A.   What are the basic differences between planning and decision making in advertising management? How does an advertising plan differ from an overall marketing plan? How do advertising decisions differ from other types of marketing decisions

The process of setting goals, developing strategies, and outlining tasks and schedules to accomplish the goals.
Answering   six basic questions in regard to any activity:
•   What needs to be accomplished?
•   When is the deadline?
•   Where will this be done?
•   Who will be responsible for it?
•   How will it get done?
•   How much time, energy, and resources are required to accomplish this goal?

Step 1: How to prepare to plan - analyse stakeholder involvement
Step 2: How to analyse situations and needs
Step 3: How to prioritise and select a goal and purpose
Step 4: How to develop clear objectives
Step 5: How to identify alternative strategies and select the most effective strategy
Step 6: How to plan implementation
Step 7: How to plan for evaluation
Step 8: How to summarise your plan
The thought process of selecting a logical choice from the available options.
When trying to make a good decision, a person must weight the positives and negatives of each option, and consider all the alternatives. For effective decision making, a person must be able to forecast the outcome of each option as well, and based on all these items, determine which option is the best for that particular situation.

Communications Analysis  [  PLANNING ]
You will use this section to identify and analyze the communications in your industry as well as the marketing environment within which your company will operate. What are the industry characteristics that will mold your IMC plan?
For example, do most firms in your industry use magazine advertising? Are the magazines currently being used the most effective in reaching the target market? Would other magazines or other media be more effective? Are firms using other communication techniques such as direct marketing or sponsorships?
Competitive Analysis  [ PLANNING ]
Use this topic to discuss how you are positioned in the market, and how your product or service differs from your competitors. In other words, why do people buy from your firm instead of your competitors? What benefits do you offer, at what price and to whom; and how does your marketing mix compare to others? Think about specific features and benefits you can offer. What specific market segments can you reach that are not currently being reached well by competitors?
Explain the general nature of competition in this business, how customers seem to chose one provider over another. For example, is there price competition between accountants, doctors, or lawyers? How do people chose travel agencies or florists for weddings? Why does someone hire one landscape artist over another? Is price more important than reputation in your business or vice versa?
Competitive Analysis
Scale: 1 2 3 4 or 5 where 1 = poor and 5 = extraordinary
Competitor #1   Competitor    #2Competitor #3
Internet Access      
Location and Physical Appearance      
Convenience Factors      
Added Value Factors      
Pre and Post Sales Service      
Communication Analysis      
Distribution Channel      
Sales Promotions      
Trade Promotions      
Public Relations Efforts      
Database Programs      
Sponsorships and Community Events      
Opportunity Analysis [ PLANNING  AND  DECISION  MAKING ]
What opportunities exist in your market or the environment from which you hope to benefit? Opportunities analysis assesses the attractive factors that represent the reason for your business.
These opportunities reflect the potential you can realize through implementing your communication strategies. Opportunities may be the result of market growth, lifestyle changes, resolving problems associated with current solutions, positive market perceptions about your business, or ability to offer greater value that will create a demand for your products. If it is relevant, place time frames around opportunities. Does it represent an ongoing opportunity, or is it a window of opportunity. How critical is your timing?
Target Market Analysis [ PLANNING  AND  DECISION  MAKING ]
Describe your target markets in detail. Trends should be noted as well as a forecast of the size of the market and future spending. Use this topic to explain the potential customers analysis table, which is normally linked to it, plus the market pie chart. Your analysis is based on a list of potential customer groups, each of which is a market segment.
Target Market Forecast Example          
Potential Customers          
Retail Consumers          
Internet Consumers          
Direct Mail Consumers          
Customers from Business          
Customer Analysis  [ PLANNING]
Describe characteristics of your existing customers. Knowing the key characteristics and behaviors of your existing customers will help you identify and target new prospects. If your customers are individuals, are they predominantly men or women, what is their average age range, and where do they live? If your customers are companies, how many employees do they have, what is their annual revenue and what industries are they in?

