Strategic Marketing Plan Example

A business plan is a necessary tool to use as a road map to business success.
A business plan is a necessary tool to use as a road map to business success.

Example of Full Strategic Marketing Plan

WINDOWS COMPANY

STRATEGIC MARKETING PLAN


TABLE OF CONTENTS


INTRODUCTION………………………………………………………….……………3

MARKETING BACKGROUND………………………………………….….………...3

STEP 1: BUSINESS REVIEW…………………………………………...….……..…...3

COMPANY & PRODUCT REVIEW…………………………………….…………….3

WINDOW COMPANY Goal…………………………………………………………….……………..…..3

Sales Analysis…………………………………………………………………….………4

Price……………………………………………………………………………….……...4

Competition………………………………………………………….……………..…….4

SWOT Analysis…………………………………..………………….……….……..…....5

STEP 2: PROBLEMS & OPPORTUNITIES…………………………..…….……..…6

Association philosophy…………………………………………………..……..…..……6

Target Market……………………………………….………………………..….…....…6

Sales Analysis……………………………………….………………………..…….....….6

Pricing……………………………………………….………………………..…...…..….6

STEP 3: SALES OBJECTIVES…………………………..…………...……….…….....7

STEP 4: MARKETING OBJECTIVES & STRATEGIES……………....….….…….7

Ø Goal 1: Increase market exposure/awareness……………………..………7

Ø Goal 2: Acquire new dealers to strengthen market presence……..……...8

Ø Goal 3: Create a better organizational climate………………….….……..9

STEP 5: POSITIONING………………………………………………………….…....10

ADDENDUM………………………………………………………….…………..…….11

INTRODUCTION

Window Company operates within very competitive market conditions.

This plan provides WINDOW COMPANY with a short-term and long-term direction to achieve its marketing goals by emphasizing on strategic priorities set for the company’s areas. The main objective is to provide a road map to support sales through a revenue-generating and demand-oriented approach.

The document has two major components. The first, Marketing Background, includes the Business Review and the problems and opportunities section. The second major component is the Marketing Plan itself, which is developed from the information gathered and analyzed in the marketing background section.

Since marketing is an ongoing activity, the plan will be constantly revised and adapted to market conditions. The execution and evaluation of the plan will form a major part of the marketing background section in the preparation of subsequent years’ marketing plan.

MARKETING BACKGROUND

COMPANY & PRODUCT REVIEW

In 2004, WINDOW COMPANY formed as a group brought together by seasoned window professionals from all regions of the country to form a network of independent home improvement dealers.

Business philosophy is based on strong ethics and value supported by products that provide a lifetime guarantee, little or no maintenance and energy savings.

WINDOW COMPANY’s advantages over the competition are high quality products through continuous innovation, full transferable lifetime warranty, dedication to providing exceptional service, and quality installation. Sales volumes have increased from 2005 in most dealers. Nevertheless, profits and lead generation is decreasing mostly because of an oversaturated market and competitive price pressures.

Political conditions (Hurricane Katrina) had an adverse effect on the economy for 2005, thus affecting sales since consumer spending decreased. However, new government incentives for energy efficiency and the consumer need to save money on heating/cooling bills will increase demand in 2006, thus requiring a strategic marketing plan.

At present, WINDOW COMPANY is has 9 dealers in the United States.


We are committed to selling high quality windows at fair prices with no nightmares. Guaranteed.

WINDOW COMPANY goals are supported by the development and/or strategies related to the following key areas:

· Marketing

· Sales

· Pricing

· Customer Service

Each area has the following strategic priorities:

Marketing

· To grow revenue

· To develop a 12 month marketing plan

· To establish product positioning

Sales

· Develop new leads

· Enhance contact with customers

Pricing

· Deliver consistent customer value

· Support brand image

· Maximize profit

Customer Service

· Identification of Customer’s Needs

· Development of knowledgeable, professional, motivated “consultants” at all levels.

For the short term, the group is focused on increasing revenue and providing exceptional customer service with each lead and sales call. For the mid term the direction is towards creating brand recognition.

For the long term, acquiring new dealerships and increasing market presence.

Sales Analysis

Awareness levels are fair (in some markets) although less than its competitors.

WINDOW COMPANY is perceived a local window company in the markets in which the sell in. National exposure does not exist and little is known about the association. Its weakness is the exposure in the particular market. Compared to competitors, most WINDOW COMPANY dealers’ local advertising efforts are 50% less. This is causing a decline in lead generation and consumer confidence.

