Every traveler should have a plan. It might not highlight everything that will happen throughout your journey, but it should provide you with a general direction and give you the opportunity to enjoy the view, and steer you clear of trouble!
Marketing Planning Aims & Objectives
The key to any successful plan is having a very clear set of aims and objectives. Developing a comprehensive market analysis is fundamental to the process and should provide a set of deductions upon which you can build a robust plan. A number of analytical tools should be used to give greater clarity and focus throughout the development of the plan, and the output should be validated by a selection of third parties.
Zulu works with their clients to help develop marketing plans and to help promote and communicate key conclusions. Plans are achieved through action and it is critically important that individuals understand what is required and why.
Addressing the Competitive Marketplace
Central to the development of the marketing plan will be the issue of competition. The competition will not sit still and wait for you to develop a robust plan and marshal your resources in order to attack their position. Rather, they will have plans, programs and campaigns that need to be identified, rationalised and countered in order to achieve a competitive advantage. This dynamic and fluid relationship is summarised by the term ‘the competitive market place’.
Some markets are more competitive than others. However, all companies should have a system which identifies competitor actions and can evaluate the potential impact those actions can have on your own planning.
We believe it is important to always stay one (or preferably two steps) ahead of the competition. Zulu can help you find out how to achieve this competitive excellence and stay ahead of the game!
Creating a Competitive Advantage
By conducting a marketing audit, a set of deductions can be fed into the marketing planning cycle. This establishes a number of aims and objectives that are clearly understood and effectively communicated throughout the organisation (and in some cases, beyond the organisation to third parties and customers). The aim is to provide an insight, which allows the planning cycle to develop a number of campaigns that will provide a platform for competitive advantage.
Zulu understands that many of the best plans will only give a brief period of competitive advantage - the organisation must respond to the ebb and flow of the competitors’ own marketing campaigns. It is the ability to stay ahead of the competition that delivers long-term competitive advantage and eventually market dominance.
The 7 P’s
In order to provide a sustainable competitive advantage, a number of factors need to be considered. These factors are often termed, ‘The 7 P’s’. The 7 P’s are made up of ‘products’, ‘prices’, ‘places (distribution)’, ‘promotions’, ‘people’, ‘processes’ and ‘physical evidence’. We work with our clients to ensure a balanced and robust approach, which incorporates all aspects of the 7 P’s checklist.
Performance Analysis & Measurement of Progress
All plans must be tested and validated. When on a journey, you need to check the odd place name along the way to make sure you are where you think you are. Plans too must be validated, and so, it is essential that your marketing campaigns have some way of being measured. All campaigns are specific and are layered so finding an appropriate measurement, which is meaningful to the function the plan is designed to perform, is key.
A successful destination
The marketing planning process drives the campaign process, defining the aims and objectives of operational marketing. Working within an action orientated planning, implementing and review cycle, Zulu helps companies develop and sustain competitive advantage within their chosen markets.