lead logically to clearly stated marketing objectives? Are objectives based on sales, profits,
Are the organization’s marketing objectives stated in hierarchical order? Are they specific so
that progress toward achievement can be measured? Are the objectives reasonable in light of
the organization’s resources? Are the objectives ambiguous? Do the objectives specify a time
Is the firm’s main objective to maximize customer satisfaction or to get as many customers
IV MARKETING STRATEGY
A. Target Market Strategy
Are the members of each market homogeneous or heterogeneous with respect to
geographic, sociodemographic, and behavioral characteristics?
What are the size, growth rate, and national and regional trends in each of the
organization’s market segments?
Is the size of each market segment sufficiently large or important to warrant a unique
Are market segments measurable and accessible to distribution and communication
Which are the high- or low-opportunity segments?
What are the evolving needs and satisfactions being sought by target markets?
What benefits does the organization offer to each segment? How do these benefits
compare with benefits offered by competitors?
Is the firm positioning itself with a unique product? Is the product needed?
How much of the firm’s business is repeat versus new business? What percentage of the
public can be classified as nonusers, light users, or heavy users?
How do current target markets rate the firm and its competitors with respect to reputation,
quality, and price? What is the firm’s image with the specific market segments it seeks to
Does the firm try to direct its products only to specific groups of people or to everybody?
Who buys the firm’s products? How does a potential customer find out about the
organization? When and how does a person become a customer?
What are the major objections given by potential customers as to why they do not buy the
How do customers find out about and decide to purchase the product? When and where?
Should the firm seek to expand, contract, or change the emphasis of its selected target
markets? If so, in which target markets, and how vigorously?
Could the firm more usefully withdraw from some areas where there are alternative
suppliers and use its resources to serve new, unserved customer groups?
What publics other than target markets (financial, media, government, citizen, local,
general, and internal) represent opportunities or problems for the firm?
B. Marketing Mix
Does the firm seek to achieve its objective chiefly through coordinated use of marketing
activities (product, place, promotion, and pricing) or only through intensive promotion?
Are the objectives and roles of each element of the marketing mix clearly specified?
What are the major product/service offerings of the firm? Do they complement each
other, or is there unnecessary duplication?
What are the features and benefits of each product offering?
Where are the firm and each major product in the life cycle?
What are the pressures among various target markets to increase or decrease the range
and quality of products?
What are the major weaknesses in each product area? What are the major complaints?
What goes wrong most often?
Is the product name easy to pronounce? Spell? Recall? Is it descriptive, and does it
communicate the benefits the product offers? Does the name distinguish the firm or
product from all others?
What warranties are offered with the product? Are there other ways to guarantee
Does the product offer good customer value?
How is customer service handled? How is service quality assessed?
Should the firm try to deliver its offerings directly to customers, or can it better
deliver selected offerings by involving other organizations? What channel(s) should
be used in distributing product offerings?
What physical distribution facilities should be used? Where should they be located?
What should be their major characteristics?
Are members of the target market willing and able to travel some distance to buy the
How good is access to facilities? Can access be improved? Which facilities need
priority attention in these areas?
How are facility locations chosen? Is the site accessible to the target markets? Is it
visible to the target markets?
What are the location and atmosphere of retail establishments? Do these retailers
When are products made available to users (season of year, day of week, time of
day)? Are these times most appropriate?
How does a typical customer find out about the firm’s products?
Does the message the firm delivers gain the attention of the intended target audience?
Does it address the wants and needs of the target market, and does it suggest benefits
or a means for satisfying these wants? Is the message appropriately positioned?
Does the promotion effort effectively inform, persuade, educate, and remind
customers about the firm’s products?
Does the firm establish budgets and measure effectiveness of promotional efforts?
Which media are currently being used? Has the firm chosen the types of
media that will best reach its target markets?
Are the types of media used the most cost-effective, and do they contribute
positively to the firm’s image?
Are the dates and times the ads will appear the most appropriate? Has the firm
prepared several versions of its advertisements?
Does the organization use an outside advertising agency? What functions does
the ad agency perform for the organization?
What system is used to handle consumer inquiries resulting from advertising
and promotions? What follow-up is done?
b. Public Relations
Is there a well-conceived public relations and publicity program? Does the
program have the ability to respond to bad publicity?
How is public relations normally handled by the firm? By whom? Have those
responsible nurtured working relationships with media outlets?
Is the firm using all available public relations avenues? Is an effort made to
understand each of the publicity outlet’s needs and to provide each with story
types that will appeal to its audience in readily usable forms?
What does the annual report say about the firm and its products? Who is being
effectively reached by this vehicle? Does the benefit of the publication justify
c. Personal Selling
How much of a typical salesperson’s time is spent soliciting new customers as
compared to serving existing customers?
How does the sales force determine which prospect will be called on and by
whom? How is the frequency of contacts determined?
How is the sales force compensated? Are there incentives for encouraging
How is the sales force organized and managed?
Has the sales force prepared an approach tailored to each prospect?
Has the firm matched sales personnel with the target market characteristics?
Is there appropriate follow-up to the initial personal selling effort? Are
customers made to feel appreciated?
Can database or direct marketing be used to replace or supplement the sales
d. Sales Promotion
What is the specific purpose of each sales promotion activity? Why is it
offered? What does it try to achieve?
What categories of sales promotion are being used? Is sales promotion
directed to the trade, the final consumer, or both?
Is the effort directed at all the firm’s key publics or restricted to only potential
What levels of pricing and specific prices should be used?
What mechanisms does the firm have to ensure that the prices charged are acceptable
How price sensitive are customers?
If a price change is put into effect, how will the number of customers change? Will
total revenue increase or decrease?
Which method is used for establishing a price: going rate, demand oriented, or cost
What discounts are offered, and with what rationale?
Has the firm considered the psychological dimensions of price?
Have price increases kept pace with cost increases, inflation, or competitive levels?
How are price promotions used?
Do interested prospects have opportunities to sample products at an introductory
What methods of payment are accepted? Is it in the firm’s best interest to use these
various payment methods?
V IMPLEMENTATION, EVALUATION, AND CONTROL
Is the marketing organization structured appropriately to implement the marketing plan?
What specific activities must take place? Who is responsible for these activities?
What is the implementation timetable?
What other marketing research is necessary?
What will be the financial impact of this plan on a one-year projected income statement?
How does projected income compare with expected revenue if the plan is not implemented?
What are the performance standards?
What monitoring procedures (audits) will take place and when?
Does the firm seem to be trying to do too much or not enough?
Are the core marketing strategies for achieving objectives sound? Are the objectives being
met, and are the objectives appropriate?
Are enough resources (or too many resources) budgeted to accomplish the marketing