Understand the importance of strategic marketing and know a
basic outline for a marketing plan.
Strategic marketing planning is the
basis for all marketing strategies and decisions. By specifying objectives and
defining the actions required to attain them, a marketing plan provides the basis on which
actual and expected performance can be compared.
Although there is no set formula or a single correct outline, a marketing plan should
include elements such as stating the business mission, setting objectives, performing a
situation analysis of internal and external environmental forces, selecting target market(s),
delineating a marketing mix (product, place, promotion, and price), and establishing ways
to implement, evaluate, and control the plan.
Develop an appropriate business mission statement.
mission statement establishes boundaries for all subsequent decisions,
objectives, and strategies. A mission statement should focus on the market or
markets the organization is attempting to serve rather than on the good or service offered.
Describe the components of a situation analysis.
In the situation
(or SWOT) analysis, the firm should identify its internal strengths (S) and
weaknesses (W) and also examine external opportunities (O) and threats (T).
When examining external opportunities and threats, marketing managers must analyze
aspects of the marketing environment in a process called environmental scanning. The
six most-often-studied macroenvironmental forces are social, demographic, economic,
technological, political and legal, and competitive.
Explain the criteria for stating good marketing objectives.
Objectives should be realistic, measurable, time specific, consistent, and
indicate the priorities of the organization. Good marketing objectives:
(1) communicate marketing management philosophy; (2) provide management direction;
(3) motivate employees; (4) force executives to think clearly; (5) allow for better evaluation
Identify sources of competitive advantage.
There are three types
of competitive advantages: cost, product/service differentiation, and niche
strategies. Sources of cost competitive advantages include experience
curves, efficient labor, no-frills goods and services, government subsidies, product design,
reengineering, product innovations, and new methods of service delivery. A product/service
differentiation competitive advantage exists when a firm provides something unique that is
valuable to buyers beyond just low price. Niche competitive advantages come from targeting