Analyzing the market and environment to determine how best to focus one's marketing efforts, determining what the optimal target market or market segment is for the particular market and environmental conditions, setting a marketing strategy and develop a marketing plan, determining the proper marketing mix for persuading potential buyers in the target market or segment to purchase the organization's products or services, and controlling the implementation of the strategy and plan.
As shown in Figure 1, these efforts are cyclic in nature. To be optimally effective, a marketing manager needs to be constantly engaged in all phases of the process and with refining the marketing plan to better reflect the needs and realities of the real world.
Although marketing has been viewed by some as a purely personality-driven set of activities whose objective is to persuade potential customers to purchase, it is much more than that. Marketing and the management of the marketing function, like other strategic functions within the organization, needs to be created based on a needs assessment and data analysis to determine what the needs of the market are and how best to position one's product or service to meet those needs.
The collection and objective analysis of empirical data allow the marketing manager to make reasoned decisions as to the best way to market the products and services of the organization. Based on the collection and analysis of data regarding the needs, wants, buying habits, and other characteristics of the target market, the marketing management team can then develop a marketing strategy that will best enable the organization to meet its marketing objectives.
A number of factors impact the development of a unique strategy for an organization or product line and the development of a concomitant strategic marketing plan see Figure 2. General Marketing Functions No matter the size or type of the organization or the stage of its products or services, there are certain general classes of activities that marketing functions and their managers need to take into account in order to better help the organization meet its goals and objectives: Applications Marketing Management Although marketing has been viewed by some as a purely personality-driven set of activities whose objective is to persuade potential customers to purchase, it is much more than that.
First, the assets and skills that the organization possesses or can readily acquire need to be determined. For example, if an organization selling application software wishes to market itself as a vendor offering superior customer support, it could not do so honestly unless it either had sufficient staff with sufficient time on the payroll to offer such support or could affort to hire the extra personnel needed for such support.
The development of an effective marketing strategy must also take into account the market drivers for the industry. These are various political, economic, sociocultural, and technological forces that can influence the wants and needs of the consumer base. Increasing reliance on cordless and mobile telephones, for example, might make it a poor strategy for a communications equipment company to focus on the development of more attractive housings for corded phones.
In addition, marketing management must consider the nature of the competition in the marketplace to help determine whether or not a marketing effort is likely to be successful. Part of the strategic marketing effort is to decide how best to differentiate oneself from the competition and demonstrate that one's product or service is superior to those offered by the competition.
Not only must one consider the nature of the competition in the marketplace, one must also consider the stage of the market or the industry life cycle when developing a marketing strategy.
Some organizations are innovators, and do best when introducing a new product to the marketplace to gain the initial share of the market.
It sometimes gives free samples and incentives to its customers. Pricing A price is determined by the net income and the objective that a company have for the market of its product. The pricing decisions can be determined by knowing the market, competitors, the economic condition of a country and the customers. Tables and graphs can be used to show the pricing trends and decisions of different products of a company.
Coca Cola company pricing is friendly as its products are recyclable therefore minimizing on the cost of producing the empty bottles used to pack its products.
Promotion A product should be advertised and promoted in the market so that the customer can get to know about its existence in the market. A business should determine how much and which media should be used in advertising a product. Coca-Cola Company has been using the fat and jolly Santa Claus in advertising of its products, this has enabled it to increase on its sales and production for its products. Distribution This process involves ensuring the products reach the customers on time.
In marketing plan, distribution is an important element that consists of decision variables such as; distribution channels as direct, retail and intermediate channels; criteria for evaluating distributions ;locations; motivators of channels such as distributor margins and logistics such as transportation ,warehousing and order fulfillment.
An organization should choose the best channel that can enable it maximize on its profits Porter Coca-Cola company produces syrups fit for consumption thus reducing the cost of transporting products from one place to another. Sales forecast Sales forecast is derived through understanding a product, market for a product, price, promotional methods used, and types of distribution a channel for a product.
Sales forecast is the driving force of all financial forecasts. It is required to give a brief summary of current sales, identify changes, summarize changes in the forecast, and justify a forecast so as to determine the right information concerning about a product and who well it can fair in the market.
The sales forecast helps the management of an organization to determine the kind of resources that should be implemented in an organization in order to maximize on its profits. In this case, factors such as political, environmental, technological and competitive factors are evaluated so as to determine whether the business operates in a good environment.
Coca-Cola sales team derives the sales turnover on different intervals in the year to evaluate the position of the company in the beverage industry. Sales forecast review by management Sales forecast review by management can be achieved through using the sales manager who can understand the contacts in the industry, can familiarize themselves with advertising and promotion techniques that will increase sales revenue for an organization.
The qualification of the sales personnel to generate sales leads, their relationship with the distributors and location of their sales outlets in order to increase the revenue of an organization is taken into consideration. These mechanisms can ensure the management reviews it sales forecast with the actual sales so as to understand the position of business in the market.
Coca-Cola company employees prepare financial reports on an annual basis to inform the customers at its existence and production of high quality products. Conclusion Marketing plans should be reviewed on an annual basis so as to determine how a business is performing in the industry. The management of business should use the marketing plan to determine the environment in which a business can flourish in the industry.
These are prepared in relation to the products and services that are sold that result from marketing strategy implemented through marketing programs. Coca-Cola company success has been contributed by well structured strategy and market penetration and production of a variety of products that are suitable for its customers.
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