Price

There is a high price inelasticity. Current economic situation and increase competition has made potential consumers price sensitive. WINDOW COMPANY prices are considered mid to high in relation with competition, although quality and innovation far exceed. But the decision making process is cost-driven, as windows are considered an essential by not “fun” purchase.

Competition

While the competition varies in each market, some companies have hundreds of dealers and have national presence. Window World, has over 100K franchises in the United States, and does not have to do large advertising campaigns. However, they are frequently regarded as a cheap window and poor installation quality. Most of the comparative competitors in each market have an aggressive advertising campaign and consumer recognition through the window manufacturer and long standing community presence.

WINDOW COMPANY faces strong competition in a market with over saturation and low pricing strategies. These aspects require a permanent investigation (tracking) of the competition in order to obtain information and attack its weaknesses, and strategies to differentiate the company with aspects other than price.

· Marketing strategies

The competition focuses on exposure by numerous local advertisements, high awareness by having dealers all over the United States, and relies heavily on aggressive low pricing strategies.

· Positioning

WINDOW COMPANY does not have a strong positioning relative to its competition. One exception is the Colorado dealers. With four dealers in the state, this is giving each location the exposure and support to strengthen consumer awareness and confidence.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths

· High quality product

· Professional installation

· Full, transferable warranty

· Innovative products

Weaknesses

· Higher price

· Low national presence

· Low advertising efforts

Opportunities

· Increased advertising efforts

· Differentiation through marketing initiatives

· 2006 Energy Tax Credit Incentives

Threats

· Economical situation (weak economic market)

· Competitive rate pressures

· Number of window companies in market (supply vs. demand)

Personal Selling

In most dealers, sales exceeded the previous year. Most sales stem from the personal selling of each salesman. Unknown at this time – the sales goals and success of sales force.

Advertising

WINDOW COMPANY is advertising in local markets through newspaper ads.

STEP 2 : PROBLEMS & OPPORTUNTIES

It is necessary to identify specific company and product challenges. The major conclusions of the business review should be defined as problems to be solved and opportunities to be exploited, since the marketing objectives and strategies come directly from them.

Association Philosophy Problems

· As an association, each dealer benefits in buying power and cost but operates in different markets.

· Therefore, consolidated marketing efforts are difficult. Each market has different competitors, pricing and the needs of their consumers are different.

Opportunities

· Each WINDOW COMPANY dealer become committed to marketing.

· Creative, cost-effective marketing channels are becoming more and more prevalent, namely the Internet.

· These opportunities mean that because of the limited marketing, an aggressive marketing plan could increase sales, differentiate the company and create high awareness levels.

Target Market Problems

· WINDOW COMPANY primary target market is over saturated with product availability and lack of information.

Opportunities

· Target markets have enough demand to increase sales.

· Competition is focusing its efforts towards price. Differentiation and product quality awareness can set WINDOW COMPANY apart from the competition.

Sales Analysis

Problems

· Low rates of competitors affect sales

· The market’s knowledge level is low

Opportunities

· Economical conditions are encouraging consumers to replace windows

· 2006 Energy Credit is appeal to consumers

Pricing Problems

· Market trend is towards a decline in price.

· Low price strategies are commonly used by competitors

Opportunities

· Although this is a trend towards a decline in price, homeowners are increasingly looking for quality and reliable customer service, which are some of WINDOW COMPANY stronger points.

· A diverse line of products offered by WINDOW COMPANY gives the customer the option to control price.

MARKETING PLAN


STEP 3: SALES OBJECTIVES

Sales objectives are projected levels of goods or services to be sold. Setting sales objectives is critical because it sets the tone of the marketing plan. Everything that follows in the plan is designed to meet sales objectives, from defining the sizes of the target market and establishing marketing objectives and determining the amount of advertising and promotional dollars to be budgeted.

2004 Sales

2005 Sales

Sales Objective

2006 Sales

STEP 4: MARKETING OBJECTIVES & STRATEGIES

Marketing objectives and strategies form the foundation of the marketing plan. Marketing objectives describe what needs to be achieved in order to meet sales goals, and marketing strategies describe how the objectives will be accomplished.

Marketing objectives will relate to target markets and focus on influencing their behavior. The strategic focus will be towards increasing company awareness and convincing the marketplace that our product and service is superior to that of the competition and by educating customers about our benefits.

Ø Goal 1: Increase Market Exposure/Awareness

Objective

To increase visibility and customer awareness of WINDOW COMPANY to attain leads which will increase revenue.

