Ideally, your marketing plan addresses unmet customer needs that have the potential to generate satisfactory profitability for you. A good marketing plan focuses on those target customers that your company can best serve.
The marketing plan also describes the corporate identity and image you wish to have as you build your brand over time. Your logo, taglines, corporate stationary, marketing message, sales literature, website, Internet Marketing activities, individual promotional pieces and public relations activities all contribute to your corporate image as you build your brand.
Managing the Marketing Mix
Determine how best to satisfy customer needs by formulating the correct marketing mix:
- Products and Services: Are you concentrating on a narrow product line? Are you developing a highly specialized product or service? Are you providing a product-service package containing unusually high-quality service?
- Marketing Promotions: In our “massively connected” society, successful promotional strategies embrace multiple media, both online and offline, including a website (now a necessity), corporate capabilities brochure, direct mail, email campaigns, tradeshows and public relations events. All promotions should reflect your corporate identity, be consistent and on message as you grow your brand.
Keep in mind too that all company policies and activities should be directed toward satisfying customer needs - perhaps the most critical piece of sustaining a healthy corporate identity and brand.
- Distribution Channels: If you are a manufacturer or wholesaler, you must decide how to distribute through established distributors or agents. Retailers consider cost and traffic flow in store location; remember that a low-cost, low-traffic site means more must be spent on traffic-building advertising.
- Pricing: Getting the price right is critical for maximizing revenue.In general, higher prices mean lower volume; lower pricing means higher volume. Personalized service can often command higher prices. Also, having a profitable sales volume is more important than having a high sales volume.
With Market Research, MARION Integrated Marketing can help you determine your customers' needs for your products or services, and with a Marketing Plan, we can help you satisfy those needs with the right Marketing Mix - the right messaging, in the right media.
To determine your customer needs, MARION market research will provide current and relevant market intelligence, including:
- Customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction with your products or services.
- Opportunities for new products or services.
- Trends that could affect your company sales and profitability:
- Population shifts.
- Legal developments.
- Local and national situations that could create problems and opportunities.
- What your competitors are doing.
MARION can assist you with market surveys, customer focus groups, researching published reports and statistical information, and interviewing industry experts.
Once we have gathered and analyzed all this market research information, MARION will help you determine your competitive advantages and express your superior benefits to customers through an aggressive Marketing Plan.
Your marketing plan identifies groups or segments of customers that you can better serve than your competitors, and tailors your product and service offerings, prices, distribution, promotional efforts, and services toward those particular segments.
There are two common methods generally used to segment a market:
Geographical targeting – Focuses on serving customer needs in a narrow geographical area (e.g. targeting a neighborhood as nail salons, beauty shop, convenience store, family practice physician, realtors, etc.).
Customer targeting – Focuses on those groups of customers most likely to buy the product or service no matter where they are located (e.g. national or even global targeting such as industrial supply distributors, manufacturers, online retailers, packaging supply, etc.)
Contact MARION Integrated Marketing for assistance in Market Research and/or to develop a Marketing Plan by calling 713.623.6444 or use our contact form.