Developing a marketing strategy
Marketing is both a principle and a department, but an understanding of the mechanics of developing a marketing strategy is a skill all managers will find helpful. The Developing a Marketing Strategy course is about developing, agreeing and monitoring a marketing plan that supports strategic objectives.
The course will therefore help you to become a better manager through the knowledge you will gain; knowledge which will make you more valuable to your current and potential future employers.
On successful completion of the Developing a Marketing Strategy course you will receive the course certificate awarded by the UK’s prestigious Chartered Management Institute (CMI). It is a postgraduate level 7 qualification which also entitles you to apply for Chartered Manager status with the Institute
Who is it for?
The Developing a Marketing Strategy course is for anyone who needs to understand the role of marketing in the overall business strategy of your organisation. It will therefore be very relevant for Directors, Chief Executives and other senior managers who are involved in the development of an organisation’s strategy.
There are four Learning Outcomes which you will cover in the course. On completion you will:
1. Understand how the marketing plan supports strategic objectives
1.1 Explain how the strategy of the organisation impacts on the marketing plan
Based on your own organisation’s strategic aims and objectives, you will assess the vision and direction of your organisation and outline how this links to the marketing strategy. Depending on your organisation, there may be different approaches to how marketing is viewed within organisational strategy. Marketing may be an integral part of this process in some organisations, but in others it may perform a more functional role.
1.2 Identify the component parts of a marketing plan
The marketing plan is based upon the overall strategic direction of the organisation, and should encompass strategic and tactical levels. Kotler and Keller refer to this as the Planning – Implementing and Controlling cycle. Key components of the marketing plan vary according to different authors. McDonald, Kotler and Keller and Jobber have different approaches, but essentially they should contain the following stages:
- Organisational mission
- Situation analysis
- Marketing strategy
- Financial projections
- Implementation plan (tactics)
- Implementation controls
1.3 Identify issues of risk within a marketing plan
You will identify the component parts of the plan used in your own organisation (or of the plan you will be constructing for the assignment). You will consider issues of risk within marketing planning in your organisation, which may relate to both internal and external factors – e.g. the economic climate, or budget. Some view marketing planning as risky in that it looks to the long-term and may prevent immediate focus. The culture within an organisation may prevent positive approach to marketing planning and this may be destructive and could be a potential risk to its success.
2. Understand the construction of a marketing plan
2.1 Identify the levels of importance of each component of the plan
Identify the importance of each component part of the marketing plan. You will judge and assess how important each is in relation to each other.
2.2 Identify mitigation strategies for high risk components of the plan
You will consider each component part of the marketing plan in turn, and identify the ones that you consider to be high risk and develop mitigation strategies to limit the risk levels. Analysis tools such as Porter’s Five Forces and SWOT will help you to identify the areas that pose more risk. Mitigation strategies might include investing in people or equipment, or buying forward for materials or other supplies
3. Be able to construct a marketing plan
3.1 Construct a marketing plan
Having identified all the key components of the marketing plan, you will now construct a plan. This is the largest section of the unit regarding word count, and you need to show that you have followed the processes of analysis in order to develop marketing strategies aligned with organisational direction.
4. Understand how to promote the marketing plan in support of strategic objectives
4.1 Discuss how the plan supports strategic objectives
You will refer back to your analysis of the organisation’s strategic objectives (section 1.1) and discuss how the plan supports these aims and objectives.
4.2 Explain an approach to gain agreement for the marketing plan
You will then consider your approach to gaining the approval of the key decision makers for the plan, including the marketing budget. You will also need the cooperation of other departments to ensure the plan is implemented. Jobber’s ladder of support demonstrates the five stages that need to be followed to gain ultimate approval and support and might be a useful point of reference. Proctor talks about the importance of communication and Jobber about the barriers to implementation and managing resistance.
4.3 Identify evaluation measures for the agreed plan
Finally, evaluation measures need to be considered – Kotler and Keller’s framework identifies 4 areas that need to be evaluated – annual plan – profitability – efficiency – strategy and assigns key individuals who are responsible for each area, and is a useful frame of reference against which you could identify suitable and relevant evaluation measures for your own plan.
The Developing a Marketing Strategy course has the following entry requirements:
Experience: You must have at least one year of relevant work experience (paid and/or unpaid) with levels of responsibility, participation and/or achievement of a range of relevant professional qualifications.
Language Skills: You must also have an appropriate standard of English to enable you to access relevant resources and complete the unit assignments.
What is included?
Everything you need to successfully pass is included and there are no additional fees.
In addition, you receive Affiliate Membership of the CMI which gives you access to their excellent Management Direct. It is a complete online library of comprehensive and up-to-date material that addresses current management practice.
How do I study and how long does it take?
The Developing a Marketing Strategy course is taught through our online Teaching Zone using essential reading material such as checklists, models, templates and articles coupled with short videos. There are also optional live and recorded webinars delivered by our tutors. Plus, you will also have a personal tutor who is a subject expert whom you can contact if you have any questions.
The course is split into four one-week sessions. Coupled with time for your assessment to be marked and confirmed it should take you approximately 8 weeks in total to complete this qualification. Although it may vary in practice depending on your commitment and how easy you find it to study. It is possible to take less than four weeks if you concentrate on the course and commit your time to it, or equally if you have the pressure of other commitments you can spread your studies out over a longer period.
In our online Teaching Zone, the course content is divided into weekly activities which cover the four Learning Outcomes. You work through the study material in the order presented. When you have finished the course content you then need to complete the assignment in the Assessment Section. You can submit drafts which your personal tutor will review and give you any advice or feedback they think is relevant. When you are happy with your assignment, you submit it online through the facility in the Assessment Section and receive your results about one month later.
How is it assessed?
This course is assessed by a 3,500 word written assignment. There is no examination required.