Work as a marketing consultant to develop a feasible marketing plan for your client. Conduct both secondary (search secondary sources) and primary research (interview customers or conduct surveys) in order to glean the necessary information for your marketing plan. When conducting primary research, you will collect only qualitative data (i.e., personal in-depth interviews with at least three target customers) for this study. It is important to conduct quality market research on your focal product/company in order to develop realistic and workable marketing plans. Generally speaking, there are two types of research. One is secondary research, which refers to data collection using existing sources, and the other is primary research, which is your own data collection for the specific study at hand. The purpose of market research is to collect usable information to make more informed decisions on the business problem, thus increasing the chance of business success in the marketplace. In this module SLP, conduct the issue analysis for your marketing plan, and develop goals and objectives, as well as the specific marketing strategies.
Issues Analysis The SWOT analysis and the outcome of the primary research efforts are the basis for the issues analysis. Here the
primary focus should be on the charge for your research project. For example if youre company was apple….What are the most important issues and decisions that the organization is likely to face when trying to sell the new brand iPad 4? Furthermore, if the previous research steps (situation analysis, SWOT analysis, and primary research efforts) have shown that previous marketing efforts were unsuccessful (and why), then include the lessons to be learned as issues. In general, issues can include, but are not limited to (the issues depend on the charge of the respective marketing plan and are likely to differ from plan to plan):
- Should the company focus on the charge in question?
- What rate of growth is necessary and sustainable?
- Does the company need to increase promotion to thwart the competition or to successfully reach its target market?
- Does the company need to develop new promotional efforts to reach the identified target market?
- What would be the most promising way of communicating with the target market?
- Does the company need to increase the target market’s knowledge base?
- Does the company need to address/change the target market’s belief systems?
- Does the company need to develop persuasive messages tailored to the specific brand at hand?
- Does the organization need to work on its reputation?
- Is the company’s current distribution in order?
- Should the company review its pricing strategy?
- Does the company anticipate any major competitive attacks in its current markets?
Note: Be realistic when proposing issues. For example, for Apple, suggesting that the company should invest funds in stocks or real estate is not appropriate for the marketing plan. First, it has nothing to do with the charge at hand; second you are unlikely to have enough information to address this issue in the following sections (i.e., Goals and Objectives, and Marketing Strategies).
Goals and Objectives Goals and objectives both need to be driven by the issues analysis. Establish corporate goals: qualitative statements of desired general accomplishments that are indicative of the direction and priorities of the company or the outcome that the company hopes to accomplish (e.g., improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, increase consumer knowledge, change consumer beliefs, persuade the target audience to buy the new brand, have the most recognized and effective advertising campaign in the industry, improve service quality, have lower prices than all competitors, increase market share, produce the most loyal customers in the industry). Set specific measurable corporate quantitative objectives: targeted dollar amount of sales; number of iPad 4s sold; targeted market share; and so on. That is, express the goals you have outlined above in quantitative (numerical) terms, and place them within a time frame. In other words, the objectives are driven by the goals you outlined above. Avoid listing objectives that have nothing to do with the identified goals. Note: If you are dealing with a new product (i.e., your charge), do not express objectives for the first year in percentage terms. In other words, stating that you would like to increase awareness by 5% for a new product does not make sense, because a new product will start out with a market share (or awareness) of zero and 5% of zero is still zero. In such a case, phrase your objectives differently (e.g., the objective is to increase the brand awareness among 10% of the target market within the next six months). Have at least one goal. Make sure that those goals (and your objectives) focus on your charge and also reflect your issues analysis. Have at least two objectives for each goal. The format for this section should appear as follows: Goal 1 Objective 1 Objective 2
Goal 2 Objective 1 Objective 2
