A marketing plan refers to a blue print that is developed and implemented by organizations for execution of their marketing strategies. It is a well-coordinated plan for orchestrating organization’s marketing functions (Applegate, & Johnson, 2007).
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The organization aims at developing a marketing plan that is well-aligned with the organization goals and objectives. The retail chain of stores operates in Indianapolis with outlets, such as the Carmel, the Greenwood Park and the Circle Centre Malls.
The company has been in business for the last 5 years. Due to the significant growth of its sales in the past two years, it has managed to become one of the leading retail stores in Indianapolis. Indianapolis has a high level of population, and it is located in North America. The company under the study stocks specialty toys, gifts, and clothing among other products for customers in the region.
Currently, the price of the products ranges from $ 20 to $500. In line with the organization’s goal of achieving growth, the company aims at extending its market coverage to five other cities by establishing 2 or 3 stores in all those places during the period of the next 2 years.
After that, the organization plans to focus on its further expansion to cover a larger market in Indianapolis. This paper aims at presenting a marketing plan for the company’s development.
Overall Marketing Strategy
The overall marketing strategy will be based on the organization’s goals and vision which will also be aligned with the organization’s corporate strategies. In this case, the organization presents varying types of goods with different price levels ranging from $20 to $ 500.
This implies that organization’s marketing strategy will be aimed at enhancing sales as well as market share of the company due to a wide price spread. The organization’s strategy will thus be tailored in such a way so as to offer the needed services to the mass market.
Discount pricing strategy will guide the generic strategy adopted by the organization in its overall marketing strategy. This will enhance the ability of the organization to extend its operations to diverse markets in Indianapolis.
There are a number of factors that determine the cities in which organization should initiate its operations. One of these factors includes the level of population in the city. Higher level of the population in such cities means a wider market for the company to sell its services and goods as well as higher level of revenue.
The organization will equally prefer to operate in cities that are politically stable. It is worth noting that different cities or countries have a different level of social and political stability. Thirdly, the organization will run its business in the cities where the level of income among residents is high.
This will increase the customers’ ability to purchase the organization’s products. It will also expand to the regions where the local authorities’ regulations are in line with the organization’s operation goals and objectives.
The company will equally identify areas to enter where the level of competition is low. Finally, the organization will assess and enter into a market where the level of demand for its goods, specialty stores, as well as other products is high (Young et al, 2008).
Although the organization presents a wide variety of product lines in the market, these products have different levels of profit margin as well as demand. The organization will engage in margin analyses for different product lines.
It will assess the level of demand for each of its products in potential markets it is to enter in two years, as well as in those in which it is to operate in five years. Once the levels of demands in each potential city are determined, the cost of producing and marketing such products will be defined.
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The price for such products will thus be set considering the unit cost, desired margin levels, as well as the average market price for such products in these cities.
Selling price that is less than unit cost of different products demanded in different cities will give the company contribution margin. Such margin will be multiplied by the respective product demand in these cities. Products generating the highest level of profit will be launched in such markets (Young et al, 2008).
A marketing plan should have an objective that it is aimed at achieving its goal. Such a goal will include financial targets, such as growth in profit and sales revenue, among others.
On the other hand, a marketing plan may be aimed at growing the organization’s market share as well as its effectiveness in terms of communication. It can be tailored to achieve a certain price level, enhance quality of products and ensure customer satisfaction, among others.
Before the organization engages in its new outlet promotions and marketing campaigns, customer targeting will be carried out. There will be a need for the company to split the market into different sectors that share homogeneous characteristics.
The organization will segment the market and adopt the following targeting strategies, either differentiated marketing or undifferentiated marketing strategy. In this case, since the organization aims at presenting its product as a mass product, it will engage in undifferentiated marketing. Undifferentiated marketing is indicated in the diagram below:
Source: Learn Marketing.net (2012).
Under the above category, the organization will not focus on a certain segment of demographics in the city. It will target all the customers who demand its products presented in the different cities, regardless whether such customers are in the high or low end market.
The organization’s focal point will be on the low end market. Nevertheless, in its market communication strategy, the organization will ensure that such communication reaches the target customer.
This implies that when advertising its goods (toys in this case), the organization will develop advertisements that will easily get noticed by young children. It is worth noting that children are one of the main influencers in decision making in the toys market.
Branding is one of the key drivers of success in organizations. It aims at increasing customer loyalty to organization’s products; enhancing the positive image of the firm as well as its products, besides generating positive brand image. In its marketing plan, an organization carries out competitors’ analyses.
The strengths of its competitors as well as their weaknesses are studied, and the companny then develops a mechanism on how to increase its competitiveness in the market. The availability of substitutable products is carried out.
This helps the organization in developing mechanisms on how to thrive amidst competition and promote its products in a market taking into account competing produces.
The baseline to the problem of substitutes is for the organization to develop innovative products for the next three years that would satisfy the needs of customers better than those of the competitors do (Young et al, 2008).
In this case, the organization will present quality products as well as quality services to its customers. This will significantly enhance their satisfaction. Responding to their queries in a timely manner will equally promote their brand loyalty.
