Marketing Implementation: Action Plans and Marketing Mix
The action plans and marketing mix are related. That is, the action plans contain a complete description of a marketing program, including its goals and objectives (as previously outlined in the section on Goals and Objectives), marketing mix activities, program evaluation mechanisms and measurements, budget and timing considerations, and quantitative assessments. (A complete description of these final dimensions follows. Follow the format below for action plan outlines.)
Before you begin working on the action plans, consider the total budget amount for your charge. Make a realistic budget estimate for your marketing plan based on the financial situation of the company and its past spending on marketing.
State for each action plan:
- The goal(s) and objective(s) for the action plan.
- The target market at which this action plan is aimed.
- The marketing mix activities needed to implement the action plan.
- Product strategy and programs require consideration of things such as brand name, product features/benefits, differentiation from competition, relationship to delivering value, logo, package design/labeling, complementary products/services, elements of customer service strategy, and programs. Also, this is where the service concept, tangibles, customer-contact employees, and so on, need to be addressed. Depending on the charge of your marketing plan, some of the above may not apply.
- Price strategy and programs require consideration of things such as pricing objectives and relationship to delivering value. Keep in mind that pricing is not restricted to monetary concerns. Customers are likely to compare the perceived benefits of the new brand to the perceived benefits of the existing brand and other competitive brands. In other words, customers are likely to perform a cost-benefit analysis, which means that customers must perceive the new brand to have benefits that are equal to or exceed the perceived costs. When considering pricing issues, also include costs customers are likely to incur in terms of time, effort, and energy. Consider psychological costs (e.g., embarrassment, fear, rejection, etc.) and losses (e.g., aesthetics, familiarity, etc.), and physical discomfort or loss of pleasure.
- Place or distribution strategy and programs require consideration of things such as the selection, motivation, and evaluation of channel partners (if applicable).
- This is also the place to describe any direct marketing programs (mail, telemarketing, catalogs, Internet, etc.) and other accessibility issues (e.g., number of local stores, etc.).
- Promotional activities
- Advertising strategy and programs that require consideration of things such as advertising message (what will be said, unique selling points, benefits to be stressed, value story, points of differentiation, etc.), creative style (settings, characterization, humor or not, testimonials, etc.), media mix, media schedule, and so on.
- Public relations/publicity strategy and programs that require consideration of things such as how to get press coverage, getting the company/brand name and story out to the public, event-oriented marketing, and so forth.
- Sales promotion strategy and programs that require consideration of things such as contests, sweepstakes, event tie-ins, coupons, premiums (T-shirts, hats, key chains, cup holders, etc.), trade shows, consumer fairs, and so forth.
- Sales force strategy and programs that require consideration of things such as size of the sales force, sales force organization (geographic territory; customer-type based, product based, or some combination; salesperson characteristics and skills to recruit and train toward; compensation; motivation), and so forth. This section will describe selling strategy in terms of sales call emphasis, selling strategy and tactics (what should sales people be doing and saying).
- Other marketing programs that require consideration of methods to systematically listen to the customer, monitor customer satisfaction/loyalty, monitor competition, and become aware of trends that might impact the business. This requires some type of specific intelligence/information-gathering plan.
- Describe the evaluation and measurement procedures to be used to monitor overall performance of the action plan, including quantitative measures and allowable time frames.
- Elaborate on the specifics of plan implementation and quantitative projections. This includes people responsible for programs, budgets, other resources needed, target completion dates, timetables, and so forth. This requires a consideration of who does what, when, and for how much.