The marketing management process goes through various stages to ensure the success of a product in an organization. A company is generally in the blind about any new product. In a tough business environment, with a customer who knows everything beforehand because of the presence of online portals and websites, it is tough to plan and launch a new product or a marketing strategy.
Just like movie stars waiting in anticipation for their movies to be released, companies wait in anticipation when a new product is launched. This new product can rock or it can fail in the market. The marketing management process ensures that whatever happens, the product is given its best chance to survive and thrive in the market.
1) Conduct market research
The very first step in the marketing management process starts with conducting a market research. As previously mentioned, if a product is a new launch, then the company is likely to be in the blind for the future propects of the product. They do not know what product the market needs, should they go for a new product or do a product extension, what will be the expected turnover increase from the new product, etc. Such questions are answered by market research. Thus, to even start thinking of launching a new product, market research is necessary.
2) Develop a marketing strategy
Before making a marketing strategy, you need to know the market. As market research has already been done, marketing strategy forms the second step in marketing management process. The marketing strategy takes several points in consideration.
Simple things such as segmentation, targeting and positioning are a part of Marketing strategy. However, tough things like deciding the marketing mix as well as getting the positioning strategy right are also involved. Core competencies like financials and production are also to be analysed during the marketing strategy stage. Taking all these things in consideration, a marketing strategy is formed.
3) Make a marketing plan
After marketing strategy, a written marketing plan is made. This is the third and a very important step in marketing management process. A written marketing plan is made to analyse where the company is and where it wants to reach in a given time period. The marketing plan actually puts the plan on paper and the marketer can anytime refer to the marketing plan to analyse whether he is on track or not. The marketing plan itself has some pointers which are most important.
- Situation analysis – Business environment analysis, Internal analysis (SWOT analysis), USP’s, core competencies.
- Strategic plan – A time related strategic plan outlining the pros and cons of the strategy.
- Financials – Sales forecasts. Expenses forecast. Working capital etc.
- Implementation – Operations. Customer loyalty. Brand building. Consumer behaviour. Product and pricing decisions.
- Follow up – After implementation, follow up is done to ensure marketing strategy is on track.
4) Feedback and control
Step 1, 4 and 5 are interrelated. Once a product is in the market, customers might give further ideas for the improvement of the product. These ideas are usually considered by the marketing department and a market research is conducted to find the validity of the ideas. If the idea is valid, another product can be developed or another marketing strategy implemented. On the other hand, if the product is not received positively, then the control mechanism needs to fall in place and implement an alteration process for the product or in the worst case scenario – take the product out of the market before it affects the brand.
The four steps above complete the marketing management process. With the world becoming a small place due to the advent of the internet, the marketing management process has become simpler. Feedback can be obtained online through simple questions, Marketing strategy can be changed by keeping an online brand watch and market research can be done through social networks. However, this does not change the gruelling process which traditional marketing companies like FMCG, Electronics and Automobiles have to adopt.