“Thereare some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality;and then there are those who turn one into the other.”DouglasH.
EverettA plan is one of thefirst steps that needs to be done for us to change our dreams into reality. Aplan defines the objectives of our dreams and our goals. Hence, a plan shouldconsist of what needs to be done, how it needs to be done, who are the peopleresponsible, where the action is to be taken as well as why are we planning inthe first place. Although planning is quite a frustrating process personally aswell as in a business scenario, if done in the right manner it could prove tobe very advantageous. In everyday life, planning is quite essential since itsaves people the time to perform repetitive actions. Lack of a plan can be aserious disaster and can lead to huge losses, both financially as well as emotionally.Planning helps inachieving objectives and is a continuous process.
However, if followed strictlya plan could turn out to be quite rigid thus not allowing creativity to nurtureitself. We plan mostly to make sure that when the going gets tough we can goback to the original plan to see what next needs to be done next, instead ofwasting more time. It basically gives a direction to move forward towards thegoals set to achieve.A more defined approachin planning is required by a business plan.
As such a planning process leads topreparing a business plan (Nunn & Mcguire, 2010). This means that planningis the stepping stone for a business plan. You need to be careful to addressall the parts of the business in the business plan and it must contain a (a)Title Page, (b) Table of Contents, (c) Executive Summary, (d) BusinessDescription, (e) Management, (f) Market and Business Analysis, (g) Business andMarket Development, (h) Marketing and Sales, (I) Financial Data, (j)Application of funds, and (k) an Appendix (Nunn & Mcguire, 2010). Abusiness plan is a necessity for every business. A marketing plan is oneof the components of a business plan. It is a strategically written documentthat is very intricate in its details and gives a clear picture on the goalsand objectives that are to be achieved by the company. It is prepared by theleaders of the company along with the marketing team (Kokemuller, 2016).
It also gives us a time-frame within which wemust complete the objectives. It includes market situation analysis, actionprograms, budgets, sales forecasts, strategies and projected financialstatements (Westwood, 2002). The main purpose of preparing a marketing plan isto put the company on the right path (Kokemuller, 2016).
Here the right pathwill be a right move in marketing. Every company within any industry has theaim to increase its business, a marketing plan helps to achieve this. Thefrequency of preparing a marketing plan varies from company to company, itcould be every few years or can be done yearly (Kokemuller, 2016). This totallydepends on the Strategic leaders of the company along with the size of thecompany. Marketing PlanA marketing plan shouldbe clear, concise, quantified, focused, achievable and must be agreeable toeveryone within the company. According to Baker, a typical marketing plan for amedium and large sized would include:1. Title page – Thisholds specific to a marketing document.
It needs to clearly indicate that thedocument is a marketing plan. Hence it should have it written on the titlepage. 2. Executive Summary –The whole plan that has been proposed by the team should be written down in ashort and precise manner so that a reader gets a brief idea of what the wholeplan.
3. Current Situation –This deals with multiple scenarios at the same time. For the team to assess thecurrent situation of the business, one needs to understand the Macroenvironmentalfactors, the market factors, the consumers which they are dealing with, alongwith the skills and resources that the company has. · Macroenvironment must cover the Economic,Legal, Governmental, Technological, Ecological, Sociocultural and the supplychain aspect of the environment surrounding the business. · Market Analysis here should include marketsize, the market segmentation, A complete SWOT analysis of the company, markettrends as well as Porters 5 Forces model or PEST analysis.· The marketing plan must also take intoconsideration the consumer which they are planning to cater to. For example,their buying behavior, demographics etc. · Analysis of the current situation shouldalso go ahead and look into the company and see what the company consists of,its employers, suppliers, the total team that helps in contributing to theprofit of the company.
4. Marketing Strategy – Aright strategy needs to be formulated so that it is easier for the conversionof the business objectives of the company into marketing preference(Getscher,2017). The strategy that is formed needs to be less complex and moreachievable and attainable. There are two situations that are likely to occurfor a marketing strategy to fail. Either, the strategy become complex and toohard to decipher thus resulting in the failure of the strategy and the othercould be that it has a lot of steps due to which it gets hard to follow and thestrategy fails (Getscher,2017). The most common strategy that is used in amarketing plan is the 4Ps of Marketing Mix wherein the 4Ps’ are price, product,place and promotion.
