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Topic: Strategy

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Advantages And Disadvantages Of Strategic Planning

Posted by Carl Crawford on 4588 Points
Hello everyone,

I am in need of the "mega brain" that is KHE. I have to write a critical essay on the “advantages and disadvantages of formalised strategic marketing planning” for my marketing strategy paper. It is worth 60% of the grade and I bombed the other assessments so I kind of need to do well in it to come out with a reasonable grade.

I need help to define what strategy is and, more importantly, what marketing strategy is. It seems there is no definition that people can agree on. From what I have read every man and his dog has there own definition. I would like for you to either point me in the right direction or provide your definition. It would also be great if you can point to to a few journal articles that you think might be useful.

Could you also help me understand the relationships between corporate strategy, business strategy and marketing strategy?

From what I understand it goes like this corporate strategy (long term, resource allocation, internal development etc) => business strategy (short term, selecting markets to enter/leave, HR etc) => marketing strategy (developing customer value)

I would be EXTREAMLY helpful if you can help me "evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of developing and implementing a strategic marketing strategy."

There is one last bit of the question which has me totally stumped:

"Briefly discuss how product, market and organisational factors might influence a firm’s choice of an appropriate strategic marketing planning process.

Consideration should also be given to the differences and relationships between marketing strategy and tactical marketing management."

Also industry examples would be fantastic.

I have read a few articles by Henry Mintzberg, Michael Porter and G Hamel and got a list of about 8 more to read.



  • Posted by MonMark Group on Member
    Carl, My goodness, it's good to hear from you. It's way too early in the day, on a Sunday to even think, yet answer your question, yet it will be done later. I'm sure Wayde will have a stupendous answer. I'll be back after coffee. But first, I want you to think a moment about your first part.

    "I need help to define what strategy is and, more importantly, what marketing strategy is."

    If you don't 'mind...please tell us YOUR version of the answer to this question.
    See you later.

  • Posted by Carl Crawford on Author
    Hi Randall, it is 3 am here on a monday. Sorry I was planning to put that in, but must have forgotten.

    Strategy is an overriding concept that provides direction to an organisation based on there given unique skills and values, while taking into account the market condiations and requirements of the market present at the time.

    Marketing strategy: the broad marketing thinking that will enable an organisation to develop its products and marketing mixes in the right direction, consistent with overall corporate objective.
  • Posted on Accepted
    hi , I definitely want to point you to some lovely articles written on this subject: first one is highly recommended; it actually discusses the porter model and suggests new definitions
    !. Mckinsey quarterly in 1996 bringingdisciplinetostrategy
    2. Mckinsey - 2000 - what is the market telling you about your strategy
    3. mckinsey qrtrly 2002 strategy under uncertainty
    4. mckinsey qtrly 2002 - just in time strategy for a turbulent world (STRONGLY RECOMMENDED for providing a basic definition of strategy); though not close to marketing strategy
    5. mckinsey 2005 - leadershipas the starting point of strategy - THIS ORGANISATIONAL PROBABLY POINTS AT THE ORGANISATIONAL FACTORS IMPACTING STRATEGY - teamwork at the top
    7. harvard business review 2004 diversity as strategy
    8. harvard management update 2006 - building blocks of strategy (FANTASTIC BUT SHORT ARTICLE)
    10. HBR - the office of strategy management

    FOR CASE STUDIES - suggest look at the book "blue ocean strategy"

    i am too tempted to write a few lines on the subject but i am afraid it will be too many pages and too many hours before i will end. so here's hoping that you read all the articles and appreciate the number of years of research that has gone into giving you this bibliography.
  • Posted on Accepted
    Hi Carl,

    Best of luck on your assignment! This very similar question was posed to the group a few weeks ago and you might want to review our responses to another student. The link, for your convenience, is below:

    A lot of great thoughts to build upon.


    Sandy Riedel
  • Posted by mgoodman on Accepted
    Let me first tackle the core question: advantages and disadvantages.

    The advantages of formalized strategic marketing planning are: provides clear and actionable direction for the organization; serves as a yardstick against which to measure progress; allows other functional areas within the company to coordinate activities (at a high level); ensures that everyone is on the same page.

    The disadvantages are: requires additional time/effort that may/may not result in optimal allocation of resources; risks alienation of those who don't agree or who have a different idea; requires follow-up attention and/or accountability; can lead the organization away from action orientation to a more academic view of the business.

    In many small businesses, management can get away with a less formal strategic planning process, because the focus is on implementation. As long as the business is set up right in the first place, execution may be everything. In larger/more complex businesses, the strategic planning process is usually more critical to success.

