The mercurial changes in the world economy have gradually altered the manner in which organizations operate. To be more precise, globalization has increased the competitive pressure on various corporations in the world. As a result, companies have turned to the integration of different strategic maneuverings such as marketing so as to enhance productivity, economic growth, social and environmental welfare in the attempt of withstanding stiff competition from rivals. Besides, an efficient market in the current economy is quite significant in achieving sustainable growth of an organization. Consequently, a resourceful market can only be established with the help of a good marketing plan for the company. The following essay will describe what the marketing plan is, outline the different components of the marketing plan and explain how it is beneficial to the organization.
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The Delineation of the Marketing Plan
According to Pride, Ferrell, Lukas, Niininen, & Schembri (2015), marketing can be outlined as a series of events that involve planning and execution of concepts, promotions, pricing, and distribution of ideas, products, and services in a manner directed towards satisfying a consumer’s needs and achieving corporate goals. More precisely, it is a management discipline that warranties that the process of goods production matches or exceeds the users’ requirements. As a result, marketing ensures that corporations research consumers’ need so as to produce the best products at the right time, place and price. In this line, there are various activities in marketing besides the marketing mix, which include; creating an offering that has value to the customers; communicating the offerings, where the company describes its products to the clients; delivering the offering, which is the delivery of goods into the hands of the consumers through supply chains; and selling the offerings which is the actual transaction of exchange of goods for cash between the customer and the producer (Tanner & Raymond, 2011).
Marketing plan, in its turn, is a strategy for implementing the components of marketing in an organization. Its primary role is scheduling tasks for implementation including the resources required to attain a particular objective. This makes it easy to evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of the marketing strategy (Pride et al., 2015). In this respect, the marketing plan is a framework that provides strategic direction to an organization executing marketing strategies. Hence, it describes the company’s current position in the market, analyzes the target market and derives the steps towards attaining the firm’s goals. The marketing plan is mainly intended for executives who use it to make budgeting decisions and to determine sales strategies and their nature, and fro the advertising agency which utilizes it to plan and schedule promotional campaigns.
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Components of the Marketing Plan
According to Tanner and Raymond (2011), the marketing plan is known to have an official format that consists of various components including; an executive summary, a business challenge, a market analysis, strategies to be used, a budget and a conclusion. The executive summary contains all the information required by managers to make decisions within the organization. This information may comprise a brief description of the market, the type of product to be sold, the approach to selling the product and the budget required for efficient execution. This information is intended to guide the reader on what is expected from the marketing plan. Moreover, it should also contain a brief summary of the competitors and how they are expected to react on the company’s actions (Tanner & Raymond, 2011). The business challenge section of the marketing plan includes components describing the product that is being marketed and the need for the firm to sell the product. Therefore, it provides justification of why the company should invest in the marketing plan. The section accomplishes this by outlining the benefits of the marketing plan towards achieving business goals. More precisely, this part explains how incorporating the marketing program can improve the company’s mission statement.
Relating to the market segment, the marketing plan contains a company analysis and a complete evaluation of the customers, competitors, collaborators, and business climate at large (Tanner & Raymond, 2011). In regards to the business entity analysis, the section identifies the firm’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This assists in understanding how the public accepts the distinct corporation concerning reputation and product features. As a result, the marketing plan describes how the business entity can capitalize on the opportunities while minimizing the corporate threats to achieve the organizational goals (Westwood & Institute of Directors, 2002). Concerning the customers, the marketing plan comprises a target market analysis regarding what drives the consumers to purchase a particular product, what factors influence their decisions and how the particular product will benefit the selected market. When it comes to competitors, the marketing plan contains an examination of competitors which includes their strategies, strengths, and weaknesses. This plays an important role in anticipating their reaction to the marketing plan enhancing thus the marketing plan efficiency. While analyzing the collaborators, the marketing plan also includes an outline of all the individuals and companies required for the execution of the marketing plan. This entails partners, customer support, advertisers, suppliers and distributors just to mention a few. The business climate is included in this section as well where the marketing plan conducts a PEST analysis of a particular product.
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Furthermore, the marketing strategy section of the marketing plan inclines to explain how the company will advance the product on the market, distribute the goods and sell the offering. The alternatives that were considered and discarded are also outlined with reasons for their dismissal. In this regard, the marketing plan contains pricing options for the product along with reasons why the target market will respond to a particular choice (Tanner & Raymond, 2011). Additionally, it includes information on how the product will be launched and communicated to the target market. In this line, the marketing plan also contains a forum of how feedbacks from the clients will be obtained. The marketing plan explains the distribution channels for the product as well including the major point of sales. Besides, in regards to the budget section of the marketing plan, all the money required throughout the marketing process is outlined. This includes funds to hire new personnel, purchase new equipment and lease locations for promotions and advertisements just to mention a few. It should also forecast an estimate of the expected products sales and profits. The conclusion segment contains a summary of the entire marketing plan and brief details why the particular method is the best for the product in question (Westwood & Institute of Directors, 2002).
Benefits of the Marketing Plan to Organizations
Consequently, according to Lamb, Hair, & McDaniel (2012), the marketing plan is very beneficial to organizations in a variety of ways. First, it enables business entities to make sense of the business environment. This is mainly attributed to the fact that when developing the marketing plan, the company conducts an analysis of the customers, competitors, and all other factors affecting the firm. Second, the marketing plan paves the way for proper decision-making within the organization. This is based on the point that the marketing plan determines the various factors that impact on the company and, at the same time, evaluates the resources required. Hence, it outlines clear objectives for the task and draws the required budget. As a result, this fosters appropriate marketing decision-making. Third, the marketing plan enables the organization to integrate both long-term and short-term goals in the commercialization process. Hence, the overall performance of the company is improved, and its objectives are attained. Fourth, the marketing plan serves as a motivation factor among the employees. This is because most staff enjoy working for corporations that are well-organized, since they pave the way to success. Fifth, the marketing plan enables the company to build brand awareness, address potential problems within the business entity and expand its market share by attracting new consumers while retaining old customers (Lamb et al., 2012).
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To sum it up, the above essay has defined the marketing plan, outlined its different components and explained its benefit to the organization. More precisely, the study has efficiently delineated the marketing plan and has defined it as the framework that provides strategic guidance to a business implementing marketing strategies. It has also explained the various components of the marketing plan. They include; executive summary, business challenge, market analysis, marketing strategies, budget, and conclusion. Lastly, the essay has proficiently explained the importance of the marketing plan in a company by detailing how it improves business performance. Based on the above discussion, one can conclude that the marketing plan is among the most important activities of any organization.