Strategies

v Develop an Advertising Calendar Create an advertising calendar at the beginning of the year. This should include the advertising channels and the months you will run and the cost associated with each advertising venue. The calendar can serve as a tool for measuring value vs. cost of each venue. This information will be useful in creating successful future advertising campaigns.
Using several different channels of advertising will increase the degree of recognition of WINDOW COMPANY and can be used to inform and persuade customers.

Advertising Channels:

· Direct mail

· Trade shows

· Yellow Pages

· Newspaper

· Magazine

· Radio

· Television

· Outdoor advertising

· Email Advertising

Enhance Personal Selling

WINDOW COMPANY utilizes personal selling as its main sales/marketing channel and will be incorporated in themarketing plan.

· Each employee of the company should be a consultant to every customer. Through personnel training and a consultative selling approach, WINDOW COMPANY can increase customers’ confidence, increase referrals and create a reputation for being a knowledgeable window company.

· Provide the sales force with communication support materials for a better approach and sales closing including a pitchbook and key product and company differentiation information

· Develop a buyer’s kit to provide the homeowner with important information on their window purchase including maintenance & care information, contact information, and warranty information.

· Establish a Follow-Up Program that will include:
- Personal Visit to homeowner after installation to include: information about the referral program, solicit a testimonial, permission to display yard sign and to reinforce the commitment to customer service.

- Personal phone calls from owner after sales contract is signed and after installation; conduct a mini-satisfaction survey.

v Publicity

Publicity can offer high credibility. It can catch people off guard and help dramatize a product or company.

Key forms of publicity:

· Philanthropy – involvement in community service and activities, donations and sponsorships.

· Organization Attachment
Member of Better Business Bureau
Member of Local Chamber of Commerce

· Press Release

· Guest columnist in local newspaper or trade magazine

Website

Each location should have a website. It should be tailored to the local market and serve can as a valuable resource.

Ø Goal 2: Acquire new dealers

Objective

Acquire 3-5 New Dealer locations during the year 2006 to strengthen national and market presence

Strategy

Solicit existing window distributors and encourage them to join WINDOW COMPANY.

The means by which this will be done:

· Utilize a standard assessment form to analyze the potential of the new dealership

· Provide training and mentorship for 12 months.

· Develop a Start-Up Program including a resource kit to aid in successful dealership.

· Use the dealer manual to serve as a training tool to new dealership

Ø Goal 3: Create a better organizational climate

Objective

Enhance contact and align goals between all the dealers to establish strengthen organization.

Strategies v Communication

Identify a method for regular communication, exchange ideas, share marketing strategies and communicate market information.

Tagline

Select a tagline for each location to use.

“Delivering a Clear Advantage”

Pitchbook

Utilize the WINDOW COMPANY pitchbook in sales pitches. This book was created to effectively communicate product innovation and differentiation and company attributes.

Sales Contract & Forms

Use a consistent sales contract and set of forms at each dealer location. Warranty, Apples to Apples Guarantee, Completion Certificate etc.

STEP 5: POSITIONING

Once marketing strategies and objectives have been established, a market positioning must be developed. By positioning, we create an image in the minds of the target market, establishing the desired perception of WINDOW COMPANY relative to the competition.

A salient positioning is necessary. It is the basis for all communications: branding, advertising, promotion, sales force, merchandising and publicity. By having one meaningful, targeted positioning for all communications, we will convey a consistent image. Each vehicle of communication conveying a common positioning will reinforce the other for a cumulative effect, maximizing the return on marketing investment. Accordingly, everything done from a marketing perspective must reinforce one positioning. Otherwise, marketing efforts will be undermine and the target group can get confused.

Target Market Benefits:

The positioning strategy based on product will present WINDOW COMPANY as the only company with the optimal combination of:

· Competitive pricing

· High quality, energy efficient

· Lifetime warranty from a long-standing manufacturer

· Customer service

These four elements are the main reasons for selecting a window company.

Product Advantages:

The positioning strategy based on advantages over the competition will focus on the following arguments:

· High quality window from a long-standing manufacturer

· Lifetime & transferable warranty

· Trust certified window installers for professional installation

Although the positioning statement is related to all the above, emphasis was placed on product/company advantages, since this is the major difference with competitors.

Positioning Strategy:

· Position WINDOW COMPANY as premier distributor high quality windows

· Vinylmax”s 20+ years of dedication and experience in manufacturing windows

· Superior customer service and certified installation

· Lead time

Addendum

Marketing / Advertising Channels

Media Advertisements

TV Commercial:

If funds allow, this can provide as a great tool in reaching your target audience. Daytime spots are usually the best as they reach the majority of decision-makers, women.

