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					Marketing Essential                                                                                  Instructor: Cathy Crair
Revised: 2/1/12

Marketing Plan Assignment

What is it?
A marketing plan contains information about your company and its products, marketing objectives and strategies, as well as how you
will measure the success of your marketing activities. It describes all the marketing activities you'll perform during a specified time
period (usually one year). You'll also include any background information and research results you used to select those marketing
activities.

Why prepare one?
A marketing plan helps you establish, direct and coordinate your marketing efforts. Preparing a marketing plan forces you to assess
what's going on in your marketplace and how it affects your business. It also provides a benchmark for later measurement.

Assignment:
You will need to form groups of three to five students. Your group is a marketing team within a business. Your assignment is to create
a marketing plan to sell a new product for which you have great passion and conviction.

Marketing Plan Outline - details in the following pages
1) Title page

2) Table of Contents

Content
3) Product Description
    a) Product description and purpose
    b) Features, Advantages & Benefits
    c) Company Mission Statement

4) Market Analysis
   a) Market Segmentation – Profile top 3
   b) Target Market – Choose 1
           i. Why was this segment selected
          ii. Demographics
         iii. Psychographics
         iv. Behavioristics
          v. Geographics
   c) Target Market Profile
   d) Customer Survey, Results and Analysis

5) Competitive Analysis
   a) Names of competitors
   b) Summary of each competitor's products
   c) Summary of each competitor’s marketing activities
   d) Competitors' product strengths and weaknesses
   e) Strength of the market

6) Positioning
   a) Broad positioning
   b) Specific positioning
   c) Positioning Map
   d) Positioning Statement


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8) Marketing Mix
   a) Product
   b) Pricing Strategy - Why
   c) Place Strategy - Why
   d) Promotion Strategy - Why


9) Appendix
   a) Survey summary page from surveymonkey.com
   b) Blank questionnaire
   c) Examples of advertising, public relations and publicity, direct marketing
   d) Work cited page
   e) Signed and dated team norms (Sample available on class website)
   f) Blank peer evaluation guidelines (Sample available on class website)
   g) Blank grading rubric (available on class website)
   h) Copy of PowerPoint presentation

The Final Product:

Written Report: You and your team will turn in a written marketing plan covering all of the elements detailed on the following pages.
The plan should comply with the guidelines shown below. A detailed grading rubric is available on the class website.
      Minimum of 15 typed (double-spaced) pages and a maximum of 20 pages, not including the appendix and table of contents
      Follow MLA format and be free of grammatical errors
      Have cover page with project name, class, date, time and all member’s names (NO BINDERS PLEASES)
      Pages should NOT be put in plastic covers
      Have a table of contents
      Have all pages numbered
      Use headers and sub-headers - follow marketing plan outline
      Left justifies paragraphs instead if indenting paragraphs
      Be one cohesive document. All fonts, margins and spacing should be consistent throughout
      Feel free to use bullets when listing things
      Break up features, advantages and benefits into three columns
      Cite your work to give evidence of your research
      You may include any background information and research used
      Include all required elements
      A copy of the grading rubric (available on the class website) must be the last page of the report

Oral Presentation: You and your team members must present your marketing plan in an oral presentation. The presentation must
follow the guideline below:
      The presentation must be given using PowerPoint
      All members of your group must participate equally
      The product or some representation of the product (picture, model) must be included in the presentation
      All team members must be dressed professionally
      Presentation must be printed and included in the written report.
      Presentation must be saved to a disc or jump drive. E- mail will not be available
      Beware! If you create your project on a MAC it will only work if you save it to open in Windows/

The length of the oral presentation will depend on the class size. Generally presentations are between 15 and 25 minutes, including
time for questions and answers. Be prepared to defend your plan with specific facts, data and resources. A detailed grading rubric is
available on the class website.



