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Effective Product Planning

A. Overall Objective

To allow participants to learn and apply marketing and project planning tools by building a product plan for their own real-world products.

B. Description of the Workshop Format

The workshop is designed to be held at your site. It is built around a central product planning framework that incorporates proprietary Chuck McFall & Company marketing tools designed to enhance the quality and success of your product plans. This framework is presented in a "cookbook" format including step-by-step methodologies for using each tool in the process.

The workshop is presented in a series of modules. Each module begins with a concise description of a major step in the planning process, along with appropriate examples. Then participants (working in teams) apply the mehodology just presented to their own product(s). Teams most often include representation from the key company functions that support the product. Up to five teams (25 participants) covering five different products can participate in a workshop simultaneously. An outline of the workshop is included in Section G.

C. Output From the Workshop

In addition to learning superior product planning skills and disciplines, participants will leave with a roughed-out first cut at their product plan with major emphasis on the market analysis, competitive analysis, and the competitive strategies sections. They will also have a list of the most critical market and product issues (knowledge gaps) to be resolved through market research/further information gathering.

D. Who Should Attend

  • Product managers
  • Industry managers
  • Marketing management
  • Senior management
  • Key managers from any discipline in the company that impacts product success
E. Course Duration

The workshop is designed as a 3-day session, but can by modified, based upon the special needs of the client.

F. Costs

Costs are $9,900 for the 3-day workshop, plus consultant's out-of-pocket expenses for such things as airfare, hotel, meals, etc. There is also a $45 charge for each participant's workbook. For a 20 participant class, the cost would be $180 per person per day (not including cout-of-pocket expenses).

G. Workshop Outline

  • Why product planning?
  • The importance of a "Market Focus" to successful product planning
  • A product planning framework that works
  • Identifying the market - market analysis skills and tools:
    • Market segmentation using the segmentation matrix
    • Target marketing and the target market grid
    • Understanding market requirements and buying criteria, by decision maker, for each target market
    • Competitive analysis
    • Market positioning using the "McFall Positioning Map"
    • Factoring internal/external issues into the plan (SWOT)
    • Developing winning competitve strategies around your "Unique Selling Proposition" - the key to your competitive advantage

  • Satisfying the market - the implementation elements in the plan:
    • Establishing objectives to guide the plan
    • Converting marketing insights and competitve strategies in "marketing mix" implementation plans
    • Projecting results and monitoring performance
    • Capturing risks and critical issues

  • Using market research and other information sources to enhance and add "muscle" to the plan
H. Benefits to Participants

As a result of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  • Build better product/business plans focused on identified targets
  • Increase their understanding of markets and market requirements
  • Improve the linkage between product features and identified customer needs
  • Develop more successful new products
  • Manage established products to greater profitablility
  • Improve market share and penetration through more competitive plans
  • More clearly identify their products' competitive advantages
  • Better position products against competition
  • Establish stronger interfaces with the resources of the organization, including engineering, sales, industry marketing, development, etc.
  • Add "marketing muscle" to their business plans
  • Increase the productivity of resources by concentrating on higher probability targets
  • Work together more effectively using common tools, methodologies, and formats in product planning



Take advantage of this training opportunity. Contact Chuck McFall & Company.