Also, a TV ad during the 5-6pm local news is a great spot. Display your name and number at the bottom of the commercial continually throughout the commercial.

Radio Commercial:

If funds allow, this can reach a large amount of customers at once with an increased credibility edge.

Picking a popular talk radio show during rush hour traffic can be very effective.

Make sure that your advertisement is short, catchy and conveys your message in a clear format.

Repeat the name of your company and the phone number/email address at least two times for listeners to comprehend and remember.

Print Advertisements

Local Newspaper Ads:

Ad should include a coupon, and must advertise the price. WINDOW COMPANY dealerships have found that by adding both the price and a coupon, it has proven to be the most effective in generating leads.

Yellow Pages Ad:

With the increased popularity of Interneting, yellow page advertisement has decline. However, the older generations still use this as a resource.

Two ways to advertise in the yellow pages include having your company listed under home improvement/windows or banner ads. Banner ads are larger ads that attract the eye first.

Your decision to advertise in the yellow pages should be evaluated with regards to cost effectiveness. Depending on the cost to advertise, you may find that the potential exposure is not worth the cost.

Local Coupon Magazines:

Local Media Stations, Coupon Clippers and other Resource Magazines should be considered.

A large easy to read coupon and price may be an effective advertisement. This creates exposure, and should be used as part of your overall marketing strategy. The more potential customers see your name, the more trust you will gain.

Increase your credibility by stating member affiliations and awards.

Internet Advertisements

Local Newspaper Website:

Advertise on your local paper’s website. This can reach a large market of potential customers.

Try being a sponsored advertiser with your banner ads on the home page. Develop a close relationship with the sales department as your local paper. Have them help you develop your newspaper marketing strategy. Commit to print ads, website advertisements, press release, and offer to be a guest columnist.

Marketing in all of these four areas with a 6-month or 12 month commitment allows you to negotiate your costs and you may receive better ad placement.

Yellow Pages Website:

Advertise on your local yellow page’s website.

Try a banner ad to increase your visibility.

Target Advertising

Postcard Direct Mailers:

Direct mail allows for the most careful aim of your target. It is one of the least expensive methods of marketing on a per-sale basis.

But be aware than an expected response rate for a general direct mailing can be as low as 2%.

Yard Signs:

Yard signs can be an inexpensive means of getting exposure. Gain permission from homeowners to place in their yard after a job is completed. You can also place yard signs around town; check your local laws first.

Outdoors Advertising:

Outdoor advertising is effective at reminding people. It offers high repeat exposure and flexibility. The pitfall is that there is no audience selection.

Outdoor advertising does not have to be a billboard. You can solicit companies in a 2-mile radius to allow you to hang a banner on their property. For example, a local company who has trailers consistently stay in their yard, ask them if you can place a banner on the side of their truck that states “New Windows for America à 2 miles on the left.

Doorknob Signs

Doorknob signs are a very inexpensive way to advertise. Place them around a neighborhood where you just completed a job.

Newsletter Mailings to Current and Potential Customers:

Newsletters can come in all shapes and sizes. Traditionally we think of a 2 page glossary spread and we think expensive printing. If you are concerned that this may not be feasible on your budget, consider other options and consider the value you may receive. You can choose a colored paper printed on regular paper. You have numerous options. The important part of a newsletter is to be informative, and you to be considered as a solution providers to homeowners. Tips, facts and useful information will empower your customer with knowledge and they will enjoy reading it. Create an appealing design and layout, making each point short and easy to read, and this will entice the customer to continue reading. You’ll be viewed as an expert and the newsletter is another form of gaining credibility with your customers. Start by sending this to current customers and adding it on your website. Expand to target areas in your community with the largest number of potential customers. Email the newsletter can save you in printing costs. Develop an email list of customers, but make sure you have permission to send them emails or they will feel like you are sending them spam.

Organization Attachment

Register with the Better Business Bureau:

Registering with the BBB allows your customers to feel good about their decision to purchase your products. They can be assured that you are a legitimate business who values integrity. Make sure each advertisement includes your business as a BBB member.

Register with the Local Chamber of Commerce:

Being registered as a member of the Local Chamber of Commerce can being you lots of free advertisement. Most cities’ Chamber of Commerce website includes all of it members. “Prosperity through Partnerships” is the best way to describe this organization.

Some Chamber of Commerce’s offer discounts and special offers available from other members. They promote a climate of growth and economic vitality for your business and community.

They focus their efforts on issues that affect your business. Through partnerships and joint purchasing arrangements they provide opportunities to reduce overhead and secure meaningful programs that employers and employees can utilize.

