Friday, April 22, 2011

Learning from Student Group and Individual Executions of the 10 Step Marketing Plan

In recent years, I have skipped the use of group marketing plans in favor of individual plans since I knew how many typical groups work- the work is subdivided, 3 or more meetings are wasted deciding on what to do and waiting for other members to do some work, and then just before the deadline- 1 or 2 of the 5 group members suddenly decide to take charge and finish the work. The 3 other members coast along and agree and get the same grade. A lot of wasted time and effort.

However, there is much learning as well in doing an assigned topic with a given format and then comparing how fellow group members do it.

So starting v54, I will implement a different approach- individual submissions before a given deadline and then give enough time for the group to meet to consolidate and evaluate each individual group member's work and then come out with a best group report.

In my recent ASMPH Marketing Class, this group presentation won scoring 4.0 in all categories. This is a good model for all 10 step marketing plan group and individual reports for the AGSB Marketing Management course.

The following are the marketing plans of each of the 5 group members on the same topic. Only in exceptional cases can an individual group member can score higher than the group score. The ideal scenario is that each group member makes a 10 step marketing plan first; then the group meets and decides on the best answer using each individual report as starting data.

This first individual submission exerted the most influence on the final group output. It also scored a 4.0 in all categories.

This second individual submission actually had a better choice of the primary target market than the group. However, he was obviously over-ruled when it came to the group decision. Thus, a clear warning for group work: majority wins is not always the best way to decide on differences of opinion. Things to improve on in his report: market size computations and format.

The learning point in this next individual submission is the wrong answer on the generic winning strategy and the need to improve on format.

The learning point in these last 2 individual submissions is the wrong answer on the generic winning strategy and the great need to improve on format. Content on the competition and 4Ps is lacking as compared to the other individual reports.

This is a useful guide for making a marketing plan. It emphasizes 10 key areas for consideration:

Step 1- Primary Target Market (describe them demographically, psychographically and behaviorally)
Step 2- Needs, Wants and Demands of the Primary Target Market (relate to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs)
Step 3- Competition and Competitive Position Map- Who are your direct and indirect competitors and how are you positioned against them (2 maps)
Step 4- What is the gap, the opportunity and how will you position (based on the gap in the competitive positioning map)
Step 5- What is the size of the market from the 3 C perspectives (customer, company and competition)
Step 6-9 is all about the traditional 4 P marketing mix
Step 6- Product: What is the product. How many variants does it have. How does it look in the shelf vs. competitors
Step 7- Promo: How is the product promoted (Integrated marketing communications: Mass Communication- Sales Promotions, Advertising, Public Relations, Events and Experiences; Personal Communication- Direct Marketing, Interactive Marketing, Personal Selling and Word of Mouth)
Step 8- Price: How is the product priced vs. competition. If the product has several variants and sizes, how is it generally priced (premium, parity or discount)
Step 9- Place- Where is the product distributed? How does it reach the customers?
Step 10- What is the generic winning strategy- Low Cost Producer? Supply & Distribution Leverage, Differentiation, Niche?

How does a 10 Step Marketing Plan look like? Here is a demonstration using Close-Up Toothpaste as the product:

How to do 10 Step Plans? The simplified, illustrated, annotated guide is shown below.

Prefer a webinar (web seminar) version of this lecture? On slideshare, webinars are referred to as slidecasts (audio + powerpoint). The audio was recorded during the May 27 2011 marketing management class of Prof. De Ungria at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business (AGSB). Here's a useful tip for viewing slidecasts: you can fastforward the slide and audio by clicking on the rightmost button, similar to what you do on a DVD player. However, you also must allow sufficient buffer time for the audio to load and synch with the powerpoint slide.

No need to reinvent the wheel.The accompanying downloadable template is shown below.

Prof. Bong De Ungria

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