Marketing planning is the process of improvising a marketing plan incorporating overall marketing objectives and goals and designing strategies and programs of actions to achieve those objectives.
Marketing planning includes setting objectives and targets and allocating those targets to people responsible to achieve them. It also includes careful examination of all strategic issues, including the business environment, the market itself, the corporate mission statement, competitors and organizational capabilities.
Marketing planning is a sequence of stages that are usually followed in a format. Companies can adopt a marketing plan to suit the situations and their requirements. Marketing planning process includes both the development of objectives and specifications of how to achieve those objectives.
Let us now discuss the components of a marketing plan.
It is the reason for which a company exists. Mission statement is a direct statement that shows why a company is in business, provides basic guidelines for further planning, and organizes broad parameters for the future.
Most of the useful mission statements encourage staff and customers.
Objectives are the set of goals to be achieved within a specified timeframe. Corporate objectives are essential goals the company as a whole wishes to achieve within a given timeframe such as one or five years.
Marketing audit helps in examining and evaluating the marketing strategies, activities, problems, goals, and results.
It is done to check all the aspects of business directly linked to the marketing department. It is done not only at the initial state of marketing planning process but also at a series of points during the execution of plan.
The information collected through the marketing audit process is used for the development of SWOT Analysis. It is an analysis of the company's marketing efforts and its strengths, weaknesses, options, and warnings related to marketing functions.
A good marketing plan depends on in-depth customer understanding and knowledge. However, it is not possible to know everything about the customer, and many different things are assumed about the customer. Example: Assumptions of who the target buyers might be.
After identification of options and challenges, the next step is to develop marketing objectives that mark the end state to achieve.
Marketing strategies are formed to achieve the marketing goals and objectives. They are formed to determine how to achieve those target points.
Marketing managers have to predict the expected results. They have to project the future numbers, features, and trends in the target market.
Without proper forecasting, the marketing plan could have impractical goals or fall short on what is promised to deliver.
An alternate or substitute marketing plan is created and kept ready to be executed in the place of the primary marketing plan if the whole or some part of the primary marketing plan is dropped.
The marketing budget is the process of documenting the desired costs of the proposed marketing plan.
One common method is to allocate the marketing budget depending on the percentage of revenue. Other methods are comparative method, all you can afford, and task method.
At this stage, the marketing team is all set to put their plans into action. This may include spending money on advertising, launching new products, interacting with potential new customers, opening new retail outlets etc.
A marketing planning process is required to be verified and updated on a regular basis.