How is your product positioned in the minds of your customers? In order to determine how your product is positioned, you should answer these important questions:
• For whom is the product designed?
• What kind of product is it?
• What is the single most important benefit it offers?
• Who is the most important competitor?
• How is your product different from that of your competitor?
• What is the significant customer benefit of the difference?
Market Segmentation Strategy  [ PLANNING  AND  DECISION  MAKING ]
In this section you should introduce the strategy behind your market segmentation and your choice of target markets. Explain why your business is focused on these specific target market groups. What makes these groups more interesting than the other groups you’ve ruled out? Why are the characteristics you identify important?
This is more important for some businesses than others. A restaurant, for example, might focus on one set of upper income customers instead of another, for strategic reasons. An accounting firm might focus on certain business types whose needs match the firm’s expertise. Some fast food restaurants focus on families with children of driving age. A graphic design firm might specialize in small and medium businesses that need Internet websites. Strategy is the focus and it doesn’t follow pre-written formulas.
Corporate Strategies  [ PLANNING  ]
This first paragraph is a summary; it addresses the key points that describe your overall corporate strategy. Introduce the keys to success of your IMC and list the key marketing strategies that you will implement.
Corporate Image Strategy [ PLANNING  AND  DECISION  MAKING ]
A corporate image influences customers either negatively or positively as they make purchase decisions, so it is important to control your corporate image. Summarize in two or three sentences what your company “stands for”. What do you want your customers to believe about your company?
Brand Development Strategy  [ PLANNING  AND  DECISION  MAKING ]
Brands are names generally associated with a product or service or a group of products or services. If you have only one product or service, your company name may be your brand. Your brand should go much deeper than just a name; it must communicate attributes, benefits, values, culture and even personality of products or services. For example, Volvo communicates safety, whereas Porsche communicates speed and power.
How was the name of your brand chosen? What does it symbolize when people hear the name? How will the brand name be incorporated into a memorable logo? Will it be included or will you try to build the brand around a logo alone? If the brand name is relevant to the offering, it will be much easier for customers to remember your brand. If you can use the brand name in developing advertising and promotional messages it will aid in recall. How will you make the brand relevant to consumers?
Brand Positioning Strategy  [ PLANNING  AND  DECISION  MAKING ]
Brand positioning refers to how your customers perceive your brand in relation to the competition. The positioning statement should include a strategic focus on the most important target market. What is that market's most important market need? How does your product meet that need? Who is the main competition? How is your product better than that of the competition? The choices that you make in terms of pricing, distribution and promotion channels will affect the positioning of your product in the mind of your consumer.
The possible positioning strategies include: attributes, competitors, use or application, price/quality relationship, product user, product class and cultural symbol. While more than one can be used, it is best to utilize only one positioning strategy. For example, Crest is positioned as the best cavity fighter, an attribute positioning strategy.
Distribution Strategy [ PLANNING  AND DECISION  MAKING ]
