Strategic Marketing Planning

Strategic Marketing Planning
Stanton defines strategic marketing planning as the process of setting marketing
goals, selecting target markets and designing a marketing mix to satisfy these markets and
achieve these goals. The marketing strategy is therefore functional strategy. It is different
from corporate strategy. However, the marketing strategy stems from the corporate
strategy. In other words, the functional strategies should be in conformity with the overall
strategy of the company. The functional strategy like marketing strategy sets the
boundaries for all the action programmes related to marketing. According to staton, the
six stages involved in strategic marketing planning process are:
1. Situational analysis-with a purpose to determine where we are and where are we
2. Determine the objectives – these goals should be specific and realistic
3. Select and measure target markets-identify present and potential customers
4. Design marketing mix strategies and tactics – How do we get to where we want to
5. Prepare annual marketing plan-the how to do it guide to yearly marketing
6. Implementation and evaluation – How are we doing? Did we do what we said we
would do?
Situation analysis consists of an analysis of external environmental forces and the
non-marketing resources that influence an organization‟s marketing programmed. These
factors are: political, economic, competitive, socio cultural, historical, etc. this analysis
also reviews and evaluates an organization‟s existing marketing mix so as to identify the
flaws and problems associated with them. This analysis will help an organization to know
where it is and where it should reach in future, which may be called the first stage.
The second stage is to formulate the objectives. This includes both the corporate
objectives as well as marketing objectives. At the time of setting the marketing objectives,
care should be taken to make it specific, measurable and in conformity with the corporate
objectives. It will be better to spell them out in writing so that there is no scope for
In the third stage, the organization should identify the present and potential
customers. This is what is called selection of target markets. Apart from analyzing the
existing market for its products, the organization should try to identify the new market for
its products. For this purpose, the company has to adopt the marketing segmentation
technique. Once the market is segmented, it is necessary to forecast the market for the
product in each segment.
The fourth stage is to design a strategic marketing mix that enables the
organization to satisfy the wants of its target markets and to achieve the marking
objectives. The design and later the operation of the marketing mix components constitute
the bulk of a Company‟s marketing effort.
In the fifth stage, the strategic marketing planning is prepared. A series of short
term marketing plans are prepared. Usually a period of one year is covered. They are
called annual marketing plans. It includes a statement of objectives, identification of
target markets, strategies relating to the marketing mix, information regarding the
budgetary support for the marketing activity.
After formulating the strategic marketing planning in the above manner, the last
stage is, it should be implemented and evaluated periodically. This is done to understand
how for the organization is following plan. If there are deviations, the causes and
consequences of such deviations are analysed. Further, to design the future course of
action, there is a need to analyze the changing marketing environment. The actual
performance of the strategic plan has to be critically evaluated so as to accomplish the
objectives of the company as desired and as planned. In the process of evaluation, it any
defect is found, corrective measures should be incorporated immediately. It would also be
wise to do this evaluation segment – wise so that the strategy developed for each segment
can be perfected. It is also good to study the strategic planning of the competitor to come
out with new ideas and plans.