Before starting a venture, every business owner should prepare a marketing plan, so that it can understand the environment in which they will be operating, to identify which category of customer needs your product or service, how your business can fulfill their needs as well as to understand the existing players in the market.
What’s in it for me?
- Steps in building the marketing plan
- Importance of the marketing plan
STEPS IN BUILDING THE MARKETING PLAN
For all these points to be covered you will need a strong marketing plan, the structure of which is mentioned below:
- Carry out SWOT ANALYSIS looking into the data available
The very first thing while building a Marketing Plan you must do is SWOT analysis. It is a situation analysis that gives you the idea of the environment where you will be setting up your business.
- SET MARKETING OBJECTIVES- Sales related, profits related, competition related
In the second step of Marketing Plan you have to decide what your company wants to achieve in the long run.
- MARKETING STRATEGIES- Segmentation-Targeting and Positioning
The process of STP is done to simplify the framework of the firm’s marketing mix while framing the marketing plan.
- MARKETING TACTICS- 4P’s or 7P’s as the case may be
In this step of the marketing plan we have to decide the marketing mix accordingly. In case of product, your marketing mix should consist 4P’s whereas in case of service, it should be of 7P’s.
- MARKETING CONTROL- Metrics like Market penetration, market share, sales, TOMAS
These metrics help to measure the performance of marketing done by the company.
# 1: SWOT ANALYSIS IN MARKETING PLAN
SWOT means Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats. Strength and Weakness are discovered from your internal environment whereas Opportunity and Threats to study your external environment.
SW- Internal Environment
Strength are the capabilities that your business have, for instance it can be the USP (unique selling proposition) or any technology used. Whereas Weakness is a flaw that might make your company fall and lose it’s value in the market so a company must have a backup plan to tackle it.
OT- External Environment
Opportunity is a possibility of getting favorable outcome under any market condition so the marketer always have to keep eyes open to avail such opportunities. Lastly, Threats are the warnings of something that can cause harm to your business, so it’s better to untap those areas of threats.
# 2: MARKETING OBJECTIVES IN MARKETING PLAN
If the objective is sales related then the company must focus on lead generation, focusing on sales staff,etc. But it is profit related then company must focus on brand loyalty, retaining customers, etc. And if competition based, then focus areas should be creating awareness.
# 3: MARKETING STRATEGIES- STP IN MARKETING PLAN
It is dividing the whole population into segments of similar traits as well as characteristics on the basis of:
- Demographics– age, gender, religion, educational qualification, etc,
- Psycho graphic– shares values, personality traits, beliefs, attitude, interests, lifestyle, etc,
- Geographic– based on location city, state, country, etc,
- Behavioral– buying pattern, usage frequency, brand loyalty, etc.
Targeting is selecting one or more than one customer segment who needs your product and service and focusing on that group. Categorize your targeting strategy amongst:
- Undifferentiated- which focuses on mass,
- Differentiated- focus on various segments through various products or services,
- Concentrated- focus only on few or one segment or even niche or
- Micro targeting- focuses on individual or personalization.
It is placing your product or services in the minds of customer and making them believe how your product is different from those of competitors. Hence positioning is acquiring a specific place in the minds of customers.
Source: STP- Segmentation Targeting and Positioning by Sahil Khanna
# 4: MARKETING TACTICS- 4P’s or 7P’s IN MARKETING PLAN
It refers to the variety of product line you will offer to your customer and also determines the functionality of packaging. In brief packaging includes functions like:
- protecting the product,
- promoting the product,
- communicating about the product- giving additional information, furthermore
- providing convenience in handling the product.
The marketer can choose any one amongst them.
This includes objectives like cost of the product, competitors price, profitability, etc. and then determining which pricing strategy to adopt.
Place refers to the channel of distribution. In this mix, you have to determine the place of availability from where customer can purchase your product.
It includes reaching broader audience through various promotional activities like:
- advertising– print media, digital advertising, etc.,
- sales promotion– discounts, coupons,etc.,
- personal selling– sales presentation, trade shows, etc.,
- direct marketing– catalogs, kiosks, etc. as well as
- public relation– sponsorship, events, etc.
And the extended 7P’s include:
This mix includes:
- Employees– they must buy our vision, they are our internal customers,
- Internal marketing– recruit the best, train and keep their morale high.
This refers to standardization of processes through S-O-P, standard operating procedures.
It encompasses Facade, atrium, facilities, State-of -the-art technology, Equipment’s, Employee uniform, Signage’s, Ambiance- lights, colors together with Music.
Additionally for more information read: Ingredients of Service Marketing- 4 Important Concepts
Example of marketing mix:
- Product: Insurance
- Price: premium to be paid, fines for lapses
- Place: agent or website (channel)
- Promo: ads, websites, newspapers, hoardings
- People: agents or employees with expertise and empathy
- Process: buying, maturity, claims SOPs
- Physical evidence: Home page of website, offices or branches and their state of art equipment
# 5: MARKETING CONTROL IN MARKETING PLAN
For a newly launched product, market penetration is introducing your product in the market in such a way that it gain sufficient market share. For existing product, it is focusing on selling your existing products to acquire highest market share.
It denotes to the portion of the market that your product or service acquire. For instance- If a company X earns Rs. 400 crore in the market and the overall market size is Rs. 1000 crore i.e. the overall revenue earned in the industry is Rs. 1000 crore, then it acquires 40% of the market share.
Top Of the Mind Awareness Score is a measures that tells which brand name comes first in the consumers mind when asked for a particular product or a given situation. For example, which chocolate name comes first in your mind when I say Festival. If it’s Cadbury Celebration then it has definitely secured the top of the mind awareness score.
IMPORTANCE OF MARKETING PLAN
Easy to Tackle Future Uncertainties
If you got a plan and work according to it, so it will be easier for your business to handle uncertainties as planning avoids any risk of failure.
Once you have designed the framework of your marketing plan, it gets easy to define the objectives and once objectives get laid, it gets easy for the management to work. Consequently your team can work in systematic matter having a goal on their mind.
Clarity in Doing Work
If you have a detailed plan, things get clear. Where to invest time and money and where to not. Therefore when you have clarity in work there are less chances in wasting as well as exploiting resources. You have specific things to focus on and handle them with utmost priority.
When things work according to the plan, you get systematic results and with uniform operation customer gets satisfied. As they know clearly that your operations does not have any fault so they can rely on products and services. Even if they come along with any complain you can resolve them easily without anything getting haywire.
Once you have designed your plan, you get to know what to do and how to do. With a proper organised plan, you can lead your team smoothly by giving them right direction. You can even make things easy when you know the right time to grab the available opportunity.
Better Utilization of Resources
Having a good plan gives you the direction of what resources to be used, when to use and where to use, this result in adequate utilization of resources and avoid any type of wastage.
This blog will act as a tutorial on how to build the marketing plan while setting up a new business. Article has provided step- by- step guidance on how to plan, consisting of 5 simple steps. Firstly explained SWOT analysis then STP following that Marketing Mix was explained and lastly what marketing control measures to be adopted. Elaboration on the importance of Marketing Plan is also mentioned.
Also Read: ONLINE BUSINESS IDEA (2020)
It can help a business grow smoothly. Since the business has a well structured plan and a vision to expand exponentially. It will also help in tackling unforeseen circumstances.
In the initial stage of the business or before incorporation. Because the very first stage of any business is planning, when you have a great plan, your business will succeed undoubtedly.