Developing a Marketing Plan

The Liggett & Myers research is an example of using marketing research findings to help develop a new product and a marketing plan for that product. The development of a marketing plan might be based on a single marketing research project, but often two or more marketing research projects may provide useful information for the planning activity.

Information that managers of consumer packaged goods are likely to find helpful includes such things as market shares and retail sales of their own brand and competing brands, percentage of consumers trying their brand usage and repurchase patterns among consumers using their brand. Much of this information can best obtained from commercial services such as those offered by the AC Nielsen Company, SAMI and others. Other information that managers are also likely to find useful includes the percentage of consumers aware of their brand, the percentage of consumers who have tried their brand, the various ways they use the brand, and similar information. Most of such information can only be obtained from large scale, descriptive studies. Thus, managers may use marketing research information from a number of sources when developing their marketing plans.

Specifying the Objectives of the Research:

When a number of different objectives have to be accomplished through research, quite possibly more than one research project will be used to gather information. For example if one of the company’s specified objectives is to obtain market share and retail sales information of their own brand and for competing brands the company may buy information from such commercial services as the AC Nielsen Company or SAMI. If some of the other objectives specified by the company are to obtain information regarding the percentage of consumers who are aware of their brand, the percentage who has tried their brand and the repurchase patterns among those who use the brand, the company may undertake a large scale, descriptive study among consumers.

Listing the Needed Information:

The great extent, the information needed when developing a marketing plan will reflect how the manager thinks the activity of marketing actually works. Although there is no consensus among marketers as to what constitutes successful marketing, the materials flow charts probably suggest how most managers of consumers products believe, marketing works.

A successful manager of a consumer product is likely to have conceptual useful information when developing a marketing Plan for a Consumer Product.

Item 1: Total Demand and Company:

What are total industry sales for the product class in question? What are industry sales in each major market? What are the firm’s sales of the product both totally and by major market?

Answers to these questions will help management estimate its overall market share ad its share within individual markets. Management can use this information to evaluate past achievements and to pinpoint markets in which the firm’s progress has been noticeably above or below average.

Item 2: Distribution Coverage and Support:

What distribution coverage has been achieved for the firm’s products? That is, in what percentage of the appropriate retail outlets in each market is the firm’s product currently available? What support do retailers in each market give to the product in terms of carrying the full line, giving it adequate shelf displays and pricing it properly?

Answers to such questions are useful because they can help managers determine if past efforts have been successful in obtaining the desired degree of distribution coverage and support. Such information is absolutely essential for trouble shooting purposes. If the firm’s market share objectives are not being attained, management will have to know if the cause of the problem is poor consumer response or inadequate distribution coverage and support. Answers to the above questions will indicate if the problem lies with the product’s distribution.