    Marketing strategy comes in two flavors (in my opinion):

    1. The Big Picture -- How are we going to satisfy an unmet consumer need and make money in the process of doing so? Who is it we're going to serve, and how are we going to do it? (Overall Marketing Strategy)

    2. The Marketing Mix -- How should we allocate our resources among the marketing mix elements to best achieve the overall objective? What's the right product? Pricing? Packaging? Promotion? Sales/distribution? Advertising? Publicity? Etc. (Detailed Marketing Strategy Set)

    Hope this helps.
  • Posted by wnelson on Accepted
    Hi, Carl,

    Strategy is the "what do you want to be when you grow up" discussion within the various functions of the corporation. It has a long horizon - typically three to five years. Corporate strategy looks at the firm as an overall entity - putting all the pieces together - and defines what the firm will be in a macro sense. Think of this as how the firm will make the world a better place - albeit by serving customers, returning value to stockholders and stakeholders, and/or the world in total. If you click on my name and take the link to my website, you can see a description of a strategic process. Additionally, you will see an outline for a strategic plan.

    A business strategy - well, I never differentiated that from a corporate strategy. I suppose you could say that this is the financial part of a corporate strategy. But, I don't separate them that way.

    A marketing strategy defines those long term actions to capture customers. If you look at my website, you will see a topic - Marketing. The strategy is the first part and includes analysis - of customers/market, competitors, and corporation. The second part is direction setting and includes strategic actions from SWOT and competitive strengths and weaknesses, product/service defintion, position statement, and brand strategy.

    The implementation of a corporate strategy is the business plan. It's the year-one actions you need to take to be on track with the strategy. Same is true for the marketing plan within the marketing strategy.

    Advantages - well, strategic planning is a lot like going on a trip. You need to set a destination and have a map to get there - otherwise you don't know where you are going let alone how to get there. Without a strategy, you miss opportunities, waste resource, and generally drift.

    Disadvantages - Frankly, I don't see any for functional organizations. If the organization is dysfunctions - no leadership, no commitment, no agreement - then setting a strategy is pointless and wastes time. But, again quite frankly, under these conditions, being in business is pointless and wastes time! So, from a disadvantages point of view, I can only think of disadvantages in specific cases - dysfunctional organizations, a firm that doesn't want growth, a firm that is really just a hobby, etc.

    You have some excellent input on articles and opinions here. You have polled the cream of the KHE. Good luck!

  • Posted by Chris Blackman on Accepted

    Sounds like the midnight lamp is burning bright in the land of the long white cloud (Aeotorea).

    1. "evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of developing and implementing a strategic marketing strategy."

    Michael and Wayde both nailed it. The properly-constructed strategic (business or marketing) plan tells people in the organisation:

    - What they are supposed to be doing
    - How, where and why they are supposed to be doing it
    - How and when it gets measured (objectives, project plans and timelines, metrics)

    Those all seem quite advantageous to me, but call me crazy...

    The disadvantages - nil as I see it. Yes, of course it takes time and effort. Like the effort of lining a gun up on a target and taking aim, rather than waving the gun around in the air and pulling the trigger hoping to hit something.

    But - flip the coin and have a look at the disadvantages of NOT having a strategic plan.

    - Confusion
    - Misapplication of resources
    - Lack of clear objectives
    - No timescales
    - No accountability

    In short, how would you know if you were succeeding if there was no plan and no defined set of metrics?

    2. "Briefly discuss how product, market and organisational factors might influence a firm’s choice of an appropriate strategic marketing planning process.

    Consideration should also be given to the differences and relationships between marketing strategy and tactical marketing management."

    This part is a hugely wide-ranging question: Could you help focus us here by telling us the types of marketing strategic planning processes that you have been studying?

    I'll watch this thread for your reply.

    Good luck.


  • Posted by KSA on Accepted

    I had a thought about the organizational part of the question:

    "Briefly discuss how product, market and organisational factors might influence a firm’s choice of an appropriate strategic marketing planning process.

    From what I've seen, the culture within an organization makes a big difference in terms of how they do any kind of planning.

    A very authoritarian, very hierarchical organization will tend to use planning processes that are run by senior management, and that are perhaps more grounded in what the "experts" recommend. There is very little involvement of the people on the front line.

    An organization that places value on the contributions of employees at all levels will be more likely to create a task force comprised of individuals from marketing, sales, customer service, etc. to make sure they are making plans that will be implementable (if that's a word) in every department.

    Considering the product/market part of that issue, I can only think of differences in how market research would be conducted depending on how companies selling different products and markets can reach their prospects.

