VUSSC/Content/Entrepreneurship/Marketing the Business/The nature of the Market plan

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The Nature of the Marketing Plan

A sound marketing plan is the key to the success of our business. It should include:

  • our market research;
  • our location;
  • the customer group we are targeting,
  • our competition;
  • positioning;
  • the product or service we are selling;
  • pricing;
  • advertising and
  • promotion.

A marketing plan should be done before we start our business and annually once the business has started. It should focus on decisions related to the marketing variables which may affect our products, price, place and promotion, as mentioned above. It should be noted that in developing a marketing plan, a lot of market research has to be conducted. This is basically to get informaion that will assist us in the development of our marketing plan. This information can be generated from both secondary and primary sources.

A marketing plan should focus on decisions related to the marketing mix variables which are:

  • products;
  • price;
  • place and
  • promotion.

In addition to conducting a marketing research, it is also important for an enterprise to do an environmental analysis. This will basically be geared to providing information to the entrepreneur on what is happening in the market. Environmental analysis entails looking at the:

  • economy;
  • culture;
  • technology;
  • legal issues,
  • competition and
  • availability of raw materials.

It is also important to study the internal environmental factors. These include:

  • financial resources;
  • the management team;
  • suppliers and
  • the company's mission statement.

The main idea behind the development of a marketing plan is to answer the following questions:

  1. Where have we been? This includes finding out historical information about the market place, the firm's strengths, weakenesses, opportunities and threats.
  2. Where do we want to go? This involves setting marketing goals and objectives for the short term.
  3. How do we get there? This question calls for decisions on specific marketing strategies that will be implemented in achieving the enterprice's goals.

Having looked at the nature of a marketing plan, let us look briefly at the characteristics of a marketing plan.