Where will your product or service be available? Will you try to sell it direct from your own location or website or will you try to sell through retail stores? If you are a manufacturer, what relationships will you have to develop with distributors, sales people and retailers in order to get your product out to the public? If you are a retailer, what manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors will you use to supply your store? What are the key characteristics of these suppliers?
Business to Business [ PLANNING ]
Even if you consider your business to be retail or consumer only, you should consider whether your product or service has the potential to have value for other businesses. For example, if you are running a sandwich bar, are there businesses in the area that host meetings that might look to have these meetings catered? Or if you design or sell clothing, might a company looking for unique uniforms for their staff consider your clothing?
Selling to companies is often more complicated than end users. Who makes the decision to purchase your product? Is that same person required to have the purchase authorized by a manager or budget controller? Is there a vendor selection policy? Do you have to make a formal proposal to sell to a company?
Public Relations Strategy [ PLANNING  AND  DECISION  MAKING ]
Public relations efforts should be part of the overall IMC approach. Public relations refers to media publicity as well as other communications with all of the groups that make contact with the company, for example shareholders, customers, employees, the local community and special interest groups. These groups are known as “publics.” The three main functions of public relations are:
1) Monitor internal and external publics,
2) Provide positive information to each public that reinforces the IMC plan, and
3) React quickly to any shift of the publics from the desired position.
Will your public relations be managed internally or will you hire an outside firm to act as a public relations consultant?
What will the primary role of your PR strategy be? To maintain a constant image of community involvement? To maintain an image of environmental consciousness? To develop an image of innovation and creativity?
How will you generate positive publicity about your company and products? How will you supplement your advertising effort with public relations? What negative publicity do you foresee that your PR strategy will have to address? For example, if your company is planning to build a new facility, will there be concern from environmentally conscious community members about your plans? What is the plan for overcoming this negative publicity?
Measuring the effectiveness of an IMC campaign is not easy, but spending a large amount of time and resources on a campaign without trying to determine its effectiveness does not make sense. How will you evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign? On what levels will you evaluate effectiveness - short term, long term, product specific or brand specific? Should the IMC campaign trigger purchases, boost brand awareness, change or reinforce consumers' image of your company or product?
Will your evaluation be continuous, or on the basis of specific ads, promotions and PR pushes? Will you test ads and promotions before they are fully launched? If so, at what stage of the ad or promotion development will you test? These evaluation methods should match the objectives of the campaign.
The chart below highlights the evaluation programs that will be used. Time frames and costs are estimated. Success will be greatly affected by timely evaluations and then the use of those evaluations to modify the communication plan. For example, if the brand awareness evaluation shows that the brand is not obtaining the brand awareness desired, then you will want to investigate the cause and modify this communications plan accordingly.
e.g. Evaluation Programs   Plan          
Start Date   End Date   Budget   Manager   Department   
Brand Awareness          
Image Analysis          
Positioning Analysis          
Public Relations Analysis          
Advertising Recall          
Retail Traffic Analysis          
Direct Mail Analysis          
Customer Complaint & Product Returns          
Survey of Business Partners          

