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Marketing As A Management Process

3476 words (14 pages) Essay in Marketing

10/05/17 Marketing Reference this

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Introduction

The most important part of strategy implementation is monitoring the strategic marketing plan. Developing a strategic marketing plan is easier than implementing it. At the end of this paper i will be able to understand the meaning and role of marketing in achievement of organizational objectives, identify the organizations’ current and future position in the sectors or markets in which it operates and also to devise and implement a marketing plan that contributes to achievement of organizational objectives. Efficient monitoring of a marketing plan will ensure that my investment is not wasted rather it is utilized.

Explain marketing as a management process

Marketing management is the application, tracking and review of a company’s marketing resources and activities. The scope of a business’ marketing management depends on the size of the business and the industry in which the business operates. Effective marketing management will use a company’s resources to increase its customer base, improve customer opinions of the company’s products and services, and increase the company’s perceived value. (Marketing management)

Describe the role of marketing in identifying and predicting the needs of current and potential stakeholders

Although it is widely accepted that corporate reputation influences organization-stakeholder interactions, there is no theoretical framework that conceptualizes this aspect in stakeholders’ decision-making processes for establishing various forms of relationships with a firm. (Puncheva, 2008)

An effective stakeholder communication plan should follow the following six steps: At firsr, identify the stakeholders. This can be done by the stakeholder analysis. Secondly, Prioritize the stakeholders which can be done by the power/interest grid. Not every stakeholder has similar interests in the organization or the project. Next, Understand key stakeholders Knowing and understanding each stakeholder makes it simple for the manager to devise an effective communication plan. Consequently, determine what you need from each stakeholder. Furthermore, identify what is the message to be conveyed. Atlast, identify the actions to convey the message. (Shah, 2011)

Describe the benefits of cost benefits analysis and how this analysis is applied in your work area

Cost-Benefit Analysis involves adding up the benefits of a course of action, and then comparing these with the costs associated with it. The results of a cost-benefit analysis are often expressed as a payback period – this is the time it takes for benefits to repay costs. Many people who use Cost-Benefit Analysis look for payback in less than a specific period – for example, three years. You can use Cost-Benefit Analysis in a wide variety of situations. For example, when you are deciding to hire new team members, evaluating a new project and determining the feasibility of a capital purchase. However, bear in mind that Cost-Benefit Analysis is best for making quick and simple financial decisions. More robust approaches are commonly used for more complex, business-critical or high cost decisions. (Cost-Benefit Analysis)

Advantages of Cost Benefit Analysis

The main advantage of cost benefit analysis is that it is easy to understand. You are simply looking at whether benefits outweigh costs. When you do this quantitatively, measuring the dollar amount of the benefits and the costs involved in a project, the cost benefit is very easy to see. This clarity means that everyone involved will understand the monetary nature of the project and the question of its continuance. Its simplicity also means that doing a CBA is easily possible for various scenarios, locations and more. (Renee O’Farrell)

Consider the principle of trying to secure competitive advantage for your products or services

Differentiation is one of the key ways you can gain a competitive advantage online. That’s the whole reason for marketing – to differentiate your company from the rest of the pack. Before you can differentiate, you need to size-up your marketplace. Competitive intelligence can help your company understand how your products and services are positioned in the marketplace versus other companies. This will help you determine what strategies are needed in order to reach new customers and increase sales. (Thomas Publishing Company, 2008)

Step 1: Define and understand your company’s marketing plan – product, positioning, distribution, target markets, etc. This information serves as the benchmark for comparing your company to other companies. Step 2: identify your competitors. Keep in mind, competitors are not only those companies that produce the same product and go after the same target customers. They may also be companies that produce products that are somewhat different from yours, but are competing for the same dollars from the same target customers. Or, they could be companies that are producing the same products but are targeting different customers. You may also want to start grouping competitors into different categories based on how strongly they are competing against your company in the marketplace. Step 3: Collect information regarding each competitor’s products and/or services, such as features, pricing, capabilities, and more. You will also want to understand how your competitor is marketing their products. Step 4: Now that you have collected this data, it’s time to sit down and compare your company to each competitor. Don’t worry if you don’t have each and every data element across all companies. The idea is to start the process of looking at the data and determining where you can gain a competitive advantage. Data collection will be an ongoing process. Step 5: In order to drive significant growth in the marketplace, you may need to change the rules of the game, in both your and the customers’ favor. (Thomas Publishing Company, 2008)

