A marketing plan is as important as a business plan itself. Both documents help a company to prepare for the future. A marketing plan contains the strategies that are to be used in the process of promoting a good or a service in the market. The following marketing plan proposal relates to ABZ Company. The organization wishes to launch a new cleaning service into the market. The author came up with the proposal with the help of the marketing plan pro program. The contents of the plan are essential to the marketing activities of the firm. Some of the elements taken into consideration in the process of formulating the plan include, among others, situation analysis.
The evaluation made use of 5c analysis, SWOT analysis, and Porter’s Five Forces analysis. 5c analysis, as the name suggests, is divided into five components. They include company, competitor, climate, customers, and collaborators. Climate explains more about the environment within which the business is operating. As such, in it there is PEST analysis. SWOT analysis, on its part, is divided into four segments. They include the strengths, limitations, opportunities, and risks associated with the business. Porter’s five forces analysis involves an evaluation of the threat of substitution, threat of new entry, and competitive rivalry. It also takes into consideration the power of the buyer and the supplier. The analyses were critical to the formulation of the plan. In addition, the proposal has budgetary and financial forecasts. It also has a specific set of controls. The main aspects of content marketing are discussed in the plan.
ABZ is a new company in the business and family hygiene market. The management wishes to introduce a new product called ‘ABZ cleaning service’. The company wishes to market the new service to ensure that as many people as possible are aware of their work. Efforts have been made to ensure that the marketing plan addresses the needs of the situation. To this end, the company has decided to use the sales and marketing pro software. The software will help the persons drafting the proposal to come up with the best plan for the job. The product to be launched by the company will involve cleaning services. The target audience includes companies, government institutions, residential homes, and schools. Given the wide range of target consumers, the main aim of the company is to deliver quality services to maximize its profits. The marketing plan will allow the organization to gauge its strengths and weaknesses. It will help the management to deal with these elements effectively.
A Proposed Marketing Plan for ABZ Company
Situation analysis is one of the major components of the marketing plan. The review is used by a new or an existing company to gauge its internal and external environment (Vorhies & Morgan, 2003). The analysis also helps the business to understand its capabilities. The traits associated with the market and the target consumers are also taken into consideration. The situation analysis is divided into a number of different parts.
5C analysis is an important element of the situation analysis. ABZ Company should carry out the evaluation to get information concerning its existing and target market (Zou & Cavusgil, 2002). The analysis is considered to be one of the most important aspects of a company that wishes to launch a new product or service into the market. Following are the components of the 5C analysis:
The first C represents the company. The analysis of this entity brings to light the capabilities and objectives of the company. Before a company can start its operations, it is wise for it to put in place proper measures to help it achieve its set objectives. Lack of goals and objectives is likely to lead to failure of business operations. In light of this, the marketing strategies become an indispensable aspect of ABZ Cleaning Services. The strategies that the organization intends to use in marketing must be contained in the marketing plan.
ABZ Cleaning Services will use the internet to market the new product. The move will involve launching of websites and blogs to promote the services to the online community. Use of media will also be included in the marketing plan (Vorhies & Morgan, 2003). It will involve use of television, radio, and newspaper in communicating ideas to the market. To this end, ABZ will place advertisements through these channels. Word-of-mouth is another effective strategy that will be used by the company. ABZ Cleaning can also use fliers and billboards to communicate to its target market.
The company may opt to use one of the various strategies or incorporate all of them into its marketing plan. In the company analysis section, the entity must come up with the best strategy that will be cost effective and efficient as per the market structure. ABZ may opt to go for the internet and the mainstream media because they are the most effective and efficient strategies in any market structure.
Competitor is the second among the 5Cs. The analysis is important when creating a marketing plan. To this end, the ABZ cleaning service to be launched in the market is likely to face competition from other companies. When entering into a new market, it is important for a company to study its competitors. An analysis of the rivals will help ABZ Company to position its service in the market. Competitors pose a threat to the growth of businesses. However, a proper analysis gives the company the right tools to use to beat rivals in the field (Vorhies & Morgan, 2003).
The marketing plan for ABZ cleaning services will contain a competitor analysis segment. Identification of the rivals is the first step in this process. All companies that provide cleaning services are potential competitors. Future rivals also need to be addressed when making the marketing plan (Payne, Ballantyne & Christopher, 2005). After identification, the next step involves assessment and finally the prediction of the future initiatives of the competitors. ABZ cleaning services will follow the steps to avoid being outdone in the market.
