Many companies have certain procedures for completing marketing projects and activities. These marketing procedures may vary somewhat at different companies, but the general framework around which marketing activities are executed is fairly standard. All marketing directors or managers execute certain product, advertising, pricing and distribution strategies. Upper management may even communicate specific steps for implementing these strategies or procedures in company manuals.
Marketing operating procedures for budgeting are fairly standard in most industries. Marketing directors usually meet with other departments, such as research and development, to discuss upcoming projects. These projects are then scheduled for the upcoming year. Subsequently, marketing directors determine what resources they need to complete the projects and obtain the associated costs. For example, a marketing department may need to advertise its products or services and conduct consumer research throughout the year. The marketing director will need to include all the costs for advertising and research, then lists all costs in his or her budget. Budgets are not always set in stone, however, according to the Small Business Administration. Occasionally, marketing directors need to add new projects to accommodate changing business conditions. Therefore, marketing directors sometimes add an extra buffer, such as 10 or 15 percent, to their budgets to account for new project requests.
Project management is fairly standard among marketing professionals. Marketing directors or managers usually break projects into various tasks. Subsequently, these tasks are assigned to specific individuals. The individuals who are spearheading specific marketing projects will need to estimate how long the projects will take. Subsequently, they will estimate a realistic time frame for completing the projects, then communicate these deadlines to the stakeholders who have requested the projects. Often, marketing professionals use project logs to track the progress of projects. Project logs are usually developed on computers and are used to track when certain tasks are completed.
There are also certain standard operating procedures for product introductions, another marketing function. Product introductions start with the generation of several ideas or concepts, according to Knowthis, an online business reference site. These ideas are then pared down to several workable product ideas. Subsequently, the ideas need to be tested among consumers. Most marketing professionals will start out with focus groups to better refine their product concept, including brand names, features, sizes and dimensions. Afterwards, a company may test a product concept through additional marketing research such as phone surveys. The product will eventually be introduced on a limited basis. Companies may later expand distribution on a regional or national basis.
Marketing departments are usually responsible for setting prices for products or services. There are several ways to set prices. However, the price of a product is usually based on consumer demand. In other words, consumers will only pay so much for a product. Orders will drop off substantially if a company exceeds an acceptable price range. A company's profits may suffer if the price is not high enough. Marketing professionals take several other key considerations into account when setting prices. They must set a price high enough for the company to earn a profit. Therefore, marketers will calculate costs that go into producing a product when setting a price. They must also factor in costs for advertising, labor and shipping. Companies often price their products or services in line with competitors.