HOW TO DO A MARKETING PLAN

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HOW TO DO A MARKETING PLAN

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Marketing is the supply of goods or services in order to meet the clients needs. It is the process that combines the company’s capacities with the clients needs. The marketing plan is the instrument for planning and organising the company’s resources and capacities for achieving marketing objectives for the new firm. It has to identify the most promising business opportunities for the company and details how to enter, capture and retain positions in identified markets.

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  1. HOW TO DO A MARKETING PLAN Twinning Covenant SI2000/IB/SPP-01
  2. INDEX INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................................... 3 STEP 1: WHAT IS A MARKETING PLAN?.......................................................................... 4 STEP 2: HOW TO DO A MARKET RESEARCH.................................................................. 5 STEP 3: SWOT ANALYSIS, SEGMENTATION OF THE MARKET AND DEFINITION OF OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES................................................................................... 8 STEP 4: DEFINITION OF THE YEARLY ACTION PLAN. THE MARKETING MIX. 10 STEP 5: WRITING THE MARKETING PLAN ................................................................... 11 2
  3. INTRODUCTION The objective of this document is to be a guide for new entrepreneurs that want to create a new business, for the elaboration of the Marketing Plan of the new entrepreneurial project. It describes the steps that an entrepreneur has to follow in order to define and elaborate the Marketing Plan of the new business project. These steps are: • Step 1: What is a Marketing Plan?. • Step 2: How to do a Market Research. • Step 3: Definition of the Marketing Objectives and Strategies. • Step 4: Definition of the yearly Action Plan. The Marketing Mix. • Step 5: Writing the Marketing Plan. 3
  4. STEP 1: What is a Marketing Plan? Marketing is the supply of goods or services in order to meet the clients needs. It is the process that combines the company’s capacities with the clients needs. The marketing plan is the instrument for planning and organising the company’s resources and capacities for achieving marketing objectives for the new firm. It has to identify the most promising business opportunities for the company and details how to enter, capture and retain positions in identified markets. The marketing plan details who will do what, when, where and how, in order to achieve the new firm market objectives. The elaboration of a good marketing plan is an essential step during the creation and development of a new business. Specially for a start-up, the marketing plan is an instrument that allows to know key information for the entrepreneur. The marketing plan of a star-up assumes various functions: • Carrying out market research for the products and services of the new firm. • To help the entrepreneur to foresee the demand for the first year of the life of the new company. • Identify the number and importance of the actual clients for the new company. • Analyse and determine the marketing resources available for the new firm. • Getting to know the SWOT of the new firm in relation with the reality of the market. • Identify the profile of the potential new clients. • Identify the segment of market for each product of the new firm. • Setting marketing objectives and marketing strategies • Setting the action plans within the “marketing mix” framework, and the marketing budgets. The marketing plan is a document that can contain approximately between 15 and 40 pages. Market planning is an interactive process and the plan should be reviewed and updated during its implementation. 4
  5. Step 2: How to do a Market Research The market research is the process of collecting information about the reference market for the new firm, and analyse this information in order to take the best marketing decisions. Knowledge of the market is an indispensable prerequisite to the elaboration of a marketing plan. The quality of the business decisions you take is dependent upon the quality of the information you have. The way for knowing the key information for running the new business is doing a good market research. Market research is used to: • Give a description of the market. • Analyse the evolution of the market. • Decide which actions will be taken by a company and evaluate the results of those actions. What information to collect and analyse. This information can be: Quantitative Information Qualitative Information • These kind of information produce • These kinds of information produce quantitative numbers on customer qualitative information on customer behaviour, attitudes, needs and behaviour, attitudes or needs. volumes of business. • The issues to be researched are what • To acquire this kind of data generally is the way a customer considers the a large number of customers or a purchase of a certain product, what he very focused small group in case of knows about the product category, personal contact is required. how well he understands the advantages of the product and the • The issues to be researched are what misconceptions of the product in his product/service options do the clients opinion. prefer, and where, when and at what price do they would buy the product. • The methodology for doing this research could be the organisation of • The methodology for doing this a focus group where only six to eight research could be: telephone survey, people are sat around a table and mailing of questionnaires and short invited to discuss their views on your but focused questionnaires in case of (carefully chosen and controlled) personal contact. questions. 5
  6. Depending on the stage of advancement and progress of the project, the entrepreneur must work in two phases of the market research: Preliminary assessment phase, when the entrepreneur will seek for general information related to the essential points of the new project. These points could be: Economic trends. Nature of the needs to satisfy with the product/service. Size of the aggregated demand of the product/service. Identification of the competitors and their products/services. Barriers of going in and out of the market. Access to adequate suppliers. Access to adequate technology. Existing distribution channels. The entrepreneur must identify the adequate sources of information for getting the key information and do the systematic deskwork in order to process it. In-depth study phase, when the entrepreneur will seek for useful data to get to know the needs and the segmentation of the market. These points could be: Identification of existing market segments. Purchasing capacity of the actual potential clients. The way a customer considers the purchase of the product/service. How well the client understands the advantages of the product/service. Actual demand for each product/service of the new firm. Size of the new firm market niche. Prices and sell-conditions of the competitor's products/services. Conditions for working with the potential suppliers. Quality, prices and conditions of accessibility to the needed supplies. Quality, prices and conditions of accessibility to the adequate technology. Identification and evaluation of appropriate distribution channels. Modes of communication adapted to the sector of activity. Conditions of intellectual property. Legislation and standards. The entrepreneur must prepare a survey for getting quantitative information and must organise the method for getting qualitative information. 6
