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Success Stories. Learn Online learning Certification. In most organizations, "strategic planning" is an annual process, typically covering just the year ahead. Occasionally, a few organizations may look at a practical plan which stretches three or more years ahead. To be most effective, the plan has to be formalized, usually in written form, as a formal "marketing plan.
It is also an interactive process, so that the draft output of each stage is checked to see what impact it has on the earlier stages - and is amended. Behind the corporate objectives, which in themselves offer the main context for the marketing plan, will lay the "corporate mission"; which in turn provides the context for these corporate objectives. This "corporate mission" can be thought of as a definition of what the organization is; of what it does: "Our business is …".
19 Best Marketing Books To Level Up Your Marketing Strategy
This definition should not be too narrow, or it will constrict the development of the organization; a too rigorous concentration on the view that "We are in the business of making meat-scales," as IBM was during the early s, might have limited its subsequent development into other areas. On the other hand, it should not be too wide or it will become meaningless; "We want to make a profit" is not too helpful in developing specific plans.
Abell suggested that the definition should cover three dimensions: "customer groups" to be served, "customer needs" to be served, and "technologies" to be utilized . Thus, the definition of IBM's "corporate mission" in the s might well have been: "We are in the business of handling accounting information [customer need] for the larger US organizations [customer group] by means of Punch card punched cards [technology]. Perhaps the most important factor in successful marketing is the "corporate vision. The idea precedes the deed. This will be not least because its strategies will be consistent; and will be supported by its staff at all levels.
In this context, all of IBM's marketing activities were underpinned by its philosophy of "customer service"; a vision originally promoted by the charismatic Watson dynasty. The emphasis at this stage is on obtaining a complete and accurate picture. In a single organization, however, it is likely that only a few aspects will be sufficiently important to have any significant impact on the marketing plan; but all may need to be reviewed to determine just which "are" the few.
A "traditional" - albeit product-based - format for a "brand reference book" or, indeed, a "marketing facts book" was suggested by Godley more than three decades ago:. His sources of data, however, assume the resources of a very large organization. In most organizations they would be obtained from a much smaller set of people and not a few of them would be generated by the marketing manager alone. It is apparent that a marketing audit can be a complex process, but the aim is simple: "it is only to identify those existing external and internal factors which will have a significant impact on the future plans of the company.
It is clear that the basic material to be input to the marketing audit should be comprehensive. Accordingly, the best approach is to accumulate this material continuously, as and when it becomes available; since this avoids the otherwise heavy workload involved in collecting it as part of the regular, typically annual, planning process itself - when time is usually at a premium. Even so, the first task of this "annual" process should be to check that the material held in the current "facts book" or "facts files" actually "is" comprehensive and accurate, and can form a sound basis for the marketing audit itself.
The structure of the facts book will be designed to match the specific needs of the organization, but one simple format - suggested by Malcolm McDonald - may be applicable in many cases. This splits the material into three groups:. The last of these is too frequently ignored. It is only at this stage of deciding the marketing objectives that the active part of the marketing planning process begins'. This next stage in marketing planning is indeed the key to the whole marketing process.
The "marketing objectives" state just where the company intends to be; at some specific time in the future. James Quinn succinctly defined objectives in general as: "Goals or objectives state 'what' is to be achieved and 'when' results are to be accomplished, but they do not state 'how' the results are to be achieved. They typically relate to what products or services will be where in what markets and must be realistically based on customer behavior in those markets. They are essentially about the match between those "products" and "markets.
They are part of the marketing strategy needed to achieve marketing objectives. To be most effective, objectives should be capable of measurement and therefore "quantifiable. An example of such a measurable marketing objective might be "to enter the market with product Y and capture 10 per cent of the market by value within one year.
The marketing objectives must usually be based, above all, on the organization's financial objectives; converting these financial measurements into the related marketing measurements. He went on to explain his view of the role of "policies," with which strategy is most often confused: "Policies are rules or guidelines that express the 'limits' within which action should occur. Simplifying somewhat, marketing strategies can be seen as the means, or "game plan," by which marketing objectives will be achieved and, in the framework that we have chosen to use, are generally concerned with the 7 P's.
Examples are:. In principle, these strategies describe how the objectives will be achieved. The 7 P's are a useful framework for deciding how the company's resources will be manipulated strategically to achieve the objectives. It should be noted, however, that they are not the only framework, and may divert attention from the real issues. The focus of the strategies must be the objectives to be achieved - not the process of planning itself.
Only if it fits the needs of these objectives should you choose, as we have done, to use the framework of the 7 P's. The strategy statement can take the form of a purely verbal description of the strategic options which have been chosen. Alternatively, and perhaps more positively, it might include a structured list of the major options chosen.
One aspect of strategy which is often overlooked is that of "timing. Taking the right action at the wrong time can sometimes be almost as bad as taking the wrong action at the right time. Timing is, therefore, an essential part of any plan; and should normally appear as a schedule of planned activities. Having completed this crucial stage of the planning process, you will need to re-check the feasibility of your objectives and strategies in terms of the market share, sales, costs, profits and so on which these demand in practice.
As in the rest of the marketing discipline, you will need to employ judgment, experience, market research or anything else which helps you to look at your conclusions from all possible angles. At this stage, you will need to develop your overall marketing strategies into detailed plans and program.
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