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    Marketing Implementation: Action Plans and Marketing Mix

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    In this SLP, first develop action plans and the marketing budget, and then incorporate all the work for this session.

    Marketing Implementation: Action Plans and Marketing Mix

    The action plans and marketing mix are related. That is, the action plans contain a complete description of a marketing program, including its goals and objectives (as previously outlined in the section on Goals and Objectives), marketing mix activities, program evaluation mechanisms and measurements, budget and timing considerations, and quantitative assessments. (A complete description of these final dimensions follows. Follow the format below for action plan outlines.)

    Before you begin working on the action plans, consider the total budget amount for your charge. Make a realistic budget estimate for your marketing plan based on the financial situation of the company and its past spending on marketing.

    State for each action plan:

    - The goal(s) and objective(s) for the action plan.
    - The target market at which this action plan is aimed.
    - The marketing mix activities needed to implement the action plan.

    Product strategy and programs require consideration of things such as brand name, product features/benefits, differentiation from competition, relationship to delivering value, logo, package design/labeling, complementary products/services, elements of customer service strategy, and programs. Also, this is where the service concept, tangibles, customer-contact employees, and so on, need to be addressed. Depending on the charge of your marketing plan, some of the above may not apply.

    Price strategy and programs require consideration of things such as pricing objectives and relationship to delivering value. Keep in mind that pricing is not restricted to monetary concerns. Customers are likely to compare the perceived benefits of the new brand to the perceived benefits of the existing brand and other competitive brands. In other words, customers are likely to perform a cost-benefit analysis, which means that customers must perceive the new brand to have benefits that are equal to or exceed the perceived costs.

    When considering pricing issues, also include costs customers are likely to incur in terms of time, effort, and energy. Consider psychological costs (e.g., embarrassment, fear, rejection, etc.) and losses (e.g., aesthetics, familiarity, etc.), and physical discomfort or loss of pleasure.

    Place or distribution strategy and programs require consideration of things such as the selection, motivation, and evaluation of channel partners (if applicable).

    This is also the place to describe any direct marketing programs (mail, telemarketing, catalogs, Internet, etc.) and other accessibility issues (e.g., number of local stores, etc.).

    Promotional activities:

    - Advertising strategy and programs that require consideration of things such as advertising message (what will be said, unique selling points, benefits to be stressed, value story, points of differentiation, etc.), creative style (settings, characterization, humor or not, testimonials, etc.), media mix, media schedule, and so on.
    - Public relations/publicity strategy and programs that require consideration of things such as how to get press coverage, getting the company/brand name and story out to the public, event-oriented marketing, and so forth.
    - Sales promotion strategy and programs that require consideration of things such as contests, sweepstakes, event tie-ins, coupons, premiums (T-shirts, hats, key chains, cup holders, etc.), trade shows, consumer fairs, and so forth.
    - Sales force strategy and programs that require consideration of things such as size of the sales force, sales force organization (geographic territory; customer-type based, product based, or some combination; salesperson characteristics and skills to recruit and train toward; compensation; motivation), and so forth.

    This section will describe selling strategy in terms of sales call emphasis, selling strategy and tactics (what should sales people be doing and saying).

    - Other marketing programs that require consideration of methods to systematically listen to the customer, monitor customer satisfaction/loyalty, monitor competition, and become aware of trends that might impact the business. This requires some type of specific intelligence/information-gathering plan.
    Describe the evaluation and measurement procedures to be used to monitor overall performance of the action plan, including quantitative measures and allowable time frames.

    Elaborate on the specifics of plan implementation and quantitative projections. This includes people responsible for programs, budgets, other resources needed, target completion dates, timetables, and so forth. This requires a consideration of who does what, when, and for how much.

    Quantitative assessment includes projections of sales dollars and volume, and market share, costs, and so forth.

