The Marketing Plan

What it is and how to do it.

What is it?
A marketing plan is a business document written for the purpose of describing the current market position of a business and its marketing strategy for the period covered by the marketing plan. Marketing plans usually have a life of from one to five years.

What is the purpose?
The purpose of creating a marketing plan is to clearly show what steps will be undertaken to achieve the business’ marketing objectives.

What is in a Marketing Plan?
A typical small business marketing plan might include a description of its competitors, the demand for the product or service, and the strengths and weaknesses from a market standpoint of both the business and its competitors.
● Description of the product or service, including special features.
● Marketing budget, including the advertising and promotional plan
● Pricing strategy
● Market segmentation

HOW TO DO IT?

Section 1
The Executive Summary
Complete your Executive Summary last, and, as the name implies, this section merely summarizes each of the other sections of your marketing plan. Here you will summarize all your Marketing Plan, you must be able to explain it well like an elevator pitch*. Must be precise and concise in order to everyone understands.

Section 2
Target Customers
This section describes the customers you are targeting. It defines their demographic profile (e.g., age, gender), psychographic profile (e.g., their interests) and their precise wants and needs as they relate to the products and/or services you offer. *market segmentation*

Section 3
Unique Selling Proposition
Having a strong unique selling proposition is of critical importance as it distinguishes your company from competitors.

Section 4
Pricing & Positioning Strategy
Your pricing and positioning strategy must be aligned. For example, if you want your company to be known as the premier brand in your industry, having too low a price might dissuade customers from purchasing.
In this section of your marketing plan, detail the positioning you desire and how your pricing will support it.

Section 5
Distribution Plan
Your distribution plan details how customers will buy from you. For example, will customers purchase directly from you on your website? Will they buy from distributors or other retailers? And so on.
Think through different ways in which you might be able to reach customers and document them in this section of your marketing plan.

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The Real African Tour

A superb full immersion in fascinating Namibia: 5 days to understand the real essence of this place. Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity!

Day 1: Enjoy your first day with a desert excursion. A camel will take you in the middle of this dry place. There, you will have a fantastic lunch in an oasis. Don’t forget that you have to take a packet lunch with you. Taste the water and the tea of the desert. You will feel like a real Bedouin! Don’t miss to participate in the biggest sandboarding competition in the world. The winner can spend two additional days in this fantastic place without paying a euro more. Enjoy your time in the desert with others amazing activities and admire the sunset among the sand dunes.

Day 2: A good way to spend a few hours is to visit the Walvis Bay Lagoon. There, thousands of flamingoes will welcome you in a natural paradise. Our company gives you the opportunity to hand-feed these amazing animals. In the afternoon, visit the magnificent aquarium where you will find a lot of different species of fishes. The sea depths will fascinate you and will transport you in a charming atmosphere. Eat out at the “Namib Restaurant” Where you will taste traditional African dishes. Don’t miss the typical African dance after dinner, with traditional musical instruments.

Day 3: A great safari will teach you a lot of new information about the flora and fauna of the Namib Desert. Choose between safari by boat, jeep, hot-air balloon or experience the safari on foot or by night. There, you will find a lot of different animals that you have probably seen only in postcards: monkeys, giraffes, tigers, elephants are the main characters of this tour. The company gives you the opportunity to mount an elephant. Take part in a show organized with birds and colorful parrots. Take part in an amazing treasure-hunt. Find out 10 kinds of typical African plants and take a photo of these. Discover the real essence of this great place.

Day 4: It’s time to try a thrilling experience! You will have the opportunity to take part in a lesson of parachuting. Don’t be frightened… You will fall down from only 50 m of height and you will have the opportunity to admire a magnificent panorama. It will be an unforgettable experience. In the afternoon visit the center of Swakopmund where you will appreciate hand-made objects and where you will try traditional food. Traditional markets sell every kind of African articles, such as musical instruments, jewels made with wood, beautiful paintings about amazing African landscapes.

