A strategic plan is an organizations way to define the direction in which it is going to go in terms of performance and the way it is going to allocate its resources in order to do so. To define the strategy of the organization, it is important to recognize its current standing and the possible opportunities through which it can pursue a particular course of action. Generally, strategic planning deals with at least one of three key questions:
“What do we do?”
For the NGO and Productivity Board context, we are going to raise the awareness of the general public concerning productivity.
“For whom do we do it?”
This is going to be by following our marcom plan.
“How do we excel?”
This can be done by ensuring that the disadvantages to over providing information are alleviated.
A strategic plan must be in line with the mission’s vision, mission statement, values and strategies. Our duty as advisors of the NGO is to use the tools of the strategic plan i.e. PESTEL, SWOT, ATM approach etc. (which are discussed earlier in this assignment) and devise a marcom plan in order to determine the overall direction of the organization as well as plan the allocation of resources. The marcom plan is defined in detail in the following sections.
8.1 Marcom plan
Marcom is an abbreviation for “marketing communications.” Marcom is targeted communication and interaction with customers by using one or more means of media, such as direct mail, the press, television, radio, billboards, telemarketing, and the Internet. A marketing communications campaign may use a single tactic of communication (or advertising), but more frequently combines several means.
Marketing communication wires the development of brand awareness, which means that consumers deduce information about the product into insights about the product’s characteristics and its position within the bigger market. Businesses also use marketing communication to preserve the product’s existing customer base, and to strengthen relationships with customers and suppliers. Marcom strategy defines the business’s plan for product information dissemination and brand awareness development.
8.2 Marketing communications planning framework (Model)
The marketing communications planning framework (MCPF) is a model for the creation of an integrated marketing communications plan created by Chris Fill. The MCPF is intended to solve the inadequacies of other frameworks.
Fig 3: Marketing communication planning framework
The above diagram shows the marketing communications planning frame work. We have already covered the context analysis through the earlier chapters of this assignment through the components of this analysis which includes:
Define market or subject
Opportunities and Threats
The other factors of the marketing communication framework (Promotional Goals, Strategy, Communication Mix and Control and Evaluation) will be provided in Task 2, i.e. the recommendations that will be provided by each group member. This plan will have to make in a very systematic manner, assuming certain procedures have been made before the recommendations can be devised. These procedures are discussed in the following section.
8.3 Steps to developing the Marcom plan
Marcom (marketing communication) plans can be very expensive. Developing a marcom plan in a systematic manner is crucial to spending its budget optimally and efficiently.
Some steps in preparing a plan are as follows:
Analyzing the Market Situation (Situation Analysis)
Here we ought to know what position we presently hold in minds of prospects, what position we want to achieve, the action plan we have to undertake in order to attain that position, whether there is a unique difference in our products and whether that difference can be developed. For the purpose of our assignment we see that our NGO coupled with the Productivity Promotion Board is not in a competitive position and
Define the Purchase (Or Information Receiving) Environment
The marketing communications receiver and the buying influence pattern of the customer should be identified. The productivity context does not include goods being bought, hence this is not necessary. However study must be made whether the public is more responsive to one type of marketing than another or in one particular period than another. For example in the festive season (Christmas and New Year) very few people if not no one will bother about any productivity campaign.
Establish the Marketing Objectives
These objectives can vary from product to product. For the NGO with the PPB (Productivity Promotion Board) it includes the awareness of the general public concerning productivity and making everyone engaged in the productivity movement.
Select Positioning Concepts Most Suited to Purchasing Environment
The market positioning of the product should be made after considering the life cycle of the product, i.e. we should identify at what stage in its life cycle is the product which is to be promoted (Growth, maturity, saturation or decline). However for the purpose of the productivity context, there is no revenue to be considered following the sale of any product, hence the campaign for productivity awareness is not in any way affected by a product life cycle.