    For example, a new food product could be taste tested in grocery stores. A company introducing a new type of product (say, when the i-Pod was first created), the company would have to work harder to define their target audience and to reach their target audience to get an opinion.

    Hope this is of some benefit, and good luck!

  • Posted on Member
    Refer this book:

    I had to write a very similar essay during my MBA. This book helped.

  • Posted by NoStressXpress on Accepted

    You have received some very excellent responses from the forum. I'd like to add the following:

    1. "evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of developing and implementing a strategic marketing strategy."

    In my professional opinion the advantages are many as offered by my colleagues and there is only one disadvantage: implementing the WRONG strategic marketing strategy and wasting the time to develop one! Let me give you an example:

    TYPEWRITERS. Back during the 1960's and 1970's the IBM Selectric typewriter series was very popular around the world. Over the course of the decades electric typewriters have been replaced by personal computers, printers, and word processing software. Can you imagine the hardships IBM would have today if it adopted a strategic marketing plan to continue marketing electric typewriters against the more technologically superior and more versatile computer? In fact, I would guess that several decades ago IBM's strategy was to phase out the electric typewriter and incorporate it's functions into the computer.

    2. "Briefly discuss how product, market and organisational factors might influence a firm’s choice of an appropriate strategic marketing planning process.

    A firm's organizational factors WILL influence a firm's choice of an appropriate strategic marketing planning process. In my professional opinion the outcomes will be dependent on whether the firm is marketing-driven, technically/engineering-driven and manufacturing-driven to name a few. Other factors that play into this are the leadership styles of the decision makers and degree of customer focus that the firm has. After all, the true objective of marketing is to discover "unmet" customer needs. I consider strategic marketing as the process of determining what those "unmet" needs will be in the future.

    Product and market factors will lend their influences. Let's take copper as another example. Today, copper is primarily used as an electric conductor and also as material for tubing/pipes. Can you envision copper being replaced by high temperature "super" conducting material in the next generation or two. I certainly can because technological knowledge doubles every 10 years!

    Also, don't forget your basics: anything strategic (whether its a marketing or business plan) has to take into consideration the STEEP factors:

    S= Sociological
    T= Technological
    E= Environmental
    E= Economic
    P= Political

    I hope this helps!

  • Posted by MonMark Group on Member
    So, I go away for coffee, and this amazing crowd busts through. XLNT work. I concur. Corporate strategies are about the stockholders and creating stock value in that arena.

    Company strategies are about making money by satisfying the needs of the customers.

    NO POINTS...Just piling on.
    Good to hear from you though. Skype me some time.

  • Posted by Peter (henna gaijin) on Accepted
    Check out this link on various strategy terms. A little confusing, and may not be agreed upon by all, but food for thought:

    “advantages and disadvantages of formalised strategic marketing planning” - many good points to this were covered above. Having a road map versus time/resources.

    Some things you may want to consider:

    - being an academic paper, the chances are the professor will be predisposed to seeing more planning than less.

    - one great benefits to any planning isn't the document that results, but found in the process taken. Using one start-up I worked with as an example - I wrote the business plan for it. The end result was a document that took up lots of paper, and was rarely ever read. But the main benefit was that putting together a business plan made me think about all of these different areas of starting a business that I wouldn't necessarily have thought about. The document provided a framework which let me then find the information needed, and gave me the end result of having a much better feel for the business, industry, etc. than I had prior to doing this.

    "Briefly discuss how product, market and organisational factors might influence a firm’s choice of an appropriate strategic marketing planning process."

    One area that impacts is how bureaucratic a company is. I worked for one large company, and if the potential growth wasn't in the millions, it wasn't worth taking on the project. Their internal planning process was very burdensome, so would cost a lot in time and resources.

    Smaller companies have a much less rigid, and usually more streamlined process, so the costs are lower. They are able to go after smaller potential gains.

    ps - time to update your username here - I am using Firefox now.
  • Posted on Accepted
    Hi there,

