Notes on Importance of Planning for Business Success

You have been invited to an interview for a marketing manager position in a fast moving consumer goods firm. As part of the interview process you have been asked to develop a brief presentation on five importance of planning for business success. Specially, you are also to briefly explain the factors to be considered in the preparation for developing a marketing plan.

Prepare your notes for the interview. A marketing plan is a written document that summarizes what the marketer has learned about the market place and indicates how the firm plans to reach its marketing objectives.It contains tactical guidelines for the marketing programs and financial allocations over the planning period. Its one of the most important outputs of the marketing process. Marketing plans are becoming more customer and competitor oriented, better reasoned and more realistic than in the past. Planning is becoming a continuous process to respond to rapidly changing market conditions.

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Marketing plans are important to successful businesses. Marketing plan lay down all the important pathways by which businesses market its products and there by earn.Marketing plans are essential if an organization is seeking financial backing, bank loans, or partnerships, they are simply an element of business work plans. More so, marketing plan helps organizations to be much focused and to work towards achieving its goals or objectives for effective results. Furthermore, marketing plan is important to enable organizations to forecast into the future so that it will not experience any shortage or surplus in its production so as to meet the needs and demands of its target market.

Also, marketing plan is important to help organizations to budget well and to allocate resources effectively. Marketing plans are detailed strategies of how to go about successfully marketing a product or products and earning a projected amount of return from the effort. A comprehensive marketing plan will such important elements as distribution costs, production costs, advertising expenses and any expenses related to identifying and marketing the products to the consumers in the target market.Factors such as market penetration, market share, profit margins, budgets, financial analysis, capital investment, government actions, demographic changes, emerging technology and cultural trends are also addressed. Marketing plans are generally undertaken for the following reasons: * Needed as part of the yearly planning process within the marketing functional area.

* Needed for a specialized strategy to introduce something new, such as a new product planning, entering new markets or trying a new strategy to fix an existing problem. Is a component within an overall business plan, such as a new business proposal to the financial community. A marketing plan will achieve the following objectives: * Enables companies to look internally in order to fully understand the impact and the results of past marketing decisions. * Equips companies to look externally in order to fully understand the market that it targets and the competition in that space. * Set future goals and provide direction for future marketing initiatives.

The goals should be understood and supported by everyone with the company’s organization.Begin the creation of the strategy by deciding what the overall objective of the enterprise should be. In general this falls into one of four categories: * If the market is very attractive and your enterprise is one of the strongest in the industry you will want to invest your best resources in support of your offering. * If the market is very attractive but your enterprise is one of the weaker ones in the industry you must concentrate on strengthening the enterprise, using your offering as a stepping stone toward this objective. If the market is not especially attractive, but your enterprise is one of the strongest in the industry then an effective marketing sales effort for your offering will be good for generating near term profits.

* If the market is not especially attractive and your enterprise is one of the weaker ones in the industry you should promote this offering only if it supports a more profitable part of your business (for instance, if this segment completes a product line range) or if it absorbs some of the overhead costs of a more profitable segment.Otherwise, you should determine the most cost effective way to divest your enterprise of this offering. Having selected the direction most beneficial for the overall interests of the enterprise, the next step is to choose a strategy for the offering that will be most effective in the market. Some factors to be considered in the preparation for developing a marketing plan are as follows: Summary and introduction: The summary and introduction is a quick overview of the main points of the plan. It should be a synopsis of what you have done, what you plan to do and how you are going to get there. Marketing objectives:This section defines the marketing objectives.

These objectives should be based on understanding of the strengths and weakness of the organization, and the business environment in which the organization operate in. They should also be link to the overall business strategy. It is beneficial to focus on specific target segment that the organization will be marketing to. Situation Analysis: The situation analysis details the context of the marketing efforts. The organization will take a close look at the internal and external factors that will influence the marketing strategy, this is called SWOT analysis.

A SWOT analysis combines the external and internal analysis to summarize the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Target Market: The concept of target market is one of the most basic, yet most important aspects of marketing. There is no such thing as “one message” fits all marketing message. It is unrealistic to think that the organization can attract everyone. Defining the target market or segmenting the market helps the organization to decide where to commit resources and what kinds of promotional methods to use.

Strategies:Strategies are action steps that details how the marketing variables of product, price, place and promotion are used to attain the marketing plans objectives and overall strategies. Tracking and Evaluation: This section of the plan should include plans and procedures for tracking each type of marketing activity the organization are using. Tracking helps monitor the effectiveness of each marketing activity and is especially helpful with the overall program evaluation. Reference: Kotler and Keller marketing management (13th Edition)