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CHAPTER 2 Company and Marketing Strategy: Partnering to Build Customer RelationshipsPREVIEWING THE CONCEPTSIn this chapter, we dig deeper into steps two and three of that process: designing customer-driven marketing strategies and constructing marketing programs.First, we look at the organization’s overall strategic planning, which guides marketing strategy and planning. Next, we discuss how, guided by the strategic plan, marketers partner closely with others inside and outside the firm to create value for customers. Wethen examine marketing strategy and planning—how marketers choose target markets, position their market offerings, develop a marketing mix, and manage their marketing programs. Finally, we look at the important step of measuring and managing return on marketing investment (marketing ROI).1 COMPANYWIDE STRATEGIC PLANNING: DEFINING MARKETING’S ROLEEach company must find the game plan for long-run survival and growth that makes themost sense given its specific situation, opportunities, objectives, and resources. This is the focus of strategic planning—the process of developing and maintaining a strategic fit between the organization’s goals and capabilities and its changing marketing opportunities.Figure 2.1 Steps in Strategic PlanningStrategic planning sets the stage for the rest of planning in the firm. Companies usually prepare annual plans, long-range plans, and strategic plans. The annual and long-range plans deal with the company’s current businesses and how to keep them going. In contrast, the strategic plan involves adapting the firm to take advantage of opportunities in its constantly changing environment.At the corporate level, the company starts the strategic planning process by defining its overall purpose and mission (see Figure 2.1). This mission is then turned into detailed supporting objectives that guide the entire company. Next, headquarters decides what portfolio of businesses and products is best for the company and how much support to give each one. In turn, each business and product develops detailed marketing and other departmental plans that support the companywide plan. Thus, marketing planningoccurs at the business unit, product, and market levels.
Defining a Market-Oriented MissionForging a sound mission begins with the following questions: What isour business? Whois the customer? What do consumers value? What shouldour business be?Many organizations develop formal mission statements that answer these questions. Amission statementis a statement of the organization’s purpose—what it wants to accomplish in the larger environmentA clear mission statement acts as an “invisible hand” that guides people in the organization.But mission statements should be market orientedand defined in terms of satisfying basic customer needs. Products and technologies eventually become outdated, but basic market needs may last forever.