Think of a successful company in this day and age that has gained success without any use of a marketing plan. Chances are you won’t find one. To have a plan of where the founder of a business wants to take the company is one of the first things that founder thinks of when his idea about the product or service is coming together. Establishing a good marketing plan has proven to be essential to a successful business. “By creating a marketing plan, firms like Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Dunkin’ Donuts carefully plan their marketing strategies to react to changes in the environment, the competition, and their customers,” (page 31, 2013). Just reading that the fact that those major companies use marketing plans should be all you need to hear to understand that these plans must be important.
The major purpose of a marketing plan is so everyone involved in implementing the plan knows what the overall objectives of the company are, and what the means of achieving those objectives will be. This keeps everyone on the same page with the same vision. “…investors and potential investors (will) also want to know what the firm plans to do,” (page 31, 2013). The plan will be used later as a reference to ensure the company is meeting goals and objectives set out at the start of the plan.
Every company should have a marketing plan in place at the beginning of operation. Success is dependant on direction and without direction a company isn’t going anywhere. This is comparable to a football team without any goals throughout the season, to just go through the motions isn’t going to achieve anything major, and will most likely produce a losing product. Similar to a new soft drink company, to just create and produce a tasty drink without a catchy name and an appealing look isn’t going to make a dent in the saturated Pepsi-CO and Coca Cola markets.
Strategy formation and the formation of a strategy plays a major role in a marketing plan. The plan itself is a strategy. How will our company compare to others like ours, how will we set ours apart and attract their customers and gain their business these factors are all included in the strategy of the marketing plan. “The final step in the planning process includes evaluating the results of the strategy and implementation program using marketing metrics,” (page 39, 2013). Metrics are used to project the future and to also explain why certain things happened. Problems often arise when companies implement poor strategies. They can also occur if the company poorly executes a good strategy.
Marketing plans are an essential building block to a company’s success. The most successful business’s used a well executed marketing plan. So again if you can find a current company that doesn’t or hasn’t used a marketing plan, consider that a miracle.
Grewal, Dhruv , Levy, Michael (2013). Marketing.
The Marketing Plan 31-37