IMC Management  [ PLANNING ]
This is a summary paragraph, addressing the key management issues of your Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) campaign. What are the main objectives, and how will this influence how the campaign is managed?
In determining the objectives of your IMC campaign, you will need to think about whether you want to put something into the consumer’s mind, change an attitude, or persuade the consumer to act.
If your potential customers do not know about your product or service, then one of your objectives will likely be to raise awareness. If they are aware of the product, but know little about it, your objective may be to build their knowledge. If they know about your product, you may aim to persuade them to like your product. If potential customers like your product, but are still buying your competitor’s product, your objective will be to get them to prefer your offering. Finally, some customers may prefer your product, but have just not gotten around to buying it. In this case your objective will be to persuade this group to take the last step and make a purchase.
What is your total expense budget? How much do your competitors spend on their marketing communications? What is the breakdown of your budget, per IMC Objective? It is important to remember that approximately 50% of all marketing dollars are spent on trade promotions, 25% on consumer promotions and 25% on advertising. Be sure, in your discussion of your IMC budget, you justify your budget breakdown.
Will your company create advertisements in-house or use the services of an outside agency? If you elect to use an agency, what criteria will you use, or did you use, to choose that agency? Where is the agency based? Will it be easy for you set up face-to-face meetings with your advertising agency? Does the agency have experience in your industry and yet not have a conflict of interest in representing a direct competitor? Will the agency supply just advertising support or will it also provide other services such as Public Relations services, media planning and media buying? Will you use the agency just to create advertisements or also to place the ads and purchase ad space? If the agency is a large one, and you are a small account for them, you may get less attention than their larger accounts, so you may want to choose a smaller agency.
Internet Web Site  [ PLANNING ]
Your firm’s website is an important element of the IMC Plan. Consideration must be given to what domain name will be used? Will it be a content only site or will you sell products from the site or will it be a combination of the two? Will you build the site in-house or will you hire a company to develop the website for you? Is a website a key aspect of your communications strategy, through which you will develop leads and draw more customers to your business? Or will it help to reduce costs by supporting your service customers? What are the benefits to your company of running a website, and what are the costs?
IMC Objective One (Consumer) [ PLANNING  AND  DECISION  MAKING ]
Consumers are the individual and business end users of your products and services. Give a brief overview of your consumer market. What is your marketing objective for the consumer segment? How will that objective be accomplished? How will methodologies change with time and market trends?
Once you have agreed upon the major goals of the consumer marketing campaign, a review of the communications budget is in order. Estimate the budget for reaching your consumers? Remember to consider all of the methods that will be implemented to reach your target consumer segments. Your budget for this IMC Objective should be broken down into the five components: advertising, consumer promotions, sponsorship and public relations, personal selling and database programs. How much do you want to allocate to each component?
How will you establish the budget? Will you work on a percentage of sales basis? Will you review what the competition is spending, and match that amount? If you are on a limited budget you may be restricted to spending what the company can afford.
IMC Methodologies [ PLANNING ]
This is a summary section. Give a brief overview of advertising, promotions, sales and IT based tactics you will use to reach consumers, raise awareness of your company and products or services, increase brand equity and increase sales to consumers.
Advertising is just one component of integrated marketing communications. It is also part of the “traditional” promotions mix of advertising, sales and trade promotions, and personal selling. These functions, along with other activities such as direct marketing and public relations efforts, form the basis for communicating with individual consumers. The role advertising plays will vary depending upon your industry, products and services, and the marketing goals that you establish.
The first step in developing an advertising program is choosing between an in-house advertising group and an external advertising agency. Internal organization members have a better sense of the company’s mission and message, and may be appropriate if your product or service is complex in nature. If you have decided to hire an outside agency, explain the basis for that decision. Would an outside agency be more objective or have more creative talent than you can afford to hire in-house?
Include in this section your advertising goals and budget. What are the specific measurable goals for advertising to the various consumer segments? How will those goals be accomplished? How will you make sure your advertising campaign matches the overall theme of your IMC program? How much money is budgeted for the campaign? What type of budgeting strategy will be used? How will your advertising programs mature over time?
You should prepare a creative brief to guide in the development of advertising to members of the distribution channel. The creative brief is the strategy document for preparing any advertisement or advertising campaign. If you are working with an advertising agency, your company should work with the agency to develop the brief. A clear creative brief will also help you with evaluating the ad campaign as you move forward. The first step in preparing the creative brief is to identify the objective of the advertisement. In reaching end users, possible objectives may include:
• Increase brand awareness.
• Build brand image.
