Dr Brian's SmartaMarketing 2

Smarta Marketing Ideas for Smarta Marketers

Month: January, 2014

Putting Together a Marketing Plan

Dr. Brian Monger

Good Marketing Management is crucial to marketing success. Remember, marketing is more than just running a few ads or posting a few status updates on a social media site. Marketing management includes several different components that come together to make an effective marketing plan. The plan should include an overview, situation analysis, marketing strategy, marketing tactics and, most importantly, a marketing budget.

Marketing Plan Overview

The first step in your marketing project management is to create an overview, or summary, of the entire plan. This overview should be no longer than one page and discuss the main points of the marketing plan. Write the overview last to be sure you don’t miss any important points when writing the summary.

Objectives

Objectives are measurable goals.  The basis for your objectives will likely be in the Business Plan.  You develop or translate these into Marketing Objectives.

Situation Analysis

The situation analysis is the foundation of the marketing plan and is critical to good marketing management. Include any market research and competitive analysis.  Details of current market size, projected growth, information about your competitors. Also include an assessment of your business, including strengths and weaknesses (SWOT), and a summary explaining how you will develop Strengths and overcome Weaknesses.  Detail likely Opportunities and  potential Threats.  Be honest and as specific as you can.

Target Market

Be sure to define your target segment/target market (customers) in detail.  The Target Market profile will become the basis for all your marketing strategy.  If it is only a few lines long it is not going to very specific or useful. Check out articles on Segmentation and Targetting in the Smartamarketing blog (see details at the end of this article)

Strategy

The marketing strategy section includes how you plan to achieve the marketing objectives you determined. This section of the project should include the Marketing Mix Strategy – Usually focused on the “four P’s:”

Product – Describe your product (Product includes Services), and be sure to include both features and benefits.

Price – The pricing strategy used to determine the pricing of your Product.

Place – The location where you will sell your Product (including services), distribution channels (physical or on-line).

Promotion – The methods you plan to use to promote your product or service.

Be sure to include how the strategy should be implemented – the marketing tactics that will be used such as advertising, social media, events, Personal Selling and other forms of Promotion.

Schedule

Include a monthly/weekly schedule (timelines) of events

Marketing Budget

Complete your marketing plan with a budget created from the costs associated with each section of the plan. Be realistic when creating the budget, using actual costs whenever possible.

Review Regularly – and adjust

Check that you are obtaining the desired results. If not, adjust the plan and budget.  Reality needs flexibility

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known business consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

The Need to Better Understand Management Planning

Dr. Brian Monger

The degree to which a company is able to cope with its operating environment is very much a function of the understanding it has of the management planning process as a means of sharpening the rationality and focus of all levels of management throughout the organisa­tion.

This requires further explanation.  What most companies think of as planning systems are little more than forecasting and budgeting systems.  These give impetus and direction to tackling the current operational problems of the business, but tend merely to project the current business unchanged into the future – something often referred to in management literature as ‘tunnel vision’.

The problem with this approach is that because companies are dynamically evolving systems within a dynamically evolving business environment, some means of evaluation of the way in which the two interact has to be found in order that there should be a better matching between them. Otherwise, because of a general unpreparedness, a company will suffer in­creased pressures in the short term, in trying to react and to cope with environmental factors.

Many companies, having gone through various forms of rationalisation or efficiency- increasing measures, become aware of the opportunities for making profit which have been lost to them because of their unpreparedness, but are confused about how to make better use of their limited resources.  This problem increases in importance in relation to the size and diversity of companies.

In other words, there is widespread awareness of lost market opportunities through unpre­paredness and real confusion over what to do about it.  It is hard not to conclude, therefore, that there is a strong relationship between these two problems and the systems most widely in use at present, ie. sales forecasting and budgeting systems.

The most frequently mentioned operating problems resulting from a reliance on traditional sales forecasting and budgeting procedures in the absence of a management plan­ning system.

1.         Lost opportunities for profit

 2.         Meaningless numbers in long-range plans

 3.         Unrealistic objectives

 4.         Lack of actionable market information

 5.         Inter functional strife

 6.         Management frustration

 7.         Proliferation of products and markets

 8.         Wasted promotional expenditure

 9.         Pricing confusion

 10.       Growing vulnerability to environmental change

 11.       Loss of control over the business

The connection

It is not difficult to see the connection between all of these problems.  However, what is perhaps not apparent from the list is that each of these operational difficulties is in fact a symptom of a much larger problem which emanates from the way in which the objectives of a firm are set.

The meaningfulness, hence the eventual effectiveness, of any objective, is heavily dependent on the quality of the informational inputs about the business environment.

Objec­tives need to be realistic 

However, objec­tives also need to be realistic, and to be realistic, they have to be closely related to the firm’s particular capabilities in the form of its assets, competences and reputation that have evolved over a number of years.

The objective-setting process of a business, then, is central to its effectiveness.

Tt is inadequacies in the objective-setting process which lie at the heart of many of the problems of companies.  Since companies are based on the existence of markets, and since a company’s sole means of making profit is to find and maintain profitable markets, then clearly setting objectives in respect of these markets is a key business function.

If the process by which this key function is performed is inadequate in relation to the differing organisational settings in which it takes place, it fol­lows that operational efficiency will be adversely affected.

