Warning: Parameter 1 to wp_default_styles() expected to be a reference, value given in /home2/saigon/public_html/hoangnghiepen/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 600
Free Online Course: Marketing Your Products/Services and Promoting Your Organization | Welcome to Hoang Nghiep Training and Consulting
Warning: Parameter 1 to wp_default_scripts() expected to be a reference, value given in /home2/saigon/public_html/hoangnghiepen/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 600
Home » Free Online Courses

Free Online Course: Marketing Your Products/Services and Promoting Your Organization

24 November 2009 No Comment

Free Online Course: Marketing Your Products/Services and Promoting Your Organization

(including development of basic advertising, public & media relations, sales and customer service plans)

Written by Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Copyright 1997-2008.
Adapted from the Field Guide to Nonprofit Program Design, Marketing and Evaluation.

(This module is in the organization development program. However, this module can also be used by anyone as a self-study exercise to learn more about marketing the organization and its products/services.)

Introduction

There is often a great deal of misunderstanding about marketing. People often consider marketing to be the same as advertising. It’s not. Advertising is only one part of marketing. Very simply put, marketing is the wide range of activities involved in making sure that you’re continuing to meet the needs of your customers and getting value in return.

Market analysis includes finding out what groups of customers (or markets) exist, what their needs are, what groups of customers you prefer to serve (target markets), what products or services you might develop to meet their needs, how the customers prefer to use the products and services, what your competitors are doing, what pricing you should use and how you should distribute products and services to customers. Results of this marketing analysis indicates the position, or market “niche”, for the organization to work from — and to be seen as having. Marketing also includes ongoing promotions, which can include advertising, public relations, sales and customer service. Various methods of market research are used to find out information about markets, target markets and their needs, competitors, market trends, customer satisfaction with products and services, etc.

NOTE ABOUT THE LARGE SIZE OF THIS MODULE: This module is one of the largest in the program. The activity of marketing an organization and its programs is critical to the success of the organization and its programs — the marketing process is broad and sometimes quite detailed. Learners who have very limited time schedules might proceed through this module primarily by reviewing the learning materials and then thinking about how they would carry out (rather than actually carrying out) the various activities to build structures in their organization.

NOTE ABOUT BOARD COMMITTEES: Consider establishing a Programs and Marketing Committee [in the case of corporations!!] to review and help guide implementation of the information in this learning module. Major activities and goals from this learning module could be incorporated in that Committee’s Committee Work Plan.


MATERIALS TO REVIEW

  • The following materials will help you address each of the topics and learning activities in this module.

Overall Product and Service Management Process

Product and Service Management — just scan the text on this page to get an idea of the overall perspective on the relationship between product/service management and marketing.

Marketing Basics, Analysis and Positioning

Marketing — particularly the sections:
– – – What’s Advertising, Marketing, Promotion, Public Relations and Publicity, and Sales? (all)
– – – Basics of Marketing (read all articles in “Various Perspectives”)
– – – Basics of Market Planning (read all articles)
– – – Market Research — particularly the sections:
– – – – – – Basic Methods to Get Customer Feedback (read all)
– – – – – – Some Major Sources of Market Research Information (read all)
– – – Competitive Analysis (read introduction at top of page)
– – – Pricing (read introduction at top of page)
– – – Naming and Branding (read introduction at top of page)
– – – Intellectual Property (read introduction at top of page)
– – – Positioning (read introduction at top of page)

Advertising and Promotions

Basics and Planning
– – – Major Methods of Advertising and Promotion (read all)

Public and Media Relations

Public and Media Relations, particularly the sections:
– – – Managing Your Public Image (Public Relations) (at least 4 articles)
– – – Managing Media Relations (at least 4 articles)
– – – Additional Information for Organizations (at least 4 articles)

Sales

Basics of Sales (read at least 4 of the articles, including)

Optional — Customer Service

Basics of Customer Service (read all articles in this section, including)


SUGGESTED TOPICS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION

  • Learners are strongly encouraged to discuss the following questions with peers, board members, management and employees, as appropriate.

Basics of Marketing

1. Define marketing. Advertising. Promotions. Public relations. Publicity. Sales. In your definitions, include how these terms are similar and different. (See What’s Advertising, Marketing, Promotion, Public Relations and Publicity, and Sales?.)

2. What is market analysis? (See Basics of Marketing — introduction.)

3. What is market research? (See Market Research — introduction.)

Basics of Marketing Analysis and Positioning

1. What is a target market? How does one define a target market?

2. What is a competitor analysis? (See Competitive Analysis — introduction)

3. What should be considered when setting the price for a product or service? (See Pricing — introduction.)

4. What should be considered when naming a product or service? (See Naming and Branding — introduction.)

5. What is intellectual property? (See Intellectual Property — introduction.)

6. What is a positioning statement? (See Positioning — introduction.)

Public and Media Relations

1. What is public relations? (See What’s Advertising, Marketing, Promotion, Public Relations and Publicity, and Sales? and Managing Your Public Image.)

