Marketing planning process

Sources of Marketing Research and Information Used In Implementing MMP

Marketing planning process is a logical sequence and series events to be done so as to attain strategic planning objectives of an organization and setting up strategic plans for achieving them. This is a formal process done annually by most of organizations  such that the results of draft at each stage is analyzed to evaluate the impacts it has brought on the earlier stages and changes are done to meet the expectations. The main aim is to move from the general to the specific, from the overall objectives of the organization and narrow down to individual action plan for a section of one marketing process.

For an organization like Marks and spencer, this is one of widely recognized and largest clothing and food retailer in UK. The main source of marketing research and information in its implementation of planning process is market audit. This gives complete and accurate information of what is happening at the ground. The information collected using this audit includes: review of the marketing environment which involves the study of the organizations markets customers, competitors and overall social, political, technical and economical environment currently and in the future and the review of detailed marketing mix in terms of product, price, place and promotion. Finally review of marketing system in its organization, strategies and objectives.

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Benefits Achieved From Marketing Planning

Marks and Spencer being like any other organization which practices marketing planning for its products have gained significantly. Some of accrued benefits include:

The organization has been able to strongly define itself and develop its identity in the customers, employees and market at large.
launching of the new products has been fast and cost effective
it sets up a promise and expectation of the organization products and services
it has separated the organization from the competitors and has given it a value  making it relevant to its customers
it determines the unique selling proposition over the competitors
It outlines how all defined brands will be used, enhanced and strengthened and allows for strategic positioning of brands in the targeted markets.

Ways of Improving Marketing Planning Process Used By Mark and Spencer

For a marketing planning process to remain and continue being viable, there needs to be frequent redefining and resetting of the objectives to march the market requirements with changing economic times. Several ways in which the Mark and Spencer company can do to improve its marketing planning include: first developing new range of products to meet the changing market needs and competition arising from other clothing and food making organization, re-launching and redesigning of the existing clothing ranges and doing away with those products that are not serving  market effectively.

New features need to be added and designing new packaging methods to make them look more attractive to the potential customers. This will ensure the products or services have all qualities that a customer expects to get from them. Then price of these products should be set such that they are able to penetrate the market effectively. This is achieved through pricing for different market segments. This segmentation should match differences in the buyer behaviour of the customers and study the competition in terms of number of competitors, their size, location and their strengths that exists in the market and devices the price that will be able to emerge as a preferred organization in the market. Acceptance of credit cards from other organizations and doing business on Sundays has significantly enabled Mark and Spencer recovers some its market share. The products need to be promoted in the market to create awareness to the customers so as to gain responses from the targeted markets.

The marketing campaign dubbed “look behind the label” has created awareness to customer some of ethical and environmental friendly aspects being used by organization and more needs to be done to improve the image of the organization. The public relation of the organization should be well developed so as to have a clear understanding between the organization and the customers and organizing the sales force to cover new products introduced in the market. Lastly, having a  channel of distribution from the producer to consumer well structured to ensure the products reach the targeted marketed at convenient time This can be done by either direct channel from wholesaler to retail outlets or indirect means where distributor agency with good reputations are contracted to supply the products to the retailers. This will ensure the products are always available in the market and customer’s demands are met without shortage in supply.

Recommendation for improving the marketing plan for the future:

Marketing planning process is one of the factors considered when drawing a business plan and contributes significantly to the success since without sales, no returns are achievable. Marketing plans needs to be prepared with all stakeholders consulted and given a chance to providing their opinions so as to ensure the process is all inclusive to avoid making a decision without considering all factors. Professional with adequate know-how on marketing planning process can be employed so as to provide guidance and technical know-how.

Marketing plans needs to be revised regularly depending on the marketing liberation to avoid lagging behind as new technology and innovations arises. Plan needs to be simple, specific, achievable and attainable. Products need to be of high quality and meet the desired standards by the targeted customers. Pricing of the products need to be specific to be each market segments so as the products can compete effectively in the market.  Promotion strategies selected should be one that will reach a larger market audience effectively and provide relevant information concerning the products.

References

BBC News 24 (2006): M&S Set to Launch Fairtrade Range, Retrieved from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4660410.stm, on May 15, 2007

Brassington, F. and Pettitt, S. (2000): Principles of Marketing, 2nd Edn: New York, Prentice Hall, Harlow

Fill, C. (2002): Marketing Communications, Contexts, strategies and applications: New York, Prentice Hall

Kotler, P.; Armstrong, G.; Saunders, J. and Wong, V. (1999): Principles of Marketing, 2nd Edn, New Jersey: Prentice Hall

McDonald, M. (2001): Marketing Plans: – How to prepare them, how to use the. 4th Edn: London, Butterworth Heinenamm

McDonald, M. (2001): Marketing Plans: – How to prepare them, how to use the. 4th Edn: London, Butterworth Heinenamm

BBC News 24 (2006): M&S Set to Launch Fairtrade Range, Retrieved from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4660410.stm, on May 15, 2007

Brassington, F. and Pettitt, S. (2000): Principles of Marketing, 2nd Edn: New York, Prentice Hall, Harlow

Kotler, P.; Armstrong, G.; Saunders, J. and Wong, V. (1999): Principles of Marketing, 2nd Edn, New Jersey: Prentice Hall

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