Marketing Planning Process

Marketing Planning Process

The logical model starts by defining the organization’s mission and goals. Marketing analysis, competitive comparison and internal analysis are then conducted and various assumptions are made. A SWOT analysis is undertaken and this sets in place the objectives. Strategies and tactics come before evaluation, measurement and control. The logical model has some advantages in that many companies spend a lot of time on this process, often making allowances for situations they had not anticipated or considered. The model assumes that rationality is the main thing when choosing strategies. In practice, strategies are however not deliberate or obvious. The model has several disadvantages especially when applied in practical situations since it has many assumptions. Despite setting and following such a rational model, few companies hardly experience any success in marketing planning. Logical strategic planning has many managerial assumptions, which are often not justified in practice. The logical model does not consider the characteristics of planning. Planning is not completed on the first attempt as the model presumes.

The illogical process does not follow the rationality of the logical process. It does not plan strategies based on set principles on what ought to be followed. Instead, the model uses the information and intelligence, experiences, attitudes and culture to understand the market. This eliminates or ignores what is not needed, and creates a biased, imperfect and subjective world, which represents reality. After having a clear understanding of the working environment, the strategies that the management has come up with can then undergo a SWOT analysis and integrated with the company’s mission. The advantages of this model are that starting with strategies and tactics increases commitment since people are willing to complete the tasks. Planning is seen as a continuing process and is therefore part of the business, rather than a phase through which a company has to pass. The possible disadvantages of this model include the fact that it is dependent on the organization’s culture and history, which may not reflect the current market trends, it does not have a strategic imperative and it uses limited information.

In figure2, the arrows represent the various probabilities available in the marketing planning process. As a result, each option leads to different consequences, in addition to what should be done to correct the process to reach the Strategic Marketing Plan. For instance, if the strategy chosen does not make sense or add up, the ‘no’ arrow dictates that one redefine the strategy, while the ‘yes’ arrow directs one to compare the strategy to the SWOT.

An Evaluation of Styles of IT Support for Marketing Planning

Models that are IT enabled are more realistic and they allow the right questions to be asked. Decision support systems can support semi structured or unstructured decisions and the management information systems support structured decisions. Decision support system can be seen as subfield of management information system, in which case they provide managers with access to data, or they can be seen as an extension of management science technique, in which case they provide access to analytical model. Model based systems are robust, complete, adaptive, and easy to understand, control and communicate. Some systems are not easy to understand without specific qualifications. Some people suggest the systems should be tested on their reliability and validity in providing solutions. Decision support systems have increasingly been used for uses other than those, which they had been designed. Decision support systems not only aid in the decision-making process but they are also used for communicating and processing information.

When designing EXMAR, the designers first evaluated the system by showing the managers how to use it. They used the system to develop a marketing plan then made a report on how the system could be improved. The designers chose to use the illogical model since they first understood the market environment and made changes accordingly. Had they followed the logical model, they would not have been able to make improvements within a limited period. The illogical model enabled them to use the system in various sectors and markets. The designers first focused on the relative issue and then shifted their focus on issues that were not immediately related to the design of the system. They used questionnaires to get historical information and they dealt with emerging issues later, after the system was already in place.

Strategic Marketing Planning: A Grounded Investigation

A strategic marketing plan is a document outlining target markets, the development of marketing programmes and the execution of these programs, covering a period of between three and five years. Strategic marketing planning can be viewed in two ways. The first approach considers the application of flow models and stresses issues such as the need for a strategic marketing plan, formal procedures when planning and analytical techniques. The other approach focuses on the context. Corporate strategy optimizes the organization’s performance and it matches the organization’s activities to the environment. Robust strategies are long term and they cover the organization’s potential threats. This is seen as the logical approach because it makes various assumptions concerning the organization. The corporate strategy is more realistic because it deals with current issues. The manager deals with issues as they arise at that particular time and some of the decisions made may not reflect the long-term goal of the organization.

Managers have been given the role of decision making in many organizations. They should therefore develop the necessary analytical skills required when making decisions. In addition to this, their ability to bargain and negotiate, allocate resources and develop informal organizational structures greatly influences their ability to make strategic decisions. Process models are useful when designing strategic management plans. They are grounded on expectancy and role theory, learned behavior, communications theory and supportive relations theory. Planning process research include interpersonal process views such as leadership and the effects of communication processes on performance, individual processes such as cognition and organizational roles, and structural views, which look at the effects of various organizational structures.

Tackling Implementation Impediments to Marketing Planning

Internal organizational forces such as culture, operations, management and communication continue to hinder the implementation of marketing planning strategies and programmes. There is a need to facilitate marketing plans, strategies and programmes. Some of the marketing planning issues that were seen as problems a while back may have ended because of the changes experienced in the marketing structure in many organizations. The marketing department has been accorded full status and is no longer seen as one of the organization’s promotional tools. However, marketing planning continues to struggle with problems such as planning activities, communication and output. Limited senior management support and involvement, inadequate marketing and planning skills and little planning were some of the impediments noted a decade ago. Currently, the management has changed its position and it has now become more involved in the marketing planning process.

Effective marketing is hindered by lack of marketing analysis, little market intelligence, failure of involving non-marketers, little lateral thinking and poor internal communication. Creating effective marketing plans is also hindered by ineffectual marketing intelligence, poor co-ordination, poor managerial skills, petty politics and inadequate planning resources. The logical model would approach marketing from an external point of view, where marketing is aimed at satisfying the external customer and ignoring the internal customer. However, organizations should aim at improving internal marketing in the same manner that they have focused on external marketing. Internal marketing ensures that employees focus on the customers fully and it maintains good relationship within the organization. For internal marketing to be effective, it has to have the following requirements: information sharing, team interactions, formalized internal marketing communications campaigns, employee feedback sessions, orientation sessions, encouraging success stories and empowerment of line managers to solve various problems.

 

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