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                                                             DETAILED OUTLINE

1. Title Page
Must be in MLA format and include: project name, class, date, time and all members’ names

2. Table of Content
All pages should be numbered and each major and minor section should be listed in the table of content with the correct corresponding
page number

3. Product Description

Use this section of your marketing plan to fully describe:
          Your product and its purpose
          Its features, advantages and benefits
          Company Mission Statement

A. Product and Purpose
Describe your product in physical terms; such as size, shape, color, fabrication etc., and its purpose, what need does your product
meet. Make sure you take the viewpoint of the customer. A picture or drawing of the product would be very beneficial.

B. Features Advantages and Benefits

This section should include 3-5 features, with 3-5 corresponding advantages and 3-5 corresponding benefits.
A feature is a product’s physical characteristics.
An advantage is the performance characteristics of a product that describes how it can be used or help the buyer.
A benefit is a favorable result the buyer receives because a particular advantage’s ability to meet the buyer’s need.
For example: One feature of a pair of pants could be that it is made of polyester. One advantage of polyester is that it is washable.
The benefit is that the customer will save money because polyester does not need to be dry-cleaned.
Each feature listed should have a corresponding advantage and benefit. This section is best presented in a three-column chart.

C. Mission Statement

A mission statement should be a clear and concise description of the company’s reason for existing. A mission statement should
answer 3 key questions. 1) What are the opportunities or need(s) that we exist to address (the purpose of the company. 2) What the
company is doing to address those needs (the business of the organization) 3) What principle or beliefs guide the company (the values
of the company). A mission statement should be 3-5 sentences.

4. Market Analysis

Use this section of your marketing plan to fully:
         
             Determine the top three segments
             Describe your target market and why it was selected
             Describe target market profile of the ideal customer
             Summarize & analyze the customer surveys

A. Market Segmentation – Identify the 3 most applicable segments from Claritas.com

Go to the student portal and then click on the “Library Resources” link and then “Databases”, then choose Claritas. Study the 67
PRISM segments and choose the top 3 targets.
Or
Enter the zip code you’re interested in researching and view each of the segments in that zip code -
Go through each of the detailed tabs for each of the segments


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B. Target Market

Determining the right target market is probably the most important part of your marketing efforts, because it doesn't matter what you're
saying if you're not saying it to the right people.

Choose only one (of the above three segments) to target. Explain WHY this is the most attractive segment.

Describe your target market in all of the following terms that are applicable:

                 Demographics
                 Psychographics
                 Behavioristics
                 Geographics

              i) Demographics
              Describe, in detail, your target market using all of the flowing factors that apply: Age, Gender, Income, Family Structure,
              Education, Occupation, Race, and Religion.

              ii) Psychographics
              A psychographic profile will include a determination of the customers’ personality, values, attitudes, interests, and
              lifestyles. A psychographic profile will help establish what influences their buying behavior, what promotional efforts they
              respond to most often, etc. It is important to really pick apart what motivates them to buy.

              iii) Behavioristics
              Behavioristics divides consumers into distinctive groups based on their attitude towards, knowledge of, use or response to
              the product. Behavioral segmentation includes things such as, occasion (regular or special), benefits sought, user status,
              user rates (heavy or light), loyalty status, how ready the consumer is to buy the product (readiness stage).

              iv) Geographics
              Divides the market into different geographic units such as, nation(s), region(s), state(s), county(ies) city(ies),
              neighborhoods. You can select as few a one geographic location in one neighborhood or multiple locations in multiple
              countries.

C. Target Customer Profile
   Write a one-page profile of your primary target customer. Be creative using the information you’ve discovered from the research
   above. Include all demographic, psychographic, behavioristic and geographic variables. You can also include information on their
   housing situation, interests, preferred brands, type of vehicle, shopping habits, leisure activities, etc. Develop them like a
   character in a book or film. We need to know them – know who they are and what is important to them.


D. Customer Survey and Results

This section should include
     Blank Questionnaire
     Written summary of results
     Analysis of results

You must create a 10-question questionnaire and survey at least 25 people. The survey should help you uncover more detailed
information about your target market. You must summarize and analyze the results and use them to support your marketing decisions.
You are required to use surveymonkey.com. to construct and conduct your surveys and include the summary results page from
surveymonkey.com in the appendix of your report.