    I was faced with the same question whilst doing my MA in Marketing and found no answer. For me, all the planning is just like drawing a few initial lines to help oneself see the fuller picture at the end which may be anything. All tha strategic plans, be it product development, market development, communication, promotion etc. its all just planning and it certainly helps the process, it gives us guidelines but the reality of the market dynamics are such that no matter how much we plan, it can all go terribly wrong. How often do we need to plan? Every day, once a month, once a year? No time for planning, one has to live marketing. Strategic thinking is essential. But strategic thinking is different from planning. One first has to think and to plan is just to put on paper, make some sense of it and help others understand our vision. But to achieve something, we need a plan otherwise we will not know whether we have achieved it. We have to meassure our success againsts our visions. So I guess one needs a plan to spell out goals and aims so that we can meassure our achievement against it. Confusion about corporate, business and marketing strategy should not be great. Corporate strategy is like a vision, business strategy is what you want to achieve with your business in general, again its almost the same as corporate vision and marketing strategy, in my opinion the most important one, is concerned with what you want to achieve with regards to relationship product-market-consumer. With regards to your second question, product and market is all about cost focus, differentiation and niche market strategy. What kind of product you have in what kind of market? This is essential in coming up with the strategic planning. Your product positions you in the market. What do you want to be in the market, leader, follower, challenger? It all depends on your marketing strategy. Organisational factors play great role in all this. Just think of the company which does not even have a marketing department and believe me there are plenty of these! Or a comapny where all the marketing activites are undertaken and decided by the financial director or production department! How will their marketing strategy differ from that of market orientated company?
    I hope these few word help. One piece of advice, all of this theory comes handy once you try and turn in into practice in real world but its the whole new world once you do get into it for real. But its great and you will LOVE IT :) Good luck, Emi
  • Posted by darcy.moen on Accepted
    Okay, while I lack the formal education of many of my peers, I'd like to shoot from the hip and put my degree from the University of Hard Knocks to work.

    In the business world, there is always a trade off between planning and reacting.

    Planning allows one to have policies and procedures in place to add order to work. Work occurs and progress is made when folks show up and do what they are supposed to do.

    But, add a little dis-order to the equation, and planning can sometimes go out the window. Reacting to events (and there is no shortage of unplanned events in business) and planning sometimes falls down. In the world of business, one needs to have room for a little anarchy.

    Strategy is the process of anticipating needs and deeds. When you anticipate a competitor to zig, you should have a plan to zag ready. Disadvantage is when you are entrenched in planned work, and you miss the opportunity to exploit a competitive advantage because one was wrapped up in work. Vice versa is also true, as there is no competitive advantage in being un-organized and madly off in all directions.

    Michael Gerber talks about the three personalities all entrepreneurs share, the entrepreneur, the administrator, and the accountant. While all three personalities have strengths and weaknesses, and sometimes certain characteristics are at odds with each other, at some point, one must be the planner, the administrator or the entrepreneur. Knowing when to deploy which personality and when is in itself a strategy. Knowing when to put one away and bring another to the forefront is experience. This will require trial and error, and is an exercise no paper will ever simply can only be learned by doing.

    When to do strategic planning, and when to act upon it, is a dance in advantage and dis-advantages. Ahh grasshopper, this is a good question.

    Darcy Moen
    Customer Loyalty Network
  • Posted by mbarber on Accepted
    Gidday Carl

    Apologies for the delay.

    Strategy: From the greek root word 'strategos' which meant 'General'. The general would issue instructions to his troops about where to move to. Key thing to note - he would do so 'before' tackling the enemy.

    Therefore ANYTHING to do with 'strategy' must be a decision process PRIOR to actual engagement with the marketplace (a thought too often lost on the business schools supposedly teaching people these days). There is a pretty good summary on (from memory) the Cal State website attributed to Guralnic which says something like 'the science of moving troops prior to actual engagement with the enemy'.

    Be clear on your definition as it will ultimately set the tone for the remainder of your piece. Arguably something like 'making operational decisions prior to undertaking any activity' might fit the bill.

    Given time constraints you face, as a general rule I wouldn't read anything put out by McKinsey which is focused on selling more of their consulting services than it is providing rich source of information - too many dud article for the few gems. I also wouldn't bother with Blue Ocean strategy just yet - leave it later (inherent flaws that would mislead you in to thinking that the book actually provides the answer, when all it really does it highlight a problem and a good theory)

    If you do feel inclined to read the snapshot stuff try Booz Allen Hamilton whose articles are far richer (even if they too are focused on selling more of their services).

    Take a look at Prahalad as well as the Porter, Minzberg et al

    The essence of corporate strategy goes something like this - 'How do I as a well placed member of the board (or CEO etc), extract as much as I can from this business whilst ensuring that shareholders are happy?'

    Business strategy is along the lines of 'what actions does this business need to take to ensure its viability in the short term?' (12 months)

    Marketing Strategy SHOULD be along the lines of 'What specific promotions initiatves can we take to ensure that product lines X, Y & Z are profitable in the short term?'

    So Corporate strategy is about alignment to the needs of the vested interests of ownership. Business strategy is about the ongoing operational success of an area of the business, marketing strategy about specific product offerings. If you have any questions about the above DO read (whether time permits or not) 'Who really Matters - the Core Group Theory' by Art Kleiner

    The advantages of developing and implementing a marketing strategy - actually thinking specifically about the variables that may come into play in the course of a company taking its wares to the marketplace; thinking about the best operational choices the business could make given its desires and its expectations and assumptions about the marketplace; having action choices ready to go should the market turn out how the organisation expects.

