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.
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.