Purposes of a Marketing Plan
There are several purposes of a marketing plan. A marketing plan is a market-specific, product-specific or a company-wide plan that provides a description of the activities that are involved in the achievement of the marketing objectives within a specified timeframe. It is a blueprint that comprehensively outlines the overall marketing and advertising efforts of an organization. This plan identifies the needs of specific customers as well as how an organization intends to meet them while at the same time generating returns at an acceptable level. A good marketing plan includes current market analysis, detailed programs of action, sales forecasts, budgets, strategies as well as projected financial statements.
What are the major purposes of a marketing plan?
- Targeting markets
A marketing plan enables the marketing executives to analyze and define the markets that a company can access. Accessible markets comprise of the people that a company or organization can reach via sales efforts. Social, geographic, cultural and community factors limit the accessibility of markets. To be accessible, members of a target market should be in need of the product of an organization and willing to purchase it at a reasonable price. This purpose of any business plan is important because it enables a company to determine the right people to sell its products to.
- Setting objectives
The main role of a marketing plan is to help the executives of a company in setting objectives or the course of action to take in marketing. This is very important because marketing goals should generally be aligned to the broader objectives of a company. A new business or company that wants to grow can for instance use a marketing plan to emphasize strategies that will increase its customer base.
Leaders of a company usually ask for a marketing plan before they allocate resources to a marketing budget. A thorough marketing plan lays out a budget and necessary resources that are required to accomplish the stated marketing objective. A marketing plan enables marketing executives to showcase what they intend to accomplish with the resources that they are asking for. Additionally, the plan makes assessing the potential returns from an investment in a marketing campaign possible.
- Strategic planning
A marketing plan is very important when it comes to strategic planning because it coincides with the larger picture of the strategic plan of a company. A marketing plan makes it possible for the leaders of a company to come up with expectations and monitor them in relation to other areas. For instance, if growing sales is the goal of a marketing plan, leaders of a company can ramp up the sales staff in the stores to facilitate the generation of more sales.
- Enhancing accountability
A marketing plan has several facets that are related to accountability. This plan is basically a general commitment by the marketing staff and leaders of a company. It is a commitment that the marketing staff and leaders make to take the company towards a specific direction. After outlining strategies and developing tasks, each team or person is assigned a task to implement. Assigning roles to the marketing staff as indicated in the marketing plan makes tracking milestones and communicating with employees during the implementation process easier.
Why it is important to know the purposes of a marketing plan
It is important to know the purposes or roles of a marketing plan in order to use it effectively. Additionally, a marketing plan is usually included in a business plan. This makes it possible for investors to see data that indicates how you intend to grow your business or company and the kind of return on investment that investors can expect from the business. Thus, knowing the purposes of this plan enables you to ensure that it serves its intended purposes inside as well as outside the organization.
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