i. Summary marketing plan
marketing planning (concretized in the marketing plan) is an essential organizational activity, considering the hostile and complex competitive environment. Our ability and skills to perform profitable sales affected by hundreds of internal and external factors that interact in a difficult way to evaluate. A marketing manager must understand and build an image of these variables and their interactions, and must make wise decisions.
Let us see what we call a “marketing plan”? It is the result of planning activities, a document that includes a review of the agency’s place in the market, analysis of the STEP factors as well as a SWOT analysis. A complete plan would also put some assumptions about why we think the past marketing strategy was successful or not. The next stage should be imposed targets we set, along with strategies to achieve those objectives. In the right order, we will further need to assess the results and formulate other plans of action. A plan would consist in details of responsibilities, costs, sales prognosis and budgeting issues.
In the end, we should 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 a marketing plan , it is the structure :. after that we will see how to build the traditional marketing plan, we will take a look at the e-marketing plan and see how the unique characteristics of the internet will require some changes in the approach of writing a marketing plan.
But before we continue, we must understand and accept that steps of the marketing plan are universal. It is a logical approach to the planning activity, no matter where we apply it. The differences you meet from a plan to another consist in the degree of formality accorded to each phase, depending on the size and nature of the organization involved. For example, a small and not diversified company would take a less formal procedures, because the managers in these cases have more experience and practical knowledge and subordinates, and they are able to direct control over most aspects. On the other hand, a company with diverse activities, it is less likely that top managers have functional information in a higher degree than the subordinate managers. The planning must be formulated to ensure a strict discipline for everyone involved in the decisional chain.
II. The general marketing plan
classical marketing plan would follow the system of 8 levels
1. Describe the project this is planning stage when we establish organizational policies and intentions, thus providing a sense of direction. In most cases, this is a general introduction to the company’s intentions and almost has a philosophical character.
2. Establishing current objectives: it is necessary for companies to try to determine with preciseness objectives. These goals, in order to be viable, must be SMART. SMART is an acronym and stands for “special”, “measurable”, “achieve”, “realistic” and “timed”. The objectives must also convey the general setup tasks.
3. Gathering information: this stage is based on the concept of marketing audit. After performing the audit of the macroeconomic environment by analyzing the STEP factors (social, technologic, economic and politic), we should turn the focus on the immediate external environment (micro-environment) and analyze the competitive environment, the cost and the market. Finally, we will make a SWOT analysis, in this way we will have a general opinion based on the internal environment compared to the external one. SWOT analysis combine the two perspectives, inside and outside, because the strengths and weaknesses are internal affairs agency, the opportunities and Threads come from the outside.
4. Re-formulating objectives: after a thorough examination of the data collected in the previous stage, sometimes it is necessary to re-shape the first targets to to address any issues that might have arisen from the previous level. The distance between the initial objectives and again formulated objective will be covered with appropriate methods. We must ensure the re-formulated objective is SMART as well.
5. Establishing strategies: several methods to develop, in order to bridge the gap between what we want to achieve and what can be achieved, by resources at our disposal. As we would usually have several options, we should analyze them and chose the one with more possibilities to achieve marketing goals.
6. action plan involves a very detailed description of the procedures and means to perform the functions we want to take. For example, if the policy includes a rise in advertising volume, the plan of action should come as advertisement will be placed, dates and frequency of advertising, a set of methods to evaluate their effectiveness. Measures to intend to be clearly formulated, measurable, and results will be monitored and evaluated.
7. Implementation and control: consist of a series of activities that must be performed to run the marketing plan in line with the objectives of the market. At this stage, it is important to get the support of all members if the organization, especially when the marketing plan is due to affect the organization of its reasons.
8. Performance measurement: constitutes the last but no less important level marketing program, in which we can achieve only what we can measure. To measure the performances achieved through the marketing plan, we need to constantly monitor each previous phase of the program.
The marketing plan that has a feedback cycle, from 8th stage back to 4 .. It is because sometimes the planning, we may need to perform stages 4 to 8 several times before the final plan can be write.
III. The e-marketing plan
e-marketing plan is built exactly the same way as the classic plan. There is no different approach, but there might be some formal differences given by the uniqueness of the internet environment. Many of these differences come from the need to ensure a high rate of response from customers, where the E-world is moving faster and requires faster reaction from its companies, compared to the traditional offline market.
Even though it is perfectly acceptable and is commonly used 8-stage classic model for the e-marketing plan as well, you might want to consider a simplified version proposed Chaffey, who identifies four major steps to build e -markaðssetning plan
1. Strategic Analysis consists in continuous scanning of the macro- and micro-environment. Pronunciation should fall ‘needs that change very rapidly in the online market, as well as on surveying the competitors of consumer action and assess the opportunities offered by new technologies.
2. Defining strategic objectives: The company must have a clear vision and establish if the media channels will support traditional ones, or will replace them. We must define specific objectives (do not forget to check if they are SMART!) And we must also specify the contribution of the online activities to the company’s turnover.
3. Policy-making – we do it by addressing the following fundamental issues:
– develop strategies towards the target markets
– positioning and differentiation strategies
– the focus of online activity,
– focus attention and efforts on CRM and financial management,
– devise methods product development;
– develop business models with well -established methods for new products or services, as well as pricing policies;
– a necessity for some organizational restructuring ;.
– the structural pathways
4. Implement methods involves careful implementation of all measures necessary to achieve these goals. It could apply again launching a website, promo campaigns for a new or rewritten site, monitoring website efficiency and many more
Note :. A common strategy to achieve e-marketing objectives is the communication strategy. The steps to built a coherent communication plan will be presented in another article.
IV. The e-marketing plan (sample titles)
1. Executive Summary
a. Overview of current would be
b. Key aspects of strategic e-marketing plan.
2. Situational Analysis
a. characteristics of the e-market,
b. possible factors of success;
c. competitor analysis;
d. technological factors;
e. legal aspects;
f. social factors;
g. Possible problems and opportunities.
3. The e-Marketing Objectives
a. product configuration;
b. target audience;
c. sales targets.
4. The E-Marketing Strategies
a. product strategies
b. Price methods
c. promotion methods;
d. distribution methods.
5. Technical issues
a. website content,
b. website “searcheability”;
c. logging security (customers and staff);
d. customer registration process
g. order forms and feedback form;
h. Access levels to online resources,
i. Credit card transactions;
j. website hosting
k. website publishing;
l. technical staff (size, requirements)