A MARKETING PLAN AS AN OPERATIONAL FRAMEWORK

A marketing plan provides a framework for the organization’s activities. In addition to the mission and the statement of strategic intent, the marketing plan sets out plans for every aspect of the strategies to be pursued towards the organization’s goals.

At various levels of the organization, the marketing plan identifies both the objectives and the strategies to achieve those objectives. Each component of the marketing mix will be outlined in the marketing plan.

Marketing plans lay out the details of the marketing mix and provide guidance for other functional areas of an organization, such as production and human resources.

An effective marketing plan not only outlines what should be done, but also details how the plan should be monitored and controlled.

Allocating resources and budgets according to the marketing plan. A marketing plan should specify the points where reviews should be conducted and the metrics to be used.

Planning a marketing campaign requires a lot of time. The marketing plan should define the timing of the various activities. If the timing of various activities is not right, organizations could succeed or fail.

The following are critical issues:

  • Time to create new products
  • New market entry timing and speed
  • Response time and speed to competitor challenges
  • Marketing communications timing

In addition to defining strategies, the marketing plan also provides a detailed implementation guide, containing activities, timing, resources, and costs.

As part of the marketing plan, a range of activities should be put into action in order to meet the organization’s objectives. It is not a vague vision.

MARKETING PLAN FRAMEWORK – METHOD OF RESOURCE AND BUDGET ALLOCATION

The marketing plan provides a basis for allocating resources and allocating budgets.

The marketing plan should identify the activities to be carried out as well as the resources needed. These resources may include materials, equipment and labor or management time. Resources are likely to be limited, so the marketing plan offers an opportunity to consider priorities and activities that are critical for the success of the organization.

Resources will be allocated to activities that are deemed to be more important. Each activity outlined in the plan will need to be costed. How much does the internal marketing program cost? How much will radio advertising cost? Does the extra sales staff cost anything? How much does that direct mail campaign cost?

The costs of all the activities should be incorporated into the marketing plan. Appropriate budgets should be allocated to the functional departments responsible for each aspect. Budget allocation requires strong negotiating skills, as politics within the organisation may conflict with the priorities set out in the marketing plan.

Responsibilities will need to be agreed and departments and individuals given authority to manage each delegated aspect of the master budget.