    Disadvantages? Locking the business in to thinking that its chosen actions are the only ones available to it or that they are the best or most suitable ones available to it; cost associated with working through the process given that the marketplace will inevitably change.

    The last part is probably your easiest given that it states 'BRIEFLY discuss...' Comes down to a couple of things. The existing internal capability held by the organisation - does it have an exquisite set of marketing and business skills? Does it have an exquisite set of experience in which those skills have been used? Does it have a comprehensive awareness of the available tools and models that could assist it to achieve its aims? The less experience it has, the less likely it is it will pick the right operational strategies. The less skills it has the less likely it is that they will apply those strategies effectively. The less awareness it has the less likely it is that the organisation will have enough effective choices about the decisions it makes. Less choices means more chance of failure or being surprised by the unexpected.

    BUT - you HAVE to tie whatever you discuss BACK to the notion of strategy, so make sure you perhaps compare it to an experienced General versus an inexperienced one; and well stocked army versus one with few tools etc

    Industry examples. Have a look at Graeme Hart's takeover vehicle Burns Philp. Take a look at what it expected when the takeover for the bakeries division of (from memory, George Weston) was up for grabs and the choices they made as a company. Take a look at what happened when they realised the figures were inflated. And take a look at the way Hart goes to market with his takeovers and acquisitions - expectations, assumptions and operational choices.

    Take a look at Telecom NZ's pitch for AAPT in Australia, how they valued it, what they dioscovered given the legislative hamstringing in Oz and what they did to write off the asset

    Should keep you busy :-) Happy to have a look at your piece prior to submittal to offer some feedback too. By the way, if you go to and go to the resources section, there is a piece on Value Systems as Foresight frameworks and the impact on management. It was published in the Futures Research Quarterly Summer (Northern Hem) edition last year but you can download it for free. Might add another layer of your approach to strategy selection.

    Marcus :-)
  • Posted by steven.alker on Accepted
    Dear Carl

    I’m hoping that my contribution might assist you in ordering your thoughts and ideas rather than just giving you another 3 months worth of reading material. It could be called a strategy for answering the question! Then you can sort out what the question requires and evolve the tactics to write the assignment. More of tactics later!

    Just as an aside, reading this reminded me of having written all three types of Strategic plan and having to be told by my CEO that my papers concerned tactics – not strategies. At least he’d read the things!

    In the MarketingProfs article previously referred to by Sandy, I sarcastically said that the biggest disadvantage in writing a marketing strategy as an employee was usually to spend weeks on performing the task and then to have no one take any notice of it. Having the tome ignored when the author is a marketing consultant is one of the greatest advantages - you get paid for producing it and no one asks any difficult questions about how to implement it or gives you a bollocking when the company fails to follow it or its outcomes don’t materialise.

    It strike me that a spot of going back to basics would be useful to you as would a careful analysis of the differences between a Strategy and Tactics and then how the hierarchy of Strategies seems to fall out in the modern business world. A lot of the comments made, whilst very useful and correct refer to tactics as does a large chunk of the article in Wikipedia referred to by Peter.

    The meaning of strategy is originally military and my copy of Chambers Dictionary (It’s a book!) still refers exclusively to military explanations. The term was borrowed by Drucker et-al because they regarded the conduct of business in the same manner as a general might conduct a battle or a leader might conduct a war. It means generalship or the art of conducting a campaign. It makes no reference as to what steps you take to achieve this except to state that it consists of an overview within which or under which you execute tactics. That hasn’t changed much in the transposition of the term to business.

    If fact if you Google “define: strategy” you will see how from the above description a whole set of definitions of the use of strategy have grown over the years to cover almost all disciplines and areas of life. In the context of your question, this is perhaps more useful than randomly picked business examples because it directs you to a hierarchy of order. Think of it as a folder entitled “Strategy” with sub-folders containing strategies in differing areas of work. Within these sub-folders are further folders, related to the parent, but addressing the prime objective of the original “Battle Plan”

    From that, you might deduce that from the root of Strategy you might have a sub-category of Corporate Strategy. This would be an over arching plan in the broadest terms setting out the goals of the corporation and including shareholders, staff, customers, products, assets and perhaps the desire to annex Poland. In a sub folder beneath that, you would have your business strategy which would address, with numbers what you intend to use the resources of the company, present and future for to fulfil those corporate strategic objectives. Note that there is no “How to” in any of this, just “What to do” and “Where to go” and “With what” Beneath that, you will have the marketing strategy which will set out in the broad terms which markets you will penetrate, what market share you will achieve what mix you will use and the kind of product growth you will find to achieve it.

