Outline the main benefits/advantages and the potential disadvantages/drawbacks associated with marketing planning, based on a critical review of the literature.
Marketing planning is a series of activities in a logical sequence leading to the setting of marketing objectives and the formulation of plans for achieving them. There has been much research into the advantages and disadvantages of marketing planning; the main findings will be described in this paper.
Marketing planning helps to identify potential sources of competitive advantage as it makes a company look at the market environment and think about the opportunities within it. If competitive advantages are found these can be exploited and high returns gained. Marketing planning makes the company become more organised as it encourages planning and the setting of objectives and strategies, this gives more direction to the firm as they know what they are doing, when, how and the deadlines. If the whole firm is organised and knowing collectively where they are heading it means they can work more in tune with each other to meet the objectives. Because objectives have been set, it makes it easier for management to monitor performance towards theses objectives. The whole marketing planning process improves communication and relationships within the company. This is because the different functions have to work together to make the plan and also to implement it. It has been said that if operational level staff are involved in planning it motivates them greatly. The marketing plan can be largely improved if operational level staff are involved, this is because they are closer to the customer and know what they prefer, and what they think of competitors. Finally, the training that staff are given for marketing planning, e.g. setting objectives, can be used in other areas of their job and can improve the company as a whole, not just in marketing.
If marketing planning becomes too formalised it will not bring...
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