Describe how you gain information on competition or similar organisations

The information requirements for each of these business decisions will be completely different and so the information that should be sought will also be different. Thus before starting to search for information the competitor analyst needs to sit back and define what they are looking for and why. They need to identify the key areas of concern for the business decision makers requesting the information, and aim to satisfy these. Information will come from a variety of sources, both within the organization and external to it. Sales representatives deal on a daily basis with customers – and will hear what the competitors have been doing. They are the business foot soldiers – with the ear to the ground who can forewarn management about impending enemy campaigns. Research & Development may come across new patents. Purchasing may find out that a supplier is now also supplying a competitor. Market research can give feedback on the customer’s perspective. (Aware)

By monitoring competitors on an on-going basis you get to know their behavior and so can start to anticipate what they will be likely to do next. There’s no doubt that any research project these days should begin with a simple Google search or visiting your competitor’s web page. There are great and inexpensive resources for checking up on your competitors online and offline. Of course, given how companies are increasingly using social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter as marketing outlets these days, you might be able to pick up interesting facts about your competition-and maybe even your own company-just by tuning in. (Dahl, 2011)

Task 2

Discuss the current position of your organisation within its chosen sector or market

To understand and value a company, investor has to look at its financial position. A company’s financial position is defined by its assets and liabilities. A company’s financial position also includes shareholder equity. All this information is presented to shareholders in the balance sheet. For example, we are examining the financial statements of fictitious publicly listed retailer, The Outlet, to evaluate its financial position. To do this, we examine the company’s annual report, which can often be downloaded from a company’s website. By comparing the company’s market value to its book value, investors can in part determine whether a stock is under- or over-priced. (McClure, 2011)

The very first thing to do before plotting a course for growth is to set up the key metrics of your business. “Metrics” are basically crucial statistics by which you can measure how well your business is performing. Among the key metrics to consider are money-related metrics, customer-related metrics, product development-related metrics and team- and operations-related metrics. For example, a customer-related metric might be, “Conversion rate of Web site visitors to purchasers.” (10 Steps to Grow your Business)

Determine a future market or sector position for your organization in line with organizational objectives

Objectives of an organization structure are: accountability for areas of work undertaken by groups and individual members of the organization,co-ordination of different parts of the organization and different areas of work,effective and efficient organizational performance, including resource utilization,monitoring the activities of the organization, flexibility in order to respond to changing environmental factors and the social satisfaction of members of the organization. (Public Health Action Support Team, 2011)

Each organization needs to decide for itself when the time is right for a strategic plan. It is sometimes easier to describe when the time is not right than when it is. For example, when the roof has blown off the building, an organization should replace it, not start strategic planning. Developing and drafting a plan will take a few weeks to a few months depending upon the size and complexity of your organization. Those who will be involved in planning should agree to take time for the planning process. This could involve a few hours a week for several weeks or months. Some organizations find that an individual who is not directly involved with the organization’s regular work can help them with their planning process. The planning location should be comfortable, include tables or other surfaces for participants to write, and have room to move around. (Strategic planning- what is it? how do you do it?, 2008)

Investigate opportunities for a stronger “customer-focused” approach for the activities for which you are responsible

