The marketing plan is one of the most important and vital documents which determines the main strategic directions and goals of the project. As the basic vehicle for matching solutions with means, or management resources with market opportunity, management planning becomes the mechanism through which a company is brought into line with the external environment. The company, Abaka Energy Solutions, develops a unique plan aimed to support local underdeveloped societies and introduce renewable energy solutions in these regions.
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For this company, marketing plans are essential functions of management, which have a forward-looking, integrated, and balanced view of total action. A marketing plan encompasses the perspective of the future, the types of objectives established, and the strategies and tactics to be employed. Through marketing planning, the fundamental strategies of the business enterprise are conceived based on market needs, forces, and opportunities; and marketing is implemented as a philosophy of business operation and a way of corporate life.
The plan’s marketing strategy and its operating strategy
The proposed marketing strategy is based on the unique needs and demands of the target community. The marketing plan allows me to say that the emergence of a marketing elite largely concerned with planning rather than marketing techniques or the implementation of marketing activity has been predicted. A new and influential executive known as a corporate planner has, in fact, evolved. Marketing planning requires sales projections for such periods as one, three, five, and ten years ahead.
These projections predict customer and competitor reactions; attempt to gauge acceptance for new products; and highlight economic, social, demographic, technological, psychological, and political changes, all of which are difficult tasks to perform -nor can they be performed with the degree of precision available in other more concrete situations. Yet, information that provides a perspective for future operations is invaluable for corporate decision-making (Drejer, 2002).
The company, Abaka Energy Solutions, develops a successful approach to emerging technology implementations proposing opportunities and benefits for the target audience. By providing the means for anticipating the firm’s future requirements along with an orderly, continuous, systematic, and sequential basis, marketing planning avoids crisis decisions and concentrates on integrated programs of action. Marketing planning, therefore, is a rational way of translating experience, research information, and thought into marketing action. It is a pragmatic, organized procedure for analyzing situations and meeting the future (Dobson and Starkey 2004).
Based on information about ends and means to determine various business relationships, trends, and patterns of behavior, it is concerned with the analysis of alternative strategies. In essence, purposeful research, experience, judgment, and decision making (all of which are directed toward guiding the corporate system and bringing it growth, survival, and adjustment) form the fabric of the marketing planning process. Management is an integrated, intelligent, rational process for guiding business change. Management is closely related to problem-solving. Planning stipulates an intentional, unified approach to the solution of various marketing problems. Although the specification of a plan for solving a problem is the first step, execution must accompany planning to achieve results.
The alternative energy and electricity market has been analyzed carefully, thus the company did not take into account their income and cultural values. It will create some problems if future if the population refuse to use alternative energy resource. Marketing planning is neither automatic nor impersonal. proceed with it in terms of goals, policies, and programs, decision-makers exercise judgments. These judgments concern human behavior as well as the motives and values of business institutions and customers.
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The use of end-means analysis for planning purposes requires that the values concerning the ends themselves be clearly specified. Some of them will refer to marketing goals, others to goals dealing with the maintenance of the business system itself. Marketing plans should account for both. Still, customers’ needs were carefully researched (Drejer, 2002).
Still, the market is not well-segmented and justified. Abaka Energy Solutions singled out only the main classes of people in Karagwe. Still, management planning is a dynamic activity. In estimating future moves of competitors and actions of customers, for example, the difficulties and intricacies of estimation are evident. The fact that anticipated actions may not occur is clear. Therefore, planning is dynamic by necessity. Flexible and pliable plans that reflect unexpected and unanticipated reactions must be developed.
Because it encompasses market and sales forecasts, company plans and programs, and, of course, budgets, marketing planning carries out the marketing concept by balancing the firm’s capability with expected opportunities. Management assists in perfecting the fundamental strategies of a business enterprise through attention to market needs, forces, and opportunities. As with production and finance, it assumes that objectives can be established and that profitable strategies can be determined and implemented in marketing.
In short, marketing planning lends rationality to marketing decisions. The target market, families, and households in Tanzania are clearly stated, but the company did not separate low, middle, and upper-income consumers (Dobson and Starkey 2004). Abaka Energy Solutions has a clear positioning strategy based on unique services and products offered to the market. It positions itself as a premium brand. In a competitive economy, marketing planning is an essential element for business growth and survival. Moreover, the management strategy itself must be planned. As one of the most significant managerial functions, marketing planning is a prime responsibility of the top marketing executive.
The case of Abaka Energy Solutions suggests that the very nature of critical day-to-day operations, the pressures of time, and the tendency to act rather than plan, frequently cause executives to neglect this function. But one of the major criteria of an executive’s effectiveness is his expenditure of time and resources on creative and contemplative marketing planning, especially of a longer-range character. It is possible to say that the company’s value proposition strategy is not clearly stated and does not reflect actual customer’s needs. It is expected that citizens of Karagwe will use alternative energy resources in order to improve their financial position and improve their quality of life (Dobson and Starkey 2004).
The operations strategies are well=developed and cover all aspects of project implementation. The manager who is too busy to plan is admitting that he is too busy to manage. Management provides a business with a forward-looking view of the total enterprise. It is the basis for determining the fundamental strategies to be employed and the objectives, programs, and resources required. Essentially, planning is to a business enterprise what thinking is to an individual. It supplies the rational means for achieving maximum market-striking power and results from the resources in hand (Drejer, 2002).
The plan’s strategies are sufficiently supported with specific actions. Management and project implementation is concerned with predetermining courses of marketing action. It is based on both marketing intelligence and the assessment of opportunities since it deals with the future with respect to both perspectives and operations. They involve specific dates of completion, personas responsible for the operations, and budgets.
