Firms develop marketing strategies to help them achieve a competitive advantage. In today’s business environment, market segmentation has gained a lot of acceptance as a marketing tool. The proponents of market segmentation argue that, for firms to attain competitive advantage and improve their financial performance in terms of profitability, they should segment their market into smaller segments and then develop tailored marketing plans for each specific segment. A well-tailored marketing plan requires a thorough understanding of the targeted market segment to be able to address the specific needs and wants of the customers (Hunt, 2002).
Before the development of a tailored marketing plan, the marketing manager collects important information about the targeted market segment. These data may include the tastes and preferences of customers, their income levels, their religious beliefs, their cultural backgrounds, their social classes, and the competition. It is important to collect this information as it will help the manager to use the marketing mix strategies more efficiently. The tailored marketing plan must therefore address the needs of these customers and must also provide measurable goals. Understanding the needs of customers will help in developing products and services that are tailored to meet these needs and in using the right marketing mix to ensure that these products reach the targeted consumers (Vorhies & Morgan, 2003).
Developing a tailored marketing plan also helps the company analyze the competitors in the specific market segment that they plan to conduct their business activities. Therefore, the company will first evaluate its strengths and weaknesses about its competitors. A comparison with the main competitors in the market segment is also carried out for the company to identify the areas of weaknesses that need improvement. This will ensure that the marketing plan that is developed focuses on areas that will help the company achieve competitive advantage and better performance in terms of profitability in the long run (Vorhies & Morgan, 2003).
Identifying and understanding the needs of the target customers better helps in developing a marketing plan that is specifically directed at them. The message contained in the marketing plan will be more specific and is likely to be more effective in persuading the customers to make purchases. Customers will behave differently towards products and therefore it is important to develop a tailored marketing plan that will specifically seek to persuade a particular group of customers to make purchases. Such a tailored marketing plan will therefore be guided by a clear understanding of the behavior of every market segment which will make it more effective in achieving the set goals and objectives (Hunt, 2002).
It is also important that the tailored marketing plan is in line with the goals and objectives of the overall marketing strategy. It should be noted that everything activity that a company does must be guided by and be consistent with the mission statement. A marketing plan that is in line with the overall marketing strategy will provide impetus in the attainment of the goals and objectives of the company. Such a marketing plan will therefore ensure that the focus of the marketing strategies is on the attainment of the goals and objectives of the entire organization. This will promote the growth of the company in terms of market share and profitability (Walker & Ruekert, 1987). The need for a tailored marketing plan for a business cannot, therefore, be over-emphasized.
Hunt, S.D. (2002). Foundations of Marketing Theory, M.E. Sharpe, Armonk, New York.
Vorhies, D.W. & Morgan, N.A. (2003). A Configuration Theory Assessment of Marketing Organization Fit with Business Strategy and Its Relationship with Marketing Performance. Journal of Marketing 67 (1), 100-115
Walker, O.C. & Ruekert, R.W. (1987). Marketing’s Role in the Implementation of Business Strategies: A Critical Review and Conceptual Framework. Journal of Marketing 51 (3), 15-33.