Marketing Strategies Marketing strategies encompass recommended positioning, competitive differentiation, and customer value strategy. These include a description of your target market, intended image/position in the market, and the value proposition. A. Target Market Definition The process of selecting a target market is one of the most important decisions an organization can make. Most organizations segment the entire population into groups with homogeneous needs. For a market segment to be viable it must be measurable, meaningful,and marketable. A segment is measurable if its size can be determined, its purchasing power can be estimated, and other characteristics can be identified. It may be difficult to segment on the basis of social class, but easy to segment along income levels. A segment is meaningful when it is large enough to have sufficient sales and growth potential to serve in the long run. A marketablesegment is one that may be reached and served efficiently. In general, a company wishes to serve the largest possible homogeneous group that also seems to be most likely to be persuaded to buy the product in your charge. When companies write the marketing plan, defining the target market often proves to be the most challenging aspect of the plan. However, if you do not choose the right markets to target, you will often never achieve complete success. Too often, companies see that their solution can serve the needs of multiple markets and they try to establish multiple markets at the same time. Ultimately, this may lead to failure because they overextended themselves and did not successfully meet the needs of any market. Choose a well-defined market when you write your marketing plan and stick to it until the market dictates a change. Bases for segmenting consumer markets include demographic, benefit, psychographic, and behavioral characteristics. Demographicsegmentation includes the characteristics of age, family size, family life cycle, gender, income, occupation, education, religion, race, generation, nationality, and social class. Benefit segmentation describes why consumers buy a product (e.g., makes me feel good, makes me feel useful, etc.). Psychographic segmentation encompasses lifestyle (e.g., outdoors, athletic), and personality (e.g., compulsive, gregarious). Behavioral characteristics include occasion (e.g., Valentine’s Day, birthday), usage rate (e.g., light, medium or heavy users), or attitude (loyalty). Note: You do not have to use all of the above-listed bases for segmenting consumer markets. However, demographic segmentation and benefit segmentation will always have to be used. Follow the instructions below: 1. Primary (and Only) Target Market
- Describe the primary target market in demographic terms (use the descriptors that are most useful in terms of your charge).
- Describe the primary target market using benefits sought by that market.
- Describe the primary target market using one of the following bases: geographic, psychographic, benefits sought, or usage (depends on your target and your charge).
- Estimate the number of customers in your primary market.
- Justify the choice of your primary target market (if applicable).
This section is very important. Do not take shortcuts.
B. Strategy Statement
1. Image/Market Position Positioning is the act of designing the offering and its image so that both occupy a meaningful and distinct competitive position in the minds of the target market. What is the intended image you wish the product to portray? What is the position you wish the product to obtain?
2. Value Proposition Why should customers buy from the agency instead of its competitors? What does the agency have to offer to its customers that outperforms its competitors’ products?
Expectations Use the following outline to organize your paper. Note that the letters “a, b, c…” and the numbers “i, ii, iii, iv…” below are used to show the major issues you need to include in your paper, but should not be used to format your paper.
Issues Analysis Section (2 pages maximum)
- Given your complete marketing analysis, what are the key issues that the company/organization must understand in order to address the charge that is being considered?
i. Note: This section concisely identifies the most important issues and decisions that the organization is likely to face when trying to sell the product in your charge.
- Bullet points (or numbered statements) are acceptable.
Goals and Objectives Section (2 pages maximum)
- The goals and objectives should be stated clearly and concisely.
i. (Think i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable & Result Traceable). 2. Each goal/objective should be easily understood given your previous analysis and summary of key issues. i. Do not “discuss” the goals/objectives. Just present them.
Marketing Strategy Statements Section (2 pages)
- Note: These are literally statements.
i. Do not provide detailed descriptions.
ii. These statements will guide your implementation.
iii. These statements should be logical given your analysis and goals.
- Target Market Definition
i. Note: This is a short, final description of who your action plan will be intended to reach. You may simply be restating target population previously identified.
- Describe the target market in demographic and/or psychographic terms.
- Describe the key benefits/behaviors this target market seeks/prefers.
- Estimate the number of customers in this segment.
