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What is Marketing Plan?
Marketing planning is a systemic and disciplined exercise to formulate marketing strategies. Marketing planning can be related to the organization as a whole or to Strategic Business Units (SBU).
Marketing planning is a forward-looking exercise, which determines the future strategies of an organization with special reference to its product development, market development, channel design, sales promotion and profitability.
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Characteristics of Marketing Plan
A good marketing plan involves the following characteristics:
- A good marketing plan should communicate to every member what is desired of each member so that they have some level of goal clarity, understanding of assumptions that lie behind the goals and the context of each activity and decision.
- Since in most of the organizations planning is a mutually agreed-upon activity, a good marketing plan should also stimulate individual and group commitment.
- An effective marketing plan provides you with objective information to confidently make decisions. This includes research that identifies the consumer need for your product or service, customer demographic characteristics, the competition from which they are buying, the places they are buying and the prices they are willing to pay.
- Different organizations follow different kinds of planning approaches. Organizations where top management sets both the goals and plans for the lower management follows a top-down approach.
- In democratic and participative organizations, there is a bottom-up approach in which each unit in the organization creates its own goals and plans, which are then approved by the top management.
- The third approach is to have goals down-plans up approach. In this approach the top management sets the goal but various business units create their own plans to meet these goals.
- A good marketing plan would include a section on identifying, comparing and recommending distribution strategies.
Importance of Marketing Plan
We can summarize the importance of marketing planning in the following manner:
- It helps in avoiding future uncertainties.
- It helps in management by objectives.
- It helps in achieving objectives.
- It helps in coordination and communication among the departments.
- It helps in control.
- It helps the customers in getting complete satisfaction.
Example: Here is an example of how HUL benefited by doing effective marketing planning:
- HUL has gone into strategic partnerships with technology companies for such targeted market development. In this direction the company’s sales persons will be expected to carry hand-held devices in which all details of kirana stores will be there of the areas they operate in.
- HUL has also launched initiatives like ‘go to market’ and ‘Bushfire’ so that the company can ensure reaching its products to seven million outlets instead of selling the product in just 2,000 modern trade stores.
- V. S. Ramaswamy, S. Namakumari; 2009; Marketing Management; MacMillan Publishers Pvt Ltd.
- Kotler, Keller, Koshy, Jha; 2009; 13th Edition; Marketing Management: A South Asian Perspective.
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