The Objectives of a Marketing Plan
Marketing objectives form the core of strategic business planning and can be directly related to a brand, service or product line. Planning in business usually covers periods of up to 5 years, and an individualized plan of action for entities’ marketing activities renders the process much more effective.
It is essentially an interactive procedure in that the draft output emerging from each stage is checked to establish the impact of the initial stages and can be fine tuned, if necessary. The appropriate mission is intertwined with the marketing objectives resulting in contextual coherence which ultimately defines an organization.
The direction spelt out by an organization through this process should be balanced so as not to be too wide or narrow; an extra wide definition can render it meaningless while a narrow one limits capacity for venturing into other areas.
An organization has greater chances of success if it is driven by a strong vision of its strategic way forward, and its planning becomes consistent and easily followed by its staff and management, through a clear and complete guideline.
Various facets of a marketing plan are collated from other sections of a business in order to formulate an accurate and effective marketing master plan.
And they can be as follows; product data – from production, research and development; sales and distribution data – sales, packaging and distribution sections; advertising, merchandising and sales promotion data – sales and marketing section; financial data – accounts, costing and finance sections; an market data – from market research.
A marketing audit aimed at properly pinpointing internal and external factors which are most likely to have a considerable impact on the future strategic plans of an organization, should be carried out and summarized comprehensively.
Relevant material must be gathered continously to relieve the workload involved in collecting and laying it out in the facts book. Such material can include a thorough examination of a company’s markets, competitors, customers, economic, political, cultural and technical climate.
A study of an organization’s marketing mix, marketing research systems in view of its current marketing objectives and strategies; ideally a marketing plan must focus on twenty percent of products and services, twenty percent of customers which in turn will account for eighty percent of the cumulative profit.
Marketing objectives must be quantifiable, (sales volume, money value and market share, etc) and timing is an imperative element of any plan and must be shown in the details of strategic activities.