MARKETING PLAN – Following the Situation Analysis and considering the organisation’s mission and strategic objectives, the details of the MP are developed.
The first step is to set the Marketing objectives, which should ideally complement and support the organisation’s other objectives, such as, for example, to support the organisation’s social mission, to capitalise financially from the organisation’s offerings, or to innovate the organisation’s cultural products. That is why business planning on any organisational sector (e.g. marketing, production, human resources, financial, etc.) requires the cooperation of the heads of the various involved departments, in order for the plans to be coherent, complementary, and supportive of each other and of the “umbrella” strategic plan of the organisation.
Objectives need to be S.M.A.R.T., namely Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
The next step in the process of designing an MP is to select the Target Group(s) according to the Marketing objectives set before. Accordingly, the specific Mix of Marketing tools must be decided upon, to reach each set objective. As mentioned before, the Marketing Mix is flexible and depending on its set objectives and selected target groups an organisation needs to define the appropriate use of tactics based on the 5 elements of Product, Place, Price, Promotion, and People.
Needless to say, that the choice of marketing tactics depends on the budget and other resources (e.g. people, infrastructure, technologies, etc.) available for realising the marketing objectives. Therefore, budgeting and resource allocation is an indispensable part of an MP.
Since objectives are time-bound, time charts are also important to set timeframe and deadlines for the completion of specific planned actions, as well as evaluation milestones to help controlling the efficient realisation of the MP. A useful time-planning tool is the Gantt Chart.
Questions to ask, when creating a marketing plan include: