The quality of marketing planning often determines the success or failure of a product; sometimes, even, the future of a company. To give your marketing plan a solid foundation, we recommend that you give due consideration to the following five building components:
1. Strategic Analysis
At the core of the strategic analysis is the existing scenario in which the company, product or service is operating. Key issues that must be dealt with comprehensively are:
- Market analysis: What is the market potential of the product or service?
- Customer analysis: What is the target group(s) in question, and what is their buying behavior?
- Competitor analysis: What competitors are operating on the market and how do they operate?
- Competitive advantages: What makes your offer stand out from others? What is your unique selling point/unique value proposition?
2. Setting Goals
What goals do you wish to achieve as a company or with your offering? Here we distinguish between:
- Financial goals: goals easily measurable with “hard” data, e.g. sales growth, market share or return
- Goals relating to your market and customers: goals that are difficult to measure using data, e.g. customer satisfaction, capacity for innovation, the organization’s customer orientation, employee engagement and satisfaction, winning new customers or corporate image
Do not rely on financial goals alone, since in most cases, there is a delayed reaction to worsening figures. Goals relating to your market and customers (e.g. decreasing customer satisfaction) are often early indicators of a change.
3. Choosing a Strategy
A strategy describes the way you will achieve the goals you have already set and develops a competitive advantage. Porter’s competition matrix defines three basic strategies:
- Differentiation through quality and service
- Cost leadership by gaining a price advantage
- Specialization in niche markets not previously served
4. Strategy Implementation (marketing mix)
Strategy implementation is the most costly step in the marketing planning process and often requires considerable human resources. The four cornerstones of a marketing mix are:
- Product policy
- Pricing policy
- Distribution policy
- Communications policy
The previously determined marketing budget is then split up between these instruments. The goal is to achieve the strategy as efficiently and successfully as possible.
5. Performance Review
- Shortcomings in the implementation can be detected early.
- Teams’ performance can be checked and optimized
- In the case of deviations from the set profitability ratios for products, markets, segments, customers, distribution channels, etc., counter-measures can be taken or the marketing mix adjusted accordingly