All the info about marketing plans is useful, but what is actually involved in the marketing planning process?
In order to create the marketing plan, there are a number of stages that an organisation needs to go through which begins with looking at the organisation’s mission statement and corporate objectives – this provides an overall look at what the company is trying to achieve.
The next stage involves looking at the organisation’s internal environment which gives a good idea of what shape the business is currently in and helps the organisation focus on what its strengths and weaknesses are inside the business.
An audit of the external environment entails looking for the Political, Economic, Social and Technological factors surrounding the organisation. Research will be carried out which will highlight any opportunities the organisation can take advantage of or threats it needs to defends itself against. This information is added into a SWOT matrix which clearly shows this information.
The assumptions step involves recording those things that are taken for granted when thinking about why the company exists, for example, if you are a marketing consultant, you assume that people will still require marketing services.
Objectives are formulated based on what the company wants to achieve. These need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound (SMART) to enable monitoring of how well they are working and to provide a target to reach as motivation. The way to achieve the objectives is devised by strategies and the tactics provide the process behind how those strategies will be implemented.
It is important to estimate your expected results to enable the organisation to monitor the strategies and tactics to see if something is not working well. Alternative plans and mixes should be created in order to quickly change tactics should this happen.
The budget details either the amount required to carry out the action guide or the amount of money made available by the organisation.
The outcome of the marketing planning process is a detailed report containing research about the organisation’s current status including market and competitor information, along with a SWOT analysis and a detailed step by step programme that needs to be worked through to achieve the organisation’s objectives.