• Increase customer traffic.
• Increase inquiries from end users.
• Provide information.
After you have defined the main objective, the other key components of the creative brief are:
• The target audience – Be specific in defining who your audience is. Are they distributors, wholesalers, agents or retail buyers? How do they make their buying decisions?
• The message theme – What will you be trying to communicate to your channel partners? What is your unique selling point?
• The support – What facts substantiate your theme?
• The constraints – Are there any legal or mandatory restrictions that may limit how and where you communicate your message? Are there any in-house policies you must adhere to?
When the creative brief is complete, you should choose your Advertising design.
The design of your advertisement must match your objectives. Your goal is not just to create an ad that people like, but one that accomplishes your IMC objective, in the short term or in the long term. Even if you are hiring an agency to produce the advertisement for you, you may still want to understand the design process.
Finally, you are ready to prepare the actual ad. If your ad is designed and executed correctly, the ad will reflect the IMC theme and all of the other components of the IMC program you have completed up to this point.
What message strategy will you adopt to communicate with your distributors? You may want to focus on the emotional benefits of your product – talk about the benefits to the consumer rather than the features of your product or service.
• Affective Strategy – Invoke feelings and emotions and match them with the product, service or company.
• Conative Strategy – Designed to lead more directly to some type of consumer behavior.
Consumer Promotions [ PLANNING   AND  DECISION  MAKING ]
Consumer promotions (sometimes called sales promotions) are the incentives aimed at persuading end users to make a purchase. Consumer promotions are directed toward individuals or firms that use the product and do not resell it to another business. Thus, consumer promotions can be used in consumer markets and business-to-business markets.
In planning the consumer promotions component of the IMC, it is vital that the promotions support the brand image and the brand positioning strategy. To ensure this occurs, it is important to understand the target audience of the program. What are consumers’ opinions regarding the firm’s products or services, especially as they relate to the competition?
What role do promotions play in reaching the consumer segment? What is your promotional strategy? How will this strategy be realized? How will your promotions address your market segments? Will you develop a consumer promotion with another product or company? How will you maximize the impact of your promotion?
Budget Allocation
How much will you budget for trade promotion? Will you budget on a percent per unit basis of current sales? Justify your budget allocation on consumer promotions.
Consumer Promotion Selection
Your choice of consumer promotions will depend upon who are you trying to reach with your promotional strategy, company preferences and the form of IMC Plan being used. Will you try to affect:
1) Promotion prone consumers?
2) Brand-loyal consumers?
3) Price-sensitive consumers?
What types of consumer promotions will be most effective in impacting the purchase patterns of your target consumers?
• Coupons
• Premiums
• Contests and sweepstakes
• Refunds and rebates
• Sampling
• Bonus packs
• Price-offs
Discuss the role of each consumer promotion and how it will fit into your overall IMC plan. Since many trade promotions are planned with consumer promotions, it is important to consider both types of promotions simultaneously. For example, if you are going to develop a major consumer sweepstakes, you may want to spend more money on point-of-purchase displays for retailers to ensure customers see the sweepstakes offer.
Personal Selling  [ PLANNING ]
Personal selling is sometimes called the “last three feet” of the marketing function, because it represents the distance between the salesperson and the customer on the retail sales floor as well as the distance across the desk from the sales representative to the business customer. Personal contact between the sales representative and the consumer can be used to add the final touch to a successful marketing communications program.
Sales to consumers often are finalized by retail salespeople. If you are a manufacturer or wholesaler, how will you work with retailers to ensure they have all the information they need to properly sell your product? Will you use the services of a merchandising company to visit retailers? Will you send product information to the retail stores?
If you have a retail operation, you will have more options than do manufacturers and business-to-business vendors in terms of developing bonds with customers. Your retail clerks will interact directly with your customers. Use this topic to establish tangible customer service goals. What attitude should representatives of your company convey? What knowledge, background, or experience is critical for your representatives as a foundation for developing quality customer service? What incentives will be put into place to encourage good customer service? How will personal selling be supported, e.g. point of sale brochures, Internet advertising, etc.?
Sponsorship Programs [ PLANNING ]
What goals can be achieved best through sponsorship programs? What events would fit the company image? What events, groups and individuals do your key target customers support? How will sponsorship programs compliment other advertising methods? What other methods will be used to support sponsorships?
Database Programs [ PLANNING ]
The power of database management in helping the marketing department reach key IMC goals should not be underestimated. Customers often are willing to communicate fairly important information that can be used to enhance brand loyalty, increase sales, and develop long-term relationships. Data mining ensures that your company knows the profile of its main customers. These current customers can be targeted in future promotions, and potential new customers may be discovered, especially when they have similar characteristics to those who currently make purchases.
Work through these steps in developing a database:
• Determine objectives.
• Collect data.
• Build data warehouse.
