Elements of Marketing Communications Plan

Marketing is synonymous with sales. A good marketing plan is given a passing grade if its implementation would result to an increase in net profits. An increase in net profits would involve the four Ps of marketing. The price of the product is first P of marketing. Product is the second P of marketing. Place is the third P of marketing. Promotion is the fourth P of marketing. Each of these Ps augments each other to increase sales. The marketing communication Plan incorporates the four as part of its many elements. The elements of Marketing Communication Plan(Oller, and Giardetti 1999, 61) will be discussed in detail below.

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Mission

This element of the Marketing Communications Plan discusses the organization’s goals. One organizational goal could be to build awareness of corporate identification. Many companies have a major goal of selling products(Applbaum 2004, 5) and services to meet preset benchmarks. Another organization goal could be to bring two or more persons closer together. A school’s goal would be to educate its students by presenting the students thought provoking information. One of the main goals of business enterprises would be to spend more time and money on customer service and other customer support activities. Goals are broad. The support activities could be done prior to the actual sales transaction, during the sales transaction, or after the sales transaction(Jackowski, and Gray 2004, 274).

Objectives

This element of the Marketing Communications Plan discusses what all the departments in an organization are trying to accomplish. The accounting department will do its best to meet their deadlines in terms of submitting the financial statements as a necessary tool for the marketing department and management to make informed business decisions. Objectives are specific whereas goals are broad. The same department must compute the employees’ salaries on time in order that the employees will be paid as scheduled. The production department will have a goal of hiring factory workers to convert raw materials into finished goods in order to meet the marketing department’s demand for one sales period(Moingeon and Soenen 2002, 16).

Further, the marketing department’s objective is to meet predetermined quota in terms of the minimum number of units or services sold that would surpass breakeven point. A good example of an objective is to increase the organization’s share of the entire market by fifteen percent. Another good objective is to increase current year’s sales by twenty percent over the prior year’s sales figure. Another good example of an objective is decrease variable expenses by ten percent without sacrificing a decrease in sales. Normally, the main purpose of the objective is to serve as a specific guide for the members of the organization to know if they are working in the same direction. The objective will make everyone in the department have one frame of mind(Kitchen, and De Pelsmacker 2004, 35).

Target Audiences

This element of the Marketing Communications Plan discusses the persons, groups or culture that will benefit from the company’s products or services. The target market of a company producing batman toys would be the children. The target market of the grocery stores would be housewives and people who purchase food. The target market of the movie production companies would be the movie goers. The target market of companies producing diabetes medicines would be the diabetes patients. Likewise, the target market of schools would be the students(Michman 1991, 3).

Strategies

This element of the Marketing Communications Plan discusses the actions to be done to win the target market. It includes the selecting the media to be used. Advertising could be done using the newspaper, the radio or television. For example, the company could decide to only run a ten second ad in the television twice a month for five months because the cost of this type is very expensive. The company could also decide to advertise their new product in a one –fourth inch newspaper one month before the actual launch of the new product model on the store shelves(Reddy 1997, 4).

Also, the company could also advertise its reconstituted product line in a five minute radio station ad once a week for four weeks The company’s strategy will always include determine the resources that would be harnessed to achieve the organization’s goals and objectives. One strategy is to explain and advertise their promotional campaigns to as many potential customers as possible. One company strategy could be to use creative implementation to accomplish its goals and objectives(Kotabe 1992, 3).

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Tactics

This element of the Marketing Communications Plan discusses how the company implements the four P’s of marketing. The company will determine how much the company will sell the products or services. A price that is too high when compared to the competitors’ prices would surely drive away many potential and current clients. A price that is too low when compared to the competitors would definitely attract new clients. On the other hand, the manufacturers would love to produce more products at a higher price in order to increase sales and net profits respectively. The company will create a product that will fill the needs of the potential customers. And, the company will produce a product that is of high quality(Rogers 2001, 7).