2. Name at least three practices in maintaining strong public relations. (See Managing Your Public Image.)

3. What is media relations? (See What’s Advertising, Marketing, Promotion, Public Relations and Publicity, and Sales? and Managing Media Relations.)

4. Name at least three practices in maintaining strong media relations. (See Managing Media Relations.)

Sales

1. What is sales? (See What’s Advertising, Marketing, Promotion, Public Relations and Publicity, and Sales?.)

2. What are some basic steps in the sales process? (See )

Customer Service

1 What are some basic steps in the maintaining high-quality customer service? (See Basics of Customer Service (read all articles in this section))


ACTIVITIES TO BUILD SYSTEMS AND PRACTICES

  • Learners are strongly encouraged to complete the following activities, and share and discuss results with peers, board members, management and employees, as appropriate.
  • Various activities below will direct you to complete your Marketing and Promotions Plan by filling in the Framework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan
  • As you proceed through the following activities, be sure to note any incomplete actions in the Action Item Planning List.

Writing Your Plans (Public and Media Relations, Sales, Advertising and Promotions, Customer Service, etc.)

Describe Your Service

1. In the Framework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, write a description of the product/service. The description should be written as if your customers are the readers. In the description, include the specific groups of customers served by the product/service, nature of the method(s) in the product/service , outcomes for customers and any other benefits to them, and where they should go next if they are interested in using the product/service. Be careful to describe the product/service in terms of benefits to customers, not to you. For example, address pricing, convenience, location, quality, service, atmosphere, etc.

List Your Target Markets

2. In the table in Framework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, write a brief description of the major groups of customers who will benefit from your product/service and the major benefits to them. Remember that the overall goals of the organization very much determine whom you want to serve. For example, strategic goals might be to expand the number of customers you have now, get new customers, get more revenue from current customers, etc. You may want to develop new services in a current or new market, or expand current services in a current or new market.

Understanding your product/service target markets makes it much easier for you to ensure that your product/service remains highly useful to buyers. Understanding your target markets helps you to focus on where to promote your product/service, including advertising, conducting public relations campaigns and selling your product/service. If you’ve done a good job so far of strategic planning, then identifying the primary targets market should be fairly straightforward. However, it is very useful to determine several additional target markets. These additional markets are often where you should focus promotions and mean additional sources of assistance and revenue. (If you struggle to identify your target markets, the following links might help you, including How to Identify a Target Market and Prepare a Customer Profile and Marketing Research.)

Write a Profile of Each Target Market

3. In the Framework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, write a description of each of your target markets. The more you know about your customers, the better you might be at serving them. Consider, for example, their major needs, how they prefer to have their needs met, where they are and where they prefer to have their needs met and demographics information (their age ranges, family arrangement, education levels, income levels, typical occupations, major interested, etc).

Analysis of Competitors

4. In the Framework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, write results from your analysis of your competitors. Consider the following questions: Who are your competitors? What customer needs are you competing to meet? What are the similarities and differences between their product/service and yours? What are the strengths and weaknesses of their product/service? How do their prices compare to yours? How are they doing overall? How do you plan to compete, for example, offer better quality services, lower prices, more support, easier access to services etc? (For assistance, see Competitive Analysis.)

Analysis of Collaborators

5. In the Framework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, write results from your analysis of potential collaborators. Who are potential collaborators with your organization? What customer needs might you collaborate to meet? What resources might they bring and what could you bring? What could you do next to cultivate collaboration with other organizations? (For assistance, see Organizational Alliances.)

Pricing Analysis

6. In the Framework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, write results from your pricing analysis. Several major factors influence the pricing for a product/service. Strategic goals greatly influence pricing. For example, if the organization really wants to get into a new market, then it might charge lower than usual prices in order to generate more customers who buy the service. The organization might consider changing pricing if the demand for its products/services is very high or low. Competitor pricing also has a great effect. If competitors are charging much less, then the organization might do well to lower prices. Similarly, if the competitor is charging much more, then the organization might consider increasing its own prices. (For assistance, see Pricing.)

Write Your Sales Plan

7. In the Framework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, fill in the sales plan. Regarding your sales planning, consider: What target markets will be approached? What should be your sales method for each target market, for example, who will make initial contacts to generate leads, do follow-ups to initial contacts, make presentations and close sales? How much do you expect to accomplish in sales (consider terms of outputs, such as dollars made, customers recruited, or other units of service). (For assistance, see Sales Basics.)

Write Your Advertising and Promotions Plan

8. In the Framework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, fill in the advertising and promotions plan. The plan includes what target markets you want to reach, what features and benefits you want to convey to each of them, what methods and media you will use to convey it to them, who is responsible to implement the methods and how much money is budgeted for this effort. The plan includes plans for a promotional campaign, including an advertising calendar and media plan. The goals of the plans should depend very much on the overall goals and strategies of the organization, and the results of the marketing analysis, including the positioning statement.