    The further you go down the hierarchy, the more detailed the numbers start to get and the greater the temptation to start to explain just how and with what and exactly when you will do it.

    At this point, almost all strategies start to blur with or incorporate tactics, so let’s have a look at those. I don’t think that you can answer your question without referral to tactics because they are the tools and the steps with which you will implement your Strategies and the two are so often incorrectly juxtaposed that you should get some marks for differentiating between them...

    Googling, “Define: Tactics” again gives you a rich series of definitions and again my copy of Chambers relates back the word to the military, yet again. It is the science or the art of manoeuvring in the presence of the enemy! As we’ve already had the entomology of Strategy from Marcus, here’s the same for tactics it’s from the Greek taktikos and it means fit for arranging.

    In your essay, it might be an idea to relate the tactics that you would employ in order to fulfil each type of strategy. Marketing is easier to do than those in its hierarchy – imagine doing the business case where you’d have to look at tactics involved in Finance, Manufacturing, HR, and Logistics and so on. At least marketing strategies involve only sales and marketing.

    So that’ my overview and it distils down into your primary question in this conclusion: As tactics are the means and the steps by which you accomplish your strategy, regardless of the business philosophy you follow, you cant actually deploy any tactics unless you work out what they are, when you use them, how you use them and what you are going to get from them. Without the vision of a Strategy, you really don’t know where or how or why to start working on tactics. Without your tactics, you have no executable plan and without a plan, each day will have no purpose.

    A lot of entrepreneurs despise the formal planning involved in Corporate, Business and Marketing strategies and just seem to get on with the tactics. I strongly suspect that’s because they are a lot smarter than the rest of us and although they may not have identified it as such, all the strategic planning has been done, usually in their heads. When misfortune strikes them in the form of a No 32 bus or a runaway train, their executors usually discover this to the cost of their estate.

    Disadvantages? Apart from my previous witticisms, there’s only the slavish adherence to a rigid formula because it happens to be in the strategy. They should be fluid and evolving beasts and any company which thinks that it will have a 5% clue as to the detail of their markets, their products; the world economy or their own state of health in 5 years is deluding themselves. Any strategy needs to be constantly refined to meet new challenges and new opportunities which could not have been foreseen. As the tactical part of the argument is the most responsive, it is these which will change first and if the forecasts which result from the changing tactics indicate that the strategy ain’t going to happen, then it must change. Too many corporations think that they have the gift of long range weather forecasting. Not even meteorologists believe in that any more!

    Good luck with the essay and for letting me do an answer without mentioning CRM!

    Steve Alker
    Unimax Solutions

  • Posted by MANSING on Accepted
    Hi Carl,

    After carefully reading your question I have analysed few things which I am putting in the answers. Let’s start with theory:

    • Marketing strategy: It’s a business approach to marketing its products/ services expresses in broad terms, which forms the basis for developing a marketing plan.

    • Marketing strategy integrate an organization's marketing goals, policies, and action sequences (tactics) into a cohesive whole. The objective of a marketing strategy is to provide a foundation from which a tactical plan is developed.

    • Marketing strategies explain how the marketing function fits in with the overall strategy for a business. Examples of marketing strategies could be: Launch new products, Expand distribution (e.g. open more shops), Expand distribution (e.g. open more shops), Increase selling prices, reduce the amount spent on television advertising, and Implement a public relations programme.

    Once a strategy has been identified, then the business must develop an action to turn the strategy into reality. The starting point for this plan is the setting of marketing objectives.

    Marketing objectives are the specific targets for marketing set by the business to achieve their corporate objectives.

    Examples of marketing objectives might be:

    • Increase sales by 10%
    • Launch a new product by the end of the year
    • Achieve a 95% customer satisfaction rating
    • Increase the number of retail outlets selling our products by 250 within 12 months

    It is important for a business to set marketing objectives because managers can then have targets for their work. They can then measure more effectively the success or failure of their marketing strategies to achieve these objectives.

    1. The marketing strategy is shaped by your overall business goals. It includes a definition of your business, a description of your products or services, a profile of your target users or clients, and defines your company's role in relationship to the competition. The marketing strategy is essentially a document that you use to judge the appropriateness and effectiveness of your specific marketing plans.

    1.1 To put it another way, your marketing strategy is a summary of your company's products and position in relation to the competition; your sales and marketing plans are the specific actions you're going to undertake to achieve the goals of your marketing strategy.

