Marketing Plan


Detailed References for developing your “Self-Marketing Plan” Blue Print

(Excerpts from textbook “Marketing Plan Exercise”)


Chapter 1: Marketing Plan Exercise

As a professional in any field, it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of what a marketing of what a marketing plan is and why it is there. A marketing plan is an action-oriented document or playbook that guides the analysis, implement, and control of all marketing activities. Throughout the course of the book, you will develop professional marketing plan. The twist is that your marketing plan will focus on how to market yourself to achieve your career goals.

Many businesses fail to execute on their marketing plans because they do not spend adequate time clearly identifying what they wanted or expected to do. As a first step in developing your personal marketing plan, you will need to identify the specific objectives that you should ask yourself several questions, such as

· Do I want to attend graduate school? If so, where and what program?

· Where do I want to work?

· Where do I want to live?

· What kind of life do I want to have?

· How much will I need to earn to have that life?

These types of questions will help you focus on what specific things you need to do to achieve your goals. As with a firm putting together a corporate making plan, the more clearly you realize them.

Your Task: Clearly state three or five specific objectives for your future and include a brief one to two sentences description of each objective.


Chapter 2: Marketing Plan Exercise

In this chapter we discussed the elements and the importance of the situation analysis. The next step in developing a full marketing plan for yourself is to conduct a SWOT analysis on yourself that ties back to the objectives you developed at the end of Chapter 1. Be sure to think through each element honestly and assess where you are today. This will help you focus on what you need to accomplish over the rest of your college career.

Strengths. If you ask a group of your friends what their strengths are, they can likely answer you very quickly. Most people have taken the time to discover strengths (maybe they’re an effective public speaker, pay a great deal of attention to detail, or work well with others) and had those strengths reinforced by those around them over the course of their life. To effectively complete this part of your own personal SWOT analysis, list the three to five strengths that you possess that will most impact your ability to achieve the objectives you identified in Chapter 1.

Weaknesses. While most people are very honest about their strengths, they are typically far less likely be aware of or to acknowledge their weaknesses. Corporate recruiters often tell humorous stories about the responses they receive when asking ne college graduates about their biggest weaknesses. Answers range from “I care too much,” or “I am too smart for my group members,” to “I am too attractive to have many friends.” Any of these responses can negatively impact your ability to impress a prospective employer. Give serious consideration to your personal weaknesses, and then list three to five weaknesses that will impact your ability to achieve your objectives. By properly identifying your weaknesses, you can begin to plan strategically how to overcome them or, at the very least, minimize their influence on your career objectives.

Opportunities. As the global economy changes and you enter a job market very different from the one face by previous generations, it is important to honestly assess your opportunities. Ask yourself questions like, What jobs in my major are most in demand? What internship openings are there and how might those put me in better position to find my dream job? If your goal is to attend graduate school, what kinds of scholarships, assistantships, or enrollment opportunities are out there for you? Be sure to identify three to five external opportunities that exist potentially benefit you in your professional development.

Threats. As demonstrated by the economic crisis that began in December 2007, assessing threats is an essential part of developing a strategic plan for your professional future. If the economy goes into a recession at the same time you’re planning to graduate, your earnings growth could be reduced for years to come. By examining what potential threats could impact your professional development and creating contingency plans, you will be in a better position to succeed in your pursuit of a job. Describe three to five threats that could impact your ability to achieve your objectives.

Your task: describe three to five strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that could affect your professional development. For each weakness and threat you identify, include a brief one- to two-sentence description of how you might overcome the challenge associated with it.


Chapter 3 marketing plan exercise

In this chapter we discussed importance of analyzing the marketing environment. In the next section of marketing plan exercise, you will analyze the environment you will be entering upon graduation. Your assignment is to prepare a market summary for the job or graduate school program you discussed as your objective in chapter 1. If you are if you’re objective is a pacific job or career, you need to answer questions like

· What is the average salary?

· What are the companies that are best position to offer the kind of job you want?

· Are there jobs in the field located where you want to live?

· What is the total size and growth rate of the industry you are planning to enter?

· What is the current unemployment rate in that field and what percentage of jobs are filled by new college students?

If your objective is graduate school, you need to answer questions like

· What schools offer this program?

· What are those schools’ admission statistics (percentage accepted, tuition and fees, financial aid available, etc.)?

· What are the average Grade Point Average (GPA) and entrance exam (LSAT, GMAT, MCAT, etc.) scores?

· What is the average starting salary for graduates of these programs?

It is important to conduct an honest environmental assessment. Students sometimes have unrealistic expectations of what their first job out of school or a graduate program may be like. The better you understand the environment you are entering, the better you will be able to market yourself and your skills to succeed in it.

Your task: Write at least two-paragraph marketing summary describing the environment you will face after graduation.