When selecting methods, consider what communications methods and media will be most effective in reaching target markets (groups of customers) and when. What are their preferences for media and when do they use them? (The link Basic Methods to Get Customer Feedback might be helpful now.) Consider, for example, radio, newsletters, classifieds, displays/signs, posters, word of mouth, press releases, direct mail, special events, brochures, neighborhood newsletters, etc. What media is most practical for you to use in terms of access and affordability? (The link Major Methods of Advertising and Promotion might be helpful now.)

(For additional assistance, see Advertising and Promotion and Planning your Advertising.)

Conduct Your Customer Service Planning

9. In the Framework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, fill in the customer service plan. When considering how you will ensure strong services to customers, consider: Are customers very satisfied with your services? How do you know? If not, what can you do to improve customer service? How can you do that? What policies and procedures are needed to ensure strong customer service. Include training in your considerations, including to develop skills in interpersonal relations, such as questioning, listening, handling difficult people, handling interpersonal conflicts, negotiating. (For assistance, see Customer Service, Basic Methods to Get Customer Feedback, Questioning, Listening, Handling Interpersonal Conflict, Handling Difficult People and Negotiating.)

Conduct Your Production Planning

10. In the Framework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, fill in section about production planning. Note that the development and implementation of various production methods do not have to be addressed in detail in a marketing plan — these topics are usually included in the operations or management planning for the program. However, production should be generally considered during the marketing analysis to ensure the eventual detailed production planning takes into consideration the needs of target markets and having their needs met on time. Consider: What resources do you need to build, reproduce and provide the product/service? How do you know? Will you have sufficient resources into the near future? How do you know?

Conduct Your Distribution Planning

11. In the Framework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, fill in section about distribution planning. Matters of distribution of products/services can be critical for organizations, especially if they are providing critically needed products/services to specific groups of customers.

Carefully consider: What distribution channels should you consider, for example, should customers come to your facility, you visit their offices, can you provide products/services over the telephone or Internet, etc? What resources are needed to bring together your products/services and your target markets? What major steps need to occur to accomplish these distribution channels? (The link Distribution may help you.)

Note that detailed planning about developing and maintaining distribution channels is often included in the operations or management plans, rather than in the marketing plan. However, the marketing analysis should focus on selecting the methods of distribution that best meet the needs of target markets and the organization.

Updating Your Operating Budgets

In an earlier module about strategic planning, you drafted a basic operating budget. Now that you have a stronger sense of what is needed to produce and market your products, you should update the basic draft that you produced earlier.

Draft a Budget for Each of Your Major Products/Services

1. Design a budget for each of your products/services. If you completed Module 6: Developing Your Strategic Plan, then you already have started basic budgets for each of your products/services. Update those budgets with results from completing this module on product design and marketing. Consider expenses of advertising and promotions, production, distribution and customer service. Also consider any updates to expected revenues as a result of any changes in your pricing policy and as a result of your sales goals in your sales plan.


ASSESSMENT(S)

Evaluating Advertising and Promotions Efforts
Evaluating Sales Efforts
Measuring Customer Satisfaction


REMINDERS FOR THOSE IN THE ON-LINE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Reminders About You

1. Are you exchanging feedback with others about what you’re learning in this program? If not, you really should be thinking a lot more seriously about this — adults learn by doing something with new information and then exchanging feedback about it.

2. Are you sticking to your study schedule for this program?

3. Are you practicing your basic skills in management and leadership, including in problem solving and decision making, planning and meeting management?

4. Are you communicating throughout your organization by using your skills in internal communications?

5. Are you managing yourself? How many hours a week are you working? Are you noticing any signs of stress? If so, what are you doing about it?

6. One of the ways you might be able to tell if you’re stressed out and/or losing perspective might be whether you’re tracking details or not. Are you using the action item list referenced above?

Reminders About Your organization

1. Now that you’ve given more thought to the design and marketing of your programs, go back to your strategic plan and update the plans about programs, staffing and operating plans.

TRACKING OPEN ACTION ITEMS

1. One of the first indicators that an organization is struggling is that open action items are not tracked and reviewed. (Open action items are required actions that have not yet been completed.) Instead, organization members only see and react to the latest “fires in the workplace”. Whether open action items are critical to address now or not, they should not entirely be forgotten. Therefore, update and regularly review a list of open action items that includes listing each open action item, who is responsible to complete it, when it should be completed and any associated comments. When updating the list, consider action items as identified during discussions, learning activities and assessments in this module. Share and regularly review this action item list with the appropriate board, management and employees in your organization. You can use the following Action Item Planning List.

2. If you have questions, consider posing them in the national online discussion groups HRNET or ODNET which are attended by many human resource and organization development experts.

(Source from Management Help Organization)

Comments are closed.