The third C stands for customers. Marketers at ABZ Cleaning Services will take time to study the potential customers. Analyzing the consumers is important when creating a marketing plan. The target market for the company should offer enough customers who will sustain the business. ABZ will also benefit in other ways as a result of analyzing its customers in the target market (Rivard, Raymond & Verreault, 2006). The process will help the company to identify the right advertisement channels for the service. ABZ intends to provide cleaning services to the people. To achieve this, the company should start by assessing the number of institutions that can become potential customers. The market size should be big enough to sustain the business (Zou & Cavusgil, 2002). Analysis of the consumers will also help in identifying their location in the market. Getting the location will enable the company to plan its movements and means of transport. A plan of the distribution of services within the target market will help significantly by ensuring that the services are delivered effectively. Analyzing the customers in the target market will allow ABZ Cleaning Services to maximize its profits.
Collaborators are important to all businesses. The marketing plan for ABZ Cleaning Services will involve an in-depth analysis of the collaborators. The company intends to collaborate with other entities to ensure that the services offered to the people are of high quality. Collaborators can be agents, suppliers, and distributors. In this case, ABZ is a company intending to specialize in the provision of cleaning services (Rivard et al., 2006). The company will need to look for suppliers of cleaning agents and other inputs. When looking for suppliers, ABZ will need to decide on the type of stakeholder to be engaged in business. The supplier can either be a wholesaler, a retailer, an importer, or an exporter. The company will take into consideration different factors like cost, trust, reliability, and quality when looking for the best supplier to collaborate with. Analyzing these stakeholders will help the company to know whether or not they possess the capabilities required to deliver the services.
Climate is the last of the 5Cs. It covers the issue of the environment within which the business is operating. Analyzing the climate is important when creating a marketing plan. Different factors that can affect the business need to be analyzed in the right manner to ensure that they do not negatively impact on the operations of the entity (Song, Calantone & Benedetto, 2002). ABZ cannot move forward without assessing the climate of the target market. The objective can be achieved through a PEST analysis.
A pest analysis covers the climate and the environment of a business in four major dimensions. The dimensions are political, economic, social, and technical environment.
Before launching the new service, ABZ cleaning has to take into consideration the political environment of the target market. The political situation will play a major role in determining whether the business will succeed or not. The government determines the political regulatory environment in a given market (Song et al., 2002). The market may be characterized by different regulations that may hinder or promote the cleaning services to be provided by ABZ. In the marketing plan, the regulations should be identified and their effects clearly outlined. Having a detailed political analysis of the target market will enable ABZ to work effectively without interruptions from the authorities.
The economic environment of the target market is important when planning. Analysis of the micro and macroeconomic trends allows a company to know the right location to invest in. ABZ has to include this in its marketing plan. The economy of a region may be good or bad (Rivard et al., 2006). A functional economy is good for business. ABZ Cleaning Services will perform poorly in an economy that cannot sustain its activities. Failure to conduct an economic analysis of the target market may make the company invest in non-profitable regions.
The social environment determines the profitability of a company. Before launching the new service, ABZ Company should familiarize itself with the social climate of the target market. The social situation involves the demographics, culture, and general way of life of the people. Analyzing the environment can take time. In spite of this, the company should make sure that it conducts research about the new product and its acceptability in the target market (Zou & Cavusgil, 2002). The research will provide information on the views of the people towards the cleaning services. In addition, it will provide data on the experiences the people expect to have from such a product. Studying the social environment helps in predicting how the service will perform when it is launched into the market. The social analysis can help the company make decisions on whether or not to launch the service.
The technical environment deals with the analysis of the technology involved in the provision of a given product. Advances in technology are crucial to the effective construction of a marketing plan. In order to be at the same level with the competitors, ABZ Company must take into consideration its level of technology. There are various innovations that have been introduced in the cleaning business (Rivard et al., 2006). For example, the use of vacuum cleaners and other machines in the cleaning process is an indication of technology innovations. When coming up with a plan, it is important to determine the methods to use to enhance efficiency and customer satisfaction. A marketing plan that disregards an analysis of the technology may lead to business failure.
In addition to the 5C, SWOT analysis is another part of the marketing plan that is crucial to the success of an organization in the market. The evaluation focuses on the internal and external environments of the business (Payne et al., 2005). The strengths and the weaknesses are part of the internal environment of the organization. Opportunities and threats, on the other hand, form part of the external environment. ABZ marketing plan should clearly show the SWOT analysis.
Strengths lie in the internal environment of ABZ Company. The inherent positive factors of the company may include its technological advancements. The resources that are at the disposal of the company are other aspects of its strengths. In the marketing plan, ABZ should identify all the strengths, including those associated with its employees (Rivard et al., 2006). The plan should indicate how the company intends to utilize these elements to maximize its profits. An analysis of the strengths gives the company a picture of how activities should be planned.
