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MARKETING PLAN OF PRODUCT AND SERVICE Marketing plan then, is a dynamic document which focuses on bringing marketing strategies

to life, serving as a roadmap for carrying out marketing activities and implementing marketing strategies. It is a multi-step process, which considers the following:
1) Formulating a strategy of your company or your division and making sure that appropriate linkages are made between company strategy and marketing activity planning. 2) Analyzing the environment within which you do business to make sure you Consider the marketplace, the industry, competitors, and other influences. 3) Carrying out market profiling, enabling you to identify market segment, target customer types, and overall demand. Additionally, analysis of the industry and competitors, coupled with analysis of customer types, enables the creation of demand possibilities and the resulting forecasts. It also allows you to formulate appropriate value propositions, and to position the products key benefits to the target audience, and finally, why a customer would choose your solution versus the competition. and expressing key values and benefits to the target audience 4) The marketing mix, which considers a combination of activities which come together harmoniously, in bringing the product to market and sustaining it while in the market, which includes: i. Deciding on which products meet the need of identified market targets ii. Pricing those products so that the true, competitive value is recognized by the market targets. iii. Defining promotional programs to reach those targets,which can include communications and advertising programs. iv. Creating channels to effectively distribute your products to your target audience. 5) Determining who youll need to work with in successfully bringing the product to market, including sales teams (to make sure that volumes can be attained), 6) Launching new products or product line extensions as needed. 7) Training the sales force to competitively position the product or service. 8) Budgeting of marketing programs so that the appropriate sales goals and corporate strategies can be attained. 9) Executing on the plan - creating marketing project plans, and understanding dependencies on other organizations. Also included are measurements to determine the success of your marketing activities.

10) Identifying risks.

Step 1 Define the Strategy Strategy is carried out as a multi-step process, defined as:

1) Assessing the current situation (where you are) 2) Identifying the desired end state or goal (where you want to be) 3) Mapping a path to achieve the goal (the strategy) 4) Creating measurements to determine success factors 5) Re-assessing the situation and revise the strategy Each is described below: SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The overarching goal of SWOT is to determine where the companys products, services, or product lines fit within the context of the internal and the external environments. Conducting this analysis helps you to figure out where it is today, and where it needs to be in the future. Use this table to organize the elements
Strengths (what youre really good at) Opportunities (how to leverage your strengths) Weaknesses (where youre falling short) Threats (your vulnerabilities due to your weaknesses or competitor strengths)

An outcome of the SWOT analysis is to help you define what youre good at and to leverage those strengths to determine the opportunities you might be able to take advantage of. Weaknesses reveal your vulnerabilities. By harnessing this data, youll have a way to validate and guide your marketing investments. From this exercise, you can also derive some key marketing objectives which carry through to the next exercise.
The ultimate goal is to uncover opportunities on which your company can capitalize.

Step 2 Business Environment Analysis

Analyzing the business environment is situated as Step 2 in this template to emphasize its importance in data gathering. Steps 1 and 2, formulating strategy and business environment analysis can actually go hand in hand. The reason is that these are surveying techniques that allow you to put the information into perspective. Business environment analysis actually can help feed SWOT analyses. The reason for this is that the business environmentinfluences your strategies. For example, an competitive threat influences how you identify or prioritize new opportunities. Marketing professionals often refer to environmental analysis as scanning. Business environmental analysis is not a one-time event; it is an on-going effort. It is incumbent on team members to adopt a focus on scanning the horizon and be constantly on the look out for shifts and changes. Since the marketplace is always changing, your

awareness helps you to understand business drivers and evolving customer needs, which leads to the identification of market opportunities, alert you to potential problems with customers, competitors, and the industry in general. Another area on which you may with to focus when deriving strategies for products or markets has to do with understanding of Key Business Issues what are the compelling issues impacting current marketing strategies and programs? Are there overwhelming issues relating to unmet demand or business need which has been uncovered? To help understand or visualizing business issues is to organize them in a table like the one shown below. List each key business issue and each possible marketing strategy which could be considered in relation to each business issue and then list any resource requirements. Summarize these in the table below:
Finally, write your business environment analysis based on the data you collect and

make sure its aligned with the opportunities identified in your SWOT.
Step 3 Market Profiling

