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How Marketing Plans Work


Marketing Mix Strategy

As we mentioned earlier, your marketing mix is the combination of elements that make up the entire marketing process. It requires the right combination, however, so be careful when putting it together. Let's go over the Ps you need to address in your strategy section.

The first P is product. You may be thinking, "Haven't we talked about the product enough already? Geez!" Yes, we have talked about the product and its strengths and weaknesses, but as part of your strategy you also need to think about elements of the product that can be strategic to its success, such as its packaging and warranty. These elements help create the value the customer sees in the product. So, let's talk about packaging and its importance as far as your strategy goes.

The main thing to remember about your packaging is that it communicates to the person buying it right up until they make the decision to plunk down their money and take it home. If it's sitting on a shelf with eight similar products, it can't just look nice, it has to scream its message out in order to get noticed. Your packaging should be noticeable within three seconds in a store-shelf situation. But can packaging really make a difference in your strategy? Of course it can. Think about the convenience factor as well. Remember Pringles? Think about the products you buy that are well-protected by their packaging and are convenient to use because of the packaging. You just might buy them again because you like their convenience. Also, don't forget to consider your competitor's packaging. How can you make yours better?

The same goes for warranties. Particularly if yours is a new product, make sure you give buyers some level of comfort that if the product doesn't do what they thought, they can easily get their money back. The key here is easily. Make sure they know just how easy it will be if they are unhappy with the product. Think about Land's End clothing company's policy: You can wash and wear, wash and wear, wash and wear, and then decide you don't like the shirt or something about it isn't quite right and send it back for a quick and complete refund. The return authorization slip is right there in the box. It doesn't get much easier than that.

So in this section of your marketing plan, describe the strategic use of your product's packaging, warranties, and whatever else you come up with. Explain the benefit you expect to see from it and how it relates to the overall success of the marketing program.

The next P is price.


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