Learning ObjectivesAfter completing this lesson, you will be able to1.describe company-wide strategic planning, and outline its four steps. (textbook, pp. 46–48)Each company must find the game plan for long-run survival and growth that makes the most 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.Strategic planning sets the stage for the rest of the 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 whole company. Next, senior managers at the corporate leveldecide 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 company-wide plan. Thus, marketing planning occurs at the business-unit, product, and market levels. It supports company strategic planning with more detailed plansfor specific marketing opportunities.Defining a Market-Oriented MissionAn organization exists to accomplish something, and this purpose should be clearly stated. Forging a sound mission begins with the following questions: What is our business? Who is the customer? What do consumers value? What should our business be? These simple-sounding questions are among the most difficult the company will everhave to answer. Successful companies continually raise these questions and answer them carefully and completely.
Many organizations develop formal mission statements that answer these questions. A mission statement is a statement of the organization’s purpose—what it wants to accomplish in the larger environment. A clear mission statement acts as an “invisible hand” that guides people in the organization.Mission statementA statement of the organization’s purpose—what it wants to accomplish in the larger environment.Some companies define their missions in product or technology terms (“We make and sell furniture” or “We are a chemical-processing firm”), and then run into problems when the nature of the market changes. Marketing guru Theodore Levitt calls this problem “marketing myopia,”and suggests that mission statements should be market oriented and defined in terms of satisfying basic customer needs. Products and technologies eventually become outdated, but basic market needs may last forever. Indigo Books & Music’s mission isn’t simply to sell
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