines the plan of the business in finding the client and customers for the business and to achieve the target or the goal. A company can have more than one marketing strategy at a time using different marketing media including digital media, networking, and print media. It helps you identify the customers, understand their needs, and implement the most effective marketing methods.
Purpose of marketing strategy:
- It provides an edge over the competitors.
- It helps in developing goods and services in best profit-making potential.
- Helps in increasing the departmental coordination.
- It helps in fixing the advertising budgets in advance.
Types of marketing strategy:
- Interactive marketing – This method encourages active participation between the consumer and the marketing campaign. Interactive marketing is becoming a trend due to the consumers’ high demand for better online experience and modern technologies.
- Digital marketing – Digital marketing uses a medium to promote the marketing. Traditional methods include television and print advertisements. Modern methods include text messages, emailing, online advertisement streaming, signing up for emails, etc.
- Internet or online marketing – Online marketing is the most trending method, as it enables the retailer to reach out to the costumer online, advertise the products and sell it over the internet.
A marketing plan is an essential document for any organization to have in place to formulate the basic strategies to be employed and services offered by that business.