Marketing Planning defines the role and responsibilities of marketing executives in such a way as to achieve the goals of the firm. Marketing Planning: Concept, Characteristics, and Importance, with Meaning and Definition. A marketing plan may be part of an overall business plan. Solid marketing strategy is the foundation of a well-written marketing plan. While a marketing plan contains a list of actions, without a sound strategic foundation, it is of little use to a business. Mostly, confusion of the question; What is the Difference between Marketing and SellingRead and share the given article in Hindi.

Explain Marketing Planning: Concept, Meaning, Definition, Characteristics, and Importance!

Explanation of Marketing Planning: Concept of Marketing Planning, Characteristics of Marketing Planning, and Importance of Marketing Planning. Marketing planning involves objectives and plans with a 2-5 year time horizon and is thus further from the day-to-day activity of implementation. Because of their broader nature and longer-term impact, plans are typically developed by a combination of higher-level line managers and staff specialists. If the specialists take over the process, it loses the commitment and expertise of the line managers who are responsible for carrying out the plan.

The planning process is probably more important than the final planning document. Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC), The process ensures that a realistic, sensible, consistent document is produced and leads to important organizational learning and development in its own right.

#The concept of Marketing Planning:

A business firm has to make various marketing decisions. These decisions actually emerge from the complex interaction of a large number of persons carrying out diverse responsibilities in the marketing organization. Being part and parcel of the overall management, the marketing executives are deeply involved in the process of planning.

It lays emphasis on the allocation of marketing resources in the best and most economical way. It gives an intelligent direction of marketing operations. Marketing planning involves the preparation of policies, programmes, budgets etc., in advance for carrying out the various activities and functions of marketing to attain the marketing goals.

According to the American Marketing Association,

“Marketing planning is the work of setting up objectives for marketing activity and of determining and scheduling the steps necessary to achieve such objectives.”

Planning is the first management function to be performed in the process of management. It governs the survival, growth, and prosperity of any enterprise in a competitive and ever-changing environment.

The connecting link of markets to marketing is the process and the function of marketing management. Marketing management is the blending factor of markets and marketing. Today the consumer is a complicated, emotional and confused individual. His buying is based on subjectivity and not often backed by objectivity.

The introduction of innumerable brands of toilet soaps, talcum powders is examples. Planning precedes activity in any purposeful endeavor. Business firms naturally undertake a good deal of planning. Business firms have to master the environment and score over their competitors. Thus in the case of a business firm, planning is always strategic in character.

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A firm cannot afford to travel in a haphazard manner, it has to travel with the support of a route map. Every company must look ahead and determine where it wants to go and how to get there. Its future should not be left to chance. To meet this need, companies use two systems a strategic planning system and marketing planning system.

Strategic planning provides the route-map for the firm. Strategic planning serves as a hedge against risk and uncertainty. Strategic planning is a stream of decisions and actions which lead to effective strategies and which in turn help the firm to achieve its objectives. The strategy is not something that can be taken out of one’s pocket and pushed into the market all of a sudden.

“No magic formula exists to prepare for the future. The requirements are an excellent insight to understand changing consumer needs, clear planning to focus our efforts on meeting those needs, and flexibility because change is the only constant. Most important, we must always offer consumers-products of quality and value, for this is the one need that will not change.”

Marketing has been described as the railway engine which pulls all the other departmental carriages along. Marketing planning is the interface between the enterprise and its market.

We had explained that marketing places the consumer at both the beginning and the end of the business process. Any firm practicing marketing in the proper sense has to identify correctly the needs of the consumer, translate the needs into suitable products and services, deliver those products and services to the total satisfaction of the consumer and through the process generate profits for the firm.

#Meaning and Definition of Marketing Planning:

The marketing planning is a comprehensive blueprint which outlines an organization’s overall marketing efforts. It typically results in a marketing strategy that can be used to increase sales for the business producing it.

The definition of marketing planning as given by some prominent scholars has been given below:

Stephen Morse:

“Marketing planning is concerned with the identification of resources that are available and their allocation to meet specified objectives.”

On the basis of the above definitions, marketing planning is the road map of an organization for selecting a target market and then satisfying the consumers. It is a continuous process in which the marketing objectives of an enterprise are decided and marketing programmes, policies, and procedures are determined for the performance of different marketing activities like marketing research, sales forecasting, product planning and development, pricing, advertisement, and sales promotion, physical distribution and after sale services, etc.