Market profiling involves the market research that needs to be carried out. The ultimate goal is to identify the attractiveness of the marketplace and the competitive posture you wish to assume. From this, you can determine the ultimate demand for your product or service with respect to market share, revenue potential, and ultimately, the profitability of your products and services. Market profiling is made up of the following activities: 1)Analyzing the industry in which your company compete. Here are some approaches to identifying the characteristics of the industry: a. Identify if there are any political issues in the geographic area of interest. b. Determine the general state of the economy. c. Understand any of the societal trends or issues which may be prevalent in your area of interest. d. Consider the state of the technologies used in this market space e. Secure actual growth rates of the industry using visuals to show the trend lines. f. Find out if there are any trends you can discern being used within this industry space. g. Determine how products and services are actually delivered from supplier to customer. 2)Understanding the competitors with whom you compete. In order to carry this out, here are some suggestions: a. Make a list of competitors, along with the products they offer. Can you determine the total revenue of all competitors combined? This could give you a rough estimate of the size of the overall marketplace.

b. Determine the brand images of each of the competitors. c. Identify how each of the products are positioned in the market and with respect to other competitors. d. Find out who their suppliers are. e. Determine the number of employees on staff, and whether they are hiring more people or cutting back, and why. f. Make a list of the kinds of activities they engaged in over the past year or two. For example, did they introduce new products, adjust their prices, embark on advertising campaigns, etc. i. Take this list and figure out what you think they might do next, and ii. Make a list of the kinds of things you might want to compete. g. Use the following table to create a profile for each competitor:
3)Identifying market segments and ultimate customers to pursue.Market

segments represent groupings of customer types who have similar needs. Market segmentation helps the product manager or marketing manager to tailor a specific marketing mix to satisfy the needs of a group of customers (a segment). Market targets are sub-groups with similar needs. For each of the following exercise, you may be broadly defining market segments, or defining market targets within those segments. The more finely focused your efforts, that is, on your target markets, the more focused your marketing programs will be. Since customers are driven by needs (problems that need to be solved), your complete understanding of these segments, and the targeted groups will help you with more finely tuned marketing programs. Use this questioning technique to help you: a. Name the segment or segments i. Use age, geography, or other means

Example People living in the northeast states b. Define the target i. Use more detailed categorizations

Example Employed males aged 50-60 living in New York State with incomes over $75,000 c. Define the buying process. Depending on the kind of product and the market (business to consumer products versus business to business products), you need to be able to define how people make purchasing decisions. In businesses, the decision maker may be different than the actual user of the product. Consumers, depending on whether the product is a daily staple, durable necessity (cars, appliances, etc.), or impulse item, the buying process is different.

4)Forecasting sales volumes and market share. Most people equate forecasting to short-term estimates of sales or unit volumes. Forecasting to evaluate market opportunities and potential profitability is a long-range planning activity and is more complex. The reason becomes clear when considering that all businesses try to create forecasts so they can put business and marketing programs into perspective. For example, marketing programs may require periodic investments or product groups may be considering the launch of a new or improved product, or businesses may be considering expansion into new markets. Therefore, key decisions are made based on forecasts. Unfortunately, most forecasts are inaccurate. Thats because they are forecasts. It is a difficult task at best especially in industries where market conditions can change rapidly. However, we can try to minimize the errors of forecasting by trying to understand as much about the market environment as possible so that we can determine if there is a market for a product or service, where that market is and how much of it can be captured over what period of time? Once the market is understood and believed to be attractive, one can then determine what investment should be made in marketing activities to access that market. Your market share forecasts may be driven by some of the following (although these will vary by industry and market): a. The maximum number of customers in a market area b. The number of customers whose needs create an interest in specific products and services c. The rate at which customers actually use products d. The affordability of products being offered e. The value and benefits of the products being offered If you were running an airport and wanted to find out the probability of success for a retail store selling travel supplies and impulse items, you might need to find out how many passengers go through the airport every day. You would need to understand the number of planes, their capacity and schedules in order to figure out how many people would actually be passing through a given area, and then make assumptions about the number of people who would have an interest in shopping in that store. Further, you would want to figure out how much an average purchase might be in that store and multiply that amount by the number of people who you believe might go into that store. This is just the beginning
Without further elaboration, it can be seen that the research involved in market profiling is critical. You need to understand the industry, the competitors and potential customers to understanding the size of the market for the opportunities in which you are interested.

