Marketing Planning

There are two major components to your marketing strategy:

  • how your enterprise will address the competitive marketplace
  • how you will implement and support your day to day operations.

In today's very competitive marketplace, a strategy that ensures a consistent, methodical approach to offering your product or service in a way that will beat the competition is critical.

The creation of your strategy starts with defining what the overall objective of your enterprise should be. In general, this falls into one of four categories:

  • If the market is very attractive and your enterprise is one of the strongest in the industry you will want to invest your best resources in support of your offering.
  • If the market is very attractive but your enterprise is one of the weaker ones in the industry you must concentrate on strengthening the enterprise, using your offering as a stepping stone toward this objective.
  • If the market is not especially attractive, but your enterprise is one of the strongest in the industry then an effective marketing and sales effort for your offering will be good for generating near term profits.
  • If the market is not especially attractive and your enterprise is one of the weaker ones in the industry you should promote this offering only if it supports a more profitable part of your business or if it absorbs some of the overhead costs of a more profitable segment. Otherwise, you should determine the most cost effective way to divest your enterprise of this offering.

After the marketing strategy is in place, then marketing decisions can be and they generally fall into the following four controllable categories:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place (distribution)
  • Promotion

These four P's are the parameters that the marketing manager can make decisions that center on the customers in the target market in order to create perceived value and generate a positive response.

Product Decisions

The term "product" refers to tangible, physical products as well as services. Here are some examples of the product decisions to be made:

  • Brand name
  • Styling
  • Quality
  • Safety
  • Packaging
  • Warranty

Price Decisions

Some examples of pricing decisions to be made include:

  • Pricing strategy (skim, penetration, etc.)
  • Volume discounts and wholesale pricing
  • Cash and early payment discounts
  • Seasonal pricing
  • Bundling
  • Price flexibility
  • Price discrimination

Distribution (Place) Decisions

Distribution is about getting the products to the customer. Some examples of distribution decisions include:

  • Distribution channels
  • Market coverage (inclusive, selective, or exclusive distribution)
  • Inventory management
  • Warehousing
  • Distribution centers
  • Transportation
  • Reverse logistics

Promotion Decisions

Promotion entails the various aspects of marketing communication. In other words, it is the communication of information about the product with the goal of generating a positive customer response. Marketing communication decisions include:

  • Promotional strategy (push, pull, etc.)
  • Advertising
  • Personal selling & sales force
  • Sales promotions
  • Public relations & publicity
  • Marketing communications budget

Again, it is recommended that an enterprise enlist the services of a consultant that could provide the useful knowledge and information that could benefit the business.

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