Further, a firm should try to find a competitive advantage in meeting the needs of some target markets that it can satisfy very well. The target market should large enough to support the firm’s efforts – and yield a profit.
A marketing strategy consists of a target marker and a marketing mix; it is a “big picture” of what a firm will do in some target market. A marketing plan includes the time-related details – including expected costs and revenues – for that strategy. In most firms, the marketing manager must ultimately combine the different marketing plans into an overall marketing program. As suggested in the Scheme, developing an effective marketing strategy involves a process of narrowing down to a specific target market and marketing mix that represent a real opportunity. This narrowing down process requires a thorough understanding of the market.
That understanding is enhanced by careful analysis of customer’s needs, current and prospective competitors and the firm’s own objectives and resources. Similarly, favorable or unfavorable factors and trends in the external market environment may make a potential opportunity more or less attractive.
Strategy Decision areas are generally organized by the Four Ps: price, place, product and promotion. Product:Physical good Service Features Quality level Accessories Installation Instructions Warranty Product lines Packaging branding
Each of these requires careful decision making. Yet, marketing planning involves much more than just independent decisions and assembling the part into a marketing mix. The four P's must be creatively blended – so the firm develops the best mix for its target market.
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