Customer-focused approach plans, schedules, and co-ordinates production activities, based on the needs of individual customer orders. In particular, an integrated bill of material and routing data structure is used to effectively organize production data in response to product specifications of customer orders. It facilitates the creation of production jobs with varying routings and material requirements. A job-oriented finite capacity scheduling system is used to effectively accommodate specific needs of individual customer orders. It allows for realistic setting of delivery dates and negotiation of order changes. (Chung-Hsing, 2000)

A customer-focused strategy delivers different services to different customers based on how unique the customers are. While product-centric organizations focus on selling the same products to as many customers as possible, customer-centric organizations focus on selling more products to the same customers. At the core of the customer-centric strategy is not efficiency but growth. The difference between the two strategies is the origin-the product versus the customer. This difference is not merely semantics. It is rooted in a different definition of value proposition, a different organizational structure, a different pricing model and different methods of connecting with the customers. Customer-centric companies do things completely differently – and not marginally differently, as is the case with product-centric companies. (American Management Association, 2006)

Identify other parts of your organisation which are impacted and involved in a future market or sector plan.

A company has to have an overall company mission which defines what the company is all about and what makes it unique. For example, is the firm concerned with selling consumer goods (B2C), weapons, heavy machinery (B2B), etc.? The marketing plan is an important document used by companies for planning. It is a road map and surveys the business environment, describes problems, threats and opportunities in the industry, contains a marketing strategy, and has financial projections/budgets. Vertical integration means that the manufacturer might, for instance, purchase a supplier (backward integration) or a retailer (forward integration). The oil industry is vertically integrated since the major oil companies are involved in oil exploration and refining the oil; and the gas stations (retailers) that sell the oil are franchisees of the oil companies. Thus, the oil companies have a hand in the entire supply chain. A firm takes over another firm in a totally different business area. This is often done because one firm is rich in cash without many growth opportunities, while the other firm may have many growth opportunities with insufficient capital. Sometimes, a firm takes over a firm in another industry because of the skills that it possesses. For example, a major tobacco company (much cash, few growth opportunities) acquired a food company that needed money to invest in new products. (Friedman, 2011)

Bring together key executives from various areas (finance, marketing, etc.) and use them as a panel to make forecasts. The advantage of this method is that it is quick and inexpensive. Salespeople are involved in B2B (Business to Business) usually so they have a great deal of expertise. The belief is that salespeople talk to their customers and should have some ideas what the future will be like. Of course, I have to adjust the forecasts upward since salespeople tend to be overly conservative for a good reason. They want to look good and show that they beat the forecast. Outside Experts might be used for forecasting. In fact, trade associations generally do a great deal of forecasting. (Friedman, 2011)

Task 3

Construct a marketing plan that supports current markets or sectors and targets potential new markets or sectors.

Marketing plan includes everything from understanding your target market and your competitive position in that market, to how you intend to reach that market and differentiate yourself from your competition in order to make a sale. The first step in developing your marketing plan is to establish the marketing objectives that will accomplish your business goals. One of the steps you can take to create your objectives is to first create a vision statement, which is basically the long-term mission for your business that is both timeless and immediately inspiring for organization stakeholders. Every business has is its own brand, so in setting your vision, you should identify the attributes of your product or service that define the brand and its long-term positioning. (Dahl, How to Write a Marketing Plan, 2010)

Another step that can help set objectives is to perform S.W.O.T. analysis, where you identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing your business. By conducting such an analysis, you should identify the key insights and strategic plans that will drive your business over the next one-to-five years. Once you have your vision and a better sense of the opportunities and threats facing your business, you can begin establishing S.M.A.R.T. objectives – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound – that will help you drive to your tangible goal, such as profitable growth or market share. (Dahl, How to Write a Marketing Plan, 2010)

Evaluate the support necessary to implement the plan

First, identify market quite specifically and determine its size, competitors, and what features of product or service will better satisfy customers. This information enables you to determine your market share and your most likely potential customers. A customer- oriented marketing style will capture a greater market share than one centered on just the product or service. You also will differentiate products/services in terms of exclusive processes or superior ingredients and other features. You may identify product weaknesses, with the knowledge that your marketing strategy will need to create a demand that overrides the specific weakness. Pricing is another essential of your marketing strategy. You have to price each product/service in relation to its cost and the percent of annual sales and total dollar amounts it represents. (Curators of the University of Missouri, 2010)

