Why does planning matter? - Marketing Strategy

The organisation needs a strategic marketing plan in order to adapt to a changing business environment. Given the basic business premise of‘success through effectively meeting customer needs’ it is clear that organizations must continually adapt and develop to remain successful. Strategic marketing facilitates this process and provides robust solutions in an increasingly competitive world. Essentially, the plan should provide a systematic framework with which to analyses the market place and supply a well-defined way to pursue strategic goals.

However, the truly successful plan goes further than the simple process of planning. It is a vehicle to communicate, motivate and involve staff in fundamental business activities. Too often planning is viewed as a restrictive process based on programming events and generating paperwork. Remember, plans need employee commitment and ‘ownership’ to achieve results.

The key reasons for planning are summarized as follows:

  • Adapting to change :Planning provides an opportunity to examine how changes in the business environment have affected or will affect the organization. It enables management to focus on strategic issues as opposed today-to-day operational problems.
  • Resource allocation :Planning allows us to deploy resources to effectively meet opportunities and threats. No plan can succeed without appropriate resources. When a strategic perspective is taken, organizations are better placed to marshal the resources required to meet strategic ‘windows of opportunity’.
  • Consistency : By providing a common base to work from(e.g. techniques and assumptions) the overall decision-making process can be enhanced. Additionally, common methods and formats should improve internal communication.
  • Integration :As a strategic process, planning should facilitate the integration and co-ordination of the marketing mix. By providing a strategic focus it should be possible to generate synergy from the individual elements of the marketing mix.
  • Communication and motivation :The plan should clearly communicate strategic intent to employees and other stakeholders. Clear objectives and an understanding of the individual, or group contribution to the process serve to generate‘ownership’ and motivation.
  • Control : All control activities are based on some predetermined plan. The planning process should set meaningful targets, thus defining the criteria by which success is measured.

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