Sony

Sony otiginaNy planned to sen 10 million PlayStation 2 units wafldwitfe '.viltiin luc lirsl year nf introduce un, The marking plaa callEd lor an aggressive presaie promotional campaign to buiid demand and omerstiactow competitive game units ir-om Nintendo anci other r>vals. Sony Initially launched Hie new product in Japan, where i^t? planned hype caused a Buying frenzy in which almosl t million units were sold within the lirsl Uiree days However, unexpected components shortages kopt the company from building enough units to stay on schedule Asa result. Sony was forced to revise 'ts marketing plan by delaying the European IsuilCli and reducing 1 he number of PlayStation 2 units shipped to stores in Europe and Die United States: this delay, in turn prevented Sony pi Irom reaching ¡Is corporate sales and profit objectives lor IPe year.-1

At the same lime, marketing planning procedures and content vary considerably among companies. The plan is variously railed a "business plan," a "marketing plan." and sometimes a "battle plan." Most marketing plans cover one yean The plans vary in length from under Ei to over Htl pages. Some companies take their plans very seriously, whereas others see tlicm only as a rough guide to aeiion. t iscnhower once observed: "in preparing for battle I have a Iways found lhal plans are useless but planning is in dispensable," The most frequently Cited shortcomings of current marketing plans, according to marketing executives, an? lack of realism. Insufficient competitive analysis, and a short ■run foe us. (Sec "Marketing Memo: \ 1 a rke ting Ptan (J"it e ria" fo r soni e gti ideli n e q uesiio us to as kind evelopii ig jna rket i ng [ >la n s.)

What, then, does a marketing plan look like? What does it contain?

Contents of the Marketing Plan iixecutiivxiunmaryAnd table of cpfitcnis. I be marketing plan should open with a brief summary of the main goals and recommendations, The executive summary permits senior management to grasp the plan's major thrust. A (able of eon tents that outlines the rest of 1 lie plan and all the supporting rationale and operational detail should follow the executive summary,

Sttuatioit analysis. This section presents relevant background data on sales, costs, the market, competitors, and the various forces iu the macrocuviroriment. Now is the market defined, how big is it, and how fust is it growing? UTiai are the relevant trends affecting the market? What Is the product offering and what are the critical issues facing the company? Pertinent historical in form ill ion can be included lo provide context. \I1 ibis Information is used lo carry out a SWOT {strengths, weaknesses, np port unities, throats) analysis.

Marketing strtiregy. Here the product manager defines the mission and marketing and financial ptiJecliTO.'fhc manager also defines those groups and needs that I lie market offerings are intended to satisfy.'I'he manager then establishes ibe product line's competitive positioning, which will inform the "game plan" io ;u-ccniiplish the plan's objectives. All this is done with inputs from other organizational areas, such as purchasing, manufacturing, sales.

DEVELOPING MARKETING STRAl EGIES AND PLANS CHAPTER 2 61

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