3. Strategy Statements i. Value Statement
- Why should “customers” adopt your strategic initiative?
- What does your initiative provide (or what do you suggest it provide) in order to encourage/support behavioral change?
- Identify “the set of benefits that the strategy offers.”
Note: The value proposition is intangible, but it is made tangible through specific offerings/activities. ii. Proposition Statement
- What is the key proposition on which the strategy and its activities should be based?
- Refer to the “4 Ps” of marketing.
iii. Accessibility Statement
- What information or support materials must be made easily accessible?
- Refer to the “4 Ps” of marketing.
iv. Communication Statement
- What method of communications should be sought?
i. Print/radio and other traditional media? ii. Social networking?
Note: – Use double-spaced, black Verdana or Times Roman font in 12 pt. type size. Include a title page and references. Revise your Module 3 SLP based on the feedback from your professor and your additional research, and include the SLPs from Modules 1-3 in the Module 4 SLP. – Explain clearly and logically the facts you find about your company and charge, and use the required reading to support your positions on the issues. Do not repeat or quote definitions. Your use of the required readings to support your opinions (that is, contentions or positions) should demonstrate that you understand the concepts presented. – Paraphrase the facts using your own words and ideas, employing quotes sparingly. Quotes, if absolutely necessary, should rarely exceed five words. – Reference your sources throughout the text of your marketing plan. Take the following paragraph as an example: “As a result, telephone interviewers often do not even get a chance to explain that they are conducting a survey (Council for Marketing and Opinion Research, 2003), and response rates have steadily declined (Keeter et al., 2000) to reported lows of 7% (Council for Marketing and Opinion Research, 2003). This decrease presents a problem because not only does it increase the cost of conducting telephone surveys, but it also leads to questions concerning the generalizability of the results (Struebbe, Kernan & Grogan, 1986; Tuckel & O’Neill, 2002).” – Use third person business writing. Avoid “we,” “our,” and “you.” Do not use contractions in business writing. – Do not just write a list of facts. Take the facts about the company, the charge, and the environments that the company faces, and explain how you think they will affect the financial future of the product or brand in your charge. -Emphasis in grading your paper will be on the breadth and depth of your discussion of each topic, critical thinking, the clarity of your discussion, and the proper organization of the paper.
Required Background Reading
The following articles explain and illustrate the role of distribution in marketing decisions. Together with relevant Module 1-3 Background material, these should be cited in your Module 4 Case and SLP: Distribution decisions (2009).
Accessed 5/5/12 at:
Marketing mix: Place (2011).
Accessed 5/5/12 at: Perner, L. (n.d.). Distribution: Channels and logistics.
Introduction to marketing. Marshall School. USC
Accessed 5/5/12 at: Place (n.d.).
Accessed 5/5/12 at: Ramachandrin, S., & Trachtenberg, J. A. (2012). End of Era for Britannica.
Wall Street Journal
(March 14):B1. Available 5/5/12 through the ProQuest database. Ramsey, M. (2012). Glut of small cars tests Ford resolve.
Wall Street Journal
(January 11): B1. Available 5/5/12 through ProQuest database. Timberlake, C., & Townsend, M. (2012). Macy’s says Martha’s dance card is too full.
(February 28). Available 5/5/12 through EBSCO database.
Optional Background Reading
The following articles illustrate use of the concepts studied in this module:
Halkias, M. (2011). J.C. Penney buys stake in Martha Stewart’s company.
The Dallas Morning News
(December 7). Accessed 5/5/12 at: JoS. A. Bank Clothiers expands its Internet channel to ship orders to international customers (2011).
Investment Weekly News. (May 21):698. Available 5/5/12 through ProQuest database. With Its New Music Storage and Player, Can Amazon Deliver in the Cloud? (2011).
(May 11). Accessed 5/5/12 at:
Check the following links for proper APA citation and reference format: . If you want to use other formats, such as MLA, follow the same format consistently in the paper.
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