• Mine data for information.
• Develop marketing programs.
• Evaluate marketing programs and data warehouses.
Data Warehouse
Constructing a useful data warehouse requires an understanding of all the various ways the organization might use the data. Some of the more common uses are:
• Targeting customers for a direct-marketing program such as direct mail.
• Developing a system so that field salespeople have access to important customer information as they prepare to make sales calls.
• Making it possible for internal salespeople to be able to access the database when a customer calls to place an order.
• Giving the service department and customer relations department access to customer data as they deal with inquiries and complaints.
What type of information will you collect on your customers? How will information be collected and stored? Who will manage that process and who will have access to the information within your company? What information about the purchasing trends of your customers will most help your marketing efforts?
Direct Marketing
Will you implement a direct marketing campaign targeting your consumers? If so, what methods of direct communication will you use? Will you use mail, or email to update these customers about your latest product developments or promotions? The consumers you are trying to reach are likely to be bombarded with direct marketing material, so try to be creative with your campaign and ensure that it matches the objectives and themes of other aspects of your IMC.
Permission Marketing
Permission marketing involves sending product information and promotional information only to customers that give you permission to do so. Return rates on permission marketing are often much higher than traditional direct marketing campaigns, since the group that is receiving your solicitations are more likely to be interested in purchasing your product or service if they have given you permission to contact them about it. People who are not interested do not receive your marketing materials. In addition, customers who participate in permission programs often look forward to hearing from the company. The messages sent are normally personally relevant to the customer.
How will you gather a list of potential customers who are interested in your product or service? Perhaps you will ask every customer that purchases something from your business if they want to be on your mailing list. Or perhaps you will ask visitors to your website whether they would like to be contacted with updates.
Explain how you will achieve the following steps in setting up your permission marketing program:
• Obtain permission from the customer.
• Offer the consumer a curriculum over time.
• Reinforce the incentive to continue the relationship.
• Increase the level of permission.
• Leverage the permission to benefit both parties.
Frequent Shopper Program
How will you encourage your business customers to make repeat purchases? If your offering is very similar to your competitor’s offering, a frequency program may be important, so that your customers do not switch to the competition. How will your frequency program enhance the value of your product for your business customers? What will be the full cost of the frequency program for your company? How will you maximize your customers’ motivation to make the next purchase?
Media Plan [ PLANNING ]
Your media plan will address where and when to place advertisements. You should approach your media plan from your consumers’ point of view. What media will they experience during the course of a typical day?
Ensure that your methods of evaluation match the objectives of your campaign. Most likely the objectives of your consumer program will be to increase the number of sales to consumers and to improve communication and goodwill between you and the consumer. You might evaluate goodwill and communication through the use of a customer questionnaire. Your objective may be to build brand image or increase awareness of your product. In that case, you may want to use a questionnaire, a comprehension test or recall tests. If increased traffic is a goal, set up a system to record the numbers of people visiting your business.
Immediate sales may be the short-term goal and brand image may be the long-term goal that may lead to more sales further down the road. Chart sales to evaluate your short-term goals and return customers to evaluate brand image and brand loyalty. If your customers are happy with the service they are receiving they should come back.
Set up systems that allow you to evaluate your objectives over time.
IMC Objective Two (Distribution Channel) [ PLANNING ]
Describe your distribution chain. How will your goods and services be distributed to your customers? If you are a manufacturing operation, will you be relying on specific wholesalers or distributors? Will you be selling indirectly through distributors and resellers or will you sell directly to your end user or retail stores? If you are selling through distributors, do you know which are the good ones or the dominant ones in your industry? If you are a retailer, how many distribution partners will you have and what will be your relationship with these distributors? Do you have some kind of relationship with any of these important distributors that can give you a competitive advantage? If your company is able to dominate the channels to market, it will be able to achieve a higher relative market share.
What is your budget for developing relationship with distribution partners? If you are a manufacturer, will you need to work with retailers to create in-store promotions and advertising? You will need to work with wholesalers and distributors to encourage them to push your products. If you are a retailer, will these manufacturers supply you with promotional materials that will reduce the costs of marketing your store? Because these appear to be hidden costs, it is easy to under budget this IMC Objective. Keep in mind, that in most industries, approximately 50% of all marketing dollars are spent on developing the distribution channel. For retailers, however, this is considerably less since they are the recipients of many trade promotions.
Your budget for this IMC Objective should be broken down into the four components: advertising, trade promotions, personal selling and database programs. How much do you want to allocate to each component?.
IMC Budget by:


