A marketing plan is a detailed, researched and written report that a business uses in order to outline the actions that should be taken to customers and clients and measures taken to persuade them to purchase the product. It communicates to the customers on the value of goods and services. Marketing personnel evaluate the results marketing decisions made in previous years and the market in which a business operates in order to make the right decisions .They also set goals that provide direction on how marketing should be carried out. Coca-Cola Company success has been attributed by a well structured marketing plan. Marketing plan prepared by the management determines how well it will exist in the market.
A brief discussion is made concerning an existing or new product of a business in the marketing plan. Product identification involves knowing the identity of a product from its source of production, raw materials used in production, work –in- progress, finished product storage and the delivery of the products to the customers. Identification of a product can be controlled through electronic and physical methods. Product decisions should include products brand name, quality, and scope of the product line, warranty and its mode of packaging. (Derek 45).
Coca-Cola Company sells soft drinks and beverages to the customers. Its management takes into consideration the advantages of selling a product and how it’s leveraged in the market so as to maximize on its profits. The branding and packaging of its products unique thus has a higher competitive advantage as opposed to that of its competitors.
The basic strategy of a business is to determine a business objective .Some non-financial market metrics can be used to measure the success of a business. These include target market objectives and market shares- total number of new or retained customers and rate and size of purchases made in a business. These metrics show the conditions and a circumstance facing a company that cannot be solved through using financial methods (Baker 19).Coca Cola Company overall objective has been to meet the needs of its customers, to penetrate the market through providing high quality products and having a big market share through distributing its products to all parts of the world.
The size and mark up of a market is determined by the products being sold in a business. It is also indicated by the environment in which it’s conducting its business. In the marketing there should be a mission statement that identifies a businesses long-run goal, market it serves incentives and products and services given to customers. Coca-Cola Company’s markets it products through producing concentrate syrup that is fit for consumption to all its franchise shops in the world, this increases the sale returns of the company.
When preparing marketing plan one should take into consideration the reasons that make a customer prefer a product from one business as opposed from its competitor. According to Porter, he stated that it is important to prepare a detailed competitive summary of the products and services variables and be ranked in comparison to those of its competitors so as to prepare the right plan for a business. The variables include; pricing, sales, trends, positioning, clarity, quality, target market focus, packaging, advertising and customer service. The management of a company should know it competitors so as to understand its strengths and weaknesess.These can be achieved through evaluating the competitors experience in business, purchasing power, market position, strength predictability and the freedom to abandon the market. The Coca Cola Company produces different kinds of products which increases of its sale turnover and makes it to have a higher competitive advantage as opposed to its competitors. It sometimes gives free samples and incentives to its customers.
A price is determined by the net income and the objective that a company have for the market of its product. The pricing decisions can be determined by knowing the market, competitors, the economic condition of a country and the customers. Tables and graphs can be used to show the pricing trends and decisions of different products of a company. The main factors that an organization should take into account while setting up its prices is that of pricing stategy,the expected volume and decision for following a pricing variable for instance; list price, discounts, payment terms and financing options. Coca Cola company pricing is friendly as its products are recyclable therefore minimizing on the cost of producing the empty bottles used to pack its products.
A product should be advertised and promoted in the market so that the customer can get to know about its existence in the market. A business should determine how much and which media should be used in advertising a product. Kotler, et.al stated there are factors that should be taken into account when promoting a product that include; public relations, promotional programs, projected results for promotional programs and budget that determines the break-even point for making a sale of a product. Coca-Cola Company has been using the fat and jolly Santa Claus in advertising of its products, this has enabled it to increase on its sales and production for its products.
This process involves ensuring the products reach the customers on time. In marketing plan, distribution is an important element that consists of decision variables such as; distribution channels as direct, retail and intermediate channels; criteria for evaluating distributions ;locations; motivators of channels such as distributor margins and logistics such as transportation ,warehousing and order fulfillment . An organization should choose the best channel that can enable it maximize on its profits (Porter 34).Coca-Cola company produces syrups fit for consumption thus reducing the cost of transporting products from one place to another.
