Strategic Business Planning Serving our clients since 1992 Knightsbridge Marketing Consulting Knightsbridge Marketing Consulting

SWOT - Identification of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats

This portion of the planning process is an extension of the Situational Analysis, and involves the identification of the key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing the client. The process includes a review of all marketing areas including overall industry profile and trends, competitors, markets, product categories, pricing, advertising, distribution channels, corporate image, market segments, brand positioning, public and media relations, promotion and direct sales.

Major Factors

The major factors (also called the critical success factors) are the major SWOT factors that have been isolated as ones to deal with during the term of the strategic plan. Most often, major factors are of such magnitude, that successfully meeting the challenges they present can be essential to the long-term viability of the program. A list of the major factors to be dealt with during the term of the strategic plan will be developed, and objectives, strategies and action plans completed for each.

Objectives/Strategies

For each of the major factors selected, a separate objective will be established, and a marketing strategy developed to achieve that objective. Key to this process is the accurate identification/definition of both the product(s) and their benefits, and the market(s) to which they are targeted. Communication strategies will then be developed around effectively communicating those benefits to the target market(s) with the resources available for this project.

At this point a broad marketing strategy will be developed to address the challenges identified in the major factors. This strategy will be based on the brand positioning strategy adopted, and will be developed in the context of the four marketing "P's" - Product, Price, Promotion and Place (Distribution) and will be customized to accommodate the client's line of products and/or services, including a sustaining strategy to grow the products'/services' sales over the term of the plan. The broad marketing strategy will also be developed to maximize the benefits which may accrue through client's existing marketing channels, and will take into consideration the level of resources available for the marketing of the targeted products and services.

The next step in the process is to develop the most appropriate marketing mix by which to implement the broad marketing strategy. Developing the marketing mix consists of selecting the most appropriate marketing tools from the available arsenal to effectively execute the broad marketing strategy. The specific tools are selected from such categories as sales, public relations, advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing, brand positioning and the Internet.

Which marketing tools are selected, and the relative weight each receives is dependent on the broad marketing strategy and the marketing resources (personnel and budget) available.

Strategic Concept Testing

In order to ensure the effectiveness of the recommended marketing strategy, key elements will be researched within the target market prior to development of the detailed action plans. Where warranted, adjustments will be made to the marketing strategy.

Action Plans

For each of the marketing strategies to be executed, a detailed action plan will be developed identifying the steps that must be taken to effectively implement the strategy. Inherent in this step is the timetable for the implementation of the various aspects of the marketing plan, along with the identification of the individuals/departments responsible for implementation. Typically, action plans would be built around one or more of the following elements:


Budget Estimates

Based on the objectives, strategies and action plans, budget estimates will be developed for the cost of implementing the various components of the plan.

Financial Modeling and Sales and Marketing Budget Projections

Knightsbridge will work with the client to develop both a sales forecast for the company, and a financial model to review various "what-if" scenarios. In addition, forecasts and operating expenses will be rolled into a twelve month operating budget for year one, and annual operating budgets for years two and three. A break-even analysis is undertaken as part of this process.

The sales forecasts and financial models will be the benchmark by which the degree of success of the plan will be measured.

Implementation and Follow-up

If requested by the client, a senior Knightsbridge consultant will be made available to assist the client with decisions concerning the implementation of the plan

and/or quarterly or semi-annual assessments of progress against objectives. Adjustments which might be required during the term of the plan, will be identified during this assessment process.



Marketing Problems? We can help!

Thanks for visiting us. If you're here, you're likely looking for help to develop a marketing plan to effectively promote your products and/or services. We'd be pleased to provide that help. The following is an outline of our approach to helping our clients meet their marketing challenges. Please also visit our Testimonials page to read first hand what our clients have had to save about their experience with Knightsbridge.

If you'd like more information, or would like to discuss your particular marketing challenges, please contact us at stuartstrathdee@knightsbridgemarketing.com, or by calling 902-456-7929.




Copyright Knightsbridge Marketing Consulting, P.O. Box 44222, Bedford, Nova Scotia, B4A 2X0




The Four Marketing Basics

Don't worry, we're not replacing the four "P's of marketing - price, product, promotion and place - just simply offering a different approach to generate them. After all, when all is said and done, effective marketing comes down to four basic questions based on defining communication objectives and strategies.

Before spending a nickel on marketing your product or service, take the time to answer the following four questions. Think them through, because your marketing success depends on the accuracy of your answers.

1. Who do you want to talk to?

Identify your target market with respect to specific demographics, geographics, and psychographics. Define in very specific terms which segment of the market (the market "niche") you are targeting.





The Knightsbridge Approach To Marketing Planning



At Knightsbridge, each business or marketing plan project begins with an initial meeting with the client to review their requirements, and to arrive at a clear understanding of the nature of the assignment.

Specific work programs will be tailored to the individual client requirements based on the terms of reference defined by the client for the specific project.

Finalization and approval of methodology, timetable, budget, and framework for each project is developed in consultation with, and with the approval of the client.

This ensures that both the client and the consultant have a clear understanding of the terms of reference, the project deliverables, the full cost of the project, and a detailed work schedule before the project begins.



Initial Briefing Meeting With The Client



Methodology

Throughout the project Knightsbridge will make every effort to ensure that the client is intimately involved in the process. The company owner/manager and its management team will be encouraged to become actively involved in all stages of the strategic planning process under the direction of the project consultant.

In addition to reducing consultant hours and costs, this approach will also provide the company with insight into the analysis and planning processes. As a result of this approach, the members of the company's planning team are likely to become better managers, be more committed to the outcome, and acquire additional business and marketing knowledge. The planning process starts with the situational analysis.



Situational Analysis

The Situational Analysis entails a detailed review of the clients priority markets, their various segments, components and potential for growth, the competitive environment, socio-economic factors, government and regulatory factors and any other situational factors which may impact upon the client company.

In short, Knightsbridge will work with the client to develop an accurate picture of the market environment in which the company must successfully market its product and/or services.

Having analyzed the marketing environment, Knightsbridge and the client will then focus attention on the client's own marketing effort by undertaking a marketing audit.

A marketing audit assesses the appropriateness and effectiveness of all facets of the company's marketing effort relative to market conditions, company objectives and resources.





Data for the situational analysis will be sourced from:

1. Personal interviews and consultation with the client's management, employees, customers, and suppliers

2. A review of existing marketing strategies and programs

3. Industry specific statistics

4. Existing company research

5. Internet search

6. Secondary research

7. Industry associations and publications

8. A marketing audit of the client's current marketing effort with respect to:



Marketing Planning - The Knightsbridge Approach