Identify the basic needs of non-customers that are not being met by the firm’s products.

The Internal Environment
a. Review of marketing goals and objectives
•Identify the firm’s current marketing goals and objectives.
•NOTE: It is very important that you define the core business you are writing this marketing plan for. It is not enough, for example, to state that the business is in “the fast food industry”. You must go beyond the ‘surface definition’ to accurately state what you believe the core business of the target firm is. For example: Whilst McDonald’s is a participant (i.e. Market leader) in the “fast food” industry, their core business is not the production of fast food, but rather the marketing of fast food. You need to think very carefully what the core business of your target firm is.)
b. Review of current marketing strategy and performance
• Describe the firm’s current marketing strategy with respect to products, pricing, distribution, and promotion. Which elements of the strategy are working well? Which elements are not? Describe the firm’s current performance (sales volume, market share, profitability, awareness, brand preference) compared to other firms in the industry. Is the performance of the industry as a whole improving or declining? Why?
• Note: it not necessary to go for all 4ps, just the product and promotion is enough)
•If the firm’s performance is in decline, what is the most likely cause (e.g., environmental changes, flawed strategy, poor implementation)?
c. Review of current and anticipated organizational resources needed for the task under review
•Describe the current state of the firm’s organizational resources (e.g., financial, capital, human, experience, relationships with key suppliers or customers). How are the levels of these resources likely to change in the future?
•If resource levels are expected to change, how can the firm leverage additional resources to meet customer needs better than competitors?
•If additional resources are not available, how can the firm compensate for future resource constraints (lack of recourses?)
2. The Customer Environment
a. Who are the firm’s current and potential customers?
•Describe the identifying characteristics of the firm are current and potential customers: Demographic, Geographic, Psychographic, Product usage
•Identify the important players in the purchase process for the firm’s products: Purchasers (actual act of purchase) Users (actual product user) Influencers (influence the decision, make recommendations) Financial responsibility (who pays the bill?)
b. Why (and how) do customers select the firm’s products?
•Describe the basic benefits provided by the firm’s products relative to competing products.
•Describe the degree to which the firm’s products fulfill customers’ needs relative to competing products.
•Describe how customers’ needs are expected to change in the future.
•Describe the relative importance of transactional (short, one-time) versus relational (long-term, ongoing) exchange processes when customers make a purchase.
c. Why do potential customers not purchase the firm’s products?
•Identify the basic needs of non-customers that are not being met by the firm’s products.
•Identify the features, benefits, and advantages of competing products that cause non-customers to choose them over the firm’s products.
•Identify problems with the firm’s distribution, promotion, or pricing that cause non-customers to look elsewhere.
•Describe the potential for converting non-customers into customers.
3. The External Environment
a. Competition
•Identify the firm’s major competitors (brand, product, generic, and total budget). Identify the characteristics of the firm’s major competitors with respect to: Size; Growth; Profitability; Target markets; Products etc.
•Marketing capabilities (production, distribution, promotion, pricing)
•Once again, it is very important that you define the core business of the major competitor(s) you identify.
b. Economic Growth and Stability
•Identify the specific economic conditions of the country, region, state, and local area in which the firm operates and are relevant to the marketing plan’s purpose.
c. Political Trends
•Identify any relevant political activities affecting the firm or the industry with respect to:
•Changes in elected officials (domestic or foreign); Industry regulations favored by elected officials; Industry (lobbying) groups or political action committees; Consumer advocacy groups.
d. Legal and Regulatory Issues
•Identify any relevant changes in international, federal, state, or local laws and regulations affecting the marketing activities of the firm or the industry with respect to:
•Recent court decisions; recent rulings of federal, state, local, and self-regulatory agencies; Changes in global trade agreements or trade law.
e. Technological Advancements
•Identify ways that changing technology specifically affects the firm’s customers with respect to: Searching for product information; Place and timing of purchase (order) decisions
•Identify current technologies that the firm does not use to the fullest potential. •Identify technologies that will specifically open up opportunities for the firm. Identify technologies that will specifically threaten the firm’s marketing efforts.
f. Socio-cultural Trends
•Identify changes in society’s demographics, values, and lifestyles that specifically affect the firm or the industry (if this is too broad, focus on the firm’s target customers).
•Identify any problems or opportunities created by changes in the cultural diversity of the firm’s target customers.
•Identify any environmental issues (pollution, recycling, energy conservation) that the firm or industry faces. Identify the ethical and social responsibility issues that the firm or industry faces.

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