Confirm what your product/service is and identify what the characteristics of your target market are that make you think that this product/service is appropriate for your target market
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This assessment is the marketing plan you will present to your company outlining the marketing strategy you propose for the product/service you have chosen in your target market. In this assessment you will identify the characteristics of your target market which will inform your strategy. As outlined in your Unit Handbook, the aim of this exercise is for you to show your knowledge of your target market and explain why you have decided to adopt the marketing strategies you think would be appropriate. The Marketing Plan might take the following format:
- What product/service have you chosen and why?
Confirm what your product/service is and identify what the characteristics of your target market are that make you think that this product/service is appropriate for your target market.
WARNING: DO NOT choose products/brands that already have a global presence for your Marketing Plan. If you choose brands like Coca Cola or Nike or Starbucks you will probably fail the assignment. These companies already spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year on sophisticated market analysis and preparing marketing plans, so you simply cannot compete. You might be able to choose an individual product range from a large, multinational company, but would need to discuss this with your tutors before proceeding with the research and plan.
- Refine your target market
Say what segment of your target market you will be targeting and say why. This means identifying who in your target market might acquire the product/service, i.e. what segment(s) of the market, and give reasons for choosing this/these segment(s). What is it about the product that is attractive to this/these segment(s). Who are your competitors and what challenges do they offer. In this section you will identify the key elements of your target market, which will also inform the other elements of your report, so it might be the most significant section in your report in terms of length. Here you should not reproduce and of the analytical tools you have used to study the market, but the results of the analysis of the market. If you simply produce a SWOT or PESTLE you will get poor marks or might fail the assessment.
- Say how you will make your target market aware of the product.
This is your promotional strategy. How will your market gain knowledge of the existence of the product/service? What strategy will you use to attract your customers? What is available in your target market? Why are you using this strategy for your target market? What are the benefits/disadvantages of this strategy? You will need to consider both your target market and the kinds of promotional strategies that would be appropriate for both the potential users of the product/service and for the company promoting the product/service. For example, TV advertising is probably beyond the financial resources of most small and medium sized companies, so what alternatives are there?
- How will you get your product/service to your target market?
This is your distribution strategy. How are you going to get your product/service to your target market? Will your target market access your product/service? Though a general or specialist retailer or directly from the supplier? Online? How will you supply/distribute the product? The strategy you adopt will depend on the analysis of your target market you carried out in 2 above.
- How much are you going to charge?
This is your pricing strategy. The importance here is the strategy, not the price as such. Identify the strategy you would adopt and say why this strategy is best for your product/service in your target market. Here you might want to consider economic factors in your target market, such as economic growth or contraction, or spending patterns and such things as disposable income in your target segment.
Are there any other factors that might influence your marketing strategy? What are your overall conclusions?
Remember, you are expected to demonstrate knowledge of the marketing environment in your target market. Your marketing strategy is based on this knowledge and on an understanding of the basic principles of marketing. You are making recommendations to the company that offers the service or makes the product you are trying to promote and it is your knowledge of your target market that makes you a valuable consultant in this process, so you must show that you understand your target market. The plan must also be of a high professional standard and be written in good, grammatically accurate English.
In terms of structure we would recommend that you avoid splitting the plan into too many subsections using the elements above. Often writing in continuous prose, as if you were writing an essay, will produce a better plan. However the overall structure might reflect the different elements identified above.