Confirm the Basic Marketing Strategy
This involves choosing among a list of alternatives the best marketing strategy for the product according to the market conditions and the product life cycle. This will further be discussed in Task 2 of this assignment.
Create the Communication Objective whereby each objective should be Specific, Realistic, and Measurable
The objective in this case, is a specific communication task to be accomplished among a defined audience in a given amount of time. An objective should be stated in terms of expected results, not in terms of activities or processes, i.e. for example “to establish a 35% preference for Brand X among a target of 20000 buyers”
A strategy outlines how the objective is to be accomplished. Communication strategies often deal with the message and identify the overall communications approach to be used; e.g. communicate the cost savings in using Brand A via testimonial advertising to be identified buying influences in the target markets.
A wide variety of communication means can be used, for example space advertising, direct mail, PR activities, Trade shows, etc. The strategy must determine the proper allocation of resources that the budget permits into several categories in order to achieve the stated objectives. This will further be discussed in Task 2 of this assignment.
Tactics refer to the specific steps or procedures to be taken in order to meet objectives. They often deal with media as the media plans represent the actual tools which will be used to accomplish the desired result, for example to advertise throughout the year on television. This will further be discussed in Task 2 of this assignment.
Benefits of having a Marcom plan
Marcom is the promotions component of the marketing mix that comprises of product, price and placement. The key aspects of marketing communication include senders diffusing information to receiver’s via media. The firm which is marketing its product or service is very often the sender, while consumers are the receivers. Many businesses discuss marketing communications in terms of the marketing communication mix, which is also known as integrated marketing communications (IMC). The essential benefits of IMC include advertising, personal selling, public relations, sales promotions and direct marketing.
Advertisements in the IMC mix are mainly paid commercials in media such as TV, radio, press, billboards and websites. Advertisements are good at updating and convincing mass audiences. Advertising reaches consumers both before and after the contact with the product being marketed. This before-and-after effect helps with valuable word-of-mouth publicizing as consumers recall the information they will receive through the productivity campaign.
Public relations are indirect communications through news outlets and other credible sources. This type of marketing communication requires the cooperation of the news media. The public is likely to believe public relations messages above all other types of marketing communications. Public relations will reach the public best before they make their purchase.
Direct marketing is marketing communication through postal mail, email or over the telephone. It is information that is prepared quickly and customized to consumers whose contact information is kept in the business’s database. Direct marketing creates a rapport with the targeted person. Operating not unlike sales promotions, direct marketing affects the public instantly.
8.5 Disadvantages to Providing Too Much Communication Strategy
Communication strategies are employed by companies of all sizes. These strategies are aimed at determining how information will be circulated to the public when it comes to new product launches, PR or marketing in general. Communication tactics can also refer to the way in which businesses converse with stakeholders and staff. In the development and implementation these strategies, however, companies need to be watchful to not provide too much communication. There can be disadvantages to doing so.
One of the detriments to providing too much communication is that it may result in some sensitive information being leaked to the public. This can be especially dangerous in the case our NGO in the way that if one piece of information is leaked that contradicts our marketing campaign, then our message will come off as confusing and unclear to the public. Also, this will harm our credibility and reputation in the public’s eye.
Brand image is important for business. A business’ brand is its individual and core identity. The struggles for promotion at times flood the market with advertisements, and this can erode the effectiveness of the publicizing effort. Too much promotion may send the wrong meaning to the customer base and harm the brand’s reputation.
When information is spread to the public regarding a company or an organization, there is always the risk of someone misusing that information in a detrimental way. This could damage the business’ reputation and hurt its standing in the business community. By limiting the flow of information to outsiders, the marketing manager can keep a tight control over the information and determine how and when it is shared with others. This also means limiting the information as it shared within the company as well. Employees should always be among the first to know important information but only as necessary.
Miscommunication is also a potential drawback to providing too much communication. When communication is provided frequently, it is possible that errors may occur and transfer a message that was not originally intended. Miscommunication can lead to public relations concerns that can be risky for the company and its reputation.
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