The Marketing Planning Process: 5 Steps

Posted at September 25, 2008 by 1 Comment

The marketing planning process involves both the development of objectives and specifications for how they will be accomplished. There are five basic steps in the process in this process.

1. Determination of Organizational Objective

The basic objectives, or goals, of the organization are the starting point for marketing planning. They serve as the foundation from which marketing objectives and plans are built. These objectives provide direction for all phases of the organization and serve as standards in evaluating performance. Soundly conceived goals should be S.M.A.R.T – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-specific.

2. Assessing Organizational Resources

Planning strategies are influenced by a number of factors both within and outside the organization. Organizational resources include capabilities in production, marketing, finance, technology, and personnel. By evaluating these resources, organizations can pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses. Strengths help organizations set objectives, develop plans for meeting objectives, and take advantage of marketing opportunities. Resource weaknesses, on the other hand, may inhibit an organization from taking advantage of marketing opportunities.

3. Evaluating Risks and Opportunities

Environmental factors – competitive, political, legal, economic, technological and social – also influence marketing opportunities. The emergence of new technologies or innovations may open new opportunities for under-marketed products. The marketing environment may also pose threats to marketing opportunities. For example, a new genetically engineered drug may be developed with the potential to become a $1 billion-a-year product. But a government agency may delay requests to market the drug due to regulations.

4. Marketing Strategy

The net result of opportunity analysis is the formulation of marketing objectives designed to achieve overall organizational objectives and develop a marketing plan. The marketing planning effort must be directed toward establishing marketing strategies that are resource efficient, flexible, and adaptable. The marketing strategy is the overall company program for selecting a particular target market and then satisfying consumers in that segment.

5. Implementing and Monitoring Marketing Plans

The overall strategic marketing plan serves as the basis for a series of operating plans necessary to move the organization toward accomplishment of its objectives. At every step of the marketing planning process, marketing managers use feedback to monitor and adapt strategies when actual performance fails to match expectations.