Why Marketing Plans Are Important
If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail
REASON 1: Maximizes Profit
Because one aspect of a marketing plan affects all of the others, coordinating your activities is critical to eliminating interference and maximizing your profits. A marketing strategy looks at all of the areas of your selling activities and helps each one support the next, making sure all of your departments are aware of what each is doing. Understanding how to create an integrated marketing strategy will help you make better individual decisions regarding specific marketing tactics.
REASON 2: Streamlines Development
A marketing strategy helps you create products and services with the best chances for making a profit. This is because marketing strategy starts with marketplace research, taking into consideration your optimal target customer, what your competition is doing and what trends might be on the horizon. Using this information, you determine the benefit customers and clients want, what they’re willing to pay and how you can differentiate your product or service from the competition.
REASON 3: Formulates Pricing
Part of a marketing strategy is setting the right price for your product or service based on what you learned in your market research. If you learned that customers want a high-end product in your category, your pricing strategy might require you to sell at prices that create a high-end perceived value. If your target customer is bargain conscious and is willing to accept fewer bells and whistles on your product in exchange for paying less, your pricing strategy will require you to sell at or below the competition’s price.
REASON 4: Establishes Distribution
Once you know what product features you’ll offer, who your target customer is and what your price points will be, you can select where you want to sell to maximize your marketing effectiveness. Younger customers will be more likely to shop using a smartphone or on a website, paying with PayPal or a credit card. Older customers might prefer to shop at retail outlets. If your market research shows you need to be in retail stores but you don’t have a sales force, you can use a wholesaler or distributor.
REASON 5: Assists Communications
Your market research will help you create your brand, or image you want to establish about your business. Without marketplace research and a strategic marketing plan, you might respond to solicitations from advertising salespeople on an individual, reactionary basis, sending messages that don’t fit in with the brand identity you’ve created based on your product development efforts. A marketing strategy lets you determine if a particular magazine, radio station or website fits into your selling plans.
REASON 6: Organizational Impact
When you have a marketing strategy, your departments can better work with each other, because they are all working from the same plan. For example, your advertising people will talk with your product development people to determine what message you should send about your benefit. Your sales people will talk with the people responsible for managing your image to determine if they can offer discounts, coupons or rebates without damaging your brand.