The Marketing Plan

The Marketing Plan

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0957-9.ch003

Abstract

Developing an international marketing plan requires research. It is critical for marketers to use strategies that are applicable to their targeted audience. A company must carefully craft its symbols, colors and lingo so that it best suits the targeted audience. It's imperative to understand the target market's demographics and psychographics as well. Further, the international marketing plan must critically analyze the Four Ps of Marketing based upon the location that it will operate in.
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Introduction

The marketing plan is a road map. It helps businessmen to identify “the environmental marketplace” (Cohen, 1995, p. 2). This means that marketing plans help leaders to clearly research and analyze such factors as competitors, politics and available resources. Through the proper development of a situational analysis, business leaders can determine the feasibility or the potential risks associated with their business endeavors including available resources. Development of the situational analysis allows a company to determine the company environs (Cohen, 1995) or those factors, such as resources that pose negative or positive impacts on a company. The goal of the present paper is to identify how business persons can determine if they are using their marketing resources effectively while evaluating their marketing efforts.

There are several sections within the marketing plan. They include the executive summary, introduction, situational analysis, target market, and goals and objectives to name a few (Cohen, 1995). Through a detailed description of available resources or a situational analysis marketers can develop a detailed description that highlights the effectiveness of marketing resources. Companies might even decide to complete a meta-analysis that provides a comprehensive evaluation of various marketing resources in order to decide which works best.

Clearly, the situational analysis is only one of several tools used to evaluate the usage of marketing strategies. Author William Zikmund (1989) suggests that business persons utilize surveys in order to gather pertinent information pertaining to marketing resources (p.187) Surveys allow marketers to identify attitudes associated with a specific resource through direct mail, face-to-face and telephone methods (Zikmund, 1989). A marketing firm might be interested in determining if their employees believe that marketing resources are being used effectively. Such surveys can be used to quantify and qualify certain data. For example, a survey that quantifies data would determine the number of new marketing strategies and their impact. A qualitative survey doesn’t deal with numbers but is instead used to determine the marketer’s opinion regarding the impact of the marketing resource.

While there are innumerable ways to evaluate marketing resources, it is indeed more difficult to evaluate marketing resources in comparison to other areas of a company. For example, an employee’s annual performance review is based upon a series of objectives. These objectives are based upon the job description provided to the employee. Once the individual receives his or her annual performance review, the score should be based solely upon the objectives that the employee is familiar with. When it comes to marketing such evaluation is not as objective. According to Cohen, marketing goals are based upon a set of “environmental, technological, economic, social, cultural, legal and regulatory factors” (Cohen, p. 29, 1995). This means that marketing leaders have the abilities to change their goals at any point during the implementation of the plan. Furthermore, such changes are based upon the business environment. Employees do not typically have the opportunity to change their course of action in order to meet their objectives. The goal of marketing is to satisfy the customer’s needs (McCarthy & Perrault, 1988). Such leniency is not afforded when it comes to the evaluation of staff.

Marketing is a vital component of the for- profit and nonprofit sectors. Business leaders must make sure that resources are used effectively. Furthermore, they should make sure that marketing strategies are clearly evaluated and articulated.

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