CHAPT1 - MARKETING PLANNING FOR A COMPETITIVE EDGE A...

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MARKETING PLANNING FOR A COMPETITIVE EDGE A Comprehensive Guide to Marketing Planning and Marketing Plans for Entrepreneurs and Managers by Kenneth N. Thompson Associate Professor of Marketing University of North Texas College of Business Administration Denton, Texas DRAFT Not to be reproduced or quoted without the authors’ explicit consent. May 22, 1999
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CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION TO MARKETING PLANS AND MARKETING PLANNING This book is intended as a comprehensive guide for developing marketing plans that work. Sound marketing planning is probably the most critical step in the marketing management process because effective marketing is the foundation upon which firms build their operations. Without proper attention to the marketing effort, firms are at a distinct competitive disadvantage and are most certainly facing a high probability of failure. The statistics on business failures are astonishing. The Small Business Administration estimates that 75% of new businesses fail within the first five years of operations. The major cause that is cited is a lack of proper management. However, if we look closer, it is more likely that the majority of failures can be attributed to poor marketing management . Firms can commit a multitude of managerial sins and still remain profitable if their marketing practices are sound. The reason why is obvious. Marketing activities are responsible for generating the firm’s revenue. A substantial revenue base almost indefinitely can hide a number of managerial errors that result in excessive costs. However, on the other side of the coin, if poor marketing practices exist, firms will not generate the revenue needed to remain viable, even if everything else is done correctly. This is not to say that other non-marketing managerial functions are unimportant. Certainly, no firm can stay in business in the long term if management practices are not adequate across the board. My major point here is that sound marketing, and therefore marketing planning, serve as the foundation for all successful business operations. The importance of marketing to the firm is underscored by the marketing concept, a business philosophy that places the customer at the focal point of all business activities. The marketing concept dictates that the firm’s major goal is to profitably satisfy its target customers’ wants and needs. All functional areas of the firm, from top management downward, must work together in a highly focused effort to accomplish this goal. The marketing function in the firm (i.e. the marketing department) acts as an integrator or facilitator that guides the firm in the effective and efficient attainment of
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this goal. Again, the marketing function assumes a central, major role in determining the success of the firm. As important as marketing is to the firm, many managers have only a vague idea
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CHAPT1 - MARKETING PLANNING FOR A COMPETITIVE EDGE A...

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