Further, the company can also add after -sales services as a tactic for the prospective clients to accept the price of the new product promotion. The company should also determine where to sell the products. The clients would be able to buy the products if they can easily get one. Thus, the product must be sold in corner stores or nearby grocery chains in order to reach the company’s target market(Varey 2001, 193).

A potential market segment customer would prefer to buy a competing product even it is slightly higher provided they can save on travel expenses. The promotion of the company’s products must be effective and reasonably priced. The cheapest promotional tactic is to use word of mouth advertising. A close friend would be a strong sales person than a cold newspaper advertisement. A relative would be a better sales person than the glaring television advertisements(Lodish, Morgan, and Kallianpur 2001, 15).

Logistics

This element of the Marketing Communications Plan discusses the resources that the company would harness to make the marketing of a new product successful. This also applies to the company’s objective of retaining its current clients. Logistics includes the number of persons that will be assigned to market the products. For example, the company could hire one promotional representative to convince the grocery patrons to buy the company’s products.

The grocery promoter could give sample slices of the food their product so that the potential customers could taste –test if indeed buying the new product is a worthwhile endeavor. The company could hire a computer technician and a computer literate sales presenter to sell computer software products like Windows Vista and Microsoft office. The presenter would discuss to the curious passers -by in the grocery chain the many advantages of choosing their products and reject the competitors’ goods and services(Muhammad 1996,1).

And, another logistical action would be to determine whether to use powerful databases to gather financial information about a current and prospective client. It is very frustrating to spend lots of time selling to a person who does not buy because he or she could not afford one. The database research could have stated that this prospective client is jobless. The marketing company could use the logistical support of experts to back up their research and marketing strategy.

A doctor would inform the company that their product should not be sold to diabetic persons. An engineer could be hired by the marketing company to penetrate the engineer client market. A school teacher could be hired to help explain the benefits of classroom textbook to his or her students(Doyle 2000, 91).

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Also, logistics includes hiring more sales persons who will be paid on a flat commission basis. The advantage of this logistical strategy is that the company will be able to hire as many sales persons as possible without having to pay them a basic salary. Logistical support could also include setting up a company website where current and prospective clients can view the company products, prices and terms of payment any time of the day or night. The current and potential customers could also buy their products online and email the company regarded inquiries as to the specifications and other information on the products(Kotler 2004, 97).

Metrics

This element of the Marketing Communications Plan discusses the measurement of the marketing efforts. The marketing department will use a predetermined measurement tool to determine the success or failure of the marketing plan. Measurement could be comparing the number of items sold from the current year and the prior year’s sales. The company could also determine the percentage of the net income in relation to the net sales for the same accounting period(Otley 2002, 13).

In addition, the company could also determine if the debt to equity ratio, the current ratio, the return on investment ratio, accounts turnover ratio, the inventory turnover ratio, the debt to assets ratio and the profitability ratio of the current year. The company could also determine the method of gathering these mathematical data. And, the company could determine which tools they will use to interpret the quantitative data gathered(Jones 1995, 82)

Budget

This element of the Marketing Communications Plan discusses the money needed to fund the marketing plan. Usually, a feasibility study is done to determine the probable future sales, cost of sales, marketing expenses, operating expenses, and net profits. The budget could also include money allocated to entertaining the potential client.

The budget is based on the availability of cash. Cash can be obtained by additional investments from the business owners or stockholders. Cash can also be obtained from application for long term loans from banks and other financial institutions. Any business venture cannot push through if there is no cash to pay for the marketing expenses, production expenses and the cost of buying the raw materials used to produce the final product (Samli 1993, 18).

Timeline

This element of the Marketing Communications Plan discusses the length of time that the marketing plan will be implemented. The marketing plan could cover one month, two months, one year or even indefinitely. Dividing the marketing plan into periods would be good. For, the users of the financial statements could compare the sales, costs of sales, marketing expenses and operating expenses between the current accounting period and a prior accounting period(Baines, and Chansarkar 2002, 9).

