Marketing planning is the structured process that leads to a coordinated set of marketing decisions and actions, for a specific organization and over a specific period, based on:
The course of action that results from marketing planning is recorded in a marketing plan. This internal document outlines the marketplace situation and describes the marketing strategies and programmes that will support the achievement of business and organizational goals over a specific period, usually one year. Often firms create separate marketing plans for each brand and each market as well as for a new product launch or other special activities.
In a world where brand reputation are won and lost with the click of a mouse and economic problems that originate far from home can disrupt local buying patterns, marketing planning is more important than ever before. You need a structured process to guide you through the examination of different opportunities for satisfying customers and achieving marketing goals, as well as for assessing the current and potential threats to overall performance. And you need it as a framework for systematically identifying and evaluating different marketing possibilities, priorities and outcomes.
Marketing planning keeps you focused on your customers, help you determine what your organization can do ( and what it can’t do) for customers, helps you examine offerings in the context of competition and the marketing environment, and sets up the rationale for allocating resources to achieve marketing efficiency and effectiveness. Marketing planning, in effect, deals with who, what, when, where, how and how much of an organization’s marketing.
However, the marketing plan is not simply an account of what you as a marketer aspire to accomplish in the coming year. Your plan must allow for measuring progress towards objectives and making adjustments if actual results vary from projections. In other words, a marketing plan must be both specific and flexibility to help you prepare for the new and the unexpected: an economic crisis, new competition, evolving technology, new laws, changing regulation and other shifts that can affect marketing performance.
Make sure to set your marketing plan with the following characteristics:
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