Marketing Plan

The marketing plan can be an independent document or contained within the business plan.  Its main purpose is to provide an outline of the actions needed to formulate strategies to achieve planned objectives such as higher sales and superior customer satisfaction.
A marketing plan is usually based on the marketing mix variables (4 Ps) and it contains the following sections, which should be assessed on an annual basis.

Section

Contents and Purpose

Aims and objectives

Company aims and Product objectives related to sales and market share.

Market Situation analysis

Assessment of:
—     the State of the economy,
—     the Profile of the Target market,
—     the existing and potential competition characteristics and tactics, and
—     the existing Complementary and Substitute products.

SWOT analysis

Evaluation of Internal Strengths and Weaknesses and an assessment of the external Opportunities and Threats.

Product details

Determine:

—     Product features and differentiation,
—     Product range and extension,
—     Packaging,
—     Warranty, and
—     Barriers to imitation.

Branding and Positioning strategy

Determine:

—     Pricing strategy,
—     Promotional strategy,
—     Sales and Distribution strategy, and
—     Customer service levels.

Forgotten Formats: Who Remembers the Digital Compact Cassette?

The digital compact cassette (DCC), introduced by Philips in 1993, was a recordable audio digital technology with sound qualities superior to those of analog cassette technology. However, the DCC failed to gain market acceptance as it offered the product at a very high price and failed to promote the most attractive features of the technology, creating confusion among consumers. DCC was officially discontinued at the end of 1996.