This is an excerpt from the second edition of our book on „Social Media Marketing“ by Philip Kotler , Svend Hollensen and me which is globally availabe via Amazon.

Get the latest publication from the ‚Father of modern Marketing‘ Phil Kotler now:

Link to US amazon site: http://amzn.to/2xxsJCj

Link to German amazon site: https://lnkd.in/gNk6T6V

 

This second updated and extended edition of ‘Social Media Marketing’ guides through the maze of communities, platforms, and social media tools so that markers can decide which ones to use, and how to use them most effectively.

Endorsements

‘This book is an indispensable guidance for 21st century professional marketers, who seek to leverage social media to win in consumer communication.’ Kohzoh Takaoka, President & CEO, Nestlé Japan Ltd.

‘In marketing today, there is social media and everything else. This is the book that will help you master social media, the indispensable element in every marketing program.’ Al Ries, Chairman, Ries & Ries

1.1 Introduction to Marketing Planning

Marketing is the organization function charged with defining customer targets and the best way to satisfy their needs and wants competitively and profitably. Because consumers and business buyers face an abundance of suppliers seeking to satisfy their every need, companies and not-for-profit organizations cannot survive today by simply doing a good job. They must do an excellent job if they are to remain in the increasingly competitive global marketplace. Many studies have demonstrated that the key to profitable performance is knowing and satisfying target customers with competitively superior offers. This process takes place today in an increasingly global, technical, and competitive environment.

There are some key reasons why marketing planning has become so important.

Recent years have witnessed an intensifying of competition in many markets. Many factors have contributed to this, but amongst some of the more significant are the following:

·       A growth of global competition, as barriers to trade have been lowered and global communications improved significantly.

·       the role of the multinational conglomerate has increased. This ignores geographical and other boundaries and looks for profit opportunities on a global scale.

·       In some economies, legislation and political ideologies have aimed at fostering entrepreneurial and ‘free market’ values.

·       Continual technological innovation, giving rise to new sources of competition for established products, services and markets.

The importance of competition and competitor analysis in contemporary strategic marketing cannot be overemphasized. Indeed, because of this we shall be looking at this aspect in more depth in later chapters. This importance is now widely accepted amongst both marketing academics and practitioners. Successful marketing in a competitive economy is about competitive success and that in addition to a customer focus a true marketing orientation also combines competitive positioning.

The marketing concept holds that the key to achieving organizational goals lies in determining the needs and wants of target markets, and delivering the desired ‘satisfaction’ more effectively and resourcefully than competitors (Hollensen, 2006).

Marketing planning is an approach adopted by many successful, market-focused companies. While it is by no means a new tool, the degree of objectivity and thoroughness with which it is applied varies significantly.

Marketing planning can be defined as the structured process of researching and analyzing the marketing situations, developing and documenting marketing objectives, strategies, and programs, and implementing, evaluating, and controlling activities to achieve the goals. This systematic process of marketing planning involves analyzing the environment and the company’s capabilities, and deciding on courses of action and ways to implement those decisions. As the marketing environment is so changeable that paths to new opportunities can open in an instant, even as others become obscured or completely blocked, marketing planning must be approached as an adaptable, ongoing process rather than a rigid, static annual event.

The outcome of this structured process is the marketing plan, a document that summarizes what the marketer has learned about the marketplace and outlines how the firm plans to reach its marketing objectives. In addition, the marketing plan not only documents the organization’s marketing strategies and displays the activities that employees will implement to reach the marketing objectives, but it entails the mechanisms that will measure progress toward the objectives and allows for adjustments if actual results take the organization off course.

Marketing plans generally cover a 1-year-period, although some may project activities and financial performance further into the future. Marketers must start the marketing planning process at least several months before the marketing plan is scheduled to go into operation; this allows sufficient time for thorough research and analysis, management review and revision, and coordination of resources among functions and business units.

Marketing planning inevitably involves change. It is a process that includes deciding currently what to do in the future with a full appreciation of the resource position; the need to set clear, communicable, measurable objectives; the development of alternative courses of action; and a means of assessing the best route towards the achievement of specified objectives. Marketing planning is designed to assist the process of marketing decision making under prevailing conditions of risk and uncertainty (Hollensen and Opresnik, 2015).

Above all the process of marketing planning has several benefits (Hollensen, 2006):

·       Consistency: The individual marketing action plans must be consistent with the overall corporate plan and with the other departmental or functional plans.

·       Responsibility: Those who have responsibility for implementing the individual parts of the marketing plan will know what their responsibilities are and can have their performance assessed against these plans. Marketing planning requires management staff to make clear judgmental statements about assumptions, and it enables a control system to be designed and established whereby performance can be assessed against pre-defined criteria.

·       Communication: Those implementing the plans will also know that the overall objectives are and how they personally may contribute in this respect.

·       Commitment: If the plans are agreed upon by those involved in their implementation, as well as by those who will provide the resources, the plans do stimulate a group commitment to their implementation, and ultimately lead to better strategy-implementation.

Plans must be specific to the organization and its current situation. There is not one system of planning but many systems, and a planning process must be tailor-made for a particular firm in a specific set of conditions. Marketing planning as a functional activity has to be set in a corporate planning framework. There is an underlying obligation for any organization adopting marketing planning systems to set a clearly defined business mission as the basis from which the organizational direction can develop. Without marketing planning, it is more difficult to guide research and development (R&D) and new product development (NPD); set required standards for suppliers; guide the sales force in terms of what to emphasize, set realistic, achievable targets, avoid competitor actions or changes in the marketplace. Above all, businesses which fail to incorporate marketing planning into their marketing activities may therefore not be able to develop a sustainable competitive advantage in their markets (Hollensen, 2006).

To be continued…

Have a look into the book:

Link to US amazon site: http://amzn.to/2xxsJCj

Link to German amazon site: https://lnkd.in/gNk6T6V