    1.2 The marketing strategy provides the goals for your marketing plans. It tells you where you want to go from here. The marketing plan is the specific roadmap that's going to get you there.

    1.3 So in effect, you can't have a marketing plan without a marketing strategy. But a marketing plan without a marketing strategy is a waste of time. The marketing strategy provides the goals for your marketing plans. It tells you where you want to go from here. The marketing plan is the specific roadmap that's going to get you there

    2. As you know for every business if they want to be successful then they need to search the customers and retain customers. They do this by providing better value than competition. To do this Marketing management constantly have to assess which customers they are trying to reach and how they can design products and services that provide better value.

    2.1 The main problem with this process is that the environment in which businesses operate is constantly changing. So the business must adapt to reflect changes in the environment and make decisions about how to change the marketing mix in order to succeed. This process of adapting and decision-making is known as marketing planning.

    3. Going into detail the Strategic planning is concerned about the overall direction of the business. It is concerned with marketing, of course. But it also involves decision-making about production and operations, finance, human resource management and other business issues.

    3.1 Marketing has a key role to play in strategic planning, because it is the job of marketing management to understand and manage the links between the business and the “environment”.

    The following questions lie at the heart of any marketing and strategic planning process:

    • Where are we now?
    • How did we get there?
    • Where are we heading?
    • Where would we like to be?
    • How do we get there?
    • Are we on course?

    Above theory is inter-related with other factors such as Strategic Marketing Planning.

    B. What is the Importance of Strategic Marketing planning?

    4. As you know today’s businesses are operate in hostile and increasingly complex environment. The ability of a business to achieve profitable sales is impacted by dozens of environmental factors, many of which are inter-connected.

    4.1 It makes sense to try to bring some order to this chaos by understanding the commercial environment and bringing some strategic sense to the process of marketing products and services.

    A marketing plan is useful to many people in a business. It can help to:

    • Identify sources of competitive advantage
    • Gain commitment to a strategy
    • Get resources needed to invest in and build the business
    • Inform stakeholders in the business
    • Set objectives and strategies
    • Measure performance

    I have covered big part of Strategic Marketing, Marketing Planning and Marketing Management and the importance for the organisation.

    I hope this help you study.

    Best Luck!


    M Bhor
  • Posted by MANSING on Accepted
    Hi Again

    Every business owner should develop a written guideline that sets forth the business's marketing strategy. This document is used to judge the appropriateness of each action that the business takes.

    If a company has to take an action that is off-strategy, it may indicate a temporary emergency action prompted by competition or other factors beyond normal management control. Or it may indicate the need to change or revise the company's marketing strategy.

    A good marketing strategy provides specific goals and can include:

    • a description of the key target buyer/end user

    • competitive market segments the company will compete in

    • distribution channels

    • the unique positioning of the company and its products versus the competition

    • the reasons why it is unique or compelling to buyers

    • price strategy versus competition

    • marketing spending strategy with advertising and promotion

    • possible research and development

    • Market research expenditure strategies.

    An overall company marketing strategy should also:

    • define the business

    • position the business as a leader, challenger, follower, or niche player in the category

    • define the brand or business personality or image that is desired in the minds of buyers and end users

    • define life cycle influences, if applicable
    Use the following checklist to help create your own marketing strategy.

    Marketing strategy checklist

    • define what your company is

    • identify the products or services that your company provides

    • identify your target buyers/end users

    • Establish the marketing category (e.g., fast food purveyor, high-end audio equipment sales, etc.)

    • determine whether your company will be a market category leader, follower, challenger, or niche player

    • Describe the unique characteristics of your products or services that distinguish them from the competition.

    • define whether your pricing will be above, below, or at parity with your competitors and establish whether you will lead, follow, or ignore changes in competitors' pricing

    • identify the distribution channels through which your products/services will be made available to the target market/end users

    • describe how advertising and promotions will convey the unique characteristics of your products or services

    • describe any research and development activities or market research plans that are unique to your business

    • describe the image or personality of your company and its products or services

    Strategy statement tests. If the statements in your strategy are measurable and actionable and work to differentiate your company and products apart from the competition, congratulations!

    If they are not measurable and actionable and do not differentiate your company from the competition, revise them until they are.

    A good working marketing strategy should not be changed every year. It should not be revised until company objectives (financial, marketing, and overall company goals) have been achieved or the competitive situation has changed significantly, e.g., a new competitor comes into the category or significantly different or new products emerge from existing competitors.

    I hope this help you study.

    Best Luck!


