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Marketing planning (Essay Sample)

The instructions of this paper required one to come up with a successful marketing project. This sample paper provides detailed information on a venture project named Organica. It expounds on the measures put in order to enhance the success of Organica, an organic grocery in the U.K. It also details on the challenges that Organica may face and methods of handling them. source..
Marketing planning Name: Course: Tutor: Date: Marketing planning "Marketing planning is a logical sequence and a series of activities leading to the setting up of marketing objectives and formulation of plans for achieving them" (Mac Donlad, 2002, cited in Blois, 2000, p.454). It is based on markets, consumers, and products, business planning involves other corporate resources which will have a bearing on the identified markets (Mc Donald, 2002) cited in Blois, 2000, p.455). Marketing planning is aimed at matching the marketing mix for the product with ever changing customer needs, as well as seeking opportunities to use the companies' strengths to market the products in new markets (Jobber, 2010). Our venture project named Organica, an organic online grocery store in United Kingdom. Organica specializes in selling fresh organic fruit, vegetable and meat products online with Manchester residents being provided with delivery services for purchased products. Strategic marketing planning plays an important role as part of our corporate plan. This is because marketing is regarded as a major activity; especially, in small business like Organica Following the marketing planning process, (McDonald, 1997, cited in Blois, 2000, p.467), phase 2 situation review enabled us to decide the approach on the planned Organica market entry. Market research established that there lies a good future for online organic market; this is due to eating organic products becoming a global trend as seen in USA, most of European countries, and Asian countries. In the UK, the demand for organic products is also increasing with an expanding economy and increasing household income (Boshevskiet al., 2013). The situation review allowed us to formulate strategies to cope up with increasing turbulence, environmental complexity and market change as phase 3 of market planning. The UK organic market is highly competitive with both indirect competitors like big supermarkets (e.g. Tesco and Ocado) and direct competitors like online organic specialities (e.g. Riverford and Abel & Cole). In order not to compete with them directly, we target niche marketing with health conscious, young (aged 25 - 44) and high-income (Class A and B) consumers living in Manchester by providing high quality products in most convenient way in terms of flexible and fast speed delivery. Furthermore, we design out unique marketing mix according to the target market. For example, in terms of price, we set up relatively higher profit margins compared to our biggest competitor Abel & Cole for different products because our target market is less price sensitive and higher prices often imply higher quality. As a start-up, one of the most important things is to create awareness. Therefore, promotion became a highlight in the marketing plan. We decided to adopt intense marketing tools including designing viral outdoor marketing campaigns, seasonal pop-up store, and advertisements on social networks and Google search engine to generate huge awareness in the first two years. Thus, we can focus on improving services and expanding the business in later years by avoiding being squeezed out of the market in the early stages. According to Marx (1991), numerous bureaucratic obstacles in the process of planning are the reason of failure to deliver promised benefits. Furthermore, Gluck et al. (1982) identified obstacles in each four phases of the development of strategic management. As Gluck et al. (1982) suggested our business started to face difficulties from phase 3 which is the externally oriented planning (Gluck et al., 1982). After a thorough market analysis, we met one of the biggest obstacles, which was that the plan is too constraining that prevented development of innovative ideas. This set back also forms one of the sources of resistance to strategic marketing identified by Mac Donald's 2002. After we confirmed the business model of running an organic online grocery store, we generated some ideas in order to become unique and stand out in the organic industry. Then we did a thorough competitor analysis in terms of direct and indirect competitors by searching for secondary data from official report; visiting their websites; observing and collection of data in physical shops and running in-depth interviews. However, we found Riverford - our biggest competitor had already been running their businesses in ways we thought were unique. We were planning to promote ethical practices such as using eco-friendly packaging and carbon neutral delivery; use innovative cold insulated packaging for the meat packing; promote healthy lifestyle by writing blogs; and create our own communities through social network. But, Riverford is not only using these ideas, but also has first mover advantage of owning its own farms and has 25-years experience in the organic industry. This was frightening and threatened our decision to adopt the business idea a we envisaged failure in competing with Riverford. This problem can be viewed as the gap between theory and reality; and it does not mean marketing planning is not important. On the other hand, as Henkoff (1990) cited in Baker, 2007) suggested, we require "strategic thinking" which is characterised by focus and flexibility. After some meetings, we decided to keep the business idea and make it a success through a number of modifications. To make a differentiation form Riverford we decided to catch a niche market that is health conscious, young (aged 25 - 44) and high-income (Class A and B) consumers living in Manchester, focus on this market and build on what the company can do best. We identified the evolving needs of our customers, developing our core competencies and accelerate our ability to generate new customers and keep existing customers. For example, Riverford o...
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