Marketing Planning

1984 Words8 Pages
WHAT IS MARKETING? Too often, a marketing function is misunderstood, because many people do not understand what is meant by ‘Marketing’. As shown in Figure 1 there are many different definitions for Marketing. The key is that they all share a common theme, marketing is: “Meeting the needs and wants and providing benefits for customers.” But before being able to meet the needs and wants of customers as well as providing them with benefits. We need to work out: • who our customers are • which customer to target • how to reach and win new customers • how to keep existing customers happy. Figure 1: Definitions of Marketing Source: And most importantly we need to keep reviewing and improving everything we do to stay ahead of the competition. Marketing should be a long-term investment in your business, and not just something that is switched on and off as required. WHAT IS MARKETING PLANNING? Having an effective marketing plan is invaluable to all businesses. Even so it is amazing the number of companies that think they can operate and succeed without formal plans! A marketing plan helps to focus your company on the vital activity of growing the business. It provides the framework on which to build new “What is a marketing plan? The written document that describes your advertising and marketing efforts for the coming year; it includes a statement of the marketing situation, a discussion of target markets and company positioning and a description of the marketing mix you intend to use to reach your marketing goals.” (Source: relationships and cement old ones. But the most important part of the marketing plan is not the document itself, but the process of putting it together. By taking the time to think deeply about your company's commitment to marketing, by the process of self-examination that is necessary, and by uncovering the true feelings of your customers, you will have a much clearer vision of the future. Where do we start? There are many different approaches to the marketing planning process. The one most widely recognised is the SOSTAC model developed in the 1990’s by PR Smith. The model is straightforward and goes through the process of building a marketing plan, ensuring that all relevant factors are considered, without excessive and expensive detail. Finally looking at the practical issues of putting the plan into practice. STAGES OF THE MARKETING PLANNING PROCESS: THE SOSTAC MODEL S Situation Where are we now? O Objectives Where do we want to go?
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