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GUIDELINES FOR TERM PAPER – MARKETING PLAN

 

  1. Executive Summary – The Executive Summary “sells” the marketing plan to readers through its clarity and brevity.  The summary should present a description of the product/service, its target market, and its need within the market. The executive summary provides an overview of the main points of the plan and should emphasize an action orientation.

IMPORTANT: Write this last – after all the other sections have been completed.

 

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  1. Company Description – The company description should highlight the recent history and successes of the organization. Company description must include:
  • Description of company
  • Product lines.
  • Headquarters, locations, number of employees.
  • Revenue, growth, profitability, or loss (financial information)
  • Key issues, strengths, or weaknesses of company.
  • Current news about the company.

 

  1. Strategic Focus and Plan – The Strategic Focus and Plan sets the strategic direction and has several sections:

 

  1. Mission/Vision – The Mission/Vision statement is a qualitative statement that specifies the markets and product lines in which a business will compete.  An effective mission statement must be clear and direct.

 

  1. Strategy – Explain the marketing strategy that will be used and why it was chosen. (Ex: A market penetration strategy will be used in order to increase market share from XX to XX.) Only choose one strategy from Figure 1 for this plan. Use the following market development grid to explain your strategy. Remember, there must be transition sentences leading to any grids or charts used. Don’t depend just on the grid to explain your points.

 

Figure 1. Marketing Strategy.

            

 

 

 

Current Product

 

New Product

Current Market  

Market penetration

 

Product development

New

Market

 

Market development

 

Diversification

 

  1. Objectives (SMART goals) – The objectives section of a marketing plan sets both financial and non-financial targets.  Goals should be in quantitative terms, where possible, to facilitate measuring the company’s future performance.

 

Develop three goals for the product. They must be S.M.A.R.T goals! (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound)

  • An example of a financial goal: “XYZ Inc. will increase sales from $10 million in 2017 to $15 million in 2019.”

 

  1. Situation Analysis – The essence of the situation analysis is taking stock of where the firm or product has been recently, where it is now, and where it is headed. There are several sub-sections in this part of the paper:

 

  1. Industry Analysis – The industry analysis section should provide the backdrop for a more detailed analysis of the competition, the company, and the customer.  An in-depth analysis will give both internal and external readers of the plan confidence in the company’s ability to understand its own industry. Include:
  • Description of industry
  • Size of industry (revenue)
  • Growth rate
  • Important factors impacting the industry

 

  1. Competitive Analysis – An effective analysis of the competition should demonstrate that the company has a realistic understanding of its major competitors and their marketing strategies.  As in with the industry analysis, a realistic assessment makes readers feel confident that the marketing actions in the plan are well grounded.

 

Key competitors – Name the top three competitors and give a brief description. Include the following information at a minimum:

  • Description of company and product lines.
  • Headquarters, locations, number of employees.
  • Revenue, growth, profitability.
  • Key issues, strengths, or weaknesses of competitors.

 

  1. SWOT Analysis – The SWOT analysis is an effective shorthand summary of the situation analysis. The SWOT analysis can be effectively presented in a tabular format (see Figure 2) followed by a text discussion that elaborates on the information in the table.

 

 

Figure 2. SWOT Analysis.

 

Favorable Factors Unfavorable Factors
Internal

Factors

Strengths:

What is the company good at?

Weaknesses:

What needs work?

External

Factors

Opportunities:

What is going on in the marketplace?

Threats:

What should the company be wary of?

 

 

  1. Market-Product Focus – This section has several sub-sections that are used to explain the target market and how the product will provide value to the buyer.

 

  1. Target Market Description – describe the prospective customers. They are the target market. Use demographics, psychographics, lifestyle, values, and behaviors to fully describe the ideal customer.

 

  1. Points of Difference (vs. competitors) – Explain how this product is different from the competition. What value will be it provide to the buyer?

 

  1. Positioning Map (relative to competitors) – A product’s unique points of difference are communicated by way of a positioning strategy. Also include a perceptual or positioning map to help illustrate the competitive positioning. (See Figure 3.)

 

Figure 3. Product Positioning Map.

 

 

  1. Marketing Program – Everything that has been written so far in the marketing plan sets the stage for the marketing mix actions—the 4 Ps covered in the marketing plan.  Product, price, promotion, and place (distribution) strategies are all detailed in the this section:

 

When describing these strategies: Include these elements:
a.      Product/Service  

Fully describe the product or service. Include: features, brand name, packaging, services, and warranty. A photo of the product is usually a good idea to include.

b.      Price  

Explain the pricing strategy. Show how the price compares to competitors’ products. Include: List price, discounts, allowances, credit terms, payment period, accessories, and anything that affects the final price.

c.      Promotion  

Develop a promotional campaign with three tactics. Examples: digital marketing, advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, publicity, social media, billboards, etc.

d.      Place/distribution  

Determine where the product will be sold. What are other considerations: retail outlets, channels, coverage, interactive marketing

 

  1. Conclusion and recommendations – Now that all the work has been done to prepare the marketing plan, pull the ideas together and give the reader a final conclusion and recommendations to end the paper. This gives the reader the last points to consider.

 

Reference List

 

A correctly formatted reference list must be included to show the source of all factual information.

 

Other notes:

 

 

  • Some sections could use a bulleted list rather than extensive narrative.

 

  • Must include a table of contents.

 

  • Running head and page numbers are required.

 

  • Must have at least five references for this paper.

 

  • No wikis or blogs (unless instructor has cleared the use of these for the paper).

 

  • Write the Executive Summary last. This section is NOT an introduction. It should contain the key points from the paper to help guide the reader.

 

  • Use APA format for all in-text citations. Use in-text citations whenever using information that was obtained from a reference source.

 

  • Include a cover page.

 

  • Follow APA format throughout the paper.

 

  • Proofread and edit before submitting the final paper!

MARKETING PLANNING WORKSHEET

 

FACTOR ISSUE MARKETING PLAN IDEAS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Consumer/
Target Market Analysis
· Who Benefits?
· How Do They Benefit?
· Who Decides to Buy or Use?
· Point of Difference?
Environmental (Uncontrollable) Forces · Consumer/Social Forces
· Economic Forces
· Technological Forces
· Competitive Forces
· Legal/Regulatory Forces
Developing the Marketing Plan · Objective
· Research (Collect Info)
· Product/Service Offered
· Price
· Promotion

–    Advertising

   –    Sales Promotion
   –    Public Relations
   –    Personal Selling
· Place/Distribution
· Budget
· Milestone Dates

 

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