The Marketing Plan by William M. Luther: Overview

What is William M. Luther’s book The Marketing Plan about? What should you take away from the book?

In The Marketing Plan, management and marketing expert William M. Luther outlines the variables that impact both the immediate and long-term success of your product or service. He encourages analyzing how these variables impact your business so that you can develop an effective business plan.

Read on for a brief overview of The Marketing Plan.

The Marketing Plan

In The Marketing Plan, William M. Luther asserts that an effective marketing plan should encapsulate your business goals for the next five to ten years and the strategies you’ll use to achieve them. However, he argues that before you can define where you want to be and how you’ll get there, you first need to understand three key variables that will impact your venture’s success. 

Luther walks you through these three variables and concludes with additional resources and advice to help you complete your marketing plan:

  • Variable #1: Market size and market share explains how the size of your target market, coupled with how much market share you intend to acquire, determines the amount of profit your product or service can generate.
  • Variable #2: Market life cycle and growth rate explores how your target market’s life cycle and growth rate influence customer demand and dictate what operational processes you should focus on to maximize your profits.
  • Variable #3: The competition discusses how the capabilities of competing companies inform what types of strategies you should use to position your product or service in the market.

Variable #1: Market Size and Market Share

According to Luther, before developing a product or service, you first need to assess how profitable your intended market is. He argues that there’s a very high correlation between the size of your target market, your market share, and the amount of profit your product or service can make. Understanding this correlation will help you determine whether there’s sufficient demand for what you’re offering and how much profit you could potentially make.

Variable #2: Market Life Cycle and Growth Rate

Now that you understand how to calculate your target market’s size and your ideal market share, let’s discuss how these figures fluctuate according to the market’s life cycle and growth rate. Luther argues that understanding the market’s life cycle and growth rate will help you predict two things about the market you intend to enter: First, if demand for your product or service is currently on the rise or in decline. Second, what operational procedures you’ll need to focus on to maximize your profits. 

According to Luther, every market moves through three stages that reflect the amount of consumer interest (the market size) in a particular type of product or service: introductory, early growth, and late growth to decline.

Variable #2: Market Life Cycle and Growth Rate

Luther then discusses how these figures fluctuate according to the market’s life cycle and growth rate. Luther argues that understanding the market’s life cycle and growth rate will help you predict two things about the market you intend to enter: First, if demand for your product or service is currently on the rise or in decline. Second, what operational procedures you’ll need to focus on to maximize your profits. 

According to Luther, every market moves through three stages that reflect the amount of consumer interest (the market size) in a particular type of product or service: introductory, early growth, and late growth to decline.

Resources to Complete Your Marketing Plan

Now that we’ve discussed the three main variables that impact the success of your product or service, let’s explore how to use this information to complete your marketing plan. 

Once you’ve completed the research to determine how each of these variables will affect your venture’s success, you’ll have a good idea about which market you should target and the strategies you need to use to beat the competition. Luther suggests that you should test these ideas by calculating the profitability of different pricing, budgeting, and sales strategies for your product or service—the published edition of The Marketing Plan provides access to online software to help you achieve this. 

(Shortform note: In addition to using Luther’s software to calculate the profitability of different strategies, consider developing prototypes of each strategy to test consumer responses. According to management experts, prototypes are the most effective way to gather real-world data that tests the viability of different strategies. For example, use your current email database to test how your existing customers respond to different pricing or sales methods for potential products and services.)

After you’ve tested your ideas, you’ll have enough information to complete your marketing plan. According to Luther, an effective marketing plan should include the following three components:

  • An outline of your business goals for the next five to ten years 
  • A summary of the strategies you’ll use to achieve these goals
  • A list of measurable short-term objectives to ensure that you’re on the right track
The Marketing Plan by William M. Luther: Overview

Katie Doll

Somehow, Katie was able to pull off her childhood dream of creating a career around books after graduating with a degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. Her preferred genre of books has changed drastically over the years, from fantasy/dystopian young-adult to moving novels and non-fiction books on the human experience. Katie especially enjoys reading and writing about all things television, good and bad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.