Marketing Planning Models

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Assess the practical value of strategic marketing planning models to today’s marketing managers.

The four P’s are essential for any company wanting to implement the marketing concept, unfortunately these tools only concern the operational side of an organisation (they identify the wants and needs of a customer and then present them as a product). If a company wants to succeed and survive in the future they must focus on marketing planning, this concept concentrates on where the company currently is both internally and externally and the best way for long term progression. Its purpose has been described by McDonald,(1989) as “to find a systematic way of identifying a range of options, to choose one or more of them, then to schedule and cost out what has to be done to achieve the objectives” (Brassington, F & S Pettitt, 2007, p422). There are two levels of planning involved in marketing, the annual plan and the strategic plan. The annual plan concerns short term prospects over one year. It is based on specific goals and objectives and concentrates on the companies financial budget and the action plans used to achieve the such goals (during this stage it is not uncommon for some of the four P’s to be continuously adjusted to adapt to on going change). The strategic plan is focused on the long term and takes a more corporate view, it reviews a company’s internal and external environments using a market audit, looks at resources for both the present and the future and has strategic goals to adhere to, all of which follow the businesses mission statement. Although finance is important in companies a qualitative rather than quantitative approach is beneficial and helps both types of plan to grow.

The marketing audit, a definition, “the systematic audit is a comprehensive systematic, independent & periodic examination of an organisations marketing environment, objectives, strategies and activities, with a view to determining problem areas and opportunities and recommending a plan of action to improve the company’s performance” Kotler. This is normally the first part of planning that then leads onto the marketing planning models used by market managers today. It analyses the macro environment concerning SLEPT factors, the Social, Legal, Economic, Physical/Political and technological concerns of a business and the external micro environment; the suppliers, customers, competitors and distributors. The internal audit focuses on decisions and whether the marketing actions and allocated resources are appropriate for opportunities and constraints (Brassington, F & S Pettitt, 2007, p426). When all aspects of the audit is complete a SWOT analysis is performed to assess the results. SWOT deals with the internal strengths and weaknesses and the external opportunities and threats. The strengths and weaknesses concern the four P’s and the package offered to the public or target audience. It involves competition between companies especially when concerning price and quality i.e. a strength would be a lower price but a weakness if the price was lower due to competition forcing you to do so. The threats and opportunities focus more on the future, a company may look to get costs down (an opportunity) whereas competitors would see this as a threat. This analysis allows companies to find out where they are now, identifying what to do next. This planning model is practical and a useful tool in todays business world as it identifies all areas of concern and highlights where focus should be. Unfortunately although weaknesses can be overcome by opportunities, strengths can be overcome by threats! Portfolio models also known as marketing planning models must look at the corporate picture as a whole and when looking at the product itself decide whether a company has enough strong products to out number the weaker ones and if not design new ideas in order to replace those declining. A good way to do such analysis is using the product life cycle....
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