Trade Promotions

Personal Selling

Database Programs




Trade promotions are an important aspect of any distribution relationship, since manufacturers are competing for shelf space. Trade promotions are incentives or expenditures used by manufacturers to get the retailers or wholesalers to carry and support their goods. For example, they may offer rebates and cash incentives. If there is an oversupply in the market and there is strong competition in your industry, you will have to be more aggressive in offering these incentives. Trade promotions are important in building strong relationships with your channel partners. In this section explain the goals of your trade promotions and your target audience.
Budget Allocation
How much will you budget for trade promotion? Will you budget on a percent per unit basis of current sales, or will you allocate your budget based on the potential of your different distribution channels? Justify your budget allocation on trade promotions.
Trade Promotion Selection
Your choice of trade promotions will depend upon whether you are selling to a wholesaler, distributor or a retailer, company preferences and the form of IMC plan being used.
Will you use trade allowances, trade contests, trade incentives, training programs, vendor support programs, trade shows, specialty advertising or point-of-purchase advertising?
Discuss the role of each trade promotion and how it will fit into your overall IMC plan. Since many trade promotions are planned in concert with consumer promotions, it is important to consider both types of promotions simultaneously. For example, if you are going to develop a major consumer sweepstakes, you may want to spend more money on point-of-purchase displays for retailers to ensure customers see the sweepstakes offer.
Package Design
Over 50% of all consumer decisions are made in the retail store. That means the package design is your last chance at making a sale. What type of design will attract attention? What type of package will entice customers to pick up your product and examine it? What type of package will encourage them to purchase it.
Package design is also important for retailers. Shelf space is limited and how will your product fit on the shelf? How much space will it occupy? How will it look compared to the other products the retailer sells?
If you use wholesalers and distributors, package design is important for shipping and storage. Odd shaped package designs may attract consumer attention, but not be easy to store or transport. Thus, you may loose the support of your distribution channel before the product ever hits the retail shelf.
Personal Selling [ PLANNING ]
If you are a manufacturer, do you have an agency representing your company, going out to sell your product or service or do you have in-house marketing reps? How important is it in your industry to develop personal relationships with distributors and retail buyers? What type of relationships should be developed? How will these be developed?
Database Programs [ PLANNING ]
In developing a database program for the distribution channel, thought must be given to data warehousing and direct marketing.
Data Warehouse
What information do you have about your channel partners? Do you have personal information that will help you build relationships? Do you have information about their shelf or storage requirements? Do you track communication with channel partners? How often do they purchase from you? How much do they usually order? Will storing this information in a database be helpful in managing your relationships with your channel partners? Who in your organization will be responsible for gathering this information and keeping it up to date? Identify the types of information that you want to gather for the data warehouse.
Direct Marketing
Will you implement a direct marketing campaign targeting your channel partners? If you are a manufacturer will you use mail, or email to update distributors and wholesalers about your latest product developments? Or if you are a distributor will you use one of these methods to reach new retail customers? The channel members you are trying to reach are likely to be bombarded with direct marketing material, so try to be creative with your campaign and ensure that it matches the objectives and themes of other aspects of your IMC.
Media Plan
Your channel partners constitute your customers, and in creating your media plan you should approach it from your customers’ point of view. What media will they experience during the course of a typical day? Your media plan will address where and when to place advertisements.
Ensure that your methods of evaluation match the objectives of your campaign. Most likely the objectives of your distribution program will be to increase the number of orders through distribution channels and to improve communication and goodwill between you and your channel partners. Immediate sales will usually be the short-term goal and improved relationships will often be the long-term goal. You can evaluate your distribution channels by tracking the sales through the various channels and comparing. Goodwill will be more difficult to evaluate systematically, but you could do this through surveys to your channel partners asking their opinions of your efforts.
Set up systems that allow you to evaluate your objectives over time.
IMC Objective Three (B to B)  [ PLANNING ]
Most products and services have some potential business buyers and should be marketed through some type of business focused distribution channel. Consider who the potential business customers are for your product or service. If you have more than one product or service, would one appeal to business customers more than others? What types of business buyers would your offering appeal to?
What is your budget for developing business-to-business relationships? You may want to consider what portion of your total sales business buyers will contribute in determining how much to allocate to your business-to-business program. It may be useful to think about what your objectives are for business buyers? What are the tasks you’ll have to perform to accomplish these objectives?
Your budget for this IMC Objective should be broken down into the four components: advertising, trade promotions, personal selling and database programs. How much do you want to allocate to each component?

Why You Need A Marketing Plan First
An effective advertising plan is only one part of your overall marketing plan. Effective advertising and promotional materials are born from your strong marketing plan. You want everything integrated and working together. The better your marketing plan is, the more effective your advertising plan will be.
1. Marketing is probably your company’s only source of income, and as such your marketing plan is probably the most important document you have.
2. Your marketing plan accurately describes your market, your customers, your products and services, and your competition.
3. Your marketing plan calculates the size or potential of your market.
4. Your marketing plan will help you to efficiently allocate money and resources.
5. Your marketing plan provides focus, guidance, and direction for effective advertising and business practices.
6. Your marketing plan positions your company in the marketplace.
7. Your marketing plan will help with proper customer management and retention.
8. Your marketing plan will define your communications strategy. It will help your entire company give a planned, clear, comprehensive, and consistent message to your customers, employees, investors, and business partners.
A strong marketing plan guides your advertising plan. You don’t want to back into an overall marketing strategy based on your advertising plan.
This doesn’t mean you need a forty-page document about your marketing. But you absolutely need a clear, realistic picture of your business environment and of your customers. If you want great advertising, start with a solid marketing plan.


