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STUDENT GUIDE FOR WRITING A MARKETING PLANMGM 301Professor Alan DickSTUDENT GUIDE FOR WRITING A MARKETING PLANMGM 301Professor Alan Dick1. Executive SummaryThe Executive Summary “sells” the marketing plan to readers through its clarity and brevity. The summary should present a description of the product/service, its target market,and its need within the market. The tone should have a goal of building enthusiasm for the marketing plan. Please note that the Student Sample (Bagels by the Bay) posted on theUBLearns website begins their plan with a “Background”. Ignore that. For this assignment, you must write an executive summary.2. Company DescriptionThe company description should highlight the recent history and successes of the organization. This is an interesting section because almost all of you don’t own a company! Therefore, you can fictionalize this if you would like to. For example, one group that developed a new heated shovel claimed that they had been in the snow removal industry for 20 years. This is acceptable to do as long as you apply this factor in your SWOT analysis (#4a below). Some students just keep things simple and say they are “5 students at UB that have started a company… and explain that they have no history for the company.”3. Strategic Focus and PlanWhile not included in all marketing plans, the Strategic Focus and Plan sets the strategic direction for the entire organization. For your Strategic Focus and Plan, just discuss the three items listed below: (mission statement, goals, core competency and sustainable competitive advantage).a. Mission StatementThe Mission statement is a qualitative statement that specifies the markets and product lines in which a business will compete. A mission statement can dramatically affect therange of a firm’s marketing activities by narrowing or broadening the competitive playing field. An effective mission statement must be clear and direct. b. GoalsThe Goals section of a marketing plan sets both financial and non-financial targets. Goals should be in quantitative terms, where possible, to facilitate measuring the company’s future performance. The Student Sample (Bagels by the Bay) provides goodexamples of financial and non-financial goals. Also, refer to the examples below: - An example of a non-financial goal: “Philip Morris will diversify its product lines to achieve 50 percent of sales revenue in non-tobacco products in the next five years.”MP-2: Marketing Plan Student Guide112- An example of a financial goal (note it is specific and measurable): “XYZ Inc. will increase sales from $10 million in 2005 to $15 million in 2010.”c. Core Competency and Sustainable Competitive Advantage- Whereas the mission defines the scope of a business or business unit and the goals define its strategic performance dimensions, its business unit competencies determine the means for achieving success.- An example of a competitive advantage: “McDonalds’ competitive advantage is its large number of restaurants, more than double its competitors, making it more convenient for customers than any other fast food restaurant in the world.” Listen closely to Professor Alan Dick’s lecture when he talks about core competency and competitive advantage.MP-2: Marketing Plan Student Guide1134. Situation AnalysisThe essence of the situation analysis is taking stock of where the firm or product has been recently, where it is now, and where it is headed. The situation analysis is the first of three steps in the planning stage. a. SWOT Analysis- The SWOT analysis is an effective shorthand summary of the situation analysis.The acronym is used to describe an organization’s internal Strengths and Weaknesses and its external Opportunities and Threats. This analysis provides a solid foundation to identify subsequent actions in the marketing plan.- The SWOT analysis can be effectively presented in a tabular format (see Appendix 1), followed by a text discussion that elaborates on the information in the table.- An analysis to identify internal strengths and weaknesses usually includes the following areas in an organization: For this assignment, you must cover every area listed below.When analyzing: Consider:Management experience level, management style, sizeOfferings uniqueness, quality, priceMarketing type and scope of marketing planPersonnel quality and experience of workforceFinance sales revenuesManufacturing quality and dependability of suppliersR & D plans for continual product improvement, budget- An analysis to identify external opportunities and threats usually includes the following factors:When analyzing: Consider:Consumer/Social size and stability of marketEconomic current and projected economic situation of marketTechnological the effect of technology on any facet of the businessCompetitive number and size of competitorsLegal/Regulatorythe effect of legal/regulatory issues on any part of the businessMP-2: Marketing Plan Student Guide114b. Industry AnalysisThe industry analysis section should provide the backdrop for a more detailed analysis of the competition, the company, and the customer. An in-depth analysis will give both internal and external readers of the plan confidence in the company’s ability to understand its own industry.c. Competitor AnalysisAn effective analysis of the competition should demonstrate that the company has a realistic understanding of its major competitors and their marketing strategies. As in with the industry analysis, a realistic assessment makes readers feel confident that the marketing actions in the plan are well grounded. d. Company AnalysisThe company analysis provides details of a company’s strengths and marketing strategies that will enable it to achieve its marketing goals. (Some of this section will be repetitive with information from strengths in the SWOT section.)e. Customer AnalysisA thorough customer analysis answers the question: “Who are our customers?” Understanding your customers and what they want is critical in satisfying them and providing genuine value. 5. Market-Product Focusa. Marketing and Product Objectives- Setting product objectives and identifying target market segments significantly increases the chance that a product will be successful.- The objectives and goals should be stated in measurable terms. b. Target Markets- Because an organization cannot satisfy the needs of all consumers, it must concentrate its marketing efforts

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