Structure and content of the marketing plan
The final result of marketing planning is his plan. With this it is difficult not to agree. To achieve the intended goal, the organization needs a set of marketing tools and actions, presented exactly in terms of marketing. In the special literature, the marketing plan is defined as a tool for planning and organizing marketing activities, through which a continuous process of analysis, planning and control is provided, aimed at achieving a more complete match of the enterprise's (company's) potential to market requirements.>
The marketing plan defines the goals and specific actions of the entire organization, taking into account the resources that are needed to achieve these goals. In its development, mathematical methods are widely used.
A clear marketing plan helps an enterprise gain confidence, reveal opportunities that allow it to win the competition, and also adapt to the consumer market.
The task of the marketing plan is to find and use with the maximum efficiency any opportunities that allow the organization, having strengthened its positions in the market, confidently bypass competitors.
Therefore, the marketing plan:
1) outlines the objectives of the enterprise;
2) defines the main directions of its activities;
3) indicates the sequence of actions;
4) coordinates the efforts of all employees of the organization.
When creating a marketing plan, you need certain knowledge and skills. It is necessary to answer a number of questions: What exactly do you seek to achieve? By what resources exactly and in what order do you intend to act?
The implementation of marketing planning in different organizations depends on factors such as the duration of the planning horizon, the content of the plan, the sequence of development, the organization of planning. The marketing plan in some firms is slightly wider than the marketing department's marketing plan, in others the marketing plan can be based on a comprehensive review of the entire business strategy, including even the goals and programs for implementing some of the nonmarketing functions (research, development, production, etc.) .
In the literature there are recommendations for the inclusion in the marketing plan of five or seven enlarged sections. But, proceeding from the high degree of detailing of the marketing plan, the selection of eight logically linked sections of the plan should be considered as the most acceptable.
1. Annotation , or executive summary , - an overview of the content of the plan. This includes the main theses of the proposed plan; information on its target orientation, description of tasks, their decisions, conclusions and recommendations, data on planned profit indicators, the volume of sales to be achieved; information on the means of achieving the planned indicators (in comparison with the relevant indicators of the previous period); planned marketing budget (its comparison by years). The annotation should be drawn up so that after acquaintance with it it was possible to clearly understand the main thrust of the plan.
Executive summary is after the preparation and writing of all the remaining sections of the plan, its volume is several pages. The content of the plan follows a brief overview.
2. Situation analysis on the market. For this section, the production and sales manager presents information about the market situation, the level of competition, the state of the macro environment, the position of the goods (services) in the market and distribution channels.
Situation in the market - the characteristic of target segments of the market (in market and geographical cuts) of the organization will be given. Indicators of the volume and growth rates of the market (in physical and value terms) over recent years are given. Characterized by consumer needs, in the light of product perception, consumers analyze trends in consumer behavior (which attracts buyers, their preferences, ideas about what the product should be). It is recommended to answer six questions that allow you to introduce a buyer, which is extremely important for making a decision.
• Who is a regular and potential buyer?
• What do these customers want?
• How do they make a purchasing decision?
• Where do they shop?
• When do they do it?
• Why do these customers behave this way?
Analyzing the buyer, you should refer to the statistics, practical experience, based on reasonable assumptions. A well-known expert in marketing, F. Kotler wittily remarked: "The buyers are not so simple that they do not require study, but they are not so complicated that this study does not bring results."
The position of the product (service ) in the market. This section is recommended to be presented in the form of a table, which includes data for the past years but the sales figures of the product (sales volume), prices , gross and net profit for all major projects separately. Analysis of these indicators allows us to determine the guidelines of the organization's strategy (suppose, to restore sales and profit figures).
The level of competition. The section provides information on the company's main competitors and their program "marketing mix" (production volumes, goals, market segments, product quality, marketing strategies and other indicators that are necessary to understand the intentions and strategies of competitors). It is advisable to get answers to five questions.
• Who are the competitors (obvious, unobvious)?
• Do they pursue the same goals as your firm, market goals? Do they expect to pursue the same goals in the future?
• What are their programs marketing mix and how successful are they?
• What can competitors do in response to your firm's actions?
• How strong are the competitors? Whose victory in open combat is more likely? How will this affect your marketing strategy?
The analysis of competitors should be no less thorough than the analysis of their customers. A successful marketing plan should satisfy the desires and needs of the target market segment, and better than competitors' plans.
Macromedia. In the section with STEP -analysis ( social , technological, economical, political ) are presented the main social, technological, economic, political trends in the external environment that can affect the prospects for all areas of the organization.
• To social factors include demographic changes, changes in the style (image) of life, housing conditions, educational and cultural levels, the level of urbanization, the level of income after taxes. Will these changes affect the demand for goods and services of the organization? Do you need any adjustments to the marketing plan for the best results?