  7. The sources of information that the entrepreneur will be able to use are: • The proper clients, suppliers and competitors. • Technical public organisations. • Financial institutions. • Professional organisations. • Trade magazines and books. • Fairs and events. • Experts. • Documents published by companies. • Databases. 7
  8. Step 3: SWOT analysis, segmentation of the market and definition of objectives and strategies Analysing the information collected and processed during the market research, the entrepreneur is recommended to do a SWOT analysis of the potential success of the new business idea in the market. The SWOT analysis will allow the entrepreneur to identify and reflect about what are the key factors to take into account in the moment of launching the new product/service to the market. The SWOT analysis structure is: Strengths Weaknesses What are the strengths of your product? What makes it What are the weaknesses of your product? What makes it better than other products? Are these strengths being inferior to other products? sufficiently exploited? Are they being sufficiently defended? Opportunities Threats What external factors are there that could be embraced if What external factors are there that threaten to reduce appropriate resources were allocated? your market share? After doing the SWOT analysis, the entrepreneur must do the segmentation of the market. The segmentation of the market consists of identifying and characterising the portions of a global market that are integrated by different groups of consumers with the same needs and behaviour. Segmentation is a vital operation, both for the proper understanding of the market and the choice of the right orientation. The approach to the segmentation of the market will be focused on the choice of the segmentation criteria for determining what shared characteristics constitute homogeneous groups of consumers. 8
  9. The segmentation criteria could be the following: INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS MASS CONSUMER MARKET PRODUCTS Sector of activity. Sex. Size of companies (turnover, number Age. of employees, etc) Social-professional category. Legal structure. Neighbourhood. Means of production. Number of persons in household. Maturity. Region. Region. Religion. Equipment and technologies. Incomes. Certifications. ... Financial results. ... With all the information collected and analyse during the processes of market research, SWOT analysis, and segmentation of the market, the entrepreneur has information enough for defining the marketing objectives and strategies of the new firm. The objectives will be defined in order to allow the entrepreneur to quantify the foreseen incomes for a limited period (normally one year), and for each line of products/services. The objectives definition has to take into account the following rules: Do not go against the realities of the market. Beware of non-fundable needs. Make sure that the objectives established are in line with the results of the information collected during the market research and the SWOT analysis. In order to obtain the objectives established, the following phase consists in defining the marketing strategies for the four P's of the marketing mix. Product Defines the characteristics of your product or service that meets the needs of your customers. Price Decide on a pricing strategy. Do not let it just happen! Even if you decide not to charge for a service (a loss leader), you must realise that this is a conscious decision and forms part of the pricing strategy. Promotion This includes all the weapons in the marketing armoury -advertising, selling, sales promotions, Public Relations, merchandising, etc-. Place (or route Some of the revolutions in marketing have come about by changing this of distribution) P. Think if you are going to sell your products/service directly to the customer or through a complex channel of various steps of distributors. 9
  10. Step 4: Definition of the yearly Action Plan. The Marketing Mix The marketing mix consists in define the proper combination of actions for the four P's: Product. Price. Promotion. Place (distribution). The yearly action plan consists of going into the details of the marketing plan for the following year. The content of the yearly action plan for the first year of a new firm, must be organised for families of products/services and must provide information about what to do, who will do, when, where, how and with what resources including budget, in relation with the four P's of the marketing mix: Products/services: Definition of functions and characteristics of the products, specific to each market segment. Development of the product values as appearance, design, ergonomics, utility, ease or use or maintenance. Selection of the potential more worthy products within the portfolio. Adequate the product/service to the regulations, standards and conditions of certification. Prices: Calculation of the cost of production and commercialisation. Calculation of the distribution margins. To update continuously the prices. Promotion: Determine the proper mix of actions of advertising, publicity, merchandising, sponsoring, public relationships, sales promotions, etc. Place: Identification of the adequate distribution channels. Determine foreseen incomes and costs of each distribution channel. Negotiate conditions with distributors for our product/service. Launch the product/service through the appropriate channel. 10
  11. Step 5: Writing the Marketing Plan The Marketing Plan for your market segment will have the following structure: STRATEGIC MARKETING s EXTERNAL ANALYSIS Market Research INTERNAL ANALYSIS Product characteristics Product design Quality / price relation Competitive advantage SWOT ANALYSIS OBJECTIVES OF MARKETING STRATEGIES OF MARKETING Product Price Promotion Place OPERATIVE MARKETING MARKETING MIX PRODUCT PRICE PROMOTION PLACE YEARLY ACTION PLAN What to do Who will do it When Where How With what resources Budget 11
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