Product Category Options
It is recommended that you focus your marketing plan on a product that falls into one of the following product categories:
- Dental Hygiene Product
- Over-the-Counter Pain Remedy
- Exercise Equipment
- Gardening Product
You may invent a new product idea or you can select a product that already exists. However, you may not select an existing brand. For example, you can write a plan for a potato chip, but you may not write a plan for Pringles.
If you have an idea that does not fit into one of these categories, please let me know. The list here is designed to help you chose a product that would be easy to conceptualize and research. If you have experience or knowledge in another product category, I am very open to making this marketing plan assignment relevant to your situation.
I. Market-Oriented Mission
Remember the examples of market-oriented definitions from Chapter 2. Focus on the need being fulfilled by your product, not the product itself. This should be one, maybe two sentences. This is not a slogan or a tagline. This is something that should help to keep a marketing department focused on what’s important – customer needs.
II. Conceptual Overview
a. Product Description
i. Factors Influencing Behavior
ii. Buying Decision Behavior
The product description should be brief – only one or two sentences. You will provide more depth about actual features later in the plan.
You should be able to apply at least three factors influencing behavior. Be careful not to talk about your product here, stay focused on the customer. Keep in mind that the work you do in identifying the factors influencing your consumer’s behavior should ultimately influence the bases for segmentation that you select. Use your text for guidance. Figure 5.2 in Chapter 5 is very useful to consider when you are identifying the factors influencing your consumer’s behavior. Focus on an individual factor, like “reference group”, instead of a whole category like “social”.
Buying Decision Behavior types are also discussed in Chapter 5 of your text. Be sure to consider both level of involvement and perceived differences between brands when you are explaining which one applies to your product or service.
On a cautionary note, don’t let using these handy visuals replace the actual reading of the chapter. Sometimes the terms used in the figure or table mean something a little different than what you expect – the chapter text provides some much needed context and explanation to support those visuals.
III. Marketing Intelligence
a. Macro-environmental Factors
b. Competitive Analysis
i. Direct Competition
ii. Indirect Competition
iii. Strengths and Weakness of Leading Competitor
For macro-environmental factors, provide good coverage of at least three. Keep in mind that this is about your environment, not your product. This is not the time to talk about how you will respond to that environment – the rest of your marketing plan does that.
Your list of direct competition should be comprehensive and should be organized in a logical way.
Indirect competitors are those products that compete for space in the consumer’s wallet. For example: an indirect competitor for a nail salon is a massage therapist. Consumers have a budget for pampering themselves – they decide how they want to do that and so they could easily chose to get a massage over a manicure or pedicure.
Your most threatening competitor should come from your list of direct competitors. Focus on just ONE competitor – depth is important here.
Sections I, II & II must be submitted as a single MS Word document.
Deadline: June 25, 2013 (11:59 pm)
IV. Market Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning
a. Bases for Segmentation
b. Target Market
c. Positioning Strategy
Chapter 7 is a critical resource for this section of the marketing plan. First you must select the bases for segmentation. Table 7.1 on page 193 is an excellent place to help you identify some good choices. You should plan to select at least three bases for segmentation and the should come from at least two different categories (geographic, demographic, psychographic, behavioral). At least one basis for segmentation should come from the psychographic or behavioral categories.
Your target market is defined using your bases for segmentation. Please see the attached Word document for a sample to follow for this section.
Also attached are documents you can use to support segmentation based on personality or segmentation based on on lifestyle. (This is only used if you are choosing either personality or lifestyle as a basis for segmentation – many of you will NOT use either of these.) Keep in mind that you may NOT just make up a list of personalities or lifestyles – you have to use an established framework for categorizing these segments.
Section IV should be submitted as a single MS Word document.
Deadline: July 9, 2013 (11:59 pm)
V. Product Plan
a. Product Classification
b. Individual Product Decisions
v. Support Services
Be sure to explain your choice of product classification (convenience, shopping, specialty or unsought). Connect all individual product decisions back to your target market(s). Explain why these decisions will resonate with your target market.
VI. Pricing Plan
a. Internal Considerations
b. External Considerations
c. Pricing Strategies
This plan should connect with your target market and also support your positioning strategy.
VII. Distribution Plan
a. Channel Design
b. Retailers (if appropriate)
This also needs to connect back to your target market.
VIII. Promotion Plan
a. Advertising Concept
i. Message Appeal
ii. Message Execution
b. Sales Promotion Tools
c. Public Relations Tools
Remember that all these decisions must clearly connect back to the target market. Explain why your message will resonate with the target market. Explain why your proposed sales promotion tools are the most relevant for your target market…