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CHAPTER 7 CHARACTERISTICS OF AN EFFECTIVE MARKETING PLAN 7.1 Core Components of a Marketing Plan 7.2 Action Plan 7.3 Characteristics of an Effective Marketing Plan 7.4 Putting the Principles to Work--Community Support Case Study 7.5 Importance of a Powerful Executive Summary What are the essential elements of a marketing plan? The marketing plan is the vehicle to accomplish the air- port's goals. It is a framework that defines the specific tasks, schedule, resources, and budgets that, when implemented, result in the achievement of the airport's marketing goals. With the airport assessment, goals and objectives, a target audience, a message, specific actions, and tools, it is time to put together the marketing plan. 7.1 CORE COMPONENTS OF A MARKETING PLAN Marketing plans vary significantly in content, format, and length. However, most marketing plans cover the fol- lowing core components: The Airport's Current Position. An overview of the airport's identity, a basic description of products and services offered, major airport users and tenants, level of airport activity, competitive position in the region, and a forward looking discussion of trends in the particular sectors of aviation that the airport serves. Airport Goals and Objectives. A discussion of the goals, target audiences of the marketing plan, the mes- sage to be communicated, and measurable objectives the airport intends to achieve within a specific timeframe. Action Plan. The specific marketing activities that will be undertaken to achieve each objective. In addi- tion, the action plan includes a description of individual tasks, assignments of personnel or volunteers, schedules, and budgets. Management and Monitoring. A plan to oversee the progress of the marketing campaign, monitor progress, and fine tune the marketing plan as needed. The marketing plan serves two important functions: It is the roadmap that converts the airport marketing goals into specific activities. It is a reference document for all participants in the airport's marketing campaign that provides back- ground information, a plan of action, and measurable outcomes. Once written, a marketing plan should be updated on a regular basis to reflect achievements and modifications to the action plan. 48