Developing and Implementing Marketing Plans

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Marketing Plans

Marketing plan: written details of the activities to be used to carry out the marketing strategy

Final stage of the marketing planning process

The set of tactics will include:

·         A description of all the activities involved i.e. the marketing mix

·         A time frame

·         Reasons justifying each action

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SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis: a method of analysing the current situation by examining the internal strengths and weaknesses of the business and the opportunities and threats of the external environment.

Assessment of the firm’s current position.

·         Strengths- what the business is good at and why it is successful

·         Weaknesses- the aspects of the business that could hold back development strategies

·         Opportunities- what is happening in the market?

·         Threats- anything that will constrain the activities of the business.

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Situation Analysis

Situation analysis: an assessment of the business, is customers, competitors and the market environment

Builds on SWOT analysis and market research to create a picture of the business situation:

·         The business: the internal resources and processes of the company

·         Customers: demand and behaviour

·         Competitors activity and technological developments

·         The market environment: the structure of the market, for example competitive and relationships with suppliers and partners.

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Budgets

Control the money used for activities such as advertising and market research. It is not always the case that very large companies have unlimited funds to spend on marketing

Spending must be justified and reviewed in relation to SMART targets to ensure it represents value for money

Size of the marketing budget may depend on:

·         How much competitors are spending on marketing, if a major rival increases expenditure on promotion and or product development, it may be necessary to do the same. (reactive)

·         Expected returns: past success may lead to increased marketing expenditure in the hope of achieving similar results in the future

·         The current financial position of the business: if trading conditions are difficult, then the money allocated to marketing may be reduced. 

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Sales forecasts

Ways of analysing markets using data from a range of sources:

·         Back- data: successful marketing plans from the past can form the basis of future plans, and any mistakes may be identified, analysed and, hopefully eliminated. Employees can use their expertise which should increase confidence about the success of future marketing plans

·         Current trends: marketing analysis provides a picture of the current situation. Will answer questions such as when, why and where products are purchased, and who is the most serious rival in the marketplace.

·         Future expectations: techniques such as extrapolation, moving averages and test marketing and predictions about competitor behaviour, technological developments, social and economic trends.- These predictions are not exact, especially if you look too far into the future, but are still valuable.

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Marketing strategies

Direct link between strategies selected by the business to achieve its objectives and the marketing tactics identified in the marketing plan to implement the strategies.

Marketing tactics: the marketing mix activities (price, place, product and promotion) undertaken to achieve a chosen marketing strategy.

Marketing mix should be considered

Most appropriate tactics will become clear from an analysis of all the above components of the plan. 

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Internal influence on marketing plans. Finance ava

Business cannot allocate money that is not available

However, could be argued that if the company can raise the finance, spending on marketing should increase in adverse conditions, so that market share can be maintained or increased or new markets developed.

However, many firms are nervous about spending when turnover/ profits are falling.  

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Operational Issues

eg. how long is the manufacturing process or how practical is the packaging.?

If the two areas do not communicate, the marketing plan will be ineffective because the product will not be available in the right quantity for the customer to buy when required.

The methods of production used by the organisation are also significant: the capacities available, the flexibility of the system and quality issues.

Relationship between operations and marketing does not only apply for manufacturing sector- same implications for service provision; stocks and equipment, must be in place to meet expected demand.

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