On the other hand, to boost customer appreciation, a loyalty scheme will be established where customers earn redeemable points once they buy an item from the organization. This will discourage them from buying such products from other sellers.
Finally, to enhance customer retention, the organization will engage itself in reminder advertising as well as purchase software that manages customer relationships. This will increase the chances of repeat purchases in the organization by maintaining positive awareness and brand image after purchase.
In the development of a marketing plan, the organization has an option of employing various marketing strategies in its operations. Such strategies include mass marketing as well as target marketing. Mass marketing refers to market delivery of homogenous solutions based on the premise that consumer needs are similar.
The organization can develop toys which are affordable not only by the high end markets but also the lower market segments. This implies that organization’s products’ promotions as well as its distribution channels will target the entire market.
This has the potential of increasing the market share in which the organization sells its products. On the other hand, it presents challenges where the consumer needs are rarely homogeneous. This implies that a company cannot fully meet the needs of its customers in the market by offering them a homogeneous product.
An organization has an opportunity of engaging in target marketing, which can involve niche marketing. Identifying a viable niche (a group of potential clients sharing similar characteristics), the organization can achieve this through segmentation.
The bottom line to the marketing planning process is making sales. The organization needs to ensure that a price is set in order to maximize its returns, while remaining competitive in the market.
Nevertheless, the price for the organization products may vary later on due to changes in macro economic variables that affect inflation, demand for toys, gifts, clothing and other materials as well as supply for raw materials to produce those goods as well as other products.
Nevertheless, since the strategy for the organization in the next three years is to serve both the low and the upper market segments, its price needs to be differentiated accordingly (Young, et al, 2008).
Promotion refers to one of P’s used in marketing of products that demand for effective communication regarding a product to customers in the market. This does not only help in creating awareness about a product in the market, but also serves as a reminder to existing customers to encourage them to purchase the product.
The company has used its website ‘our organization.com’ in the past, to promote its products worldwide, but due to the wide coverage usually presented by websites, the organization needs to move a step further and effectively enhance its customers’ awareness of the website in the market.
The organization will also need to ensure that the medium of communication used reaches the target market. This includes reaching the target market that is currently comprised of young people that are technologically savvy, willing to take the repositioned organization products which now will be computer based.
The organization can use TV, newspapers, billboards or even magazines to communicate to the market. The baseline to this is that whichever product is selected, it must be capable of reaching the target market.
Promotion of the organization products needs to target two groups of people in the market, which are influencers and decision makers (Applegate, & Johnson, 2007).
Social Responsibility and Its Communication
The organization will operate in a socially sustainable manner. To attain this goal, the organization will ensure that all of its products meet the health and safety requirements. The company will also engage in recycling of worn-out products collected from customers as well as other waste.
This will enhance its ability to protect environment. Finally, the organization will adopt carbon reduction strategies in its operations. This will reduce its carbon emissions by 30% in the coming year and 10% annually in the subsequent years.
This will significantly boost environmental sustainability in Brunt Land regarding the sustainable operations and development, where firms exploit current opportunities and resources without jeopardizing the ability of future generations and firms to exploit the same.
Implementation of a marketing plan is the starting point to the achievement of organizations objectives. Irrespective of how good a marketing plan may be, if the plan is left unimplemented, it will remain a mere dream. The organization needs to classify its marketing objectives into corporate, functional and tactical ones.
Once the organization leadership provides the corporate level with resources needed to execute the marketing strategy, the marketing team needs to implement the functional level strategies including indentifying distribution channels, running promotion campaigns, working together with the production department to assign products the intended price as well as ensuring that products in the market are of the right quality.
Once these objectives are achieved, then the next step involves the development of action plans. Individuals are assigned tasks that they are supposed to carry out within a set time frame. Its strategies are converted to actions.
For instance, if the suggested promotion strategy is to set up of billboards, its actual implementation should be carried out. Sites are secured, and the billboard is erected or hired with the rest message on it. Implementation of a plan leads to the achievement of outcomes, which may or may not tally with what is projected (Armstrong & Kotler, 2010).
This calls for comparison of the plans with the laid out goals and projections. It is the marketing team’s role to ensure that significant deviations from the expected outcomes are quickly rectified in the light of the new information in the industry. Budgets will be based on the unit and fixed cost of production. Advertising costs will be maintained at 5% of sales.
The above presentation indicates the immense need of a marketing plan. It calls for the marketing units in an accounting entity to align with the marketing campaigns and the organization’s goals and objectives. It equally shows the need for marketing managers to understand market conditions, as well as country’s factors, which may have influence on the success of their products in the market.
An effective marketing mix is critical to the success of an organization’s marketing strategy. Nevertheless, in pursuit of increased sales or market share, there is increasing need for the organization to operate in a socially responsible manner. This significantly boosts its sustainability in the long run.
Applegate, A., & Johnson, A. (2007). Cases in advertising and marketing management. Toronto: Rowman & Littlefield.
Armstrong, G., & Kotler, P. (2010). Marketing: An Introduction: Global Edition. New York: Pearson.
Learn Marketing.net (2012). Market targeting options. Retrieved from http://www.learnmarketing.net/targeting.htm
Young, et al. (2008). Principles of marketing. UK: Rex Bookstores.