    Format: Action Plan Outline. Use a table format, such as in the example given below:
    Title: The title of the action plan should describe the content.
    Goals and Objective: What will this action plan accomplish? Which of the goals and objectives does this plan support? Go back to your Goals and Objectives section and make sure you develop at least one action plan for each of the goals and objectives you have previously outlined. In other words, you do not need to have seven goals in your Goals and Objectives section; a lesser number is acceptable if you develop more than one action plan for specific goals and objectives.
    Target Market: At which market is this action plan aimed? Stick to your primary target market. Do not include any "new" target markets here.
    Description of the Action Plan: What are the steps being taken to accomplish the objective? This section refers to the marketing mix activities deemed best to accomplish the objective. A rich, detailed description is required.
    Who: Who (name of person or job title) is responsible for carrying out this program?
    Timing: When (start and stop dates) will the program take place?
    Budget and Estimated Profitability: How much will the program cost? Give details of the budgetary items for this action plan. Also, include estimated profits and/or expected return on investment.
    Measurement: How will the effectiveness of the action plan be measured? How will the organization know that it was successful? Measurement of effectiveness is always quantitative and may include (depends on your objective) dollar sales, market share, expected customer satisfaction, advertising effectiveness measures, and so forth, in addition to a timeline (monthly, quarterly, annually, etc.).

    Marketing Budget:

    Use the objective and task method and rank the action plans in order of importance. You also need to defend the budget request. The defense should be a strong persuasive argument with a clear rationale. Make sure that you include the profit potential as part of your justification. The defense should be for the total budget amount requested, not for individual action plans.

    My Goals and objectives used previously:

    Goals and Objectives
    Goals for Ford:
    1. An exciting viable Ford delivering profitable growth for all.
    a. Aggressively restructure to operate profitably at the current demand and changing model mix
    b. Accelerate development of new products our customers want and desire
    c. Finance our plan and improve our balance sheet
    d. Work together effectively as one team (Ford, 2013)
    2. Increase Ford Fusion sales
    a. Capture the attention of our target market through an aggressive advertising campaign
    b. Listen to our customers and potential customers and address their wants and desires
    c. Convince our target audience that we have what they need and desire
    3. Remain a global industry leader
    a. Continue to test and expand into foreign country with viable markets, currently Ford has 65 plants and 171,000 employee world-wide (Ford, 2013)
    b. Continue to build customer loyalty through great cars and outstanding customer service to include service after the sale
    4. China - Increase market share 175 percent from 3.2 percent in 2012 to 5.6 percent in 2014
    a. Introduce new models of vehicles into the Chinese market, Ford expects to introduce 15 new model by 2015
    b. Build new vehicles in China avoiding China's high import tax

    5. Increase Hybrid sales 10 percent annually, sales increased 9 percent from 2011 to 2012
    a. Continue to increase consumer Hybrid awareness through information, focus groups and social media
    b. Provide consumers with beautifully designed vehicles with safety features and technology gadgets that meet their needs.

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    Solution Preview


    Hope you are well.

    Businesses strive in developing strategies often called action plans that produce results in leading towards increasing sales and brand identity. The objective for businesses relate towards incorporating their brand message (vision and mission statement) that connects with the targeted audience.

    Let's take a look at the following concepts relating to an action plan highlighting the marketing mix and marketing budget:

    In this SLP, first develop action plans and the marketing budget, and then incorporate all the work for this Session Long Project (Modules 1-5) into a complete marketing plan following the outline provided above.

    Try and think of the marketing mix as strategies approaches that address the areas required to stimulate the targeted consumer demographic marketplace. Thus, the focuses on pricing, placement, product, and promotion are facilitated on a plan of action that reinforces the company's core goals of operating within the targeted marketplace. The product is the central component to deciding how a sufficient action plan can suffice satisfying the targeted consumer's needs and wants. Thus, the product offers the business a way to identifying the segmented demographic within the marketplace and thereby applying the remaining marketing mix adhering to the action plan.

    In a case example, the product is a vacuum cleaner that as well as cleans hardwood floors and vacuums on carpet, the core demographic relates towards a consumer that have both types of floors or at least one. Thus, the initial marketing mix is to demonstrate the following attributes in creating an action plan that will encourage consumer purchasing:

    Sample Action Plan

    1. Analysis on the targeted consumer demographic purchasing behaviors that will in turn assist in developing the time periods to when and where to apply marketing activities (Try and think of marketing activities dependent on when and where on ...

    Solution Summary

    Action plans and marketing mix for marketing implementations are determined.