I. Summary of a marketing plan
Marketing planning (specified in the marketing plan) is an essential organizational activity, considering the hostile and complex competitive business environment. Our ability and abilities to make profitable sales are affected by hundreds of internal and external factors that interact in ways that are difficult to assess. A marketing manager must understand and build a picture of these variables and their interactions, and must make rational decisions.
Let’s see, what do we call a “marketing plan”? It is the result of the planning activity, a document that includes a review of the organization’s place in the market, an analysis of STEP factors as well as a SWOT analysis. A complete plan would also make some assumptions as to why we believe the previous marketing strategy was or was not successful. The next phase will present the goals we set, along with strategies to achieve these goals. In a logical sequence, we will need to evaluate the results and formulate alternative action plans. A plan would consist of details of responsibilities, costs, sales forecast, and budget issues.
In the end, we must not forget to specify how the plan (or plans) will be controlled, by what means we will measure its results.
We will see how to build the marketing plan, what is its structure: then we will see how to build the traditional marketing plan, we will take a look at the electronic marketing plan and we will see how the unique characteristics of the Internet will require some changes in the approach to writing a marketing plan. marketing.
But, before we continue, we must understand and accept that the steps of the marketing plan are universal. It is a logical approach to planning activity, no matter where we apply it. The differences that you find from one plan to another consist in the degree of formality that is granted to each phase, depending on the size and nature of the organization involved. For example, a small and poorly diversified company would adopt less formal procedures, because managers in these cases have more experience and functional knowledge than subordinates, and are able to achieve direct control over most factors. In contrast, in a company with diversified activity, senior managers are less likely to have functional information than subordinate managers. Therefore, the planning process must be formulated to ensure strict discipline for all those involved in the decision chain.
II. The overall marketing plan.
The classic marketing plan would follow the following 8-stage scheme:
1. State the mission: this is the planning stage when we establish organizational orientations and intentions, thus providing a sense of direction. In most cases, it is a general presentation of the company’s intentions and is almost philosophical in nature.
2. Current goal setting: It is essential that the organization tries to determine precisely the objectives to be achieved. These objectives, to be feasible, must be SMART. SMART is an acronym and stands for “specific”, “measurable”, “attainable”, “realistic” and “timed”. The objectives should also convey the overall mission of the organization.
3. Collection of information: This stage is based on the concept of marketing audit. After performing the audit of the macro environment analyzing the STEP factors (social, technological, economic and political), we must focus on the immediate external environment (the micro environment) and analyze the competitive environment, costs and markets. Finally, we will conclude with the SWOT analysis, in this way we will have an overview of the internal environment compared to the external one. SWOT analysis combines the two perspectives, from inside and outside, because Strengths and Weaknesses are internal issues of an organization, while Opportunities and Threads come from outside.
4. Reformulation of objectives: After the detailed examination of the data collected in the previous stage, it is sometimes necessary to reformulate the initial objectives to address all the problems that may have arisen from the previous stage. The distance between the initial objective and the reformulated objective will be covered by the appropriate strategies. We need to make sure that the reworded goal is also SMART.
5. Establishment of strategies: various strategies must be formulated to bridge the gap between what we want to achieve and what is possible to achieve, with the resources at our disposal. As we would normally have several options, we must analyze them and choose the one that has the best chance of achieving the marketing objectives.
6. Action plan: it consists of a very detailed description of the procedures and means to implement the actions we want to take. For example, if the strategy involves an increase in the volume of advertising, the action plan should establish where the ads will be placed, the dates and frequency of advertising campaigns, a set of procedures for evaluating their effectiveness. The actions we plan to take must be clearly formulated, measurable, and the results must be monitored and evaluated.
7. Implementation and control: They consist of the set of activities that must be carried out to execute the marketing plan in accordance with the objectives set by the marketer. At this stage, it is essential to obtain the support of all members of the organization, especially when the marketing plan must affect the organization from its foundations.
8. Performance measurement: It constitutes the last but not the least important stage of the marketing plan, since we can only achieve what we can measure. In order to measure the performance achieved through the marketing plan, we need to constantly monitor each previous stage of the plan.
The marketing plan that has a feedback loop, from the eighth stage to the fourth. This is because sometimes during the planning process we may need to go through stages 4-8 multiple times before the final plan can be written.
third The electronic marketing plan
The e-marketing plan is based on exactly the same principles as the classic plan. There is no different approach, but there may be some formal differences due to the uniqueness of the Internet environment. Many of these differences stem from the need to ensure a high response rate from customers, as the electronic world moves faster and requires quicker reaction from your business, compared to the traditional offline market.
While it is perfectly acceptable and common practice to use the classic 8-stage model for your e-marketing plan as well, you may want to consider the simplified version proposed by Chaffey, who identifies four main steps in building your e-marketing plan. marketing plan:
1.Strategic analysis: It consists of a continuous scanning of the macro and micro-environment. The emphasis should be on the rapidly changing needs of consumers in the online marketplace, as well as monitoring the actions of competitors and evaluating the opportunities offered by new technologies.
2. Definition of strategic objectives: the organization must have a clear vision and establish if the communication channels will complement the traditional ones, or replace them. We must define specific objectives (don’t forget to check if they are SMART!) and we must also specify the contribution of online activities to the turnover of the organization.
3. Formulation of strategies – we do this by addressing the following essential issues:
– develop strategies towards target markets;
– positioning and differentiation strategies;
– set priorities for online activities;
– focus attention and efforts on CRM and financial control;
– formulate strategies for product development;
– develop business models with well-established strategies for new products or services, as well as pricing policies;
– need for some organizational restructuring;
– changes in the structure of communication channels.
4. Implementation of strategies: It includes the careful execution of all the necessary steps to achieve the established objectives. It could refer to the relaunch of a website, promotional campaigns for a new or rewritten site, website efficiency monitoring, and much more.
Note: A common strategy to achieve e-marketing goals is the communication strategy. The steps to build a coherent communication plan will be presented in another article.
IV. The e-marketing plan (sample titles)
1. Executive Summary
has. overview of the current situation;
b. key aspects of the strategic e-marketing plan.
2. Situational analysis
has. characteristics of the electronic market;
b. possible success factors;
against analysis of competitors;
d. technological factors;
me. legal factors;
F. social factors;
gram. possible problems and opportunities.
3. The objectives of e-Marketing
has. product profile;
b. target market;
against dirty targets.
4. e-Marketing strategies
has. product strategies;
b. pricing strategies;
against promotional strategies;
d. distribution strategies.
5. Technical problems
has. website content;
b. “searchability” of the website;
against security registration (for clients and staff);
d. client registration procedure;
F. automatic responses;
gram. order forms and feedback forms;
H. levels of access to online resources;
Yo. credit card transactions;
d. hosting of web pages;
k. website publishing;
ME. technical staff (size, requirements)