Which of the following is the third step in the marketing planning process? You might have heard this question asked before, and you may have answered, “To be honest, I don’t know.” Or, “I don’t know, but what do I know?” If you are like most people, the answer to this question is “not much.” Perhaps, you have heard about all three of the main topics regarding the process of marketing, and you know only enough about one of them to form a judgment.
The first step in the marketing planning process is the preparation and planning of your goals and objectives. This first step alone will determine whether your marketing planning process will result in measurable results. In other words, if you are beginning your third step, then it is likely that you have not yet established your goals or objectives, and so it is necessary to do this first. It is necessary to define and agree upon the purpose for which you want to use the Internet for your business. This is the first third step in the process of marketing planning.
The second step in this process is identifying and developing a comprehensive marketing plan. In other words, your third step is really the second step in the process. Your plan should include not only what type of advertising will be used, but also who will be employed to carry out the advertising. A detailed description of your marketing strategy should also be included in your third step.
Next, you should develop a concrete list of your possible customers or prospects. The third step here is to determine how these prospective customers or prospects will find you. Will your Web site to be found through search engines? Or will your advertisements be directed only to other media? In addition, do you have any direct mail campaigns planned?
After you have completed your third step, your marketing plan should include a concrete marketing schedule for achieving your goals. In other words, this is your fourth step in your marketing plan. How will you measure your success? In addition, will you be monitoring your progress? Will you be using traditional metrics tools such as customer surveys? Or will you be employing more modern techniques such as web-based metrics tools?
Finally, you should define and create a target market. This is a very important step in which all the previous steps have been combined. Without a clearly defined target audience, you will have no way of knowing whether or not your efforts are truly working. The fifth step in this process involves researching the market to see what types of products and services are currently available.