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The Marketing Plan

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Consideration of the Management Process
The management of marketing serves as the framework for the process of marketing. Marketing management also serves as a central link between marketing and the societal level and everyday consumption by the general public.
Although there are many variations of the marketing process, the one shown in the next slide will be employed in this course. The process begins with corporate-level considerations, which dictate the direction the entire organization will take.
The three corporate-level considerations listed here (mission, objectives, and strategy) are more precisely basic management topics, but are addressed in passing in this course.
Functional-Level Considerations
If a marketing firm is to adopt the customer-centered orientation discussed earlier, it must also extend this philosophy to the other functions/institutions with which it must interact. These functions, and the institutions that perform the functions, can be categorized as non-marketing institutions and marketing institutions.
Non-Marketing Institutions
Non-marketing institutions can exist within the organization or outside the organization.
Non-marketing institutions within the firm include:
• Accounting
• Financial planning
• Human resources
• Engineering
• Manufacturing
• Research and development
Marketing must be familiar with the capabilities of each of the non-marketing institutions and plan accordingly. Establishing and maintaining rapport with leaders in these other functional areas is a challenge for every marketer. Non-marketing institutions outside the firm facilitated the marketing process by providing expertise in areas not directly related to marketing. Examples include financial institutions that lend marketers necessary funds; regulatory institutions that pass laws to allow marketers to perform an activity; and the press, which tells the public about the activities of the marketer.
The Marketing Plan
To a great extent, the same sequence of activities performed at the corporate level is repeated at the marketing level. The primary difference is that the marketing plan is directly influenced by the corporate plan as well as the role of the other functions within the organization. Consequently, the marketing plan must always involve monitoring and reacting to changes in the corporate plan.
Apart from this need to be flexible to accommodate the corporate plan, the marketing plan follows a fairly standardized sequence. The marketing plan begins with a mission. A mission reflects the general values of the organization. What does it stand for? How does it define integrity? How does it view the people it serves?
Every organization has an explicit or implicit mission. The corporate mission might contain words such as "quality", "global", "profitability", and "sacrifice".
The marketing-level mission should extend the corporate mission by translating the latter into a marketing context.
• A corporate mission that focuses on technology might be accompanied by a production-oriented marketing mission.
• A corporation that stresses stockholders/dividends may result in a sales-orientation in marketing.
• A corporate mission that concentrates on value or quality reflects a consumer oriented marketing mission.
Once the mission is established, the situation analysis follows.
A marketing plan's situation analysis identifies factors, behaviors, and trends that have a direct bearing on the marketing plan. Much of this information is usually collected simultaneously with the corporate information. However, collecting information about potential and actual customers tends to be the concern of marketers. This is an ongoing activity and represents a great deal of the marketer's time and money.
The situation analysis helps produce a relevant set of marketing objectives. At the corporate level, typical objectives include profitability, cost savings, growth, market share improvement, risk containment, reputation, and so on. All these corporate objectives can imply specific marketing objectives. "Introducing a certain number of new products" may lead marketers to profitability, increased market share, and movement into new markets. Desire to increase profit margins might dictate level of product innovation, quality of materials, and price charged.