-market  needs
-market trends
-market  potential and  growth
-market characteristics
-market  segments


-keys to success
-critical  issues

-marketing  objectives
-financial  objectives
-target  marketing
-marketing strategy

-marketing  research


-sales forecast
-expense  forecast
-contribution  margin.

-time  schedule


-time  schedule
-action  plan.


Why You Need an Advertising Plan
Going astray in advertising is all too easy. The most creative advertising in the world is worthless if it misses the target audience. The best offer in the world is worthless if it does not offer the benefits your clients want.
Even well planned and executed advertising has little value if you don’t keep it in front of your customers. In today’s world of information, it takes at least three exposures just to get your message through the first time. And then you face a huge rate of forgetfulness from your clients.
Think about it. Effective advertising comes from good planning, good budgeting, a long-term commitment, and a lot of work. You need great ads that get results. And you need to keep them in front of your customers for the long term.
1. Effective advertising lowers your cost of doing business. Your phone rings, and clients walk in the door. It’s a fact.
2. Minimal, limited duration, or random advertising equals wasted money.
3. Advertising is not creative or funny if it does not bring in clients.
4. Advertising has a cumulative effect, and is a long-term investment. Sales response builds over time if advertising is consistent.
5. With consumer goods and services, marketing and advertising affects your market share more than price does.
6. Effective advertising comes from solid planning and high quality production.
7. Synergy is a real thing in advertising. It comes from the cumulative effect of all of your marketing materials working together.
8. There are limits to what advertising can accomplish, even with an unlimited budget. Advertising cannot make up for poor quality, service, or timing.
9. Every company should go through the advertising planning process.
1.0 Executive Summary
2.0 Promotion Opportunity Analysis
2.1 Communications Analysis
2.1.1 Competitive Analysis
2.1.2 Opportunity Analysis
2.1.3 Target Market Analysis
2.1.4 Customer Analysis
2.2 Market Segmentation Strategy
3.0 Corporate Strategies
3.1 Corporate Image Strategy
3.2 Brand Development Strategy
3.3 Brand Positioning Strategy
3.4 Distribution Strategy
3.5 Business to Business
3.6 Public Relations Strategy
3.7 Evaluation
4.0 IMC Management
4.1 IMC Objectives
4.2 IMC Budget
4.3 Agency Selection
4.4 Internet Web Site
5.0 IMC Objective One (Consumer)
5.1 Budget
5.2 IMC Methodologies
5.2.1 Advertising
5.2.2 Consumer Promotions
5.2.3 Personal Selling
5.2.4 Sponsorship Programs
5.2.5 Database Programs
5.3 Media Plan
5.4 Evaluation
6.0 IMC Objective Two (Distribution Channel)
6.1 Budget
6.2 IMC Methodologies
6.2.1 Advertising
6.2.2 Trade Promotions
6.2.3 Personal Selling
6.2.4 Database Programs
6.3 Media Plan
6.4 Evaluation
7.0 IMC Objective Three (B to B)
7.1 Budget
7.2 IMC Methodologies
7.2.1 Advertising
7.2.2 Business to Business Promotions
7.2.3 Personal Selling
7.2.4 Sponsorship Programs
7.2.5 Database Programs
7.3 Media Plan
7.4 Evaluation
8.0 Samples
8.1 Sample Logo
8.2 Sample Consumer Advertisement
8.3 Sample Advertisement (Objective Three, B to B)
8.4 Sample Story Board
8.5 Sample Web Page



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Leo Lingham


I can answer questions on marketing, marketing planning, product management, advertising, sales promotions, sales planning, merchandising, direct marketing, and sales management.











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