DQ 1 Why do marketing plans often begin with background and research information? How is the information from market analyses, competitor analyses, and a SWOTT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, and trends) analysis used to develop a strategy and message?
The background and research information is important in describing the necessity for the marketing plan. It gives one the opportunity to introduce the product or the company to interested parties. It includes the purpose for writing the plan, and introduces the company’s mission and vision to the interested parties. This gives the company a chance to reconsider its policies, based on the current market conditions. It enables one to identify past successes, which is useful in developing strategies. It also enables one to identify the mistakes done in the past, and this provides important learning lessons for the individual. The information provided in the research and background sections of a marketing plan is important for the stakeholders, as it captures their interest, and they use it to determine whether they will be interested in the venture. Information from competitor, market and SWOT analyses will enable one to determine the strategies to use. Conducting a SWOT analysis is important, as it will help one to identify the strengths and limitations facing the company. This information will enable the company to know whether it is necessary to develop a new product, change and modify an existing product, or do away with the products. Analysis from competitors will enable the company to know whether the products will be profitable in the market (Burrow & Bosiljevac, 2011).
DQ 2 What is the role of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in marketing? What affect does the FTC have on a company’s marketing communications program?
The Federal Trade Commission ensures that marketers comply with the marketing rules. It ensures that marketers do not result to false and deceptive advertising. Advertisements should not leave the consumers with false impressions. The commission has to check the effects that the advertisements will have on the targeted audience. The FTC has to gauge the marketing campaign based on how the targeted consumer will receive, interpret, and react to the message. This includes checking the consumers’ level of maturity, education level, and mental capacity. It protects the consumers from unfair and illegal practices in marketing. Marketers have to ensure that they are aware of the regulations and laws established by the FTC. This includes knowing the right content to use in the marketing messages, and the appropriate channels to convey the marketing message. Marketers have to ensure that they do not omit important and necessary facts. The information provided should be adequate to enable the consumers make decisions. The FTC regulates marketing campaigns from using immoral and unethical practices. The marketing campaigns should not be offending to the public in any way. They should not cause substantial injury to the consumers and other stakeholders such as competitors. Moreover, the campaigns should not be oppressive.
DQ 3 How do marketers and marketing communications specialists select the appropriate integrated promotional tools and messages to use in an integrated marketing communications campaign? Why is the evaluation section important to an IMC plan?
Marketers have to determine the target audience, so that they can know the appropriate channel to use in the marketing campaigns. The marketers will use different campaigns for children and the youth. The different groups require different promotional tools. Marketers have to consider the budgetary allocations. They have to consider the most economical methods of promoting the product. The evaluation section is important for accountability purposes, and in determining the success of the campaign. Marketers have to evaluate their campaigns so that they can re-strategize in case the campaign failed (Shimp, 2008).
DQ 4 Define ethics, morals, and social responsibility as it relates to marketing and sales management. Why should an integrated marketing campaign consider the implications of these? What are some of the ethical, moral and social challenges of sales and marketing?
Sometimes, marketers are faced with moral and ethical concerns during marketing campaigns. They have to ensure that they consider the right and wrong aspects of everything they do. This can be challenging in a tough marketing environment, as doing the immoral thing seems the most profitable thing to do. For instance, marketers can be compelled to entice young students to taking alcohol and cigarettes since they would provide a profitable market. However, this is not the moral or ethical thing to do. Ethical and moral issues arise when marketers indulge in false advertising. For instance in the food and health industry, marketers can be tempted to advertise products as increasing metabolism and enhancing weight loss since this would guarantee a ready market (O’Sullivan et al., 2012).
Burrow, L. J., & Bosiljevac, J. (2011). Marketing. New York, NY: Cengage Learning
O’Sullivan, P., & Smith, M., & Esposito, M, (2012). Business ethics: A critical approach: Integrating ethics across the business world. New York, NY: Routledge
Shimp, A. T. (2008). Advertising, promotion, and other aspects of integrated marketing communications. New York, NY: Cengage Learning