Abstract

This research paper will delve into a scrupulous analysis and discussion of the modern drift in strategic marketing probing deeper into how it interlocks with the overall organizational goals and objectives.

For the purposes of this study, Dell Inc, a colossal company offering a wide assortment of computer products and services will be reviewed bringing forth its kind of products and services, suggestions will be offered on how its marketing programs should be generally manned and executed. The study will however veer towards the researcher’s attained views and concepts, thus the information used will not necessarily second copy the actual data from Dell Inc.

A keen attention will be given on how the suggested marketing plan will garner a complete overhaul of the business processes and profitability. The paper will further analyze the risks involved in the marketing plan and how to counter those risks by implementing control measures in the wholesome business plan.

Finally, a reflective section elaborating on the significance of undertaking this assignment will be highlighted followed by a brief conclusive section to summarily capture the key points established in the research paper after which the research will be wrapped up.

Introduction

In order for a marketing plan to succeed it must be based on the key goals established in the business plan. This call for the strategy formulating staff to sit down have a thorough review and understanding of the business plans in order to have a formula on how to blend the marketing plans with the business plan.

Many first-time business industrialists hold the fallacy that by appending an ad on a local dairy or on a commercial television channel would have the potential buyers flocking into their premises to purchase goods and services offered. This trend is true, but only to certain degree.

A cluster of people may well learn of the business enterprise, purchase products for some period but a huge latent clientele base may never learn about a business if it fails to develop and implement a passable marketing program. Any potential business owner who intends to stay germane in the business arena must design a thorough marketing program, maintain it, understand it and maximize on it to extract myriad advantages form the market place.

The key to acquisition and holding on to numerous and loyal client lies in the strategic marketing plan. The business owner must gyrate over diverse strategies and techniques until he fully understands them. After understanding the strategies it is important for the business owner to customize them and fit them in his business situation.

Once the strategies a re implemented and maintained they help a business enterprise to attract and retain a stable group of loyal customers. Moreover, the business garners innumerable advantages such as reduction of risks accrued to market shifts and augmentation of profit margins.

1. How Marketing Plan Supports Strategic Objectives

(i)Organizational Strategy And Marketing Plan

Practitioners in the marketing field are mired by innumerable tasks. Often marketers find themselves entangled with the responsibility of running and maintaining marketing programs, staff supervision and sales this may sometimes obliterate their thinking from the real picture; however marketers are advised to gain little perspective via engaging in serious strategy formulation.

The broad spectrum of business plan considers details like the products and the services being offered by the particular company, the numerous markets being served by the products, environmental factors, the production process, the company finance, research together with the other elements necessary in order for a business to succeed.

The American Marketing Association defines marketing as a planning process comprising of execution of the conceived ideas, appending the right prices to the products, promoting and distributing goods and ideas for the purposes of satisfying the organizational objectives (Fill 2005.p.23)

In essence it can be stated that the marketing plan endeavors achieve the overall organizational goals by ensuring that products are offered at the right price to the accurate potential customers. Once implemented, a marketing plan plays a crucial role in ensuring that the business attains success since it ensures business continuation and sustenance of business competitive edge in the market place.

A business plan sets a pace for the business, determining the direction in which the business will be steered. In order for the overall plan of a business to succeed it must work in harmony with the marketing strategies and tactics implemented in the business. A marketing plan works in consensus with the strategic objectives of the overall business.

Its is the marketing plan which determines the degree of business promotion (Davies 1998.p.82) According to Kotler a marketing plan designs structures and devices tactics on how the business will be advanced and propped up (2006, P.67) This element helps the marketing plan to supplement the overall goals and objectives of the business.

Fill established the fact that marketing plan is the driving force behind client base build up (2005.p.56). Marketing plan goes into the details on how the percentage of the clients will be increased and how the degree of loyalty will be augmented.

Moreover, a marketing plan comes up with the right tactics on how the business will garner more profits to enhance growth. Thus the business growth intent is further bolstered through the marketing plan. The strategy on how to capture new market opportunities is intrinsically interwoven in the marketing plan and this aids the business in growth and advancement.

(ii) Components Of A Marketing Plan.

Each business designs it’s a marketing plan depending on its size, and the stage of growth it’s going through. The process of preparing a marketing plan is acutely important as it determines the effectiveness of the plan laid down. Preparation of a marketing plan plays are major role in establishing what the business goals would be and how those goals can be attained.