Chapter 4 marketing plan exercise


In this chapter we focused on the importance of marketing research. The next step is developing your personal marketing plan is to conduct some research of your own to better understand the competition you will face for your dream job or graduate school program. Your assignment is to research online the job or graduate school program you discussed as your objective in Chapter 1. Try to figure out how competitive the applicant pool is. Check with someone at the firm’s human resource department or contact the graduate school’s admission office to find out the average number of applicants for each open slot. Often, you can find summary statistics on the average work experience or GPA that is common among newcomers, which will give you an idea of where you stand relative to your competition.

For those of you targeting graduate school, you should conduct extensive research on the GPA and entrance exam (GMAT, LSAT, GRE, etc.) requirements for the programs you are targeting. The internet and publications such as U.S. News and World Report provide a wealth of data on all types of graduate school programs. You should see how your GPA and entrance exam scores compare to the averages at your targeted schools. In the same way that firms want to know what their competition is doing to better understand their potential for success, so should you.

Your Task: Prepare a one to two paragraph research report that summarizes your findings and describes the actions you will take based on your research. Your report should include the following information:

1. If focusing on a specific job, list the average number of applicants, starting pay, and where these types of job openings are most commonly found.

1. If your focus is on graduate school, list what the average GPA and entrance exam score is for the program as well as the acceptance rate for that program.

1. Make an honest assessment of the likelihood that you will get your desired job or be accepted to the graduate program. Based on this assessment, what is the one area that you need to improve upon to increase the chances of you achieving your goal?


Chapter 5 marketing plan exercise

In this chapter we discussed the differences between consumer and business markets. In the next section of the marketing plan exercise, you will evaluate the characteristics of each and decide which may be better for you as a career choice. Your assignment for this chapter is to decide whether you would prefer a career in a B2B or B2C organization. Think through each type of organization carefully and assess which best fits your personality. Finding a good fit will impact your ability to excel and enjoy your career after college. This will help to focus you in your job whether you are going to work kin marketing, finance, human resources, or any other area of the organization. Many professionals end up working in both types of organizations over the course of their careers, and you will likely have many opportunities to move from one to the other in the future. However, the additional focus will help you build a career that can put you ahead of your fellow graduates.

Your Task: Write a one paragraph summary explaining whether you would prefer to work in a B2C or B2B organization and discuss what organizational characteristics impacted your decision. Conclude your paragraph with the names of three potential employers in the area where you would most want to live that focus on your chosen market.


Chapter 6: Marketing Plan Exercise

In this chapter we talked about developing successful products. The next step in developing your personal marketing plan is to provide a concise description of the product you’re offering the company or graduate school program you seek–you. Think through the SWOT Analysis you completed in chapter 2, and develop a two paragraph personal product offering. Your description should focus on the specific value you would bring to the firm or graduate school. Think of the description as your elevator pitch, or 30 to 6o second description of the value you would bring to an organization. Formalizing this in your personal marketing plan will also help you identify specific jobs that match the skill sets that you offer. Your pitch might include answers to the following questions:

· What makes you different from the other potential employees?

· Why is the company or graduate program better with you than without you?

· How do your skills and background fit into what the organization wants to do?

Your Task: write a two paragraph product description of yourself that you can read or present in less than 60 seconds. The description should highlight your value to a potential organization or graduate school. You only have a limited amount of time, so choose your words carefully to insure they create the maximum impact.


Chapter 7: Marketing Plan Exercise

In this chapter, you read about the importance of targeting specific segments and developing a positioning strategy that appeals to those segments. Your assignment for this chapter is to apply these critical concepts to your marketing plan. First, refer back to the career objectives (What company you want to work for and what graduate school you want to attend) that you have already developed. Next, think about and clearly articulate how you will position yourself for your target market. There are a limited number of openings for good jobs and quality graduate schools. To maximize your chances of success, you must plan ahead and use the marketing strategies you have learned to position yourself properly in a very competitive environment. You should ask yourself questions such as:

· How can I best position myself for a job with one of these organizations?

· What classes have a taken or what experiences have I had that position me for the graduate school I want to attend?

Your Task: Write a one paragraph personal positioning statement that includes succinct answers to those questions.


Chapter 8: Marketing Plan Exercise

The marketing plan exercise for this chapter focuses on developing your own promotional strategy. You can think about this using the same for promotion mix elements discussed in this chapter: advertising, sales promotion, personal selling, and public relations. First, how are you advertising yourself? For example, what does your resume look like? What does it say about you? If your resumes the same basic template that looks just like everyone else’s, how will you stand out from others competing for the same job? Please read the Career Tips at the end of this chapter for suggestions. Also consider what your social media profile says about you. If a prospective employer were to look at your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter profile, would they like what they saw? What reflect the image of a thoughtful, driven professional?