Before you begin to write the survey questions you should determine the objective(s) of your survey. What problem(s) will the results
of the survey help you to solve, or how will the results be incorporated into decisions or operations?
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Some common product survey objectives are:
What is the level of interest in this product?
What are the features and benefits desired and how important are they?
What price would the customer is willing to pay for the product?
What type of customer (demographics, psychographics, geographic, behavioristics) would buy this product?
What products does the target market think are similar or competing products?

Make sure you give the survey respondents a full description of your product so the respondents will be able to answer your questions.

5. Competitive Analysis

Give a complete and thorough overview of the competitive market. Cover not only the directly competing products you face (those who
offer a very similar product with similar attributes), but also other product variations you may be competing with. For example, if you're
selling herbal teas, are you also competing with regular teas? Instant teas? Canned teas? The drink market in general? Review
these types of competitors as well as your direct competitors.
You should select 3-4 competitors.
This information should be presented in a chart

The competitive analysis should include the following:

        Names of competitors
        Summary of each competitor's products - This should include their features advantages, benefits and pricing
        Summary of each competitor’s marketing activities – This should include advertising, distribution methods, promotional
         strategies, customer service, etc.
        Competitors' product strengths and weaknesses - It's important to see your competitors' strengths and weaknesses from your
         customer's viewpoint, not yours. List their strengths and weaknesses.
        Strength of the market - Is the market for your product growing sufficiently so there are plenty of customers for all market
         players? Or, is the market so tight you are selling primarily to your competitors' customers?

6. Positioning
In this section you should include and discuss your product’s
      Broad position
      Specific position
      Positioning map
      Positioning statement
      Value proposition

A. Positioning helps to create the perception your target market will have of your product, and how it stacks up against the competitors’
products. To position your product, you must first, determine a broad position. Taking what you learned from the survey, what you
understand to be the competitive strengths and weaknesses define your broad position. A broad position can be one of the following:
     Product/Quality
     Place/Distribution/Location
     Price
     Service
Refer to page 188 for further guidance

B. Next, you will have to determine specific positioning. A specific position can be based on

        Product Attributes: What are the specific product attributes?
        Benefits Sought: What are the benefits the customers’ desire?
        Use or Application: How can the product be used?
        Product Users: Identify a class of users.
        Against a Competitor: Positioned directly against a competitor.

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     Product Classes: Compared to different classes of products.
     Combination of some of the above
Before you finalize your product's positioning, go through these questions to ensure you have selected the right position:

        Does the name of your product fit with its positioning? - Your product's name is an important part of your positioning strategy.
         If it doesn't fit, you're going to have a much harder battle.
        Is the position believable?
        Is the position one that your target audience will care about and notice?
        Is the position clear and understandable?

You should also include a discussion on how this position provides a competitive advantage

C. Create 3 positioning maps. Plot all of your competition each map using the 6 most relevant criteria.

D. Positioning Statement (Must use positioning statement format on page 192)

E. Carefully choose a value proposition and justify it.


7. Marketing Objectives

All marketing efforts must work together to support the marketing objective(s). Therefore, before you can select a position, create the
elements of the marketing mix, or determine appropriate sales goals you must establish what you want your marketing efforts to
accomplish. An objective clearly states what you want to achieve. Like any objective, yours should be SMART.

1.   Specific –Clearly specify what you want to achieve
2.   Measurable – Achievement or lack of achievement of the objective can be measured
3.   Achievable - The objectives set are achievable and attainable
4.   Realistic – The objective can realistically be achieved with the resources you have
5.   Time – The objectives have a specific date to be accomplished

For example, an objective such as “improve sales and profit” is vague, and does not provide any timeframe for achieving the objective.
Therefore the objective is of no value. An objective that states “introduce a product to compete with an I-Pod that will capture 75%
market share within 1 month” is completely unrealistic. For an objective to be effective it must include all SMART elements. If done
correctly each objective can be stated in one sentence.

