The marketing planning process involves forging a plan for a firm's marketing activities. A marketing plan can also pertain to a specific product, as well as to an organization's overall marketing strategy. Generally speaking, an organization's marketing planning process is derived from its overall business strategy. Thus, when top management are devising the firm's strategic direction or mission, the intended marketing activities are incorporated into this plan. There are several levels of marketing objectives within an organization. The senior management of a firm would formulate a general business strategy for a firm. However, this general business strategy would be interpreted and implemented in different contexts throughout the firm.
The field of marketing strategy encompasses the strategy involved in the management of a given product.
A given firm may hold numerous products in the marketplace, spanning
numerous and sometimes wholly unrelated industries. Accordingly, a plan
is required in order to effectively manage such products. Evidently, a
company needs to weigh up and ascertain how to utilize its finite
resources. For example, a start-up car manufacturing firm would face
little success should it attempt to rival Toyota, Ford, Nissan,
Chevrolet, or any other large global car maker. Moreover, a product may
be reaching the end of its life-cycle. Thus, the issue of divest, or a
ceasing of production, may be made. Each scenario requires a unique
marketing strategy. Listed below are some prominent marketing strategy
With the rapidly emerging force of globalization, the distinction
between marketing within a firm's home country and marketing within
external markets is disappearing very quickly. With this in mind, firms
need to reorient their marketing strategies to meet the challenges of
the global marketplace, in addition to sustaining their competitiveness
within home markets.
A marketing firm must ascertain the nature of customers' buying behavior
if it is to market its product properly. In order to entice and
persuade a consumer to buy a product, marketers try to determine the
behavioral process of how a given product is purchased. Buying behavior
is usually split into two prime strands, whether selling to the
consumer, known as business-to-consumer (B2C), or to another business,
known as business-to-business (B2B).
B2C buying behaviour
This mode of behaviour concerns consumers and their purchase of a given
product. For example, if one imagines a pair of sneakers, the desire for
a pair of sneakers would be followed by an information search on
available types/brands. This may include perusing media outlets, but
most commonly consists of information gathered from family and friends.
If the information search is insufficient, the consumer may search for
alternative means to satisfy the need/want. In this case, this may mean
buying leather shoes, sandals, etc. The purchase decision is then made,
in which the consumer actually buys the product. Following this stage, a
post-purchase evaluation is often conducted, comprising an appraisal of
the value/utility brought by the purchase of the sneakers. If the
value/utility is high, then a repeat purchase may be made. This could
then develop into consumer loyalty to the firm producing the sneakers.
Relates to organizational/industrial buying behavior. "B2B" stands
for Business to Business. B2B marketing involves one business marketing a
product or service to another business. B2C and B2B behavior are not
precise terms, as similarities and differences exist, with some key
differences listed below:
In a straight re-buy, the fourth, fifth and sixth stages are omitted. In
a modified re-buy scenario, the fifth and sixth stages are precluded.
In a new buy, all stages are conducted.
Use of technologies
Marketing management can also rely on various technologies within the
scope of its marketing efforts. Computer-based information systems can
be employed, aiding in better processing and storage of data. Marketing
researchers can use such systems to devise better methods of converting
data into information, and for the creation of enhanced data gathering
methods. Information technology can aid in enhancing an MKIS' software
and hardware components, and improve a company's marketing
In recent years, the netbook personal computer has gained significant
market share among laptops, largely due to its more user-friendly size
and portability. Information technology typically progresses at a fast
rate, leading to marketing managers being cognizant of the latest
technological developments. Moreover, the launch of smartphones into the
cellphone market is commonly derived from a demand among consumers for
more technologically advanced products. A firm can lose out to
competitors should it ignore technological innovations in its industry.
Technological advancements can lessen barriers between countries and
regions. Using the World Wide Web, firms can quickly dispatch
information from one country to another without much restriction. Prior
to the mass usage of the Internet, such transfers of information would
have taken longer to send, especially if done via snail mail, telex,
Services marketing relates to the marketing of services, as opposed to
tangible products. A service (as opposed to a good) is typically defined
* The use of it is inseparable from its purchase (i.e., a service is used and consumed simultaneously)
* It does not possess material form, and thus cannot be touched, seen, heard, tasted, or smelled.
* The use of a service is inherently subjective, meaning that
several persons experiencing a service would each experience it
For example, a train ride can be deemed a service. If one buys a train
ticket, the use of the train is typically experienced concurrently with
the purchase of the ticket. Although the train is a physical object, one
is not paying for the permanent ownership of the tangible components of
Services (compared with goods) can also be viewed as a spectrum. Not all
products are pure goods, nor are all pure services. An example would be
a restaurant, where a waiter's service is intangible, but the food is