Marketing is a critical business process that reaches out to new potential customers, while making sure that current customers are satisfied with the products. Good marketing does not happen by mistake. It takes months of research and planning to put together a good marketing program, and then constant monitoring to make sure that the program is reaching its goals. While every marketing plan is different, there are some common activities that are critical pieces to every advertising program.
Good market data consists of the information you need to understand your target audience and develop a plan that will be effective. For most marketing companies and departments, market research is an ongoing process. But when it comes time to prepare for a new marketing plan, it is time to develop an effective and comprehensive market data process.
Deliverables (also known as collateral) are things like on-air commercials, fliers, brochures and anything else used to move a marketing plan forward. Media planning and buying is a big part of developing a deliverables schedule that comes in on budget and on time. The deliverables are the end result of all of the research and work, so these are usually left to very talented and responsible people.
Every marketing program has a starting point and an expiration date. The reason for a schedule is to put all of the data that is gathered into perspective and understand how a program performed over time. If the program started strong but ended weak, then a look at the data can uncover why. If there is no timeline to follow, then there is no way of knowing how truly effective a marketing plan was.
Every good business and marketing plan is monitored and then compared to project milestones. The company has estimates on what kinds of sales or revenue it expects to see at certain points, and the real numbers are always compared to the projections to make sure the program is on track. At each milestone, the company must decide if it is going to make any changes in the marketing program, or allow it to continue as it is.
Developing a successful marketing plan takes time and experience. Even with the most experienced marketing staff in place, there will always be adjustments and changes along the way that attempt to make the plan even better and get more comprehensive results.