Marketing Plan Viewed as Critical to Meeting Goals, Advisor Stresses

by WOHe

Marketing Plan Viewed as Critical to Meeting Goals,
Advisor Stresses

Running a kitchen and bath dealership without a marketing plan
can be like trying to fly an airplane without radar you might know
what your destination is, but you have no idea how to get
there.

That’s the view of Walt Denny, president of Walt Denny, Inc., a
Hinsdale, IL-based advertising/ public relations firm that focuses
primarily on home product clients.

“Every company, whether it’s established or still in the ‘idea’
phase, needs a marketing plan that serves as an integral part of
its overall business plan for company operations,” says Denny. “A
good marketing plan supports a company’s broader business goals by
formulating a sound strategy and an action-plan that can carve a
direct path to bolstered sales, market share and long-term
profitability.”

Despite its importance, however, a well-articulated marketing
plan is often at the bottom of a business owner’s priority list,
according to Denny, who calls that a major business mistake.

Denny offers the following advice for developing a marketing
plan:

  • Conduct research. “At a minimum, you’ll want to conduct a SWOT
    analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) to help
    you pinpoint your company’s market standing,” Denny says. Drawing
    on that analysis, the plan should articulate your market
    positioning who you are, what you do, for whom and why. It should
    also offer an umbrella message that shows your company’s unique
    strengths.
     
  • Create a strategy to secure and boost market share. Such issues
    as product pricing, promotions, budgets and specific marketing
    activities for example, direct mail and Web promotions are among
    the key components to address, according to Denny. “Sales
    objectives are also critical,” he notes. “Your plan should outline
    measurable performance goals for all sales-related marketing
    activities. Also, to increase sales from ‘x’ to ‘y’ units for a
    given financial quarter, your marketing plan may advocate creating
    visual point-of-purchase displays with rebate incentives.”
     
  • View your plan as a “living, breathing” document. “It’s
    imperative that business owners review their marketing plan
    quarterly, if not monthly, and revise it as needs arise,” Denny
    states. “For example, if you add a new or improved product to your
    arsenal mid-year, you’ll want to revise the plan for new product
    promotions. Or, if you trim your budget during the year, you may
    need to cut back a few promotions to stay on track
    financially.”
     
  • “The key is to get it done sooner rather than later,” he
    continues. “A well-conceived marketing plan is the roadmap your
    company needs to navigate today’s competitive landscape. It’s also
    your blueprint for sustainable, long-term business success,” he
    concludes.

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