Weaknesses are the negative internal factors of an organization. The elements may hinder ABZ Company’s efforts to launch the product. Some of the negative factors include the inadequate marketing budget and lack of qualified human resource. Outdated technology may also be another weakness that the company may need to tackle early in time (Payne et al., 2005). All internal weaknesses can be dealt with at the management level. Assessing them puts the company in a better position to deal with the problems before they occur. ABZ can address the budgetary and personnel problems before they become a major threat to the entity.
It is important for ABZ Company to determine the opportunities that lie in the target market before making its marketing plan. The entity has the opportunity to expand its operations to other locations if it can satisfy its customers in the initial market. Other opportunities that the company may exploit include extended contracts and customer loyalty if it is able to offer high quality services to the people (Song et al., 2002). ABZ has to know the right mechanisms to apply when marketing to ensure it capitalizes on the opportunities.
Threats are external factors that ABZ has to put into consideration when making the marketing plan. The risks are a hindrance to the achievement of set goals. One of the threats that the company will have to deal with entails competition (Payne et al., 2005). Such threats as increased costs of employee benefits and difficulties in convincing customers may be categorized as threats that the company may face in the future. All these risks can be solved. However, the company needs to first identify them. In general, a SWOT analysis will help ABZ to plan for the future and find ways of dealing with the threats.
Porter Five Forces Analysis
Porter five forces analysis is another component of a marketing plan. The evaluation takes into consideration the threats created by competitors (Rivard et al., 2006). The analysis provides the company with information on how to establish a competitive advantage in the market. It protects the potential of the entity from any type of competition. ABZ will be able to manage competition posed by rivals in the cleaning industry by coming up with an effective Porter’s five forces framework. To this end, the management should take into consideration the five important forces that determine competitive power of a business.
Threat of substitution
The risk will occur when customers find a way of doing their cleaning without procuring the services of the company. The threat is created when the service offered by the entity is not unique (Payne et al., 2005). When the service has nothing new to offer to the public, the threat of substitution can occur. ABZ’s employees should be equipped with the right skills. They should be creative enough to ensure that the services provided are unique and different from those in the market. Consequently, the company will be able to overcome the threat of substitution.
Threat of new entrants
The entry of new companies into the market can pose a threat to ABZ. However, the organization can overcome the threat by raising the bar for entry. Setting the bar high will include offering exemplary services and fully investing in technology in the industry (Rivard et al., 2006). The services should also be affordable. The company should engage in extensive advertisement to make it hard for new companies to access the market. Having such barriers will ensure that the threat of entry is eliminated.
The number of competitors and their capacity matters a lot. An analysis of the rivalry can help ABZ deal with this threat. To avoid rivalry, the company can focus on the provision of other services that are related to cleaning but which are not provided by other players in the industry. It is a good approach of dealing with competition in any given market (Song et al., 2002).
Consumers have some level of leverage in the market. It is important to analyze their power before launching a new product into the market. The analysis shows the importance of each customer to the business. The likelihood of customers shifting from company to the other is made evident when this analysis is conducted. Having a wide range of buyers is important (Payne et al., 2005). Marketing activities should cover a large geographic area to ensure that the customer base is expanded. A large customer base will ensure that the decisions made by some to shift from ABZ to other companies do not negatively affect the operations of the business.
ABZ will engage different suppliers to procure cleaning agents and other inputs. Only the best agents or suppliers should be contracted. It is important to analyze the power held by these stakeholders. It is not easy to negotiate with these agencies especially if the company relies on one (Vorhies & Morgan, 2003). It is important for ABZ to have different suppliers to make it easy to shift from one to another. Shifting may be caused by disagreements over terms and other factors. Analyzing suppliers will help the company to safeguard its source of raw materials.
Budgetary and Financial Forecasts
A budget is important when it comes to marketing of a service or a product. ABZ will incur certain expenses in its efforts to launch the new service. All these expenses must be clearly computed and justified. The move will help in estimating the costs that will be incurred in the whole process. Information about the estimates will help the company to plan on how to source for funds. If the budget is too high, ABZ can look for different ways of slashing it down to the desired level (Rivard et al., 2006). When the budget is in place, ABZ can look for external funding from banks or other financial institutions. The financial part of the plan is critical to the success of the whole venture. It is important to note that the expenses should not be more than the expected revenue.
Control is the last part of the marketing plan for ABZ’s cleaning services. The controls include performance indicators that show the progress of the new service in the market. To this end, it is important to show whether or not the service is doing well in the market (Payne et al., 2005). If the new product is not doing well enough, the company can change tactics early enough.
The marketing plan proposed in this paper will go a long way in determining the success of ABZ Company in the cleaning market. To enhance success, the organization must follow the steps laid down in this plan. The marketing plan can apply to other types of business. It is important to note that a marketing plan is as important as a business plan. It should be treated as a requirement when launching a new product into the market.
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