An effective marketing plan will address the 4 Ps: product, price, place (distribution) and promotion. The following decisions should be made based on your values, mission and strategic goals.
- Develop new product/service
- Change current product/service
- Add or drop product or service from line
- Product positioning: How are you perceived relative to the competition? What is your sustainable competitive advantage?
- Branding: What is the image you are projecting in the marketplace?
- Other product decisions: You add to list.
- Price level (above, same as or below competition)
- Price variation (discount structure, bundling of services, etc.)
- Margins (price less cost to deliver product or service)
- Other pricing decisions: You add to list.
- Intensity of distribution (Will your product or service be widely available or on an exclusive basis?)
- Multiple channels (How will your product or service reach your customers?)
- Distribution structure (Will you use intermediaries, wholesalers, retailers, sell direct, etc.)
- Other distribution decisions: You add to list.
- Promotional mix of personal selling, advertising, dealer incentives, sales promotion, direct mail, etc.
- Media (e.g. print, Internet, broadcast, etc.)
- Other promotional decisions: You add to list.
Two last things to think about:
2. Do not assume that you can make customers change their current behavior patterns. It is a much safer strategy to adapt to existing behavior patterns. Marketing does not "make" people buy goods and services. Wise marketers monitor the reasons people purchase and then adapt their programs accordingly.
The key to marketing from the inside out is in developing your skills of making supported and reasoned decisions that are grounded in a sound marketing analysis and are in alignment with your core values. The world is moving quickly, and the Internet allows your customers to educate themselves, compare prices, understand your company structure and even check you out as an individual. The BS detector is set on high, and it is the most authentic products and services, those that offer true value for an expressed need, by people with ethics and honor, that will survive and prosper.
Rebecca Cooper is a professional and personal coach who works with visionary people seeking to create and live authentic lives. She helps provide clarity, illuminate choices and reflect the passion of her clients. To explore what's next in your life, e-mail her at Rebecca@authentes.com or visit her Web site at www.authentes.com.