Strategic Marketing Planning and How to Formulate It
This article will introduce strategic marketing management and strategic marketing planning. A basic concept in business that gives long-term insight to the business marketing to establish their competitive advantage in the market. Strategic marketing management and planning is a powerful tool for marketing managers and helps them achieve their goals. In the following, we will become more familiar with the concept of strategic marketing planning and examine its role in macro-organizational strategies and operational strategies.
Preliminary Definition of Strategic Marketing Planning
Strategic marketing planning sets the stage for other corporate planning. It is the process of creating and maintaining a strategic position between an organization’s goals and capabilities and changing marketing opportunities. A comprehensive marketing strategy program relies on providing a clear description of the tasks for the company, the objectives associated with those tasks, determining the combination of logical activities and coordinated operating policies.
At a high level, the mission and existential goal of the company is defined first. This mission then becomes the detailed related goals that will guide the company. Then, the central government decides on the best combination of activities and product selection for the company and the amount of attention each product or activity needs.
What Is Strategic Marketing Planning?
Each product or activity must have detailed marketing plans with policies for each of its parts. These plans should support the company’s comprehensive marketing plan. Thus, strategic marketing planning should be defined for each product activity and in different market levels.
Determining the Organizational Mission
Every organization is created to do a specific job called an organizational mission. Despite being initially clear, this mission becomes obscure over time as the organization grows and produces new products and markets. However, the goal may remain clear, but the organization’s managers can no longer commit to it. Another scenario is the goal remains clear, but it is not the best choice in new circumstances.
When the management unit feels that the organization has deviated from its original path, it should investigate the cause. The questions below may help in such situations:
- 1.What is our job?
- 2.Who is our customer?
- 3.What does our customer need?
- 4.What will be our job?
- 5.What should our job be?
These seemingly simple questions are some of the most challenging questions a company has to answer. Successful companies constantly confront these questions and give them accurate and complete answers.
Organizational Mission and Its Relationship With Strategic Marketing Planning
To answer the above questions, many organizations prepare a formal mission statement or organizational mission statement. A Mission Statement is a task that the organization intends to perform in society. Setting up a formal mission statement is not easy. It takes a year or more for some organizations to prepare a good statement. As they work, they discover new things about themselves and the potential opportunities of the organization. A clear mission statement is like an “invisible hand” that guides the company team toward the organization’s goals.
Companies traditionally define their task in terms of product: “We are a furniture manufacturer.” This definition is sometimes based on technology: “We are a chemical manufacturing company.” But market-based definitions are far better than product and technology-based definitions. Products and technical advances will eventually become obsolete, but market needs will remain stable.
How Should Managers Formulate the Organization Mission
Managers should not be too brief or too general about the company’s mission. For example, when a pencil manufacturer introduces its mission as providing communication equipment, it claims a very broad professional mission.
The company mission must be very realistic and explicit. Many mission descriptions are only for public relations and do not have the necessary clarity and guidance. The phrase “We intend to become a well-known company in the industry by producing the cheapest and highest quality products and providing the best services” seems very interesting. However, it is very general and includes contradictions. This mission does not help the company to make appropriate decisions.
In contrast, some businesses provide detailed mission descriptions. For example, a mission statement that defines the company’s goals in terms of markets, consumers, employees, shareholders, and others. In addition, managers may summarize the company’s ethical standards and social responsibility in a larger marketing environment. To be meaningful, such an explanation must be supported by explicit goals and policies.
Aligning Strategic Marketing Planning With Company Missions
The company’s mission statement should be provided in detailed aims and objectives for all levels of managers. These goals should be in line with the primary mission of the company. On the other hand, Strategic marketing planning should be in line with these goals.
Every manager at any level of the organization must have clear goals and be responsible for achieving them. For example, consider an international minerals and chemical corporations company that is engaged in a variety of activities, including the chemical fertilizer production. The company’s mission in producing chemical fertilizers is not “producing chemical fertilizers,” but is: “Increasing agricultural productivity.” This mission leads to a hierarchy of professional goals, marketing goals, and marketing policy.
The mission of increasing agricultural productivity leads the company to the goal of “researching” to find new chemical fertilizers. But doing research requires tons of money. So, the company needs to increase its profitability to spend more money on research. Therefore, another major goal will be to “increase profitability.” Profitability is achieved by increasing sales and reducing costs. Sales are possible by increasing the company’s market share in the US market and entering new foreign markets, or both. These goals turn into marketing objectives.
In order to achieve marketing goals and formulate strategic marketing planning, there is a need to develop marketing policies. To increase market share in the United States, the company must increase and facilitate consumer access to the product and conduct promotional advertising. To enter new foreign markets, the company may cut sales prices and target large farms abroad. These goals are among the goals of comprehensive marketing policies.
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