The strategies mentioned above allow me to say that Abaka Energy Solutions, will be able to achieve its strategic objectives and gain a large market share. Management and marketing action is its major objectives, which are achieved through organizational implementation.
The definition of marketing planning varies from an all-encompassing review of the current situation, strategies, programming, scheduling, budgeting, controlling, and installation of programs to the development of one specific plan for marketing action. The central idea of management is very simple — it is that planned marketing activity is more effective than unplanned activity; that marketing factors, regardless of their variability and situational differences, can be planned; and that Abaka Energy Solutions to a considerable degree can help shape its own destiny — it can plan its market posture. Yet marketing is a relative latecomer to the planning fraternity (Dobson and Starkey 2004).
Business Plan’s Financial Strategy
The management approach stresses that companies should plan financial resources carefully and try to predict possible changes in budgets. It underscores the fact that plans are not merely the results of objectives, but that plans affect objectives. The goals and objectives can be changed, as can the plans. Changes in market opportunities, for example, result in changes in company objectives and hence changes in marketing planning.
In addition, a company might purposely set out to change its marketing plans in the sense of improving them, as with the development of new products. Planning in this sense deals with flows, processes, rhythms, and adaptive systems. It is this concept of marketing planning that ties in with the modern perspective of marketing (Dobson and Starkey 2004). Basically, the financial budget arranges the elements of the marketing mix in such a way that the firm’s position over time will be maximized.
The arrangement matches alternative means and ends. Planners design the pattern of activity intended to achieve various goals and direct the commitment and utilization of marketing resources through time. Marketing planning, therefore, is rooted in the past, has a perspective of the future, and provides the basic directional guidance for marketing activities. It refers to the planning of human action that molds events strategies that are reached as a result of marketing planning. Corporate destinies are not merely natural events; they can be the result of planned Abaka Energy Solutions marketing activity (Drejer, 2002).
The financial plan clearly states and demonstrates how the company will achieve its goals and become profitable. Thus, financial planning might be defined as the group of activities performed to both determine and carry out marketing and company objectives, and to help specify objectives and alternative courses of action designed to achieve them in the belief that without planning activity, a less desirable event would occur. For establishing objectives, choosing alternatives evaluating situations, and estimating effectiveness, marketing planning, and programming require adequate information (Drucker 2004).
The financial projections can be logically regarded as the most probable result of the strategies and claimed outcomes presented in the business plan. Financial budgets are goal-directed and achieve a more efficient expenditure of marketing resources. Planning necessitates the classification of a company’s goal or objective, but recently there has been a change in the perception of planning. The former perception adopted a perspective that can be likened to the previously described Newtonian model.
Hence, a company first specifies goals and then develops plans to carry them out, thus being able to achieve the goals. Goals thereby determine plans -plans are ways of reaching goals (Drucker 2004). A more recent and realistic perspective emphasizes the close interrelationships existing between plans and goals. It adopts the viewpoint that companies must continuously adjust and adapt — they must plan for change. Hence, goals must be reassessed and changed in the light of changing opportunities. Thus, plans may determine goals (and vice versa), for objectives must be related to the means and inputs to their achievement (Dobson and Starkey 2004).
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The amount of external funding for Abaka Energy Solutions has been stated as the company includes all operations and spending expected during the project implementation. The company requires $800,000 in start-up capital for the construction of the power station and social center. An additional $200,000 will be needed to jump-start operations. If the means are insufficient, objectives have to be scaled down. It is the corporate commitment of resources that indicates whether objectives seem reasonable. For, in reality, there is business potential for the company’s strategies (Drucker 2004).
Personally, I would invest in this project by direct equality investments. This method will help me to gain control over some operations and be involved in strategic decisions of the company. Thus, a decision that at first appears to be a compromise among conflicting goals actually creates a super-strategy. This super goal is the weighted average of all corporate strategy rather than a single goal. The job of determining realistic goals and objectives is certainly not simple.
A company usually has many goals, some of which are short-run and others long-run, and some of which are compatible, whereas others engender conflict. In view of the multiple goals, confusion often arises in both planning and action (Dobson and Starkey 2004).
Having perceived its market opportunity and having developed various marketing plans and selected a generalized strategy, a company then creates its marketing program, which implements and maintains an effective plan. Marketing programming is dependent on the planning process, results from it, and is geared toward execution of major strategies and achievement of company objectives. Rooted in the resources, organizational, and personnel available, it faces the difficult task of determining the specific ingredients that will compose the marketing approach. It manages the marketing effort to the end that the marketing mix maximizes its impact on the marketplace.
By sequencing and balancing strategic directions, planning determines events not through momentary reactions to pressures for decisions, but by the logical consideration of the operations themselves. Investments are a less attractive activity for many executives than areas that involve contact with people or orders and action. Yet, as one of the key management activities, the planning process should be reviewed to increase its effectiveness, and marketing executives should learn to plan for planning.
Rather than becoming concerned only with such urgent activities as operating crises, the executive must become more concerned with the critical activities of management. Management and strategic direction stipulated by Abaka Energy Solutions is but one aspect of the broader planning function. Its role is to specify the plan in order to achieve desired strategies.
Dobson, P., Starkey, K. 2004, The Strategic Management: Issues and Cases. Blackwell Publishing.
Drejer, A. 2002, Strategic Management and Core Competencies: Theory and Application. Quorum Books.
Drucker P. F. 2004, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices. New York: ] Harper Collins.