- A Marketing Plan allows the organization to retrospect its past activities so that it can rectify its mistakes and come up with new strategies.
- It also helps the organization to fully understand the external environment. In this case the whole market. This includes conducting a proper market research and conducting a trend analysis of the market and the consumer interests.
- It helps in setting future goals and provides a direction for future marketing efforts that everyone in the organization should understand and support.
- It is a key component in obtaining funding to pursue new initiatives.
A Marketing Plan shall include:
- Summary and Introduction: A Marketing Plan should start with Summary. This summary is a synopsis of what were the organization’s goals in the past, what its goals are in the future and the means to achieve those goals.
- Marketing Objectives: Marketing Objectives must be based on the understanding of the Strengths, Weaknesses and the operating environment of the organization. The objectives must be complimentary to the overall business strategies of the organization.
- Situation or SWOT Analysis: SWOT Analysis means the analysis of SWOT or Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. This SWOT Analysis combines the internal and external analysis to summarize the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that are seen in an organization.
- Target Markets: Target Markets is one of the most important aspects of marketing. Not all of the general public come under the category of target market. This is the reason why people are divided on the basis of demography, gender, interests, hobbies, likes and dislikes. For example: toys are intended for children, apparel are divided on the basis of gender, etc.
- Strategies: Strategies are Plans of Action that detail how the marketing variables of product, price, place and promotion (commonly known as the Four Ps) are used to attain the marketing plan’s annual objectives and overall strategies. The marketing plan is to how to put the strategies into practice. To understand how the market works, the market must be broken down into smaller segments – groups of similar customers. Once it is decided on the target market, the decision regarding the positioning in the market must be considered.
- Tracking and Evaluation: This will include the various strategies used to track each type of marketing activity that is being used. Tracking helps monitor the effectiveness of each marketing activity and is especially helpful with the overall program evaluation. Evaluation is one of the most important activities in a marketing plan. Evaluation will help in determining the return on investments. The methods of tracking will help in evaluation.
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