Next, consider using a sales promotion to such as sampling. Unpaid internships give firms an opportunity to sample your work, increasing the likelihood that you could be hired there on a permit and paid basis. Do the companies you want to work for offer unpaid internships? If so, how do you go about applying for them? How can you adjust your personal financial situation take an unpaid internship if it helps to advance your career?

Next, consider your ability to personally sell yourself. What will you say in an interview that will convince a prospective employer that they are better off with you than without you? The same strategies sales people use to make a good first impression, such as appearance, grooming, professional dress, and a firm handshake all things you want to fine-tune as you get ready for the job market.

Finally, public relations are essential as you start to develop your career. What do your colleagues think about you? Would your professors or classmates recommend you? Think about what you can do to improve or enhance others’ perceptions of you.

Your Task: Create an outline of the specific advertising, sales promotion, public relations, and personal selling strategies you plan to use as you begin your career. For each type of promotion, answer the questions posed in the Exercise and summarize how each can help you market yourself.


Chapter 9: Marketing Plan Exercise

In this chapter we discussed the importance of distribution. Getting your name, skills, and profile in front of decision makers is critical for you to achieve career success. In the next section of the marketing plan exercise, did your assignment is to create a specific plan for how you will distribute your information and qualifications to reach your career objectives.

Job seekers upload and share millions of resumes every day, even though the success rate of finding a job online is less than 20 percent in the U.S. what do you plan to do to increase your success rate using this distribution channel? A growing number of professionals use online services like LinkedIn. If you’re thinking about LinkedIn or other social media distribution methods, which sites are best for your specific career path? What strategies should you employ on each site to maximize your efforts? Are there specific keywords he should use? Are there resume formats that work better on specific job sites?

If your career goals focus on graduate school, this process is equally important. Many graduate school entrance exams allow me to select a limited number of schools to send your scores too. Which schools will you choose? If you plan to seek a job for graduate school opportunity using email, what is the best strategy for designing that email? Hiring managers in admissions person will pay attention to the email text, the subject line, and even the time of day that you sent the email (what would a manager think if your resume arrives at 2:30 a.m.?). Spending time now planning your personal distribution strategy will help as you prepare for your job or graduate school search.

Your Task: Write a one- to two-paragraph explanation of how you will distribute your information and qualifications. Your answer should include the website for companies to which you plan to distribute your resume or the five schools to which she will send you graduate entrance exam scores. Also include any social media platforms you plan to use as a part of your distribution strategy and how you plan to utilize them.


Chapter 10: Marketing Plan Exercise

In this chapter we learned a lot about setting prices based on costs and market conditions. For the next part of your marketing plan exercise, you will conduct the pricing analysis of your future career plans. First, you should consider the costs you expect to have in the next decade, including things like repaying your student loans, paying your rent, saving for a house, or starting a family. Take time to consider the potential costs of these things on a monthly basis. Then compare these cost with the career information put together in an earlier chapter. How do they match up?

Next, consider your market value with in the company or industry either now or after graduate school. The price elasticity you inspire infusion players will be an important consideration as you develop in your career. For example, if you possess a unique combination of experience, education, personality, and work ethic, demand for your services might well be inelastic. In this scenario, you might be able to negotiate a higher salary because the demand for your services is high. Knowing what their demand for your personal brand is inelastic or elastic is essential. Too many employees undervalued their brand and work for less than what market prices would dictate, leaving money on the table over a significant period of their career. Conversely, if demand for your brand is elastic, you should understand your lessened bargaining power and work to develop unique skills or take on difficult assignments within your company to increase the value others place on your brand.

Your Task: Developed a detailed list of the costs necessary to have the career you desire 10 years from now (e.g., student loans, training seminars, graduate school cost, or any fixed or variable costs). Next, compare these costs with the prices that organizations are paying for people with your skill set. Finally, determine your own personal break-even point for your salary level. Also, identify when you expect to reach the salary that you desire.


Chapter 11: Marketing Plan Exercise

In this chapter we discussed the importance of building a strong personal brand. The next step in developing your personal marketing plan is to establish a strategy for building your personal brand that will help you achieve the objectives identified in Chapter 1. First, think about what your personal brand is now. What do people think of when they hear your name? Are you happy with the answer to that question? Remember that not having a brain at all can negatively influence your success, too. It prevents you from standing out from your classmates and others who will be applying for the same job or graduate school opening.

Next, develop specific brand building action items for the next year that will help build, strengthen, or revitalize your personal brand. You might include things like running for office in a club or organization on campus or targeting a specific type of internship. You could also include things like going to your professors during their office hours to make yourself more than a face in the crowd, which can be very beneficial when it is time to list references or ask for letters of recommendation. Make sure to give this exercise careful thought. Being aware of your current brand and planning specific actions to develop that brand will be one of the most important career steps you can take over the next year.