Conclusion

Critical Evaluation of the Relationship between These Elements

Each of the elements mentioned here must complement each other to make the marketing plan a success. The mission statement would be useless if the objective does not help increase sales. For example the mission statement to increase sales would not harmonize with the objective of reducing the number of units produced to save on labor and material expenses. The mission statement to increase TV sales would not fit if the tactics used is to advertise the company’s car products(Smith, and Fletcher 2001, 219).

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Further, the mission statement to increase sales would not fit if the company’s tactics is to reduce production costs by using the low priced poor quality raw materials. The mission statement to increase sales would not fit if the logistics instruction was to retrench the current marketing staff and reduce advertising expenses. The mission to increase sales would not be understood if the company uses different yardsticks in comparing sales in one period with another(Moschis 1994, 5).

And, the mission statement to increase sales would not fit if the prior year’s budget for marketing has been slashed by fifty percent in the current year’s operation. The objective to reduce marketing expenses by € 10,000 per month for two years would not fit if the timeline for the marketing plan is only eight months. Conclusively, the elements of the marketing communication plan must complement each other to be successful. Success means that the company was able to generate net profits. An increase in net sales will surely increase gross profits.

Works Cited

Applbaum, Kalman. 2004. The Marketing Era: From Professional Practice to Global Provisioning. New York: Routledge.

Baines, Paul, and Bal Chansarkar. 2002. Introducing Marketing Research. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Doyle, Peter. 2000. Value-Based Marketing: Marketing Strategies for Corporate Growth and Shareholder Value. New York: Wiley.

Jackowski, Mick, and Dianna P. Gray. 2004. “14 Sportnest: a Nested Approach to Segmenting the Sport Consumer Market”. In Sports Marketing and the Psychology of Marketing Communication, ed. Kahle, Lynn R. and Chris Riley: 271-290. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Jones, Steven D. 1995. “5ProMES in a SmallManufacturing Department:Results of Feedback andUser Reactions”. In Productivity Measurement and Improvement: Organizational Case Studies, ed. Pritchard, Robert D.:81-91. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.

Kitchen, Philip J., and Patrick De Pelsmacker. 2004. Integrated Marketing Communications: A Primer. New York: Routledge.

Kotabe, Masaaki. 1992. Global Sourcing Strategy: R&D, Manufacturing, and Marketing Interfaces. New York: Quorum Books.

Kotler, Philip. 2004. Ten Deadly Marketing Sins: Signs and Solutions. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Lodish, Leonard M., Howard Lee Morgan, and Amy Kallianpur. 2001. Entrepreneurial Marketing: Lessons from Wharton’s Pioneering MBA Course. New York: Wiley.

Michman, Ronald D. 1991. Lifestyle Market Segmentation. New York: Praeger Publishers.

Moingeon, Bertrand and Guillaume Soenen, eds. 2002. Corporate and Organizational Identities: Integrating Strategy, Marketing, Communication, and Organizational Perspectives. London: Routledge.

Moschis, George P. 1994. Marketing Strategies for the Mature Market. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.

Muhammad, Tariq K. 1996. Marketing Online. Black Enterprise, September, 85+.

Oller, John W., and J. Roland Giardetti. 1999. Images That Work: Creating Successful Messages in Marketing and High Stakes Communication. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.

Otley, David. 2002. “1 Measuring Performance: the Accounting Perspective”. In Business Performance Measurement: Theory and Practice, ed. Neely, Andy:3-21. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Reddy, Allan C., ed. 1997. The Emerging High-Tech Consumer: A Market Profile and Marketing Strategy Implications. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.

Rogers, Stuart C. 2001. Marketing Strategies, Tactics, and Techniques: A Handbook for Practitioners. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.

Samli, A. Coskun. 1993. Counterturbulence Marketing: A Proactive Strategy for Volatile Economic Times. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.

Smith, D. V.L., and J. H. Fletcher. 2001. Inside Information: Making Sense of Marketing Data. New York: Wiley.

Varey, Richard J. 2001. Marketing Communication: Principles and Practice. New York: Routledge.

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