Day 5: Crystalline water, white sand and a quiet atmosphere will relax you and will make your last day in Africa the best of your life. Our company gives you the opportunity to choose between a lot of different famous beaches. A traditional carriage will transport you wherever you want. Many activities are organized during the afternoon like deep-sea fishing, shark fishing and beach-angling. At 18:30 take part in a good-bye aperitif on the beach while an amazing panorama will fascinate you!

Branding

Branding

WHAT IS BRANDING
and how important it is for your marketing.

Branding is the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products. (http://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/branding)

Your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be. The foundation of your brand is your logo. Your website, packaging and promotional materials, all of which should integrate your logo, communicate your brand.
(http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/77408)

Defining your Brand:
Defining your brand is like a journey of business self-discovery. It can be difficult, time-consuming and uncomfortable. It requires, at the very least, that you answer the questions below:

● What is your company’s mission?
● What are the benefits and features of your products or services?
● What do your customers and prospects already think of your company?
● What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?

The objectives that a good brand will achieve include:

● Delivering the message clearly
● Confirming your credibility
● Connecting your target prospects emotionally
● Motivating the buyer
● Strengthening user loyalty

Do your RESEARCH. Learn the NEEDS, HABITS and DESIRES of your current and prospective CUSTOMERS. And DON’T rely on what you think they think. KNOW what they think.
I also want to share with you three main points that you should always be aware of in order to define a brand or your personal brand.

1. YOUR BRAND IS YOUR PERSONALITY Your brand is not only your logo, your colours or your name, but it represents your person to the world. A brand’s personality is what people say about it and what they feel when they relate to it. That’s what really matters because that is what your own customers have perceived from your brand. Creating the appropriate personality for your brand is vital because if you are not even able to define your own brand, how do you expect others (your customers) to define it for you? And if they do, it could be something that you’re not really expecting that they think from it. Probably it could be a chance for your competition to come and speak for you and define your personality to the market, which could be very dangerous!

2. YOUR BRAND IS YOUR PROMISE When you define a brand, you create a promise between your consumers and the brand. In order for the brand to be successful it should remain coherent in its development to strengthen the credibility and the trusting levels that customers have in it. Be always coherent with your customers, be always authentic and real!

3. A BRAND IS A LIFESTYLE Products without a defined brand are sold like facilities and will be affected by changes, prices and competition, but when you have a well based and defined brand, for example, Adidas, Polo, BWM, Nike, Armani, they turn into a lifestyle and people pay for the value of the brand, not for the price of the product.

Once you’ve defined your brand, what you should do then?
Here are a few simple tips:

1. Make or get a great LOGO that identifies your brand.

2. Write down your BRAND MESSAGING – What are the key messages you want to communicate about your brand?

3. INTEGRATE YOUR BRAND – Branding extends to every aspect of your business, (how you answer the phone, what you or your salespeople wear on sales calls, your e-mail signature) everything.

4. DEVELOP A TAGLINE (SLOGAN) – Write a memorable, meaningful and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand.

5. DESIGN TEMPLATES AND CREATE BRAND STANDARDS FOR YOUR MARKETING MATERIALS – Use the same colour scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. You don’t need to be fancy, just consistent.

6. BE TRUE TO YOUR BRAND – Customers won’t return to you or refer you to someone else if you don’t deliver on your brand promise. Because if you are constantly changing your image, concepts or words, no one will trust you.

Here I leave you some good examples of Brand Identity (created brandings) and Slogans used in successful and famous companies.

http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/identity-branding-design-part-2/
http://theultralinx.com/2013/03/25-fantastic-examples-branding.html
http://webneel.com/25-creative-and-awesome-branding-and-identity-design-examples
http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/77-catchy-and-creative-slogans/

Always remember that branding is not only applied to business and companies, is also applied to your personal image. Remember that you as a person could be selling a service (as translator, musician, cook, etc.) so, you should show the best of you, in order for people to buy your services.
Remember the example I gave in class. If you present to be hired as a chef in a restaurant, but you have your clothes dirty and your nails, hair and personal image all dirty looking, probably no one will trust you to be their chef.