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The aim of this unit is to provide learners with the understanding and skills to develop marketing plans that meet marketing objectives, and meet the needs of the target market.
Effective planning is essential for any marketing activity to ensure that an organisation realises its marketing objectives. Without planning, marketing activity can be inappropriate and waste resources and opportunities. This unit introduces learners to different ways of auditing, to looking at how internal and external factors can influence marketing planning for an organisation, in order to build up a picture of the marketplace. Learners will gain an understanding of the main barriers to marketing planning, the effects of barriers, and how these can be avoided or overcome. Ethical issues in marketing are important in terms of how an organisation and its products are perceived by customers and employees, and can affect the overall ethos and ultimate success of the organisation. This unit will enable learners to investigate and examine how exemplar organisations have been affected by ethical issues, how they deal with them, and how ethical issues should be taken into account when developing marketing plans. On completion of this unit learners will be able to produce a marketing plan for a product, a service or an organisation that is realistic, in terms of objectives and resources, and effective in terms of the current situation in the marketplace.
Changing perspectives: changing perspectives in marketing planning; marketled strategic change
Assessment of capability:evaluate issues relating to aspects of competing for the future and balancing strategic intent and strategic reality
Organisational auditing: evaluating and coming to terms with organizational capability; balancing strategic intent and strategic reality; the determinants of capability e.g. managerial, financial, operational, human resource and intangible (brand) capability; approaches to leveraging capability; aspects of competitive advantage
External factors: approaches to analysing external factors that influence marketing planning; the identification and evaluation of key external forces using analytical tools e.g. PEST (Political, Economic, Social, Technological), PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, Ethical), STEEPLE (Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental, Political, Legal, Ethical); the implications of different external factors for marketing planning; Porter’s five forces analysis; identifying the organisation’s competitive position and relating this to the principal opportunities and threats; market, product and brand lifecycles.
Barriers: objective/strategy/tactics confusion; isolation of marketing function; organisational barriers (organisational culture, change management, ethical issues, behavioural, cognitive, systems and procedures, resources); competitor strategy and activity; customer expectation
The role of marketing planning in the strategic planning process:the relationship between corporate objectives, business objectives and marketing objectives at operational level; the planning gap and its impact on operational decisions
The strategic alternatives for new product development: an overview of the marketing planning process; SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats); objectives in differing markets, products and services; product modification through to innovation; evaluation of product and market match; use of Ansoff’s matrix; product failure rates and implications for screening ideas against company capabilities and the market; product testing; test marketing; organisational arrangements for managing new product development; costs and pricing; encouraging an entrepreneurial environment; the importance of learning from failure.
Pricing policy: price taking versus price making; the dimensions of price; approaches to adding value; pricing techniques (price leadership, market skimming, market penetration pricing, competitive market-based pricing, costbased versus market-oriented pricing); the significance of cash flow; the interrelationships between price and the other elements of the marketing mix; taking price out of the competitive equation
Distribution:distribution methods; transport methods; hub locations, breakbulk and distribution centres; choice of distribution to point-of-sale; distribution and competitive advantage
Communication mix: evaluation of promotional mix to influence purchasing behaviour; media planning and cost; advertising and promotional campaigns; changes to advertising and promotional campaigns over the product lifecycle (PLC); sales planning
Implementation: factors affecting the effective implementation of marketing plans; barriers to implementation and how to overcome them; timing; performance measures (financial, non-financial, quantitative, qualitative); determining marketing budgets for marketing mix decisions included in the marketing plan; methods of evaluating and controlling the marketing plan; how marketing plans and activities vary in organisations that operate in a virtual marketplace.
Ethical issues in marketing: ethics and the development of the competitive stance; different perspectives on ethics in the global marketplace; ethical tradeoffs; ethics and managerial cultures
Ethics of the marketing mix: management of the individual elements of themarketing mix
Product: gathering market research on products; identification of product problems and levels of customer communication; product safety and product recall
Price:price fixing; predatory pricing; use of loss leaders; deceptive pricing; price discrimination
Promotion: media message impact; sales promotion; personal selling; hidden persuaders; corporate sponsorship
Distribution: abuse of power e.g. restriction of supply; unreasonable conditions set by distributors
Counterfeiting: imitation (fakes, knock-offs); pirate and bootleg copies; prior registration and false use of trade names, brand names and domain names
Consumer ethics: false insurance claims; warranty deception; misredemption of vouchers; returns of merchandise; illegal downloads, copying and distribution (music, videos, film, software)
Learners must have access to the internet in order to carry out research. They will also require access to a range of case studies and exemplar material which illustrate the theories and practice covered in the learning outcomes. Tutors must build a bank of resource materials to ensure there is a sufficient supply of relevant information across a range of business types and sectors.