Some common marketing objectives are:
    Build Awareness
    Create Interest
    Stimulate Demand
    Create Sales
    Combat a Competitor
    Reposition the product

6. Marketing Mix

The marketing mix refers to the four P's: product, price, place, and promotion.
Your marketing mix is the combination of these elements. Make sure the combination of these elements are consistent with, and
supports your marketing objective and position.

A. Product Strategy

Because you have already described your product, there is no need to do it again. However, a product involves more than just the
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physical product the customer is buying. It also includes the packaging and warranty. These elements help create the value the
customer sees in the product.




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Packaging
The main thing to consider about your packaging is what it will communicate to the person buying the product. Describe the material,
color shape, size and quality level of the packaging. A picture may help to clarify what you are describing.
Hangtag
Depending on your product, a hangtag may be appropriate. If so, discuss the size, color, shape, material, and any graphics and / or
wording on the hangtag.
Warranties
Warranties are important, particularly if your product is new to the market. Warranties give buyers some level of security by providing
them with legal protection in case the product does not perform as advertised. However, keep in mind that providing an overly
generous warranty can be costly to the company.

B. Price Strategy

How do you know how to price your product? Your product's price often communicates as much to the consumer as its advertising. In
many situations, people perceive a product's value based on its price -- it depends on what your product is and who your market is.
Below are some factors to consider when determining how to price your product.
     The competition (or lack of it) your product faces - If your product is one of a kind, particularly if it's in the technology field, then
        higher initial prices may be more palatable to consumers (and even expected).
     The sensitivity (or insensitivity) of your customers to pricing for your type of product
     The value of the product as it relates to the price
     The positioning you've established for your product

When writing the pricing strategy section of your marketing plan make sure provide the reasoning behind your decision data to back up
your pricing decisions (current data about competitors' prices, price surveys, etc.)

C. Place Strategy

The strategy behind how you sell and distribute your product is a very important element of your marketing mix. Just like with pricing,
the places where your product is sold says a lot about both the quality and "status" of the product. Your channels of distribution must
match the image goals of your product. Here are some things to remember when planning your distribution strategy:

             Do you want your product to be available everywhere? Exclusive or widely available.
             Which stores will carry the product, Why?
             Will you sell online? Why?
             Match your product's "image" with that of the distribution channel and with your customers' perception of your product.
             Make sure your product can get the attention it needs in your chosen channel -- both from the sales staff (are they
              knowledgeable?) and from a shelf-space standpoint (how many competing products does the distributor also carry?)
             Now go to your positioning and target market analysis re-read them and confirm that your customer shops there or would
              be willing to shop there.


D. Promotion Strategy
The following sections will be graded, in part, as to how well they support the marketing objective(s) selected.
Your promotion strategy should include the communication modes that would appeal most to your target market. Your plan will not
only define the message you want to use, but also the tools you'll use to convey the message. It is in this section of your plan that you
should make certain you are following an Integrated Marketing Communications plan. This means that each of the tools used must
communication the same message. You should discuss the purpose of each promotion, as well as, include an example of an
advertisement, public relations and/or publicity, sales promotion and direct marketing.

Your promotion section should include all of the categories shown below:
         Advertising (include at least one sample ad)
         Public relations and/or publicity (include 1 example of either an event, press release, sponsorships, or contest etc.)
         Sales Promotions (include1 example)
         Direct Marketing (include 1 example)
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           Sales force (discuss the number of sales people you feel you will need to hire to accomplish your sales goal)

8) Appendix
    a) Survey summary page from surveymonkey.com
    b) Blank questionnaire
    c) Examples of
    d) Work cited page
    e) Signed and dated team norms (Sample available on class website)
    f) Blank peer evaluation guidelines (Sample available on class website)
    g) Blank grading rubric (available on class website)
    h) Copy of PowerPoint presentation


Revised2/1/12




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