By Maxwell Ranasinghe
“facilitating students to realise their fullest potential”
Management is “a set of activities including
planning and decision making, leading and
controlling directed at organisation’s resources:
human, financial, physical and information, with
the aim of achieving organisational goals in an
efficient and effective manner “– ( R.W. Griffin
Of the five management functions — planning,
organizing, staffing, leading and controlling ,
planning is the most fundamental.
All other functions stem from planning. Therefore
planning is a major component of management.
However, planning doesn't always get the
attention that it deserves.
A goal is a desired future state that the
organization attempts to realize in a given
A plan is a blueprint for goal achievement that
specifies the necessary resource allocations,
schedules, tasks, and other actions.
Goals specify future ends; plans specify today's
means of achieving them.
The word planning in context of management,
incorporates determining the organization's goals
and defining the means for achieving them.
“If you fail to plan you are planning to fail” Prof.
“ If I had eight hours to chop down a tree I’d spend
six hours of sharpening my axe” Abraham Lincoln
Therefore, planning is an essential strategic
activity and it is an intrinsic part of efficient and
When it relates to marketing, purpose of planning
is to achieve marketing goals in an efficient and
are many types of plans in
Strategic Corporate Plans addresses the
entire organization, it emanates from the
corporate vision of a firm.
Then comes the Business Unit Plans
which addresses the requirements of
specific business units.
There are other functional plans such as
operations, logistics, HR, Financial, Production
and Marketing which are supporting to achieve the
broader objectives of the corporate plans.
These plans are internal and they are not divulged
Our subject matter here is “Marketing Planning”
and therefore we would deal it in detail
Marketing Plan is a blue print that
elaborates a systematic, inter connected,
logical step by step processes for
achieving marketing goals.
It specifies what should be done today to
achieve goals ahead and it is the
marketer’s road map for desired
It analyses the:
internal and external environment,
specifies the marketing objectives, necessary
strategies, tactics, resource allocations,
embeds the controls and other actions required in
connection with attaining marketing goals in an
efficient and effective manner.
Hiebing and Cooper( 2003) succinctly sates that a
marketing plan should be a disciplined, target
market driven, interlocking ( not just integrated)
and comprehensive plan in order to make it a
successful tool in the process of achieving
Therefore, it has to be a comprehensive plan that
gives importance to each and every element of a
Nothing is taken for granted and nothing or very
little is left for chance.
Thus they call the marketing plan as
“ Disciplined Marketing Plan” and lists important
steps to follow in the process of marketing
This is the background where you develop your
marketing plan. It is called the Situation Analysis
or the Marketing Audit.
It could simply called “ where are we now” .
It will analyse the internal and external
environment of the business.
In the internal analysis, following key factors of
the company are studied extensively
Managerial, marketing, financial, human resource,
production, technology, systems and controls etc.
Through this analysis, Strengths and
Weaknesses of a firm can be found well.
the external analysis, PESTEEEL
Factors (political, economic, social,
technological, ethical, environmental and
legal factors), competitor analysis and
market analysis etc will be studied in
Through this analysis, Opportunities and
Threats to the firm can be found well.
the Strengths and
Weaknesses and Opportunities and
Threats, a firm can from a SWOT
Analysis, which is a snap shot of the
firms internal and external status.
This indicates the forecasted amount of sales that
the firm expects to meet.
This is a very vital element of the marketing plan
as most of the other tasks that follows in the
marketing plan are designed to achieve the sales
Marketing success can be measured on several
non financial market metrics.
It could be about the market share, retention of
current customers, number of customers to
attract, to increase the usage , level of brand
awareness, number of dealers in the distribution
Ansof’s growth strategy also gives guideline in this
Objectives should be ( SMART) measurable,
achievable, realistic, time bound.
A marketing strategy entails how an individual
marketing objective will be reached.
While the marketing objectives are SMART,
marketing strategies are descriptive.
They go into detail how objectives are achieved.
1. Target Marketing Strategies – Targeting and
2. Tactical Marketing Mix Tools
( although Ansof’s Growth Strategy is shown in
many books as a marketing strategy, in my view it
could be applicable more to setting marketing
A market segment means a large identifiable
group of customers within a market with similar
needs and wants, purchasing power, geographical
location, buying attitudes or buying habits.
If all are having the same need then it could be
considered as the mass market.
If each and every body’s need is separately
identified and served it is called Mass
talks about grouping customers with
similar needs and serving them with
the appropriate product proposition
Segmentation is something between
the Mass Marketing and Mass
does not talk about serving the
whole market with one product or
serving every individual with a
A firm has to segment the market
before it targets which market it
Selecting the Target Market
Review the segmentation done
Now the challenge is to find out what market or market
segments that you are going to serve with what product
It could be:
Full Market Coverage
Positioning the product
When the firm knows where it is going to target its
products and services it should also develop a
By positioning, a firm should try to get a special place
in the mind set of the collective customers of the
It could provide a direction to development of
marketing strategies and using specific tactical
marketing mix tools in achieving the expected
positioning in the consumers of the market place.
Marketing objectives are achieved through use of
Tactical Marketing Mix Tools.
It could suit the selected target market and the
positioning to be done
The firm can also use the stages of Product Life
Cycle and use the marketing mix tools to suit the
would be used as marketing mix tools to achieve
Budget is a statement that enumerates how much of
funds required to implement the marketing plan and
how much of income it would generate.
It will detail various expenses under different
It will also give the income, expenses and the profits in
summary format and refer the details to notes of the
Further it could provide other management information
ratios such as Return on Investment, Pay Back
Period, Financial Ratios etc.
LessAdministrative Cost 4
Break Even point
Once the Marketing plan is developed, execution
of it should happen.
The execution may include specific details about
who is responsible for different activities and when
will it take place.
It could be listed on an action plan or a calendar
◦ Who does what and when
Marketing controls are important to ensure that the
set marketing plans are carried out as planned.
ImportanceProper implementation of the plans
Set Key Performance indicators
Deviations could be detected
Necessary corrective actions could be taken
Proactive rather than reactive
Compare and contrast with budgets
Evaluation identifies what really was done
while controlling involves evaluating the
results with expected Key Performance
Indicators and taking remedial actions
without delay to ensure that the plan is on
track and deviations are minimized or
Set Performance indicators
Collect Performance details