In this article we will discuss about:- how to develop, implement and control industrial marketing plans.
Developing Industrial Marketing Plan:
The program is made up of six interconnected marketing processes:
1. Strategic Marketing:
This process defines and develops the unique value proposition, the positioning and the differentiation of the innovation that is being introduced. The goal is to have the management team, salespeople, marketing team and engineering team on the same page regarding the value and uniqueness of the discovery. This brings the whole organization up to speed.
2. Revenue Marketing:
This process focuses on generating leads that would convert to short-term sales for the new innovation. All programs in this process are designed to attract “hand-raisers” looking to solve the specific problem this innovation addresses. This process also clearly defines the market segment, the buyer profile and total addressable market.
3. Industry Marketing:
This process focuses on establishing the brand in the market segment as the only product that can solve the need. Here all the industry analysts and pundits review and comment on the introduction of the new innovation. This process helps develop a leading position in the market.
4. Product Marketing:
This process focuses on packaging, pricing, features and functionality to best satisfy the market need. It positions the innovation in buyer’s mind as the only correct solution and makes it “easy to buy”.
5. Channel Marketing:
Here, the distribution, deployment, and support of the innovation it worked out with the help of corporate partners.
6. Brand Marketing:
This process focuses on content for the web, brochure, PowerPoint presentations for the salespeople, tradeshow collateral and all the supporting documents needed to present the concept.
Implementing Marketing Plans:
A good marketing plan is a blueprint for marketing your products and services is a step-by- step guide to delivering the business marketing strategy. It is a practical, detailed document that sets clear, realistic and measurable activities.
A marketing plan often includes deadlines, budgets and staff allocations and can help you to:
(i) Identify specific marketing activities and budgets.
(ii) Set and meet marketing objectives.
(iii) Bring a marketing strategy to life.
Marketing plans are cyclical and ongoing. The process of developing and implementing your marketing should be woven into your business practice.
At any one time, your business might be undertaking one or more of these 4 processes:
(i) Developing your marketing plan.
(ii) Implementing strategies in your plan.
(iii) Evaluating whether the strategies are contributing to your overall marketing goals.
(iv) Refining your marketing plan.
Controls in a Marketing Plan:
The strategic marketing process consists of three phases: planning, implementation and control. When created effectively, this process ensures the success of an organization’s marketing strategy.
When you focus on the implementation phase of the process, which is the putting of the marketing strategies and plans into action, there are ways to help make this step as successful as possible.
The implementation phase involves assignments addressing for whom, where, when and how of reaching the goals and objectives of a business. It is the second step in the marketing process and involves the entire organization. Marketing implementation involves putting the marketing design, execution and scheduling into development.
This phase requires the giving of specific tasks and timelines to individuals and groups. The business employees gather the necessary resources to execute the marketing program and release the organization’s product or service to the public.
The implementation phase of strategic marketing translates into policies and procedures for areas of the organization such as marketing, procurement, human resources, research and development, information systems and production.
In most cases, a successful implementation has at its helm a very visible leader (i.e. CEO) to communicate effectively the necessary steps of the implementation.
Everyone in the organization has some type of role, whether it is large or small. Follow-up endeavors are determined with the use of performance measuring tools. A strategic map is also helpful, as it identifies the key ingredients that direct the organization’s performance. These may include finances, operations, partners and work environment.
The implementation phase requires several aspects to be successful. First, trained people must be ready to use their unique skills and abilities to implement various elements of the plan. Second, sufficient time and money must be allocated to the project.
Third, management must be communicative and ready for meetings with monthly updates. Fourth, the technology and management systems necessary to track progress must be in place. Finally, the workforce must be comfortable with the plan and motivated to succeed.
According to My Strategic Plan, there are several phases of implementation.
(1) Finalize the strategic plan with input from all invested parties;
(2) Align the budget to annual goals;
(3) Produce various versions of the plan for each group;
(4) Establish a system for tracking and monitoring the plan;
(5) Establish a performance management and reward system;
(6) Present the plan to the entire organization;
(7) Build annual department plans around the corporate plan;
(8) Schedule monthly strategy meetings with established methods of reporting progress;
(9) Set annual review dates for new assessments and an annual plan review.
Common mistakes in the implementation phase include no ownership (from managerial staff and/or employees), a lack of reliable communication, a plan that is non-specific and insubstantial, or a plan that is overly thorough and involves too many tasks.
Companies often set forth a plan and implement it without a clear manner of tracking its progress. In these cases, the organization will meet to address the progress of the implementation only annually, which leads to passivity.
Also, employees who are not held accountable for their role in the implementation can lead to a faltering plan, as can an employee who is ready to make positive changes but lacks the authority to do so. The implementation phase requires close monitoring; the organization that does not watch itself closely will miss cues that indicate necessary modifications.
To maximize the return on a marketing plan, there need to be controls in place to monitor the plan’s progress. As a marketing plan moves along, the controls are constantly analyzed to determine how the plan’s actual performance compares to the projections.
Any changes that need to be made are done based on the analysis of marketing controls. Understanding what the controls in a marketing plan are will help you develop effective performance measurement indicators.
Marketing is designed to persuade consumers to purchase a product or invest in a service. One control put into place in any marketing plan is the monitoring of customer feedback through polls and surveys. You can reach customers indirectly by hosting online polls on the Internet that ask specific questions about your latest marketing plan.
Conversely, surveys can be done with marketing groups or via individual interviews by phone or in person. Adjust your marketing plan according to the results of your research.
For Example – If your marketing campaign includes a new company mascot and customer feedback indicates that the mascot is not popular, then the mascot should be removed from the marketing plan.
Sales can be measured in units sold, revenue generated or profit amount. Each marketing plan sets out to determine the effect of the plan on the target market. Once again, this is done through market surveys or at the point of sale with the assistance of retail partners. Actual sales in the target market are compared to the marketing plan projections to see if any changes need to be made.
For Example – If the target market for a marketing plan is males ages 15 to 21, then the target market sales reports would monitor sales made to that group. If sales are down, then further market research needs to be done to see why the target audience is not responding to the marketing.
In some cases, analyzing a demographic breakdown of sales may indicate that the initial target market was inaccurate and a new target market may emerge based on sales data.
A marketing budget is a balance between the cost of generating the advertising materials and the revenue created by the marketing plan. There are several controls in place that can be used to monitor a marketing budget, including print advertising expenses, travel expenses for trade shows, the cost of market research studies and internal personnel costs for the company’s marketing department.
All of these costs need to be closely monitored to minimize spending and maximize profitability. By examining expenses, you are able maintain your budget and see exactly where spending increases come from.
Market share is that percentage of consumer sales dominated by your product.
For Example – You may have several competitors in a particular industry, with your product sales making up 15 percent of all products sold into that marketplace. In most cases, market share is broken down by product to get a comprehensive look at consumer patterns.
A marketing plan outlines the market share of a product before the plan is in place and then projects the changes to the marketplace when the plan is over.
For Example – Your marketing plan may call for increasing market share of your newest product from 10 percent of all products sold to 15 percent. During the plan’s timeline, there will be milestone percentages you will want to reach on your way to the 5 percent increase.
For Example – You may want to see a 3 percent market share increase at the halfway point of the marketing plan. If your analysis does not show a 3 percent increase by that point, then you need to analyze why the plan is falling short and what can be done to correct it.