Market planning is certainly strategic in nature, but it is not the entire business. Strategy is more complete when it evaluates the business comprehensively.
Strategically examining your market focus in product design, placement, and pricing is the front end of strategy. In other words: MARKETING. But marketing does not examine how you will deliver a product or service profitably. Marketing addresses the demand side of the equation while strategy looks at demand, supply, and capital requirements.
We suggest the total strategic plan requires answers to complex marketing issues, such as:
- Who needs our product, how large is the market, and why would they buy from us?
- What competition already exists, and who is likely to enter if we are first?
- What will be the product’s life, and can it be extended through add-ons?
- How do we best advertise, sell, and distribute it?
- Will it carry our brand or do we OEM?
Once you have the answers to the above, then you must address how to execute profitably:
- Do we build (if we have the skills) or outsource, and who is in our supply chain?
- Can we meet the cost limitation for profit at the market price?
- Can we maintain the target quality?
- How much inventory do we need, and can we maintain the required production schedule?
- How do we protect our IP?
- How soon do we have to be ready to launch?
Lastly, you need to understand how much capital is needed to execute the plan. Once you have the answers to the questions above, you can model requirements at various sales volumes. Within each you can test the impact of volume cost savings, manufacturing efficiencies, and sales costs. By examining probable ranges of gross margin, you will begin to see how much capital is needed to not only launch but also sustain the product line. It is critical to know when the product(s) will begin to provide positive cash flow back into the company.
We believe including all aspects of the business model is strategic planning. Marketing is just the front end of that process.
We help companies and non-profit organizations through the details of strategy and provide the models. We have been successful over the last 25 years offering insights and analysis.