Market Planning Process
May 11, 2016
A marketing plan is a map that guides an organization from Point A (its current state) to Point B (its desired state). That guidance comes from the marketing planning process, which answers four questions: where are you now; who do you want to be; what’s the best way to get there; and what do you need for the trip? The market planning process of developing an actionable marketing plan begins with these essential steps, which every business should follow.
- Step 1 – analyze opportunities and set objectives
- The Four “Ps” — What do you have to offer, etc. …
- Firm’s internal strengths and weaknesses
- Internal and external environmental factors impacting your business
- Industry analysis — Where’s the industry going …
- Set your marketing objectives.
- Step 2 – define your target market(s)
- Starting point – successful marketing plans begin with market focus.
- Consider many segments, but select your primary target markets.
- The target market defines the market need and product offering.
- Step 3 – set your marketing strategies
- Target market
- Target market needs
- Target market offering
- Step 4 – set your marketing tactics
- What are your going to offer the target market?
- What and how are you going to tell the target market about this offer?
- How are you going to distribute this offer to the target?
- What will be your pricing strategy?
- Step 5 – define your supporting marketing programs
- Programs provide the specifics of implementation
- Step 6 – implementation
- The goal of planning is implementation.
- The key to implementation is management.
- To measure the success of a marketing plan, you need to be able to control and track the activities and results of those activities.
To find out more about the marketing management process and producing an actionable marketing plan, click here.
Dudley Stevenson, founder and CEO of DWS Associates, has over thirty-five years’ experience in consumer marketing, business-to-business marketing, and direct marketing, including developing, planning, and implementing go-to-market strategies. He's also the author of "Marketing Direct: Breaking Through The Clutter." Working with organizations ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies, he and his team have helped clients such as IBM, Sony, Neiman Marcus, Arizona Highways, Marshall Field & Co., Mrs. Field’s, UNICEF, and Patagonia implement successful direct marketing programs. A longtime member of the Direct Marketing Association and the American Marketing Association, Stevenson is also a sought-after speaker. He’s given hundreds of presentations and workshops on marketing and direct marketing. His “Marketing Planning 101” workshop alone has reached more than 100,000 marketing and sales professionals.