“Marketing planning is the work of setting up of objectives for marketing activity and of determining and scheduling the steps necessary to achieve objectives” (American Marketing Association).
We can, therefore, state that marketing planning involves three basic steps as follows:
(1) The establishment of marketing objectives (which may be market expansion, market diversification, product diversification, distribution system improvements, etc.);
(2) The identification, determination, and specification of marketing activities (which may be product profile, product design, advertising media selection, retail and/or wholesale distribution method, variable pricing technique, transportation mode selection, etc.); and
(3) The preparation of a planning document including a statement of the major planning premises upon which the entire marketing plan is based in carder to show:
(i) The company’s own strengths and weaknesses,
(ii) The company’s potential opportunities in the market place, and
(iii) The company’s resources at command and their allocation to the different sub-activities of its marketing set-up.
All implementation plans for important business areas like marketing, new products, research and development, manufacturing, and finance start with the market-place for the reason that the sales set into motion and support all other company operations.
Robert W. Ferrell considers ‘customer orientation’ as the fundamental concept that directs the establishment and application of a business planning process with its related activities.
For this reason, he advocates that marketing planning is the area which should be uppermost in the development of strategic company planning, To support this view, Ferrell continues to state that market factors are needed to be examined during the overall premising stage and many basic questions about the marketing objectives are required to be answered in establishing the final overall company objectives.
Thus, the groundwork for market planning involves many major marketing questions to be answered.
The overall marketing planning can be illustrated as follows: