How to Prepare a Marketing Plan
By stating how you intend to deal with each of the 4Ps of marketing you will have begun to create a set of task objectives.
If you opted for a cost focus positioning approach you might note under ‘product’ that, amongst other things, there is a need to add a particularly important feature to your product and also reduce the cost of some aspect of the production process. You may already have some idea of how to tackle cost reduction, in which case your task objectives stemming from this point will be to:
- investigate the viability of your ideas;
- test the effect of introducing them; and,
- implement the modified procedures.
If you have yet to work out where savings might be made, your task objectives could be to research comparable production processes and then review your process to determine where costs may be reduced - at which point your objectives carry on with investigating the validity of ideas, etc. Similarly, with the added feature, your task objectives would be to research customer preferences for the way the feature should be incorporated, produce modified designs to evaluate the effect on functionality, appearance, etc, build prototypes to conduct final tests and then develop modified production procedures.
Once you are sure you have covered all of the necessary points you will be in a position to produce your action plan. For each point you need to allocate an appropriate amount of time to fulfil each of the task objectives and set a target deadline. This will help you work out how to implement the plan quickly whilst ensuring that normal day-to-day operations run smoothly. It will also provide a basis for monitoring progress. Where several people will be involved in implementing the plan, you should try to allocate responsibility for each task to one person - usually the one with the knowledge, skills and authority to manage it - and agree how they will report back.
You are likely to find that, as with any other form of project planning, there will be some tasks where it either makes sense to complete one before another or one task cannot be started until another has been completed or progressed past a certain point. In the example used above it would be sensible to make sure that the impact on production procedures of adding the extra feature is fully understood before looking at possible changes to production processes for cost reduction. When you have worked out all aspects of your action plan, you may find it helpful to summarise it in the form of a Gantt chart.