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Integrated Marketing is the Key

Integrated Marketing is the Key

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Published by api-3740973

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Published by: api-3740973 on Oct 18, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Many businesses do not purposely destroy themselves, but they eventually die from inaction.
They undergo a slow, malingering illness, doing things the way they have always been done,
because it worked that way before. Playing it safe, they do not rock any boats. Besides, following
a precedent is an easier, more comfortable substitute for thinking. Innovation is an alien word for

Slowly, but surely, their customers go elsewhere, leaving them to their own demise.

Finally, they will launch a frenetic effort to save themselves, but they have already created their own Armageddon. Sounds exaggerated? Business graveyards are littered with skeletons of small enterprises that were, at best, reactive rather than proactive.

According to one survey, 70% of new businesses fail within six to seven years. Those that
succeed will become marketing-driven, customer-focused, and will use integrated marketing plan,
not a business plan, as the basis of their operation. But even that is not necessarily enough to
turn a business around. There are roadblocks in every enterprise where politics, hidden agendas,
personalities, top-down dictates, indifferences, contentment, or just plain laziness are
commonplace. Owners of businesses often say that they do not have time to prepare a marketing
plan, or that formalized plans are too burdensome, too time-consuming for their small enterprise.
They say it is okay for the large companies, but unnecessary for them. The fallacy of this thinking
is that they cannot put their plan in writing; the odds are pretty good that they really do not have a

Resistance to change begins when the owner or chief executive does not demonstrate good
leadership and a commitment to the importance of having a marketing-driven and customer-
focused plan; one where marketing is not regarded just as a selling activity, but one where many
other important marketing functions are also included.

Committed and knowledgeable planners understand the "6 P's" of the marketing mix: product,
people, price, promotion, place, and profit. They make provisions for all of these critical functions
in their marketing plans. Almost always, most marketing plans, if they exist in written form, are
incomplete. They do not include the full range of all marketing components in the marketing mix: -

Customers and markets, both existing and potential
Previous sales results and profitability
Provisions for existing and new products or services
Analysis of competitors, their strategy and direction
Pricing strategy and profitability
Customer service and satisfaction
Sales methods and channels of distribution
Staffing, administration, training, and compensation
Sales and product forecast by monthly increments
Expense budgets by monthly increments for staffing, travel, advertising/promotion, customer
service, training, market research, compensation, etc.

Most marketing plans are sketchy, vague, and lacking in specifics. Generally, they include guess
estimates out of expedience that lack factual data because enough time was not allocated to
prepare a thorough, factual data base from which to build a solid foundation for an effective
marketing plan. The time to start the planning process for the next fiscal year, if it starts in April, is
early in December. This avoids interference with day-to-day work requirements, and it allows time

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