Description of the plan
This is a short description of the purpose of the plan, the nature of the business, and the time frame that the plan covers.
The Mission statement is the definition of the business domain(s) in which the organization will operate. Business domains can be defined in terms of products, technologies, customer groups, customer needs, or some combination. For more explanation, see section Product where the topics of the market environment definition and target market selection are discussed.
If it was management who wrote the mission statement, then our task is to explain how we define our market within the corporate environment and how such market fits into corporate strategy.
If we decided to redefine the corporate mission, then we need to provide the reasoning for having done so and how the corporation will benefit from the new mission.
The planner must clearly state whether the primary objective is sales growth, profit maximization, or optimal growth to position the brand for long term goals. The entire marketing strategy depends on a distinct statement of business objectives.
Rationale for establishing the business objectives
The statement of business objectives is followed by a brief rationale.
For example, if the business objective is growth, then the planner should describe what the source of growth will be. Will growth come from new markets, new products, integration or diversification? Or, in a mature business where growth is not indicated, we must clarify how, in spite of a stagnating market, we intend to achieve the planned growth figures.
The executive summary encompasses the essence of the plan. It should be concise but it needs to contain all the major points the planner wants to convey since many executives will not read further.
The summary should include the key actions planned and the rationale for our strategy. It is no more than a page or two and should be intelligible and convincing on its own.
Threats and Opportunities
This section describes how the market is defined, its past trends and future forecasts in the major geographic units. In addition, it needs to contain an analysis of the product life-cycle.
It relates to the market definition in section Product Chart 4.1, the market trend analysis in charts (1.1 to 1.10) and the product life cycle analysis in Chart 1.9.
Market Size and Forecast
Market Characterization: Product Lifecycle
Importance of Geographic Units
B. Competitive Overview
This section explains the brand's position: who are the major competitors, brand sales and share trends and objectives. It includes a short description of the competitive situation by identifying the major competitors in the category and describing their strengths and weaknesses. (Section Market Share)
Brand Sales and Shares Trends
Brand Shares Forecast and Objectives
Description of the Competitive Strategy
Competitive Strengths and Weaknesses
This section summarizes financial strategy for profit objectives, marketing expenses and general profitability including cost reduction plans. It contains a profit and loss statement and a breakeven analysis if applicable. (Section Financial)
Cost Reduction Plans
P & L Statement
Product strategy ties back to the market definition and describes how the product was defined. It specifies the consumer needs the product is intended to satis¬fy and outlines the product's competitive advan¬tage. Product strategy explains the composition of the product line, packaging strategy and characterizes the target consumer segments. It covers requisites of service and quality control necessary to provide consistency in use. (Section Product)
Summary of Marketing Strategy
Competitive Advantage - Advertising Message
Target Consumer Segment
Product Line Composition
Price strategy describes how the suggested retail prices for the product line were determined and the relationship between price and profitability, i.e. are we aiming at high price or profit maximiza¬tion? How do our prices compare with those of the competition?
Importance of Price
Target Prices per Product Type
Competivie Price Strategy per Brand and Geographic Unit
Distribution strategy specifies the importance of the various types of distribution for obtaining the desired market position, and identifies possible new channels. It cites the weak¬nesses in our current distribution network and the strate¬gy recommended to correct them. (Section Distribution)
Importance of Distribution
Types of Distribution
Target Channels and Target Brands per Channel
Possible New Channels
Sales and Share Objectives per Target Channel
Strategy per Determining Factor
Communication strategy relates back to product positioning, to the definition of the competitive advantage, and the selection of the target consum¬er segments. It covers the advertising objectives, the budget, creative work plan (advertising message) and media plan. It also discusses the importance of promotion and promotion objectives, budgets and programs. (Sections Advertising and Promotion.)
1. Summary of the Communication Strategy
Describe the importance of the various elements of the marketing mix
2. Advertising Strategy
3. Sales Promotion Strategy
4. Publicity Strategy
5. Public Relations Strategy
This section lists all the marketing research planned for the coming year. It explains the business problem(s) to which the planner wants an answer, or the business decisions that will depend on the results of the market study. The purpose of each research must be articulated clearly and precisely. “It would be good to know” is not a convincing argument. The planner will specify the objective, type, timing and cost of each market research planned for the coming year. See Source of Data in each Setion.
Market Research Objectives
Marketing Research Budget
This section describes how the current organization works; who the major managers are and their roles. Further it will detail personnel needs for the coming years, if any. It includes an organizational chart.
Description of Current Organization
Manager Responsible for the Plan
Team to Execute the Plan
The planner will include in the plan as Exhibits all the charts and informa¬tion that are the foundation of the marketing strategy. It is for reference and may contain any number of complicated charts and tables. The body of the plan has included only key numbers because as a general rule people do not like to read long sets of numbers or crowded charts because they interfere with the flow of the strategy presentation. We should therefore include in the body of the plan only the most essential charts, those which are critical to convincing the reader of the necessity to follow our plan.
List of Exhibits
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