The Strategic Marketing Plan

By Lauren Pierce,2014-01-20 22:00
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The Strategic Marketing Plan

I am writing this the morning after the night before! And no, unfortunately,

    the night before was not a “blast” but, was in fact, spent talking

    marketing until 4.00 in the morning! How sad is that? I really must get a


Rather bizarrely, most of the discussion, debate, racontre or downright

    argument was spent talking about the strategic marketing plan.

Why did the strategic marketing plan become such a bone of

    contention … because he hasn’t got one and I said he should have!

    Allow me to explain.

I will not reveal his identity, but it is suffice to say that he runs a small

    retail business which he has taken over from his family. In doing so, my

    mate allowed a “settling in” period which enabled him to acquaint himself

    fully with the business side of things i.e. accounts, suppliers, staffing,

    banking arrangements, insurance cover etc. All audited in a through and

    precise manner. So far, so good …

However, a review of stock levels and a period of cautious purchasing

    revealed that there were a number of stock lines that were not moving

    and a great deal of concern was voiced about the direction in which the

    business needed to go.

Now this is where we began to argue.

It is my opinion that at this stage in the business cycle a full strategic

    marketing plan would have proved extremely useful. But it did not

    happen. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the micro/small businessman all

    too often avoids strategic plans.

Why do I regard marketing plans to be so important?

1. As Dwight D Eisenhower said - “its not the plan that is important,

    it is the planning” – the process of conducting market research in

    order to develop a focussed targeted approach to a businesses

    future is intuitive by nature and carried out well can only help in the

    process of making informed business decisions. 2. Because they force the business to think ahead, enabling longer

    term planning to replace fire fighting. 3. If a third party can be used to develop a marketing plan, their

    objectivity can prove enlightening.

    4. And finally, whilst planning for the future of a business can be

    costly, not planning ahead can be far more costly in the long term

     leading to poor advertising, incorrect ordering, uncompetitive

    pricing etc .

    Typical headings for a marketing plan should include:

    ? Internal Audit strengths and weaknesses of the

    company and/or its products.

    ? External Audit a look at political legal economical

    technological environmental and social influences on

    the company and/or its market place

    ? Market research national, regional and local


    ? Setting Marketing Objectives, such as, who is the

    primary target market - do you want to sell more to

    existing customers or find new customers

    ? Marketing Strategies

    i. Product what products to stock

    ii. Price - how much to charge and why

    iii. Place where to sell (retail/wholesale/on-line)

    iv. Promotion direct marketing, advertise, PR

    v. People how do they represent the company

    vi. Process from packaging to stock control,

    payment terms

    vii. Physical Evidence the ‘face’ of the business

    viii. Protection trade mark, licence, copyright

    ? Action Planning the who does what

    ? Evaluation and Control measuring the success of the

    marketing efforts

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