Marketing Plan

 The marketing plan assignment needs to be done in APA format and at least 12 pages in length. If you have an idea for a business, this is a good time to explore the idea. Its better to have an unsuccessful marketing plan before you might invest in it. The plan should be a new to the world product or service or maybe an improvement over an existing one. Please do not submit a marketing plan of an existing company, product or service. 

 This is the time to be creative and have fun with this project. The Marketing Plan will be due this week Sunday.
Please see the format required:
The Marketing Plan 
Introduction
As a marketer, you’ll need a good marketing plan to provide direction and focus for your brand, product, or company.  With a detained plan, any business will be better prepared to launch a new product or build sales for existing products.  Non-profit organizations also use marketing plans to guide their fundraising and outreach efforts.  Even government agencies put together marketing plans for initiatives such as building public awareness of proper nutrition and stimulating area tourism.
The Purpose and Content of a Marketing Plan
Unlike a business plan, which offers a broad overview of the entire organizations mission, objectives, strategy, and resource allocation, a marketing plan has a more limited scope, it serves to document how the organization’s strategic objectives will be achieved through specific marketing strategies and tactics, with the customer as the starting point.
The Role of Research
To develop successful strategies and action plans, marketers need to up date information about the environment, the competition, and the market segments to be served.  Marketing Research helps marketers learn more about their customers’ requirements, expectations, perceptions, and satisfaction levels.  This deeper understanding provides a foundation for building competitive advantage through well-informed segmenting, targeting, and positioning decisions.
The Role of Relationships
The marketing plan shows how the company will establish and maintain profitable customer relationships.  The relationships affect how marketing personnel work with each other and with other departments to deliver value and satisfy customers.  It also affects how the company works with other stakeholders that include suppliers, distributors, strategic alliance partners, government regulators, media and the community at large to achieve the objectives listed in the plan.
From Marketing Plan to Marketing Action
Companies generally create yearly marketing plans, but some plans may cover a longer period.  Marketers start planning well in advance of the implementation date to allow time for marketing research, thorough analysis, management review, and the necessary coordination of departments.
For effective implementation and control, the marketing plan should define how progress toward objectives will be measured.  Managers typically use budgets, schedules, and performance standards for monitoring and evaluating results.  With budgets, they can compare planned expenditures with actual expenditures for a given week, month, or other period.  Performance standards track the outcomes of marketing programs to see whether the company is moving forward toward its objectives.
The Major Parts of the Marketing Plan

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The Executive Summary
This section summarizes the main goals, recommendations, and points as an overview for senior managers who must read and approve the marketing plan.  Generally a table of contents follows this section, for management convenience.
Current Marketing Situation
In this section, marketing managers discuss the overall market, identify the market segments they will target, and provide information about the company’s current situation.

Market Description
By describing the targeted segments in detail, marketers provide context for the marketing strategies and detailed action programs discussed later in the plan.
Benefits and Product Features
Clarify the benefits that the product features will deliver to satisfy the needs of customers in each market segment.
Product Review
The product review should summarize the main features for all of the company’s products.  The information may be organized by product line, by type of customer, by market, or by the order of product introduction.
Competitive Review
The purpose of the competitive review is to identify the competitors, describe their market positions, and briefly discuss their strategies.
Distribution Review
In this section, marketers list the important channels, provide an overview of each channel arrangement, and mention any new developments or trend

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats Analysis

Strengths
Strengths are internal capabilities that can help the company reach its objectives.
Weaknesses
Weaknesses are internal elements that may interfere with the company’s ability to achieve its objectives.
Opportunities
Opportunities are external elements that the company may be able to exploit to its advantage.
Threats
Threats are current or emerging external elements that may possibly challenge the company’s performance.

Objectives and Issues
The company’s objectives should be defined in specific terms so management can measure progress ad if needed, take corrective action to say on track.  This section describes any major issues that might affect the company’s marketing strategy and implementation.  Be sure to include the first year and second year objectives.  Generally we are using unit sales volume for the first and second year.
Marketing Strategy  What’s the Plan?

Positioning
A positioning built on meaningful differences, supported by appropriate strategy and implementation, can help the company build competitive advantage.  How is your product different?  How is your product viewed by your target audience?
Product Strategy
Include all the features described in the earlier product review section.  Describe the warranty.  Describe what you will do to build the brand?  Describe the brand, its logo on the product as well as its packaging.
Pricing Strategy
Describe your pricing strategy.  What will you charge at retail, etc?  Will it be a penetrating pricing strategy, like WalMart?  Will it be a skimming policy like Mercedes automobiles?
Distribution Strategy
Describe your channel strategy.  How will you get your product from the producer to the consumer?  Who you will use for distribution to market your product?  What retails will you use?  What channels will be used as coverage and what markets you plan on entering.  Will you use the internet and or catalogs as well?
Marketing Communication Strategy
Integrating all messages (IMC) in all media uses, will reinforce the brand name and its main points of product differentiation.  Will you use all five of the elements including: advertising, sales promotions, public relations and personal selling?  Direct marketing in some circles is also one of the communications as well.
Marketing Research
We can identify specific features and benefits that our target market segments value.  Feedback form market tests, surveys, and focus groups will help us develop new products and services.  You can also measure and analyze customer attitudes toward competitive brands and products.
Marketing Organization
Explain who would be hired to handle various aspects of the marketing organization.

Budgets
Budgets serve two main purposes: to project profitability and to help managers plan for expenditures, scheduling, and operations related to each action   program. Be sure to include a break-even point.
Controls
Controls help management assess results after the plan is implemented, identify any problems or performance variations, and initiate corrective action.  There is a need for tight control measures to monitor quality and customer service.  This will enable you to correct any problems that may occur.  Other early warning signs include monthly sales and monthly expenses.

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