The term “Marketing Mix” was coined by Borden in the year1965. The original Borden Marketing Mix contained 12 elements such as productplanning, pricing, branding, channels of distribution, personal selling,advertising, promotions, packaging, display, servicing, physical handling andfact finding and analysis (Goi,2009). These elements have changed over theyears and now the simplest form of the marketing Mix is the 4Ps. By keeping in mind,the current 4P’s in preparing the strategy, the company can prepare thestrategy in a manner that is convenient and efficient. 6. Implementation – Oncethe plan is prepared, the final touches to the plan need to be made. This includesassigning responsibilities to the employees involved in the case along with theincentives that need to be given to them.
This phase also includes giving theemployees the necessary training that is required for them to implement themarketing plan. A Gantt Chart is prepared which allows us to showcase theactivities that need to be performed alongside the time (Gantt.com).
A GanttChart displays what needs to be done and when the activity needs to beperformed (Gantt.com). Figure 1 5. Financial Summary – Inthis phase, the team prepares a portfolio which contains the financial detailsof the company, the budget details, the monthly income statements, thebreakeven analysis of the company so that the team is aware of any constraintsthat they could face financially and be informed completely. This part of theplan, helps the team to be always on track with what happens in the business sothat if they need to tweak the plan in emergency situations, they can. 6. Future Predictions – Inthis phase, all the different types of issues that could happen are predictedand a plan for each of those issues is discussed and written down so that incase if any thing goes wrong, they have a backup plan.
(Wikipedia)This is how a basic newmarketing plan must contain. Once a plan has been made, the team needs to go backto the marketing plan every time they feel that they are stuck and do not knowwhere to go from there. Sometimes, a plan that was discussed and prepared doesnot really work and, so you could go back to the plan and changes can be madebased on what happened.
I have discussed only oneway of preparing a Marketing Plan, but there are several ways of preparing andimplementing a marketing plan. One of the basic models of a marketing plantemplate is as shown as below: – Figure2There are different typesof Marketing plans that are used in today’s world. Direct Marketing, IndirectMarketing, Cause Marketing, Relationship Marketing, Niche Marketing will be thefew examples of Marketing plans (Hose, 2017). Each of them are different intheir own unique way and have different uses to the company.Benefits of a marketingplan It helps in being a guidefor all the marketing activities that the firm needs to carry out (Bowen,2002).It compels the managers to review each activity objectively so that all thesteps are carefully written down and that the budget is prepared accordingly(Bowen,2002). The marketing plan does not only benefit the company, it alsobenefits the team i.e.
marketing team as well as the strategic leaders since ithelps them to understand the company better and prepare for the worse scenarioif that ever happens. It also helps you build up on your hope for the comingyear since the marketing efforts can be assessed and we can plan how we couldchange and do things differently the next year around (Luke,2013). It also youto have a new outlook for the future with renewed efforts and new opportunitiesto attain (Luke,2013).
ReferencesNunn, L., & McGuire, B. (2010). Theimportance of a good business plan.
Journal of Business & EconomicsResearch, 8(2), 95.Kokemuller, N. (2016). Purposes of a marketingplan. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.
com/purposes-marketing-plan-61663.ht on 12/04/2017 Westwood, J. (2002). The Marketing Plan: AStep-by-step Guide. Kogan PagePublishers.
Baker, M. (2008). The Strategic Marketing Plan Audit.Getscher, Alexis (2017). Six actionable stepsto build a strategic marketing plan at your organization. Retrieved from https://www.
bizible.com/blog/strategic-marketing-plan on12/04/2017Goi, C. (2009). A review of marketing mix: 4Psor more? International Journal ofMarketing Studies, 1(1), 1Figure 1 Source – Gantt Chart Diagram, retrievedfrom http://www.
advsofteng.com/doc/cdpydoc/gantt.htm on12/04/2017Gantt Chart Definition retrieved from www.gantt.com on 12/04/2017Figure 2 Source – Marketing Plan template,retrieved from www.siriusdecisions.
com on 12/04/2017Hose, C. (2002). Kinds of marketing plans.Retrieved from www.smallbusiness.chron.com on 12/04/2017 Bowen, J.
(2002). Benefits of marketing plan. UNLC Gaming Research & Review Journal, 6(2) Pg. 73Luke, K. (2013).
5 steps to a new marketing plan. Journal of Financial Planning, 26 (12), Pg. 20