    M Bhor
  • Posted by Carl Crawford on Author
    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for your responses so far. My internet connection when down so I wasn't able too reply sooner.

    I have my marketing research exam tomorrow so I will be cramming for that tonight.

    Thanks to everyone that emailed me I will respond when I get time.
  • Posted by steven.alker on Member
    Dear Carl

    Good luck with the exam and with the cramming for the exam – you deserve to do well.

    A couple of tips on cramming:

    Focus on the things you know which might arise in the exam but where your retention of detail might let you down.

    Don’t try to take on new subjects you havn’t been able to cover to date – you won’t learn them in time and you can’t cover those as well as the revision on subjects where you might be able to squeeze an extra 5 or 10% by absorbing key details.

    A Tip on the tactics of cramming. Drink coffee that tastes nice to help you with alertness and stop when you find that you cant take in anything in – you’ll be forcing out easy mental access to things that you already know and won’t be able to recall them in the exam.

    Don’t do what I tried at St Andrews when cramming for my Chemistry Finals – I decided that revision accompanied by a half bottle of whisky would be a stimulating combination. It was, but I kept getting insights into the meaning of life, the universe and statistical thermodynamics all rolled into one. However I slept well and not suffering from hangovers at the time, I scraped a pass. Thank the Lord it wasn’t the final!

    Best wishes

    PS Thanks for the points! Darcy and I are not, contrary to popular oppinion, in a race - we just enjoy trying to be of assistance!!
  • Posted by Carl Crawford on Author
    Colti981, It would be helpful if you could tell me your name so I know who to see. I ALWAYS quote and referance this site when I use it.

    You can send an email to my student ID craca@student.... (well you know the rest of it)
  • Posted by Carl Crawford on Author
    woop it is craca960@student....
  • Posted by steven.alker on Member
    As a member of the General Council of the University of St Andrews I can tell you that we take a very dim view of plagiarism in course work, including from the internet. We have sophisticated tools which facilitate the detection thereof.

    Correctly attributed and referenced work from a forum or indeed any other website is however encouraged. As long as no student has presented answers which are not his or her own work and insofar as the questions have not been answered on their behalf, the use of such sites is encouraged, as is the attendance, in person, on campus (we don’t have one) at discussion groups, seminars and tutorials. What’s the difference between discussing methods in a tutor’s study or over the web?

    But then my university, unlike yours is rather a new fangled seat of learning - we’ve only been around since 1411 so I suppose that our rules are a bit jumped up.

    Steve Alker

  • Posted by Carl Crawford on Author
    Thank you steve.


    I was just reading the course outline and it even lists this site as place to get infomation.

    I have searched the marketing department website and find NO mention of your email ID on the site. I have disussed using this site with Dr Brendon Grey (the main lecturer) and he is fine with it.
  • Posted by steven.alker on Member
    Dear Carl

    I’ve reflected further on this posting by colti981 and I believe it to be at best a joke in questionable taste, or more likely malicious.

    The intent would appear to be to cause fear and distress to a student who is in pursuit of a legitimate line of research and to do so at a stressful time in the lead up to examinations and assessments.

    As such I’ve sent an email to Val Frazee, the MarketingProfs Moderator asking if there are any remedies which she feels ought to be applied. Obviously, she must be the arbiter of this matter, but as the Forum will be in possession or the originating email address, she will be able to decide on the appropriate action.

    If the originator is indeed one of your fellow students intending to disadvantage you in your course work, it may even be the case that they should be identified and the issue taken up with the college authorities.

    You have been a valuable contributor to this site and you work within the rules. I have personally found your postings to be informative and useful. I think that it is disgraceful if some petty minded or jealous individual is attempting to damage your good name.

    Steve Alker
    Unimax Solutions
  • Posted by Carl Crawford on Author
    Steve I have already contacted carrie about this posting. It is indeed from a student in my class. I have just now finsihed talking with Dr Grey about the posting that TIM COLLINS has made.

    I have also sent an email to the head of the marketing department about this.

    He did have me worried there for a minute.
  • Posted by wnelson on Member

    I couldn't agree more with Steve. When I first saw the posting, my initial reaction was that this is a hoax. It reads almost like one of those virus notes. Or at the least a SPAM.

    I also agree with Steve that your line of questioning here was nothing more than a discussionof your thoughts and others' thoughts. At no time did you ask us to "do your homework." As Steve said, this is akin to a tutor session or a study group. Speaking as a PhD candidate (actually, a DBA - Doc. of Bus Admin), with proper referencing and APA-type quoting or paraphrasing, you have no ethics issues. And in fact, I know you have taken the discussion as a direction toward further secondary research in peer reviewed journals or periodicals.


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