As a business organizer I would design a marketing plan in the following systematic steps.

Executive Summary: This will form a preamble into the whole marketing plan and will highlight the major points of the over all plan. In nutshell, the summary brings into light the major services offered and the products of the company. Finally, the summary states the overall mission and the objectives of company (Kapferer 1997.p.45)

Current situation:

Current Situation: This section offers information concerning the business locality, the customers targeted to purchase the product together with the competitive environment. Further, this section offers information on the business viability in the locality and the encompassing threats which are likely to daunt its operations.

Competitor Analysis: This facet includes the information on the other businesses operating on the same wavelength as the business under review and the competitive advantage or disadvantage they have over the business being analyzed. In this section, the business highlights other similar businesses offering similar products as your business. Other potential challenges to the business such as government regulations could also be high lightened on this section.

Marketing Objectives And Strategy: In this section the aims of the business are written and the formula to attain them is explained. Further, the game plan on how to achieve profitability through marketing is noted. The marketing strategy explains how the stipulated objectives will be attained (Kotler 2006.p.17)

Product: This offers detailed information on the product or service offered for sale and its features and the benefits garnered by using it.

Price: This section offers detailed information on how much the customer will offer in order to get the product, payment policies are also indicated here.

Promotion: This is detailed information endorsing the product to the potential buyers bringing out the salient features which give the product an edge in the market place.

Place: This is the locality of the business in relation to the competitive environment.

Action Programs: These ere rigorously structured and planned agendas stating what the company plans to do concerning the promotion of a product, and how and when they will be put into use.

Budget: this offers the total cost that is going to be incurred in order for the marketing plan to be implemented.

Measurements: This is quantification of the numerical targets for measuring achievement of the targeted results such as sales increase by 5% in 3 months.

Supporting Documents: These are documents offered to back up the information provided in the marketing plan, such documents include research results, spreadsheets, budget sheet amongst others.

(iii) Risks Within A Marketing Plan.

In a time of finely tuned sensitivity to marketing competence a momentous effort should be made to ensure that the money pumped into the marketing plan achieves the best returns possible. Time and again, the best laid plans fail or are derailed by sudden or under-estimated forces that despoil the projected returns razing professional reputations. The negative forces which endeavor to thwart the marketing plan are termed as risks.

As Davies elaborates risks are likely events that will considerably decrease the quantity base, hoist the expenditures and affect margins of the market share in adverse ways (1998.p.59) Myriad factors raging bad weather to marketing channel interference and financial gaffs could sap the acuity of a well calculated marketing plan. Some factors which pose great threat to the success of the marketing plans include:

Competitive actions, once a product or service is launched in the market place for instance in the case of Dell Inc after launching a plasma screen monitor for the computers. Chances are very high that Hewlett Packard, and Compaq will do the same; they would try to duplicate the product and add on some extra accessories which could easily cause the Dell’s monitors to be discredited.

In order to avoid being choked up by competitors Dell has to endeavor to produce perfect products which will be hard to duplicate and which will stand out in the market place to give them edge over the competitive computer markets.

Financial Blunders, Poor budgeting could lead to paucity in the money allocated to implement the marketing plan and this could deter the performance of the whole project or cause compromise in the quality of the expected results. Poorly managed and unmitigated risks sap the credibility of a well planned marketing plan and this could disappoint the company and frustrate the efforts of the marketers as they try to steer the organization into a fruitful territory.

Operational risks are also known as the short term risks and they cover the pricing strategy and the quality of the product or service offered in the market place.

Poor pricing could stall the rate at which the product or service is consumed, it could also garner losses for the business if the returns obtained from the product or services are too low (Chisnall1997.p.54). Poor quality products give the competitors a chance to trample over the business since customer always seek to buy the best products which are offered at their convenient prices.

Strategic risks, these risks concern the business in relation to the immediate environment. They concern the producer as he relates to the longer term forces (Brassington 2006.p.98) some key risks entombed in this category include poor buyer power.

For instance if Dell Inc wants to launch a new and sophisticated power saving, fast and reliable computer machine in order to cater for the production cost incurred it will have to hike the price and this will be difficult for the buyers since they may not be acquainted with buying computers at high prices.

Evolution of consumer demand, is also another strategic risk, the market demands keep on changing due to increased technological changes in the market place hence a product might be phased out due to buyer’s disinterest or change of preference causing the business to incur massive losses.

