- The integrated marketing plan
Marketing entails the process through which information on the benefits, uses, applications and utilities of a product is advance to the audience which that consists of the target group of the product’s consumers. In modern integrated marketing, the marketing plan would consist of three essential components. These components are the marcom, the online and the promotion strategies. These component strategies play essential roles in the overall achievement of the marketing objectives.
Marcom refers to the marketing communication strategy addresses issues of communication. Communication relates to the manner in which the information is passed through from the source to the audience. Often, communication strategy must be effective, sensitive and accommodative of the diverse interests of the targeted consumers. The centrality and importance of communication lies in the fact that it holds the key to information being passed from the source to the audience and perhaps also entertains the feedback process. The online strategy considers the application of online sites in the overall marketing planning. This strategy has been derived from the increased utility of the internet in modern day marketing. Its centrality and importance hence derives from the fact that the internet serves as a huge medium of marketing and facilitates a substantial amount of marketing. In order to capture the modern day consumers, marketing plans must envision the application of online marketing hence the essence of the online strategies.
Lastly, the promotion strategy is the third approach in marketing that could posit favourable results. Promotion entails engagement in activities that indirectly avail the opportunity for the marketed products to gain attention, publicity or coverage to the advantage of the marketers. The centrality and importance of promotion in marketing lies in its ability to achieve phenomenal success in terms of information spread on the product in an indirect manner.
- Activities in each of the strategies
Each of the three strategies has its own unique activities. However, it should be noted that the ultimate result of all the activities is the overall achievement of the marketing objectives and goals. In the marketing communication, the process involves the deliberate and direct advancement of the product information by the firm to the audience. These will involve activities such as question and answer sessions, narrative on the uses and benefits of the products, demonstrations on the utility and application of the product, elaborate explanations, among other activities. Usually the marcom entertains an interaction system that enables targeted audience to ask questions, seek clarifications and even at times try out the products in the presence of the communicators. On the other hand, the online strategy involves similar communication activities but with the application on online programs. These would involve relaying of videos and pictures depicting the uses and application of the products, graphical and real time representation of the product on the online medium and lastly the development of a comprehensive and interactive online application that avails all the information required about the product on the firm’s website. In modern marketing, websites have been tailored to facilitate online transactions such e-sales, placement of orders and inquiries addressed. Some of the online strategy activities involve the development of the online applications that would facilitate website functionalities.
Promotion strategy activities are perhaps the more activities than the rest. In addition, promotion is more indirect. It manifests in activities such as supporting noble causes in the community of the target audience, celebrity endorsements, charity activities, facilitating of forums and social events such as sports, concerts, among others. The overall objective in promotion often is the need to gain publicity and give the product a positive image.
- Six steps in relationship building
Sales teams employ a deliberate, comprehensive and informed procedure in building a relationship with the audience in a bid to market their product and enable the firm realise its revenue budgets. The process involves six steps appreciated for their centrality in the overall achievement of the marketing objectives. These stages include sharing, attraction, converting, retaining, growing and understanding and optimizing. This section shall briefly explain each of the stages and give their importance in relation to their contribution to the overall achievement of the marketing objectives. The process starts with sharing. In this stage, the sales team identifies a target audience and deliberately shares its information. Usually, this process is began by formal introductions and then followed by less informality. The essence of this stage lies in the fact that it lays the foundation of the overall intention, that is, marketing. In that vein, it ought to be executed accordingly. Attraction comes next. Once the attention of the audience has been received, it is the essential to attract their mind and conscious to the product. Often this is essential in enabling the audience develop an interest for the product. This is the time in the relationship where the sales team is to relay information concerning the products uses and applications and connect the same to the needs of the audience in a way that captures their interests.
Conversion is then the next stage. In converting, the potential buyer is made to buy. The centrality and essence of this stage is that it is the one with practical implications to the overall marketing. Often, from this stage, the sales team can comfortably predict the viability of the product and its likely sales. Next stage in the relationship is the retention. Retention implies holding the grasp and attention of the buyers. This process often comes immediately after the buyer has interacted with the product. Its importance lies in the fact that it facilitates continuity in sales and the development of a brand image of the product. As the retention stage exits, the team begins growth stage. This stage entails the expansion of the client base of the product. Often the stage works in unison with the retention. The clients are used to spread the brand and grow the products’ client base. This stage ensures continuity. Finally, the team should understand and optimize the market dynamics. This stage enables the development of a continuation in the sales.
Abraham, S. C. (2012). Strategic Planning: A Practical Guide for Competitive Success. New York: Emerald Group Publishing.
Bridgepoint Education, Inc. (2012). Managerial Marketing. San Diego: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.