#Characteristics of Marketing Planning:

Marketing planning has the following characteristic features:

  • The success depends to a large extent upon human behavior and response.
  • They are complicated in nature.
  • Marketing decisions have long term effects on efficiency, profitability and market standing of the firm.
  • Marketing planning is a formal and systematic approach towards the planning of all marketing activities-product positioning, price setting, distribution channels etc.
  • Marketing planning, as a rational activity, requires thinking; imagination and foresight. Market analysis, market projection, consumer behavior analysis and marketing-guided conclusions are based on data and measurements drawn from internal and external environments.
  • Marketing planning is a forward-looking and dynamic process designed to promote market-oriented or consumer-oriented business actions.
  • Planning is concerned with two things: (i) Avoiding incorrect actions, and (ii) Reducing the frequency of failure to exploit opportunities. Thus, marketing planning has both an optimistic and pessimistic component.
  • Marketing planning is done by the marketing department. Various sub-divisions and sections under the department give their proposals based on which the overall company marketing plans are developed and designed.
  • Planning is a process of deciding in advance what to do and how to do it. If the marketing planner desires to achieve a target market at some future date and if he needs some time to decide what to do and how to do it, he must make the necessary marketing decisions before taking action.
  • Planning is basically a decision-making process. Marketing planning is a programme of marketing-based actions regarding the future with the object of minimizing risk and uncertainty and producing a set of interrelated decisions.

What do they mean?

Marketing planning is the preface to any business enterprise. Planning is deciding at present as to what we are going to do in the future. It involves rot only anticipating the consequences of decisions but also predict the events that are likely to affect the business.

Marketing planning is to direct the company marketing efforts and resources towards present marketing objectives like growth, survival, minimizing risks, maintain status-quo, profit maximization, service to customers, diversification, and image building and so on.

“Marketing plan” is the instrument to implement the marketing concept; it is one that links the firm and the markets; it is the foundation for all corporate plans and planning.

The marketing plan is the document of the future course of action that spells out as to how the resources at the command of the firm are to be deployed to achieve the marketing goals. Simply stated, the marketing plan is a written document that specifies in detail the firm’s marketing objectives and how marketing management will use the controllable marketing tools such as product design, channels, promotion, and pricing to achieve these objectives.

It is the central instrument for directing and coordinating marketing efforts. It is to do with selling objectives and designing strategies and programmes for achieving these objectives of marketing. It is a blueprint for marketing action. It is a written document containing strategies to achieve preset goals.

Marketing Planning Concept Characteristics and Importance
Marketing Planning: Concept, Characteristics, and Importance, #Pixabay.

#Importance of Marketing Planning:

Marketing planning is a systematic and disciplined exercise to formulate marketing strategies. Marketing planning can be related to the organization as a whole or to SBU (strategic business units).

Marketing planning is a forward-looking exercise, which determines the future strategies of an organization with special reference to its product development, market development, channel design, sales promotion, and profitability.

We may now summaries the importance of marketing planning in the following points:

  • It helps in avoiding future uncertainties.
  • It helps in management by objectives.
  • It helps in achieving objectives.
  • It helps in coordination and communication among the departments.
  • It helps in control.
  • It helps the customers in getting full satisfaction.

Minimize future uncertainties:

To minimize future uncertainties, an expert marketing manager makes future marketing strategies and programs on the basis of present trends and conditions of the firm.

By effective market planning and future forecasting, he not only minimizes future uncertainty but also successfully fulfill the objectives of the firm.

Clarification of Objectives:

The clear-cut objective of the organization helps in keeping the efforts of the management in proper lines. These are very useful in formulating the managerial functions like organizing, directing and controlling.

Proper marketing planning and decision-making help in determining the objectives of the organization.

Better Coordination:

The marketing planning helps in coordinating all the managerial activities of the firm. It not only helps in coordinating the work of its own department but also helps in coordinating the managerial activities of all the other departments to achieve the overall objectives and goals of the firm.

Helpful in Controlling Function:

The marketing planning sets the performance standards and these are compared with the actual performance of various departments.

If these variances are favorable, efforts are made to maintain them and if these variances are unfavorable, efforts are made to remove them.

Increases efficiency:

The marketing planning helps in increasing the managerial efficiency of the firm. It is meant to ensure efficient allocation & utilization of resources. It also compares the results with the set standards to ensure the efficiency of the organization.

It directs all the managerial activities of the firm and controls these activities. It develops the feeling of sincerity and sense of responsibility among the managerial executives by defining the duties, rights, and liabilities of all employees of the firm, which in turn increases the efficiency of the firm.

Consumer satisfaction:

Under marketing planning, the needs and wants of the customer (or consumer) are studied properly and marketing activities are channelized to provide better customer satisfaction, which in turn maximizes the profit of the firm.

Therefore, by concentrating on customer satisfaction, marketing management increases market share and revenue of the business enterprise.

References: Marketing Planning: Concept, Characteristics, and Importance.

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