Policy changes could be another bottleneck to the marketing plan. Some government policies implemented such as increased taxes on the production materials or regulatory measures on how the product is sold and transported could deter the rate at which a service or product is consumed.

In order for the ill effects of risks associated with marketing plan to abate marketing planners should device a contingency plan to buffer any ill effects accrued to the marketing process (Booms &Bitner 2001.p.74). Although the planners have very little to do to avoid the occurrence of the risks they are supposed to be prepared financially, and be psychologically prepared and have action plans on what should be done incase of uncertainties.

4. Construction Of Marketing Plan.

(a) Executive Summary

Dell Inc is a complex IT multinational company which offers a wide assortment of computer products and services. Further it sells computer servers and other accessories used to aid in computer networking. The marketing plan endeavors to market Dell servers in Middle East where the competition has not yet taken root. The company will be working on a budget of approximately Three million dollars for a period of six months in order to break even in the virgin market

(b) Business Overview.

Dell servers are powerful computer machines used to offer back up for other computers in a networked computer environment. Servers provide a link through which computers networked though a LAN (Local Area Network) or WAN (Wide Area Network) can communicate, share information and achieve data.

A typical server capable of supporting 50 computer work stations goes for $400. The companies which pose competition to this kind of product is the Microsoft inc and Hewlett Packard. In the Middle East the company projects to acquire a pool of over five hundred thousand users since computer usage is gaining prevalence in the region.

(c)Target Market.

The market cluster targeted for this kind of product include the ISP’S (Internet Service Providers), colleges and learning institutions, producing companies, government institutions and the religious institutions. In the case of the ISP’S who need to offer a lot of services to the initial customers, the company will offer high specialized servers to ensure that they can hold innumerable Gigabytes of data.

(d) Marketing Goals.

To increase computer usage in Middle East by introducing highly powerful servers this could aid in provision of internet bandwidth to the potential clients. To bolster clientele base by venturing into new markets. To offer more training programs on computer usage in Middle East in order to create a viable market for the company servers. To establish a permanent working legal relationship, with the Middle East Information regulatory department.

(e) Marketing Strategies.

The strategies will be used to venture in Middle East with new products include, customer incentives whereby for every Dell server machine purchased customers will be given free training on how to use them and also get free programs for running the server. There will also be free laptop offer for the first hundred clients in order to increase the rate at which people will purchase the products.

(f) Implementation Tactics.

Foremost the Dell Company will advertise on Television channels and News Papers the presence of its chiefly available products and the advantages accrued to usage of its products. Moreover, the clients will be compelled to know that it is the best offer in the market.

(g)Budget

The whole practice which is supposed to last for three years is supposed to cost $six billion dollars. The budget is projected on the assumption that the potential customers will embrace and purchase the offered products (Blythe 2004.p.65). Further, it is assumed that the legal regulatory mechanisms will not inhibit the Dell Company from carrying out its business objectives in Middle East.

(h) Result Evaluation.

The company will be able to realize the acquisition of its goals if there will be 10% reception of the product in the first three months. Further, if the company will be able to acquire five hundred clients inn two months it will be in a course of achieving its goals.

The Importance Of Each Marketing Plan Component

The executive summary of the marketing plan offers brief summary of all the activities which will be carried in order to make the whole plan a success. Business overview will be the second part of the plan explaining the general operations of the business and the objectives in relation to the outlined marketing plan (Baker 2000.p.43).

The targeted market curves a niche for the business to identify the needs of the people who need to purchase the product. Marketing goals and strategies will help the business to have a vision on what it aspires to achieve and how it will achieve it. The marketing tactics are the procedures which will be followed in order to realize the set goals. The budget will highlight the overall cost of the marketing plan. Result evaluation will help to gauge the credibility of the plan.

Mitigation Strategies For High Risk Components

High risk components include the budget and the targeted customers. The budget may be minimal in comparison to the needs established, the planners will have a contingency plan by budgeting for hidden costs and uncertainties. Further, the team will have a reserve of finances for miscellaneous costs like training costs and the verbal promotion costs.

Customers And Competitors

The targeted customers who are likely to buy the Dell server machine include ISP’S government institutions and learning institutions this is because they are likely to have numerous computers in their working environments which are networked. The companies which are likely to offer stiff competition include Microsoft Inc and Hewlett Packard.

