What Is Market Planning and What Types Are There?
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Market planning can help you identify appropriate marketing methods for your team. These plans require a strong understanding of your goals and the methods with which you plan to achieve them. Learning more about market planning can help you accomplish those goals more easily and increase your overall impact on your target audience. In this article, we define market planning, discover the benefits of market planning, provide you with several types of market planning, and share a guide to help you learn how to conduct market planning.
What is market planning?
If you're interested in learning more about the question "what is market planning," it's a process that allows you to develop goals and marketing strategies for a business. These techniques help you achieve your goals by reflecting on the best methods for doing so. You can adapt marketing planning to an organization's situation, such as for a launch, routing planning, or repositioning. For example, a company repositioning or rebranding requires strategy and techniques to improve the new brand's visibility. Comparatively, a company that is in the launching phase requires a focus on developing a strategy for going to market.
Here are some considerations you can make regarding your market planning:
Analyzing the existing situation, information and marketing opportunities: When developing your market plan, consider potential opportunities that help you grow the business and meet objectives.
Forecasting and planning: Consider potential forecasts for your plans and the impact they may have.
Selecting a target market: Develop your target market to identify the best objectives and plans according to that market.
Defining marketing objectives and strategies: When you have an overall knowledge of your market, you can develop market objectives that suit your team's needs. When doing so, consider the most effective strategies for accomplishing those objectives.
Allocating resources to achieve objectives: Consider which resources you require to accomplish your goals.
What are the benefits of marketing planning?
The benefits of market planning collectively allow you to accomplish your goals more easily. Here are some benefits to consider when conducting marketing plans:
Your marketing planning helps ensure you maintain accountability. This is because it requires both the business development and marketing teams to navigate their objectives and evaluate their overall goals. Management of market planning also requires you to navigate company resources and oversee budgeting. It can also help you determine whether the plans are achievable.
Market planning requires you to question your overall habits and the way you work. For example, you may review why you made specific decisions and how they affected the team or company. Market planning requires you to identify whether your previous methodology or plans apply to your current situation. This requires strong adaptability because you typically change approaches as issues arise.
Marketing planning helps you to study your target audience, your competition, your value proposition, and your marketplace. When you perform such research, you assess your marketing program and business model before investing time and money in them, helping you to take fewer risks. You also study your target audience and connect with them faster, which can help make your profit grow faster.
Provides an advantage
Market planning provides you with an advantage because you identify how the business differs from your competitors. You also reflect upon your individual strategies and identify areas for improvement. These market plans provide you with information about your strategy and, as a result, can encourage you to optimize your data and plan.
When you have a consistent plan, you have more control over your marketing and a clear image of your approach. This can help you maximize the impact of the marketing of the business. If you cannot meet your goals, you can also use market planning to adjust quickly and develop new plans.
Types of marketing planning
Here are the two types of marketing planning available to consider:
Long-term marketing planning
Long-term marketing planning involves planning for over one year. This long-term planning is typically the responsibility of upper management. It sets future objectives and strategies, and it prepares a framework to create short-term plans. For example, long-term marketing planning includes the selection of a price policy, a distribution channel, and media advertising.
Short-term marketing planning
Short-term marketing planning is a form of marketing planning that spans less than a year. These are typically bi-annual or annual plans. Short-term marketing planning is usually the responsibility of the mid-management and it helps to solve recurring issues. Many companies renew their marketing plan annually while assessing the plan's performance during the renewal process.
How to conduct marketing planning
Marketing planning involves two main phases. The first phase consists of analyzing the current situation to decide which area requires more focus. During this phase, you evaluate past promotions to verify their success, analyze competitors, and determine objectives. In the second phase, you create and develop marketing strategies. Here are several steps to consider when developing your marketing plan:
1. Understand the current situation
The objective of marketing planning is to achieve the company's business goals. It's crucial that you understand these goals and the current business situation, including potential obstacles. To fully understand the company's situation, you can analyze the opportunities of different markets or audiences, conduct client research to understand how they make their buying decisions, and research your brand.
2. Assess your target client
When developing your market plan, you may want to know how your client or employer thinks, along with their overall prioritization. When you know what they prioritize, you can position yourself to ensure that you meet those needs. You can also research how they look for their products or providers to help ensure your products and services are more accessible.
3. Position your brand
A successful positioning is one that attracts people's attention to your brand and shows your competitive advantage. You can start by understanding your differences from the competition, which are called your differentiators. Differentiators are typically true and relevant. Once you identify them, you can create messages for your audience. Different audiences are looking for various aspects of your brand, and you may want to adapt your messages by focusing on the benefits your targets want to see.
Related: How to Establish a Personal Brand
4. Define and refine your offer
Over time, your clients' needs typically change, and you may want to adapt your plan according to those needs. Review your previous analysis of their needs and consider how they have changed. When you develop knowledge of your client and market, you can adjust and refine your plan to be more effective.
5. Choose your marketing techniques
When you have a holistic understanding of your target audience, you also know how and where they look for information. Knowing this allows you to use their preferred channel to contact them. This way, you can make your brand and expertise more visible. You may want to use both online and offline marketing techniques to gain better visibility. You can also use diverse content for the different sales funnel levels, from attracting prospects to converting them into clients.
6. Adapt your tools and skills to your techniques
If you realize you require new techniques during your market planning, you may want to establish new tools. These tools may include a website, marketing automation, social media, or search engine optimization. Consider which new skills you require to develop your strategy. If you work with a team, you may want to ask your team members about their priorities and which skills they believe they lack. To develop these skills, you can discuss hiring a professional with your supervisor or a member of upper management.
7. Write your plan
Consider transferring your market planning into writing, which details the actions and steps required to accomplish your plan and strategy. You may want to use your plan to evaluate your progress by establishing potential metrics that you want to track as the plan progresses. Your plan typically includes a marketing calendar, along with a marketing budget. You can establish your plan over one year or six months. Your budget provides the maximum amount of money permitted for materials and tools.
When developing your plan, consider reserving a specific amount of money to ensure you have money available for contingencies. Your marketing plan typically includes your overall value proposition, along with information about your target market. From here, consider including your advertising and product strategies. If you have specific distribution channels or methods, consider also including these in your market planning.
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