Sales forecast is derived through understanding a product, market for a product, price, promotional methods used, and types of distribution a channel for a product .Sales forecast is the driving force of all financial forecasts. It is required to give a brief summary of current sales, identify changes, summarize changes in the forecast, and justify a forecast so as to determine the right information concerning about a product and who well it can fair in the market. The sales forecast helps the management of an organization to determine the kind of resources that should be implemented in an organization in order to maximize on its profits .In this case, factors such as political, environmental, technological and competitive factors are evaluated so as to determine whether the business operates in a good environment. Coca-Cola sales team derives the sales turnover on different intervals in the year to evaluate the position of the company in the beverage industry.
Sales forecast review by management
Sales forecast review by management can be achieved through using the sales manager who can understand the contacts in the industry, can familiarize themselves with advertising and promotion techniques that will increase sales revenue for an organization. The qualification of the sales personnel to generate sales leads, their relationship with the distributors and location of their sales outlets in order to increase the revenue of an organization is taken into consideration .These mechanisms can ensure the management reviews it sales forecast with the actual sales so as to understand the position of business in the market. Coca-Cola company employees prepare financial reports on an annual basis to inform the customers at its existence and production of high quality products.
Marketing plans should be reviewed on an annual basis so as to determine how a business is performing in the industry. The management of business should use the marketing plan to determine the environment in which a business can flourish in the industry. These are prepared in relation to the products and services that are sold that result from marketing strategy implemented through marketing programs. Coca-Cola company success has been contributed by well structured strategy and market penetration and production of a variety of products that are suitable for its customers.
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The Role of a Quality of the Product in the Marketing Strategy
If the product is of a low quality, all marketing efforts will fail. A nice packaging, attractive promotion or even a lower price of competitors cannot replace a quality. The successful marketing strategy is the one that has all elements balanced. This is the only way to attract customers and hold them in a long-run.
Marketing strategy includes all activities aimed at the increase in sales and a sustainable competitive advantage based on the selected marketing mix that consists of 4 Ps or product, price, place and promotion (McCarthy). All elements of the marketing mix are equally important and must be harmonized in order to achieve the marketing goals. The product is what sells to customers and the base of the business operations. It must have an adequate price which is determined by costs and must be brought to the consumer through selected distribution channels. Customers also must be informed about the product that is offering. In services marketing is added three more elements – process, people and physical environment, which makes the 7 Ps (Booms et. al.).
Although all elements of the marketing strategy are important, the quality of the product is crucial because creates a customer satisfaction (Singh 5). Even when all other elements of the marketing strategy are in line with the market, if the quality of the product is low, the customers will not be satisfied and will stop buying the product. The quality of the product also creates value (Singh 5). Furthermore, product quality has a direct and positive influence on ROI, market share and price (Jacobson and David 32). Customers are willing to pay higher prices for higher quality. Also, a quality product will easier enter the market and increase market share. In return, higher prices and market share have a positive feedback effect on increasing the quality and all together increase ROI (Jacobson and David 42). It is enough to look the well-known brands, such as iPhone, Mercedes, Nike or Armani to see that with high quality always goes high price, a huge market and enormous business success. However, customers will buy only what they want, so the company must find the right mix of all elements.
Therefore, though all four elements of the marketing strategy are important, without a quality product a company cannot survive in the market, even if has the greatest competitive advantages in other aspects of marketing. Very often a quality of the products is the crucial factor in the decision to purchase a product because it determines customer satisfaction.
Booms, Bernard H. and Bitner, Mary Jo. “Marketing Strategies and Organization Structures for Service Firms.” Marketing of Services. American Marketing Association,1981, pp. 47–51.
Jacobson, Robert, and David A. Aaker. “The Strategic Role of Product Quality.” Journal of Marketing, vol. 51, no. 4, 1987, pp. 31–44., doi:10.2307/1251246. Accessed 16 Feb. 2017.
McCarthy, E. Jerome. Basic Marketing, IL: Richard D. Irwin, 1964.
Singh, Meera. “Marketing Mix of 4P’S for Competitive Advantage.” IOSR Journal of Business and Management, vol. 3, no. 6, 2012, pp. 40–45., doi:10.9790/487x-0364045. http://www.ijbmi.org/papers/Vol(2)6/Version-2/B02620508.pdf. Accessed 17 Feb. 2017.
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