Your Task: Develop three to five specific brand-building action items for the next year. For each, clearly defined the action you plan to take and set a deadline for taking action. Finally, provide a description of what the expected outcomes will be for each brand-building action.


Chapter 12: Marketing Plan Exercise

This chapter focused on customer service in developing customer relationships. As you develop your personal marketing plan, you should ask yourself how good you are at developing relationships. We live in an age in which we text or tweet more than we write notes or have conversations. Some might think that they are great in developing relationships because they have 2000 friends on Facebook. But are those really relationships? Consider your Facebook friends. What would those people say about you and your brand if you asked? Do they even know you well?

For the marketing plan exercise in this chapter, your task is to plan a strategy to improve the most important relationships in your life. Even if they’re good, there are always things you can do better. Think about how you can improve your relationship with your current boss, professors, classmates, and group members. These people are likely to be important as you seek a job or apply to graduate school. (Relationship development with professors is especially important when it comes to request letters of recommendation for graduate school.) Next, consider how we can improve your personal customer service. Are you an ideal group member, or do you look for excuses to miss team meetings? Do you thank people who help you? Do you try to help others solve problems in a positive way? Providing great service to the people in your life, both personally and professionally, will help you to build the type of relationships that will provide a rich future in every way possible.

Your Task: Select three to five professional relationships in your life, such as a manager, professor, classmate, or group member, and then identify one or two specific actions you can take in the next three months to strengthen each of those relationships. Next, explain in one paragraph how you have delivered excellent customer service sometime in your life, whether it was on the job, in school, or in your personal life. This will help you articulate your customer service skills in an interview.


Chapter 13: Marketing Plan Exercise

In this chapter we have explored the impact corporate social responsibility has on organizations and marketing decisions. As part of developing your personal marketing plan, you will consider and develop a vision of your own social responsibilities. First you must understand who you’re responsible to. Who are the stakeholders in your career success? Your list might include those who are impacted by your career path, including a current or future spouse, children, parents, or even the U.S. government that wants you to make enough money to pay back your student loans. Also think about places of worship, charitable causes, communities, and other entities your choices affect.

Next, consider whether a firm or school’s corporate social responsibility policies matter to you when choosing where to work or study. If they do, you should think about how we can best market yourself as the type of socially responsible professional that would be of interest to a company or school committed to corporate social responsibility. Being able to connect your socially responsible activity to those of a potential employer or graduate school program can be a subtle way to differentiate yourself from those competing against you for a position.

Your Task: List the stakeholders in your career success. Next, list three to five social responsibilities that you consider part of your professional career, explain each, and discuss the specific actions you would like to take relative to each over the next 5-10 years.


Chapter 14: Marketing Exercise Plan

The final section in most marketing plans outlines the controls that will be put in place for monitoring and adjusting implementation of the plan. The implementation section outlines how the specifics of the marketing plan will be carried out and who will carry them out. You have to put a lot of ideas down on paper it was your strengths and weaknesses and where you want to go in your career. It is now time to implement the strategies and see if they work. There is no organizational structure to this marketing plan or question about who is accountable for which items. The marketing plan is about your career. In creating it, you have develop strategies intended to drive positive results in your life.

Your assignment for this chapter is to put measures in place to determine whether or not you are hitting your goals over the next three to five years, and beyond. Some parts of your personal marketing plan likely will not work. Conventional wisdom holds the over 70% of new business initiatives fail and over 90% of people never carry through on their planned New Year’s resolution. You have outlined your contingency plans in a previous part of your personal marketing plan, but what measures will trigger the contingency plan? If your contingency plans involve attending graduate school sometime in the future, what will make you begin to look for a program? If you’re not being compensated anyway that matches your market value, what will you do? How long are you willing to be underpaid?

Finally, consider the contingency plans for further out in your career. Is it likely that you will move to another city in the next five years? Could family changes, such as getting married or needing to take care of an aging parent impact the career path you should take? The more cinereous you can put down on paper, think about, and plan for, the greater the chance he will successfully navigate the most important product launch of your career: you as a college graduate. Never forget that you are managing your personal brand every minute of every day. Never forget that you will make mistakes marketing yourself. That is ok as long as you learn from them. And never forget that, whether you are marketing cars, a nonprofit organization, or yourself, planning increases the likelihood of success.

Your Task: List at least three specific personal objectives for yourself at each of the following key points in your career: at the one-, three-, and five-year marks after you will graduate from college. Including your targeted industry, graduate school program (if applicable), level of employment (manager, director, etc.), and expected salary and benefits at each year. Then make specific contingency plans for each time, if you have not reached the objectives listed. Finally, write a one paragraph description of how potential developments in your personal life over the next five years will impact the objectives you’ve listed.



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