Some kind of appropriate system has to be used to enable meaningful and realistic management objectives to be set.  A frequent complaint is the preoccupation with short-term thinking and an almost total lack of what has been referred to as ‘strategic thinking’.  Another com­plaint is that plans consist largely of numbers, which are difficult to evaluate in any meaning­ful way, since they do not highlight and quantify opportunities, emphasise key issues, show the company’s position clearly in its markets, or delineate the means of achieving the sales forecasts.  Indeed, very often the actual numbers that are written down bear little relation­ship to any of these things.

 

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known business consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

Price as a Creative Variable

Price should not be used like a simple blunt object

Dr. Brian Monger

Implicit in the argument that price must reflect value is the need for flexibility in the methods used to establish prices.  While it may seem obvious to some, a fundamental truism in a market-oriented environment is that “price is a variable.” The opposite of a variable is a constant, something that is unchanging.  Many managers approach price as a constant.  That is, they set prices using a fixed formula, such as determining cost per unit and adding a predetermined margin to arrive at price.  Having applied the formula, they give no further thought to the use of price as a marketing tool.  Not only is such an approach naive and overly simplistic, but it causes the manager to lose sight of the real purpose of a price and to miss creative opportunities for realising profits.

Prices can be varied in many ways.  The only requirement is creative thinking on the part of the manager.  Examples of ten ways to vary a price include the following:

• Keep the same price currently charged but give the customer greater (or lesser) product quality.

• Keep the same price currently charged but give the customer a smaller (or larger) quantity of a particular item.

• Change the time of payment, such as by allowing a customer four months to make payment.

• Offer a rebate or a dollars-off coupon.

• Provide cash, quantity, and/or trade discounts.

• Charge different prices to different types of customers.

• Charge different prices based on the time of day, month, or year.

•  Offer to accept a trade-in from the customer.

• Accept partial or full payment in the form of goods and services instead of money.

• Bundle the product with other Products and charge a single price lower than the combined individual prices.

These are but a few of the possibilities.  The downside is that price as a variable is a more complicated management task and requires considerably more hard work than does price as a constant or fixed phenomenon.  Also, creativity can be dangerous if not properly structured.  Pricing decisions should not be made in a piecemeal fashion, but instead should be part of a larger pricing strategy.

Do you have any ideas to add?

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known business consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

The Motivation to Buy

Dr. Brian Monger

A sale is made when somebody decides to buy – decides that what is proposed satisfies his/her need, or will benefit him/her in some way that he/she does not now enjoy.

Why do people buy? What makes them say yes to some salesmen and no to others? What makes them like some products better than others? Why do people behave as they do?

If marketers could only know in advance of each call what the answers to these, and similar questions, would be, then their task of selling would be much easier.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to predict people’s buying behaviour, and this is the main reason why so much skill is required in marketing. However, there has been much research in the behavioural fields on why people act as they do and from this we are able to see a general pattern of buying behaviour.

All of us are moved by motives and urges

What is Motivation?

1. Motivation can be described as the driving force within individuals that impels them to action.

2. This driving force is produced by a state of tension, which exists as the result of an unfilled need.

3. The specific courses of action that consumers pursue and their specific goals are selected on the basis of their thinking process and previous learning.

II. Needs

1. Every individual has needs: some are innate others are acquired.

2. Innate needs are physiological or biogenic, and include food, water, air, clothing, shelter, and sex.

3. These needs (innate) are considered primary needs or motives.

4. Acquired needs are needs that we learn in response to our culture or environment, and include the need for self-esteem, prestige, affection, power, and for learning.

5. These needs (acquired) are considered secondary needs of motives.

When asked to buy something, a person is confronted with a problem which he/she needs to interpret and resolve. Frequently he/she overcomes the problem (either personal or business) by making a buying decision.

Actually, the sale takes place in the mind of the buyer – it is the buyer’s viewpoint and the satisfactory resolution of his/her buying problem that concerns the marketer.

Often the solution to the problem can be attractive and unattractive at the same time. It may involve the choice between two attractive courses of behaviour or it may involve choosing between two unattractive things.

The marketer’s task is to assist the prospect to resolve his/her problem.

For some the solving of problems, or making decisions, is relatively easy, while for others even a minor decision causes tension and worry.

It is important for the salesperson to appreciate that the higher the tension the more irrational the prospect becomes, and the less likely he/she is to follow the logic of the salesperson’s story.

People generally will not make a buying decision until they are satisfied in their own minds that the benefits they will derive from the product outweigh the costs to themselves.

Marketing and especially selling therefore, is concerned with reducing buyer tensions, and assisting the prospect to identify his needs through the products and services offered.

People buy for basic reasons and, like all selling fundamentals, the reasons are simple and clear-cut. Look at the list below. Not advanced technical terms but simple everyday words. Like all simple things we tend to overlook them but every sale you ever make will be made because your proposition appeals strongly in one or more of these aspects:

• Profit, gain or economy/savings
• Design or appearance
• Pleasure, comfort and pain avoidance (physical and emotional)
• Safety or security
• Convenience
• Love and affection
• Sex appeal
• Social approval
• Pride, prestige/status
• Speed of Operation
• Ease of Operation
• Compatibility with Present System
• Availability/Delivery Speed
• Absolute Price/Price Flexibility
• Service/maintenance support/Software support
• Broad Line of Equipment Supplier Stability
• Competence of Personnel
• Personal Interaction – Liking
• Personal relevance
• Situational factors/Immediacy
• Curiosity/Discovery
• Creativity
• Exclusivity
• Empathy with brand
• Consistency of Delivered Value
• Performance/dependability/ Reliability of Operation
• Reliability of supply
• Environmental concerns

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known business consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

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