Each Chamber of Commerce is different and provides different benefits to its members. However, the great thing about being a member is that you are part of an organization that is there to help you develop your business. You have a voice and can be an active part in their strategy to develop their members. This is also great exposure in the community.

News Articles

Be a regular guest columnist for your local paper:

Write about energy tips and cost savings ideas. Present yourself as an expert and as a consumer, communicating differences among products. Your article should not be about selling your product but as a method of creating exposure and credibility of your name and business.

Local Paper Press Releases:

· Write a press release featuring a new product you are selling.

· Or a new employee hired at your company.

· Announce any new member affiliations, awards or recognition your company has received.

· Announce the anniversary date of your company and any achievements/success you have received. This may sound egotistical, but it actually creates authenticity for your business. It portrays that you have an established business.

Write a column in a trade magazine:

Trade Magazines get a lot of notoriety for their in- depth knowledge and expertise. This will lead to exposure within your industry as a valued company.

· Write an article on tips and advice.

· Present yourself as an expert by providing solutions.

· Write about how windows have evolved in the last 20 years.

News Articles are a great way to create exposure for your company. Present yourself as an expert. Being considered as an expert is the single most important thing you can achieve to increase your credibility. But it also can increase your sales. Add your articles to a picture frame and display them in your showroom. Refer to them in press releases, advertisements. Add them to your pitch book. Give your potential customers visibility to these articles.

Website

Each WINDOW COMPANY location should consider having it's own website. The main WINDOW COMPANY website is meant to be informative in a broad sense. However, your website can be tailored to your local market and can serve as valuable selling tool, lead generator and a powerful knowledge source.

You can personalize it to sell your office and a bio of your company can really build confidence with your potential customers. The design should be composed of each advertisement listed above, giving your potential customer all of the information they could receive on the phone.

Refrain from stating exact prices, as they may be confusing to a homeowner who does not know the proper way to measure a window.

Offer design solutions, show the homeowners how replacing a kitchen double hung window with a garden window can increase the beauty and appeal of their home. And convey that this will increase the value of a home.

Offline Marketing

· Add the website address to all literature and publications (business cards, letterhead, newsletters, and fax cover sheets)

· Add the website to your main voice mail message and have all employees add the website address to their voicemail.

· If you write an article for a publication, ask that your organizations' web site address appear with your name and bio.

· All promotional items should list the web site address.

Online Marketing

· List your email address on every email that you send.

· Participate regularly in relevant online discussion groups to offer relevant answers to queries. This builds reputation and visibility.

· E-mail newsletter to promote recent updates to your website.

· Write articles for others to use in their Newsletters.

Installation

· Are all of your installers certified by AAMA standards?

· Do you measure/track the quality of installation?

Installation is one of the most important components of window performance. If you have good quality installers, advertise your expertise in installation.

Tips for Marketing

· Develop your marketing/advertising budget for 2006 now. This will allow you to design effective strategy within your budget.

· Ask yourself what generated the most leads last year and continue to market yourself in the same way.

· Also, try at least two new marketing avenues this year. Bringing diversity to your strategy is a good way to bring new exposure and will also allow you to see what works.

· Track your individual campaign success. This is the best way to determine effectiveness.

· Ask every lead how they heard about you, track this information.

· Exposure is the best way to gain validity and increase your leads. Your overall marketing strategy should be “How do I gain the most exposure?” Exposure will generate leads year after year.

· Provide excellent customer service and this will increase your sales and reputation through word of mouth. Each person working for your company should make every caller feel like they are the most important person. Hold training sessions and emphasis the importance of customer service. Distribute awards and verbally recognize the employee who demonstrates excellent customer service.

Competitors

Keep a close eye on competitors. Maintain a file on your competitors and continuously review it. This can be useful in communicating the difference between you and the competitors to your customers.

· Where to they advertise?

· How do they advertise?

· Know their product as well as you know your own. WINDOW COMPANY sells the best window as far a quality. Sell the window quality, installation quality and your company prestigious reputation. Define yourself as a home expert and you will earn credibility with your customers and others in your market.

Final note: Marketing is a constant revolving process. It’s a main component of your business that needs to be evaluated and tracked consistently. Everyone wants to ensure that they receive the most value for their money. Investing in marketing is investing in the future of your company.


Comments 2 comments

LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida

Thank you, I need to do one and this at least gives me a starting point.

Thanks for posting


jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

Wow, this is truly an informative and useful hub. I'm sure a lot of hubbers will appreciate this one.

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