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Marketing Planning Process - Introduction

Author: Jim Riley  Last updated: Sunday 23 September, 2012

Macdonald (1995) suggests that several stages have to be completed in order to arrive at a strategic marketing plan. These are summarised in the diagram below:

Marketing Planning Process

The extent to which each part of the above process needs to be carried out depends on the size and complexity of the business.

In a small or undiversified business, where senior management have a strong knowledge and detailed understanding of the overall business, it may not be necessary to formalise the marketing planning process.

By contrast, in a highly diversified business, top level management will not have knowledge and expertise that matches subordinate management. In this situation, it makes sense to put formal marketing planning procedures in place throughout the organisation.


From the diagram, the main components of a marketing plan can be summarised as:

Component of the plan

Description

Mission statement

A meaningful statement of the purpose and direction of the business

Corporate objectives

The overall business objectives that shape the marketing plan

Marketing audit

The way the information for marketing planning is organised. Assesses the situation of marketing in the business – the products, resources, distribution methods, market shares, competitors etc

Market analysis

The markets the business is in (and targeting) – size , structure, growth etc

SWOT analysis

An assessment of the firm’s current position, showing the strengths & weaknesses (internal factors) and opportunities and threats (external factors)

Marketing objectives and strategies

What the marketing function wants to achieve (consistent with corporate objectives) and how it intends to do it (e.g. Ansoff, Porter)

Marketing budget

Usually a detailed budget for the next year and an outline budget for the next 2-3 years

Action plan

The detailed implementation plan






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