given to consumers
perceptions and attitudes, lifestyles, and criteria for
making purchase decisions. Often, marketing research studies are needed
to answer some of these questions.
Another key element of the external analysis is an assessment of the
market. The attractiveness of various market segments must be evaluated
and the segments that the company needs to target must be identified.
Once the target markets are chosen, the emphasis will be on determining
how the product should be positioned. What image or place should it
have in the minds of consumers?
An in-depth examination of both direct and indirect competitors is
another focus of external analysis. Focus is on the company’
competitors: their specific strengths and weaknesses; their segmentation,
targeting, and positioning strategies; and the promotional strategies they
employ. The size and allocation of their promotional budgets, their
media strategies, and the messages they are sending to the marketplace
should all be considered.
The external analysis also includes what is known as environmental
analysis. This entails an assessment of the marketing environment and
current trends or developments that might affect the promotional
(C) ANALYSIS OF THE COMMUNICATIONS PROCESS
At this stage of the promotional planning process, the company examines how
it can effectively communicate with consumers in its target markets. The
planners are expected to think about the process consumers will go through in
responding to marketing communications. For instance, the response process
for products or services to which consumer is highly loyal is often different
from the response process for products or services that are new to the consumer.