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Figure [43] Strategic differentiation and marketing performance
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[66] Strategic Marketing
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Strong
Weak
Competitive Position
Source: Based on Day, George S (1984) Strategic Marketing Planning St Paul, MN: West Publishing
Figure [44] Stages in marketing planning
During the third stage the organization attempts to resolve strategic issues which arise which means carrying out a SWOT analysis The identi cation of the strengths and weaknesses derives from a simultaneous analysis of customers, competitors and the organization itself and allows the organization to state its competitive position which may be strong or weak or somewhere in between The identi cation of opportunities and threats derives from a simultaneous analysis of the environment, customers and competitors and allows the organization to determine the attractiveness of its various markets Now it becomes possible for the organization to develop a set of appropriate market strategies The last stage is to organize the marketing endeavour to implement the strategies decided
Marketing objectives and performance
Marketing analysis is usually based on qualitative judgements supported by research and analysis There is a series of questions managers must answer before developing a detailed marketing plan: how the environment will change how nancial performance will be affected how costs will change how product technology will change how process technology will change
Strategic market planning [67]
how the character of competition will change how competitors are likely to rede ne their activities how competitors are likely to change their investment and functional strategies how customer behaviour is likely to change how market segmentation may be in uenced To make legitimate assumptions about changes in the marketing environment, the organization must analyse macro trends in politics, economics, technology and society and micro trends at the level of the industry and customer including market size, customer behaviour and changes in segments and channels of distribution The more important dimensions of environmental uncertainty are changes in the macro environment whether they are rapid or slow; the degree of homogeneity in the market and the complexity of product technology (Figure 45) Resource assumptions are based on an evaluation of the organization and its competitiveness: its ability to conceive and design, produce, market, nance and manage competitive projects Competitive assumptions are based on an analysis of competitors: existing and potential, substitute products and any integration activity being followed by suppliers and customers There are six steps in the preparation of a marketing plan First, it is necessary to have an assessment of the organization s marketing performance to date and a statement of its nancial objectives Second, it is necessary to review existing market conditions Third, the organization will have to obtain and evaluate relevant industry and market data During the fourth stage the organization must specify its marketing objectives In the fth stage activities, budgets and schedules are identi ed and determined Finally, it is necessary to implement and control the marketing effort The marketing planning process is summarized in Figure 46
Rapid
Change in macro environment
Slow Similar Market homogeneity Diverse Simple Complex
Product technology
Figure [45] Dimensions of perceived environmental uncertainty
[68] Strategic Marketing
Marketing performance and financial objectives Risk assessment Qualification verification
Market review and situation analysis Products Markets and customers Company resources Obtaining relevant data Company Customers Competitors Competitors
Deciding marketing objectives Market penetration Strategies and operations Product development Product-market diversification
Strategy Products Distribution Price Advertising
Market development Time plan Time needs Deadlines Sequence Controlling the marketing effort Results vs targets Causes of differences Responsibility
Resources Manpower Manufacturing capacity Budget
Figure [46] The marketing planning process
Marketing performance and nancial objectives
The starting point for any marketing plan is usually a corporate nancial requirement by which the organization must meet a nancial objective, eg 20 per cent ROI or similar objective It then becomes the function of the marketing area to attempt to meet that requirement through its marketing and sales activities In situations where the nancial requirement is greater than the current long-run sales forecast, there is a gap which must somehow be lled There are two generic approaches to improving marketing performance One is to increase sales volume in some way The second is to improve pro tability in the organization
Improving marketing performance
Improved performance means nding ways of achieving improved sales, or improved pro ts or a combination of both (Figure 47) Four distinct ways of obtaining sales growth may be identi ed: penetrating the market; new
Strategic market planning [69]
product development; new market development; forward integration in the market through investment and acquisition Market penetration means selling more products to existing customers in the domestic market This may be dif cult where the rm is already strong, the market is saturated, or where there are entrenched competitors with very large market shares An aggressive strategy would be to take market share from competitors by attracting their more pro table customers The nature of the business system may make it dif cult for the rm to discourage competitors by raising the stakes Big-brand companies frequently raise advertising stakes or use preemptive pricing and announcements of capacity additions to discourage competitors With regard to new product development a rm might use its own people or consultants Alternatively, it could license or joint venture from other organizations where appropriate Many rms start out as single-product rms and soon realize that it is necessary to possess a portfolio of products in order to serve chosen markets It is likely, therefore, that a new product development strategy would be part of the rm s marketing strategy Developing new markets means identifying markets abroad not yet properly served It could also mean using new distribution channels or information sources such as the Internet Market integration would probably mean establishing marketing agreements, taking over distributors or retail outlets, which may or may not be feasible Very often successful rms start by selling locally to give the rm a strong competitive presence in the market Firms sometimes also integrate forward into the market by acquiring manufacturers who would assemble or produce locally The second way of improving marketing performance is to improve profitability, which means increasing yield, reducing costs, integrating suppliers, or focusing on key segments (Figure 47) Yield increases may come about through an improvement in the sales mix, eg promoting high-margin lines, increasing price or reducing margins in key markets This approach may not be possible for smaller, weaker rms in highly competitive and fragmented markets Many rms, even smaller enterprises, would, however, have room for manoeuvre with regard to the mix of products they sell At the other extreme the rm may decide to rationalize its product line and to rationalize segments of the market served or distribution Marketing audits of successful rms often indicate that they obtain all their sales with fewer products sold to fewer customers than weaker rms Hence, a rationalization of the number of products and customers may improve performance in some companies Selective distribution and a clear customer focus may be an attractive option for some rms Clearly, the rm may pursue a number of the strategies outlined In deciding the best way forward, however, the rm is constrained by the needs of customers in the market, by growth in the market and by its competitors