Steps in the marketing planning plans: in a corporate set up, two levels of planning are in practise
1. Comprehence or overall company planning, and
2. Specific operating planning
The overall company planning is formulated having focus on the planning of strategic issues and implementation schems. Both of them interact each other. While the strategic company planning includes the developments of overall planning premises, objectives and policies; the implementation stage of planning concentatred on the co -ordination and summary of the individual operating and staff plans required to develop overall plans and budgets for the company. The marketing planning is thus, a specific operating planning document and requires the development of detailed marketing plans as well as derivative marketing policies and procedures like other functional plans on finance, R & D, etc. the following eight steps should normally be followed in the marketing planning process-
Planning and organizing the marketing planning effort: this step requires:
1. Defining specifically what the marketing planning, effort is expected to achieve, and to what use the marketing plans will be put;
2. Developing an approach to carrying out the marketing planning function (including policies that will guide the planning effort); and
3. Determining a time table for developing the marketing plans.
Defining the marketing planning premisies: this step involves:
1. Determining the key marketing factors (for example quality, price, customer, place etc.) which will have a major influence on planning through a study of environmental factors (such as society, economy, government policy, industry, market) related to the market plan being developed as well as the company resources, operations and profatibility and
2. Developing the bases upon which specific marketing plans are to be built, whenever possible assumption about the future should be quantified and given in the form of forecasts.
Determining the company objective: in the light of the marketing planning premises, this step involves:
1. Developing and evaluating alternative directions that the company might follow;
2. Selecting the marketing planning that will most profitably explit the opportunities identified during the premising stage of planning; and
3. In addition, stating the marketing guided principals of action, general philosophy, and overall strategy that will guide and control all phases of marketing planning.
Developing marketing policies or guidelines for action: after developing and evaluating alternatives that will achieve the marketing objectives, this steps select the marketing policies that best fulfil the company objective and still meet the market, the industry and other allied criteria.
Developing implementation plans for the marketing: after developing and evaluating alternatives, this step involves:
1. Selecting the marketing plan (including subsidiary objectives for all other functional areas) that is consistant and attainable;
2. Quantifying the marketing plan in the clear terms (the sales forecast plays a dominant role at this stage); and
3. Specifying the needed derivative policies, and producers in the planning areas.
Co -ordinating and controlling the marketing planning: after the marketing plans for implementation are completed, these are reviewed and co -ordinated in the form of budgets. At this stage, management information systems and other specific decision making tools are extensively used for the control purposes.
Marketing optimization planning: at this stage, a suitable marketing organization is developed, and administrative producers to implement the marketing plan are established.
Reviewing the marketing plan: the marketing plan is subjected to review and refinement periodically by means of SWOT (strengts or weaknesses or opportunities or threats) analysis. The marketing manager must bear in mind that his operating plans are an integral part of the overall company planning process and affected by the environmental and resource limitations and that his policies in large part are directed by the overall company directions.