• By technology factors understand the change in technology. Unprecedented acceleration of technological development in the XX century. led to a sharp reduction in the life cycle of the goods, sometimes introduces drastic changes in distribution channels, the speed of delivery of more information to more people, etc. What is the impact of this upcoming non-cash market? Marketing at the present stage is becoming more operational, more expensive and risky.
• In as economic factors consider the current economic situation and the prospects for its development. What is happening now in the economy - the economic recession or recovery, what is the inflation rate, what are the interest rates, taxes (VAT), the minimum wage, the most important tariffs?
• Political factors - existing rules and restrictions, which are necessary for the development of a marketing plan: "What restrictions are imposed on advertising, trade, pricing, interest rates of tax? Which environmental laws should be considered? and so on
Product distribution. In the section, you need to provide information about each distribution channel - where the product is sold (with several sales channels, specify their ratio), whether it is possible to stimulate intermediaries (to example, wholesale discounts).
3. Enterprise position analysis on the market includes:
• analysis of strong ( weak ) sides and opportunities (threats) (use SWOT -analysis):
a) strengths - the advantages of the organization that distinguish it from competitors (good reputation, reliable relationships with intermediaries, trade employees, high professionalism of its employees, low costs, etc.)
b) are shortcomings in the organization that require immediate correction, otherwise they will turn into strengths of competitors (unsuccessful location, low advertising budget, high product price, field of research and development, etc.);
c) Opportunities - attractive perspective directions of the organization's development (closing of a competing firm, increasing the activity of clients, etc.);
d) Threats - such potential complications that may cause harm to the company (appearance of new competitors in the market, increase in price suppliers, slowdown in market growth, undesirable changes in the needs and preferences of consumers, possible personnel strikes, unwanted changes in legislation, etc.);
• problem analysis - conducted by the manager based on the results of the SWOT - analysis and involves determining the organization's pressing problems (is it necessary to increase advertising costs, at least to the level of costs of competing firms, enterprise new channels of marketing).
4. Definition of goals, ie. of what the organization would like to achieve as a result of marketing activities for the period established by the plan. The plan defines two types of goals - financial ones, set by financial indicators, and in relation to goods, consumers and markets - marketing ones, into which financial ones are transformed. Consequently, marketing purposes are given marketing means that will enable to achieve the planned financial indicators. For example, if the financial goal of the organization is to achieve a net operating profit of 200 thousand rubles, and the target profit margin to the sales volume of the product is 10%, then the marketing goal - the sales volume should reach 2 million rubles.
Goals must meet certain requirements:
• be quantitative , i.e. vague formulations such as maximizing profits, increasing sales, exceeding brand recognition are not the goal, but common words. This section of the plan specifies the specific indicators that should be achieved by the organization. It is advisable to show the initial level and level, which the company needs to achieve in the specified period;
• be aligned in order of priority , depending on the degree of their importance, which will ensure the direction of efforts and resources primarily to achieve the most important goals;
• be limited in time, ie. the plan specifies the specific period to which the goal should be achieved;
• And, finally, be sure to be realistic.
5. Marketing strategy. This section sets out ways to achieve marketing goals. The marketing strategy should reflect specific decisions regarding the target market, positioning, prices, distribution channels, sales, advertising, sales promotion.
When creating a marketing strategy, the manager coordinates the marketing plan in a number of the organization's services, such as sales, logistics, manufacturing, etc.
6. Work program, or program of actions. In the section is a plan of measures to implement the marketing strategy, i.e. a work program in which the start and end dates for marketing activities are set, and responsibilities are also allocated. The program of action should provide answers to five questions.
• What exactly should I do?
• When will this be done?
• Who will do this?
• How much will it cost?
• Who is responsible for what?
7. The planned budget, profits and losses. In the graph of the revenues of the core budget, the projected sales volume by divisions and the average price of products are shown. In the graph of costs indicate the cost of production, distribution and marketing activities. The planned profit is the difference between sales volume and gross costs.
The budget prepared by the manager is considered by the management of the organization, which, if necessary, makes corrections to it. The budget approved by the management is the basis for the development of plans and schedule of supplies of components, production, hiring of personnel and all marketing activities.
8. Monitoring the implementation of the marketing plan - the last (final) section of the plan. It outlines measures to monitor implementation. The management of the organization monthly, less often - quarterly, summarizes the implementation of the plan. In the case of the lagging of some units their managers explain the reasons for the difficulties and propose the necessary measures to eliminate them.
9. In the final section of the plan, it is possible to include actions in case of unforeseen circumstances. The purpose of such planning is to encourage managers to analyze possible problems in advance.
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