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Drawing Up Your Marketing Plan

To formulate a successful marketing plan for your product, you need to gather the information necessary for designing the best possible marketing mix that will maximise sales and profits.

Defining Your Marketing Mix

  • Your product or service
  • Your product pricing 
  • What differentiates your products from the competitors (product differentiation)
  • Your marketing areas (local, regional or national)
  • Your competition
  • Your competitors' promotion methods
  • Your distribution methods or business location (s)
  • Your promotion methods

Defining Your Customers

  • Your current customer base: age, sex, income, location.
  • The most effective ways through which your customers can learn about your product or service - eg advertising, direct mail, online advertising.
  • The lifestyle habits and shopping patterns of your customers and potential customers - eg where they shop, how frequently they shop, what they read, watch or listen to.
  • The qualities that your customers value most about your product or service - eg selection, convenience, service, reliability, availability, affordability.
  • The qualities that your customers like least about your product or service, and how these can be improved.

Know Your Customers

After classifying your product, you have to define its attributes in terms of how it can fulfill the need of your target customers. This will help you develop the value proposition of your product to arouse the interest of potential customers, and persuade them to buy your product. If you are marketing a new product or reaching out to a new market, it is even more important to understand the buying behavior of potential consumers. You must know what they like or don't like about your product, so that you can make it more attractive to them and make them respond positively to your marketing strategies.

Determining Consumer Buying Behavior

  • What benefits do customers expect to get by buying your product?
  • What intrinsic factors (product, price, place, promotion) influence their buying decision?
  • Are there any external factors (social trends, cultural factors, political-legal regulations) influencing the buying process?

Stages Of The Buying/Decision-Making Process

  • Problem recognition - How will this product meet my needs?
  • Information search - What features and benefits do this product offer?
  • Evaluation -The reasons I prefer this product above others.
  • Decision - I shall/ shall not buy it.
  • Post-purchase dissonance (satisfaction/ dissatisfaction) - 1 think 1 have made the right/ wrong choice. I shall/ shall not purchase this product again.

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