Lecture 2 - Marketing Planning
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Learning Objectives



The importance of planning

The marketing plan

Strategic planning process

Components of a Strategic Marketing Plan


Learning Objectives

When you have completed this unit, you should be able to:

  • define the types of marketing information needed by marketers and understand how it may be analysed
  • be able to identify the difference between microenvironmental and macroenvironmental factors and how they influence a company's ability to meet their set objectives
  • have an understanding of the different types of information that marketers need to know and what role each piece of information plays in the decision making process
  • have an understanding of the role of research in the marketing process and how to select the most appropriate type of research to meet the marketers' information needs
  • be able to explain the differences between primary and secondary research and to determine which is required to meet specific information needs.



Read the prescribed text, chapter 2.

This chapter provides the content and substance of Lecture 3.  As in previous lectures, you may find it useful to make brief notes as you read, paying particular attention to the highlighted section of the text book. 

Then read Part B of Lecture 2 (below).

In Part B, salient points have been extracted from the chapter as a guide for your learning and as a useful basis for later revision.

After reading Part B, you will be ready to work through Module 1.




The Importance of Planning

    Whilst plans themselves are useless, I have always found the planning process itself invaluable.

    Dwight Eisenhower

    If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

    Common wisdom

The importance of planning in marketing cannot be too strongly emphasised.  The following are just a few of the reasons for this emphasis.  Planning in marketing:

  • compels management to be proactive rather than reactive
  • allows integration and coordination of projects and activities throughout the organisation
  • communicates major goals and priorities to all staff
  • provides a benchmark for performance review
  • allows for tracking and control against the plan.


Strategic Planning Process

A strategic plan is a plan that is based on a strategies or combination of strategies.  The following diagram shows a successful strategic planning process for marketing in a business:


The role of Marketing in Strategic Planning

The role of marketing in strategic planning involves the following considerations:

  • marketing strategy and company strategy overlap
    • both strategies are often expressed in terms of consumer needs and the company's ability to satisfy them as well as market share, market development and growth strategies
  • marketing provides the guiding philosophy, which is customer orientation
  • marketing analysis identifies attractive opportunities for new products, new markets, new market segments and so on.

You can see, then, that marketing is a total system of business activities.


The Marketing Plan

The marketing plan:

  • is usually conducted on two levels, ie. long term and annual
  • contains greater detail than the corporate plan
  • focuses on objectives and strategies within specific markets
  • takes direction from the corporate plan
  • may be written for specific products, channels or markets.

Levels of marketing planning

Levels of planning appropriate to a market planning are demonstrated in the following diagram:


The marketing planning process

The marketing planning process asks three basic questions.  They are:

    • where are we now?
    • where do we want to go?
    • how will we get there?


Components of a Strategic Marketing Plan

There are a number of set components in a strategic marketing plan.  They are as follows:

  • Executive Summary
  • Mission Statement
  • Corporate Objectives
  • Situational Analysis
    • external: market, consumers, competitors, political, technology, social, public, economy etc.
    • internal: resources, skills, products, brands, marketing mix, objectives etc.
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Objectives
  • Strategies
  • Action Plans
  • Control and Evaluation.

The rest of this lecture addresses most of them.  The Executive summary, the Mission statement and Control and Evaluation are addressed elsewhere.

Corporate objectives

This section of the plan:

  • provides the strategic context within which the plan will operate
  • establishes the:
    • culture
    • risk profile
    • resource capability
    • focus
    • growth objectives.

Situational analysis

The Situational Analysis is:

  • a snapshot of the market, highlighting
    • where we have been
    • where we are now
  • both :
    • descriptive: what is happening?
    • analytical: why is it happening?
  • is made up of:
    • external analysis
    • internal analysis
    • SWOT analysis.

External analysis

The external analysis involves the following areas:

  • the macro-external environment: the economic, social, cultural, poltical, legal, demographic, technological issues and their effects
  • the market:
    • defining, measuring, quantifying and predicting
    • market size, potential, structure and trends
  • the consumer:
    • who, what, when, why, how?
    • the consumer's needs, wants, gaps, opportunities
    • attitudes, involvement in decision making
    • social and cultural trends affecting purchase
    • the importance of branding, price, variety, value and service
    • attitudes to advertising messages, product performance, quality etc.
  • competitors:
    • direct, indirect and potential competitors
    • size, performance
    • level of threat and vulnerability
    • strategies, culture, mission
    • strengths, weaknesses, competitive advantages
    • product, price, positioning, distribution etc.

Internal analysis

The internal analysis addresses the following:

  • review of internal structures, policies and strategies that impede or enhance the firm's ability to compete
  • company culture, mission, goals
  • resources, eg. dollars, manpower, managerial skill
  • performance, eg. dollars, market share and volume, brand awareness, loyalty
  • marketing mix
  • competitive advantages
  • strategic alliances.

SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis should:

  • be written up on one page
  • be clear and succinct
  • identify the key issues:
  • strengths and weaknesses
  • opportunities and threats.

Strengths and weaknesses:

  • are relative to the competition
  • are defined as a strength only when you do something better than a competitor
  • are defined as a weakness when you are lagging behind the competition.

 Opportunities and threats:

  • are identified by the external analysis
  • must be defined in the light of the firm's mission and objectives.


You may have seen the objectives invoked in other contexts.They are known as SMART objectives:


Objectives may be written for:

  • sales in dollars and volume
  • market share
  • profitability in dollars or as a percentage
  • service levels
  • corporate awareness
  • membership levels, etc.

The type of objective which is relevant to the marketing strategy will depend upon the type of organisation for which the strategy is being prepared.


The following considerations are basic to developing marketing strategies:

  • target market
  • positioning
  • product
  • price
  • promotion
  • distribution.

Action Plans

Action Plans are detailed plans dealing with specific marketing projects, eg. the development of a television campaign, new product development, market research, sales promotion etc.

Action Plans outline who, what, when and where.

Financial information

Financial information is basic to:

  • marketing expense budgets
  • sales forecasts
  • profit impact statement.


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