Innovative Marketing, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2006
SITUATION ANALYSIS AND STRATEGIC PLANNING: AN EMPIRICAL CASE STUDY IN THE UK BEVERAGE INDUSTRY Demetris Vrontis, Alkis Thrassou Abstract
Marketing planning is a key function for marketing oriented organisations. The following paper has been compiled in order to develop a marketing plan for a soft drink beverage company. Though out this case, it is illustrated that the stages in planning process are interrelated and cannot work in isolation. They all add to the development of a focus and specific marketing plan that needs to be followed by marketing oriented companies. Key words: Environmental Analysis, Marketing Planning, Strategy, Tactics.
Marketing Planning – A Theoretical Overview
Marketing planning is defined by Woods (2003) as the structured process of researching and analysing the marketing situation, developing and documenting marketing objectives, strategies, and programs, and implementing, evaluating and controlling activities to achieve objectives. The marketing plan process is illustrated below in Figure 1. Prerequisites Mission Policies
Internal Analysis Sales/Profitability Market Share 7ps
External Analysis Micro Environment Macro Environment
Fundamental Strategies Segmentation Targeting Positioning Ansoff Generic Strategies BCG
Marketing Tactics Product Price Distribution Promotion Service mix Implementation Measurement and Control People Physical Evidence Process Management
Fig. 1. The STRATICS PROCESS – Marketing Planning
© Demetris Vrontis, Alkis Thrassou, 2006
Innovative Marketing, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2006
Marketing planning is critical for a company as it evaluates the company, gives directions and guidance, and enables to set objectives and to identify alternatives and strategies. Furthermore, it can help to improve the quality of decision by reducing rushed decisions and associated risks. Dibb (1996) states that marketing planning is very important as it keeps the companies in tune with trends in the market place, abreast of customer needs, and aware of the competition. Planning helps ensure that resources are utilised effectively, and that businesses are ready to respond to the unexpected. The importance of the internal and external environment and the effect that they have on the development and implementation of strategic planning is crucial and should be highly considered by any organisation wishing to be profitable in the increasingly competitive arena. This is important as a company’s ‘strategic fit’ with its environment is central to its strategy. Effective strategies cannot be developed without firstly analysing the environment in which the company operates. It is suggested that the environmental scanning of both the organisational internal and industrial external environment is a necessary prerequisite stage to strategic formulation. Drummond and Ensor (2001) identify that marketing strategies address three elements: the customers, the competition and internal corporate issues, as depicted in Figure 1, which are dynamic and constantly changing. It is therefore important to develop and use processes, procedures and techniques that ensure that marketing strategy is: Relative to the current/future business environment Sustainable Generating optimum benefits to both the organization and customers Correctly implemented, monitored and controlled Consequently, marketing planning involves assessing marketing opportunities, researching and selecting target markets, determining marketing objectives and developing a plan for implementations and control.
The situation analysis or audit, described as the ‘where are we now’, is the means by which a company can identify its own strengths and weaknesses as they relate to external opportunities and threats. It is thus a way of helping management to select a position in...
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