In order to be successful in your new business, you need to know your competition. With your direct competition, you need to determine who and how strong they are. By researching your competition, you will learn a great deal about managing your own business. Both internal and external factors influence the process of pricing a product or service. Internal variables include total cost and the overall goals of the company. External pricing determinants are more related to the market situation and the competition. Both internal and external factors must be considered by business owners when initially developing a comprehensive pricing strategy. (Curators of the University of Missouri, 2010)

Implement the marketing plan

Implementation has two dimensions: organizing and executing. Because of the number and diversity of marketing activities, firms must develop organizational structures to manage and implement them. An organizational structure should make clear who will carry out the marketing plans for each market and what the reporting relationships among managers and other staff will be. Certain organizational concepts can facilitate implementation, such as the product manager. Firms may also form implementation teams consisting of representatives from the business functions and/or marketing activities involved. Each of the organization’s units must execute its assigned tasks in an effective and efficient manner to make the plan work. Many of the organizations departments and people will be involved – as will be a number of outside firms and people (suppliers, distributors and specialist intermediaries such as marketing researchers and advertising agencies) (Implementing the Marketing Plan, 2012)

Unfortunately, there are no guaranteed routes to effective execution. Managers can enhance the level of execution to the extent that they are effective in:-ensuring activities are goal and objective directed; assigning resources to facilitate performance; building interpersonal relationships and networks. Managers who want to ensure that activities will be properly directed toward implementing the plan must be sure that those involved in executing the plan are given clearly stated goals, targets and objectives and support and motivational packages designed to support these goals. (Implementing the Marketing Plan, 2012)

Assess the progress of the plan, through monitoring, reviewing and end evaluation in the achievement of organizational objectives.

Monitoring a strategic marketing plan requires that some challenging questions have been asked, direction for the company’s future has been set, and specific, measurable goals have been targeted, identified as viable, and assigned via a budget. A marketing strategy should include defining the vision on products, placement, pricing and promotion and then detailing the vision within a budget that specifies monthly goals. Examine your product mix. If I have one product and market is saturated, develop another complimentary product or service that gives you more opportunity for more sales. If the market is not saturated but the sales plan is off, determine how you can adjust personnel, compensation and skill levels to make more of an impact. Determine the focus of marketing and sales groups. Provide definitive goals regarding selling new customers, servicing old customers, and give clear direction on responsibilities regarding gaining market intelligence on the competition and the industry as a whole. (Balbi)

Set prices based upon the market and your target niche. Reduce costs by improving processes and eliminating wastes. If product pricing is competitive, look at services and see if there are opportunities to make money offering additional services. One example of this could be a delicatessen. If you compare a pound of salami meat from one store to another store’s, the product pricing may be very competitive. Highly competitive markets might be significantly impacted if the product pricing is adjusted by 10 percent either way. For example, in the grocery business, milk, eggs and bread are things that consumers price shop. The objective of the marketing plan should be broadly focused on the needs of the overall business. Most products have a high, middle and low-end target audience. Impact customer perception through surveys and respond appropriately to customer perception. Improve quality and service levels through advanced staff training and quality reviews. (Balbi)

Conclusion:

The Marketing Plan is a highly detailed, heavily researched and, hopefully, well written report that many inside and possibly outside the organization will evaluate. In many respects, the Marketing Plan is the most important document produced by marketers as it not only helps to justify what has occurred in the past, but is critical for explaining where a company intends to go in the future. This paper has helped me to have a clear concept about marketing management and its applications and ways of implementing, monitoring and assessing marketing which will help me in the future when i habe my own business since Marketing Plan is widely used by both large corporate marketing departments and also by small startup companies.

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