Step 6 Launching Products and/or Services

If the marketing plan includes the introduction of a new product, a line-extension, or derivative, a formal launch plan should be established. The product launch is an intense series of activities and tasks that actually begins in the early product development phase. The product launch should be treated as a complex project with a variety of dates and deliverables, and is a representation of the confluence of development and marketing activities, and is best achieved through efficient cross-functional team interactions. There are complex dependencies between cross-functional team members.
Step 7 Training the Sales force
As products and services evolve, the sales force should have updated information and training so they are prepared to qualify customers and represent the value and benefits provided by the products and services they represent. Whether or not the sales force is direct or indirect, they need to be equipped with the right tools to drive the revenue objectives of the firm. This section is devoted to defining the work needed to help the sales force to sell. It should be written simply and concisely and in an objective style, and should include:

The markets on which youre focusing

Overviews about the products, services, or solutions overviews theyll be selling

Methods to qualify opportunities and to understand customer needs

Methods to capture the customers attention by providing compelling value propositions

Positioning for the product against the competition

Customer references

Resources where more information is available for sales teams 1) Selling Strategy Provide a paragraph or some bullets that can be used to help the sales teams to be successful 2) Describe the product, service or solution. If there are simple diagrams or product architectures, they should be included here. Furthermore, provide the following: a. List price and possible discounts b. A marketplace summary, including segments, targets, and ideal customer profiles. Also, help them to identify key buyers, users, influencers, or decision makers, if the situation warrants this. c. The availability dates, which correspond to the established market windows. 3) Teach the Sales force to get the customers attention and get them excited about whats being offered. Each target group has a specific set of needs. These were identified during the market segmentation and targeting. Compelling information which serves to surprise customers and prospects because of your knowledge and understanding of their specific issues and challenges will be highly beneficial to establishing rapport. The following sub-sections establish this framework for you, and were described in other parts of this marketing plan.

. a. A description of the market segment and the target groups in this segment b. Listing of observed customer issues and challenges, which may be articulated as needs. c. The value proposition (see earlier sections on this topic) which can be used to describe the benefits of the product, service or solution d. The positioning statement. Pay particular attention to your advantages versus the competition. e. An analysis of the competition

Step 8 Budgeting
No marketing or business plan is complete without a financial plan. The budgets established for this marketing plan should be prepared within the context of the financial targets for the firm. Furthermore, the financial plan establishes some of the metrics against which actual performance will be evaluated as the plan is executed. Here is a sample profit and loss statement with a more detailed view of the marketing plans and programs magnified, to show how these marketing budgets are integrated with the financial plan. The numbers are fictitious and are used for demonstration purposes only.

Step 9 Executing

Just like the Launch plan, the marketing plan is usually carried out by a number of individuals from other business functions, or other groups within the marketing department. If, for example, there is a pricing team, and their programs are dependent on the advertising and promotion teams work with outside agencies, their work plans need to be coordinated and the associated dependencies identified. As the marketing teams meet together, or with the cross-functional product team, the deliverables and metrics should be fully understood so that program status and issues can be communicated.
Step 10 Risk Analysis

As described, all operational elements and project plans need to come together seamlessly, results tracked against performance metrics, and corrective actions taken. Unfortunately, this isnt always the case. This section should be used to articulate the risks and issues that may emerge if deadlines arent met or results arent achieved. The mere mention of these items is only the first step. The real challenge is to define the alternative action plans should a specific condition be encountered Conclusion A marketing plan, like other plans, is a roadmap, enabling a business to define its current situation (where are we?), its goals (where do we want to go?) and the path to get there (the marketing strategy and the tactical plans, as represented by the marketing mix). Carrying out this process requires a degree of discipline, structure,

and some creativity. It cannot be emphasized enough that market profiling and research be carried out on an ongoing basis. The marketplace is filled with so many dynamics, that by not paying attention, you could lose your competitive advantage. For additional information, contact Sequent Learning Networks, your trusted source for marketing and product managem

ent training and advisory services.