Strategic Planning

Topics: Marketing, Marketing plan, Strategic management Pages: 11 (3305 words) Published: April 4, 2014


This write-up attempts to review what authors have written specifically on strategic marketing process; particularly their approach and personal philosophy vis-à-vis this concept. Within the various approaches, it looks at the respective purpose and structure. Then onwards provide an analytical perspective on the SWOT analysis which seemingly, marketing gurus and authors embrace in their strategic plan in today's market environment.

Review: Strategic Marketing Plan

Doyle (2002) explains strategic marketing plan is concerned with adapting the organisation to a changing environment more effectively than their competitors. "Organisation succeeds when they meet the needs of customers more effectively than their competitors" (Doyle 2002, p. 92). The market's drivers for change (Drummond, Ensor 2003), some of which are far beyond the organisation's sphere of control. Adaptability becomes an inextricable phenomenon in mainstream marketing environment. The organisation has to monitor key macroenvironmental variables (demographic, economic, technological, political, and socio-cultural) and microenvironment variables (customers, competitors, distributors, suppliers) that affect its ability to retain customers (Kotler, P. 2003). In order for it to achieve and enjoy a comparative advantage, the organisation executes a careful strategic planning, and using marketing strategies to achieve this aim (Dibb et al 2001). Hence, the notion of strategic marketing plan.

Doyle advanced that a well defined strategy would incorporate the following: Scope of business; Objectives; Strategic business unit (SBU) identification; Resource allocation; Deeping sustainable advantage; Effective functional strategies (positioning, product line, price, promotion and distribution; synergy. The elements of synergy and SBU identification underlined by Doyle prove relevant to large organisations with diverse business units, products and target segments. It would serve a right purpose for management to be clear and exact about their choice of product, what business are they in, and what business do they want to be. He supports his approach with the following diagram.

According to Doyle, strategic focus looks at product profitability either by increasing productivity or increasing volume by market expansion and penetration as an objective for an organisation to pursue; a marketing strategy that have seen most UK supermarkets and departmental stores adopting in South East London, for instant the ASDA supermarket. Dibb et al posits the strategic marketing process is based on the establishment of organisational goals and must stay within the bounds of organisational opportunities and resources (2001, p. 656). They highlight a complex set of externalities including; political, legal, regulatory, societal and green, economic and competitive, and technological forces that border around the all popular notion of PEST (political, economic, social & technological) analysis. The relationship between market opportunities and organisation's goals and the availability of resources to match them in relation external forces is captured below in the diagram provided by Dibb et al (2001).

The aforementioned understanding relates with that of Drummond and Ensor who also agree that the external analysis is the "initial step in the process of establishing the key issues facing an organisation" (2003, p. 34). Given that businesses operate in hostile and increasingly complex environment, it makes sense to try to bring some order to this chaos by understanding the commercial environment and bringing some strategic sense to the process of marketing products and services (Riley, J.G. 2005). Another distinctive element of the Dibb et al model is the focus on organisational opportunities and resources, which Doyle (2003) also highlights in his approach. A proper strategic marketing planning process would seek to identify the organisation's...
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