5.0 Promoting Marketing Plan In Support Of Strategic Objectives

3.0 (i) Supporting Dell’s Strategic Objectives

Dell has got a strategic objective of venturing into a new virgin market to promote its servers. The driving force behind the move is in endeavor to attain more customers and also to improve awareness of its products. Moreover, Dell will assert efforts towards improved sales and customer relations.

My marketing plan will help to create awareness of the product through Television promotions and the Daily newspapers hence increasing customers’ proclivity towards Dell’s commodities. On the other note the marketing plan will offer incentives like free training and free laptops a factor which will create customer loyalty and bolster improved sales.

Approach To Gain Agreement For The Marketing Plan

In order for my marketing plan to gain credibility to the business managers I will foremost project to them the anticipated benefits of the whole marketing program. I will convince them that the move to market products in Middle East will help the company to dominate the computer servers market before competitors creep in. I will keenly establish the significance of marketing as it will help to give the company an edge in the cutthroat competitive computer market.

Publicity And Promotion Strategy

The strategy to embrace in order to gain publicity for the product is by using mass media channels like the internet, the Television channels and the daily Newspapers this will ensure that the information will reach numerous potential clients within a short period.

6. Reflective Statement

This research paper has stretched my credulity helping me to develop a different perspective towards the marketing facet of the business. I have realized that in the contemporary business hurl, a business’s constancy in the market place is determined by its knack to formulate and implement strategies in order to remain at par with the demands exerted by both internal and external environments.

A business must devise a strategic plan which looks far beyond the instantaneous circumstances bringing to clarity the focal point of the business and its vision for the future. Strategic marketing considers the customer’s point of view when planning a marketing campaign. Moreover, it blends the customer’s situations, such as what they want and why they want a product or service, with the general company’s direction.

I have realized that marketing plan plays a massive role in aiding the entire businesses attain its core objectives. It offers positive solutions on how fast and effectively the business can achieve its projected project margins.

The success of any business endeavor is so depended on the marketing plan that it why it should be formulated so accurately giving a key consideration to both the external and internal parameters. The existing customers are well retained through marketing plan when loyalty schemes are established, again new customers are acquired and retained thorough the plan if it is properly formulated.

All the businesses which intent to remain afloat in the highly competitive arena must have on their fingertips all the information concerning their consumer needs and how to satisfy those needs.

Marketing veers towards the consumer needs and how to satisfy them this is the surest way of making sure that the brands produced have credibility in the market and address the urgent consumer needs. Marketing is all about devising products which intrinsically satisfy the needs of the potential market at the same time offering a challenge to the competitors.

7. Conclusion

Business success depends on formulation of attainable strategies and achieving the specific objectives of the strategies. In order to achieve the objectives in accordance to the stipulated timeline is important to have a marketing plan which blends with the business goals and objectives.

The plan will cultivate an ample environment through which goals will be achieved. A marketing plan must put into consideration the targeted market its needs and preferences (Hoyer 2001.p.34). The plan should bolster both loyalty and increase customer satisfaction which will draw in more customers and augment the business growth. The secret of success in business is devising a realistic marketing plan, executing it in relation to the business goals steering the business into fruitful terrains.

Reference List

Baker, M. (2000) Strategic Marketing And Management (2nd) edition. NY: Macmillan press.

Blythe, K. (2004) Essentials of Marketing (Ist Edition) 2nd edition. Chicago: Prentice Hall publishers.

Booms, C.H. and Bitner, D.J (2001) Strategies In Marketing Ventures and organizational structures for service. American Marketing Association. Vol 6

Brassington, F.G. (2006), Principles of Marketing Management. (1st) Edition. Chicago: Prentice Hall Publishers.

Chisnall, K.P. (1997) Key Issues In Marketing Research. (3rd) Edition. London: McGraw-Hill.

Davies, M. (1998) Understanding The Heart Of Marketing.(1st) edition. London: Sage Publishers:.

Fill, C (2005) Marketing Contexts, communications and applications. Harlow: Prentice Hall Publishers.

Hoyer, J.K (2001) Consumer Behavior, (2nd Ed) NY: Houghton Mifflin printing press.

Kapferer, J. (1997) Strategic Brand Management. London: Kogan Page Publishers.

Kotler, P.V (2006) The Principles of Marketing. (4th) Edition. Harlow Prentice Hall.