In our final chapter, we see that the key for ensuring the marketing components work together is to have a full understanding of the marketing planning process. We begin with a discussion of the importance of planning and show why the development of a Marketing Plan is a necessary undertaking for nearly all marketers. As part of this discussion, we distinguish between strategies and tactics, and examine the role these play in the planning process. Next, to aid in our understanding of planning, we explore how the Product Life Cycle (PLC) offers valuable guidance for marketing decisions. We cover in detail the circumstances marketers face as their products move through the PLC and why marketing decisions must be continually fine-tuned to adjust to these changes. Throughout this discussion, we see how the PLC can offer insight into what challenges marketers may face as the market for their product continues to evolve.
- Importance of Planning
- The Marketing Plan
- Planning and Strategy with the PLC
- Development Stage
- Introduction Stage
- Growth Stage
- Maturity Stage
- Decline Stage
- While these six concepts represent the main parts of the Marketing Plan, other items may also be included. For a detailed tutorial on creating a Marketing Plan see: “How to Write a Marketing Plan Tutorial.” KnowThis.com. https://www.knowthis.com/how-to-write-a-marketing-plan/marketing-plan-intro.
- During the coronavirus pandemic, while many businesses struggled others faced unexpected demand. This includes a number of small businesses serving niche markets as discussed here: Joyce Walsack. “7 Niche Small Business Trends Spurred by New Shopping Habits.” U.S. Chamber of Commerce, April 22, 2020. https://www.uschamber.com/co/good-company/growth-studio/businesses-benefiting-during-coronavirus-pandemic.
- Large organizations regularly undertake a review process to assess the future viability of products. For instance, following a review Coca-Cola made the decision to eliminate 200 brands from its product line as outlined here: Mary Meisenzahl. “Coca-Cola is Slashing 200 Brands Like Tab, Zico, and Odwalla.” Business Insider, October 24, 2020. https://www.businessinsider.com/drinks-coca-cola-is-discontinuing.
- Television streaming is an example of an industry entering the PLC Growth stage and has attracted a number of major media players including Netflix, Amazon, and Disney. One major factor in the industry’s recent growth was the increase in stay-at-home viewers due to the coronavirus pandemic as detailed here: “Streaming Services Continue to See Shifts in Viewing Behaviors During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Comscore, May 26, 2020. https://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press-Releases/2020/5/Streaming-Services-Continue-to-See-Shifts-in-Viewing-Behaviors-During-the-COVID-19-Pandemic.
- However, as was noted in Box 18-3 in Chapter 18, setting a price that is intentionally low with the purpose of driving out competitors is likely to be viewed as predatory pricing and is considered illegal in many countries as outlined here: “Predatory Pricing.” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predatory_pricing.
- While expanding product options is a viable strategy in the Maturity stage, many marketers that do this do not see the customer reaction that was predicted. As an example see: Carey Smith. “Do Your Customers Actually Want a “Smart” Version of Your Product?” Harvard Business Review, August 08, 2017. https://hbr.org/2017/08/do-your-customers-actually-want-a-smart-version-of-your-product.
- Some products reaching the Decline stage are there due to the products failing to be accepted by the market. This means these products experienced a very quick trip through the PLC. For examples of products with a short PLC see: “When Corporate Innovation Goes Bad — The 160 Biggest Product Failures of All Time.” CB Insights, April 7, 2020. https://www.cbinsights.com/research/corporate-innovation-product-fails.
- For metrics showing the growth of vinyl records in the U.S. see: Amy Watson. “Retail Value of LP / EP Shipments in the United States.” Statista, March 2, 2020. https://www.statista.com/statistics/186814/value-of-non-cd-album-shipments-in-the-us-music-industry-since-1999.