In order to be successful over time, every company must develop a plan to survive and grow
in both the short- and long-term future based upon its changing situation, opportunities,
goals, and resources. This is the focus of strategic planning.
Strategic planning is the process of creating, coordinating, and managing the connections
between an organization's purpose, goals, and abilities, in relation to that organization's
markets and opportunities. Stated in another way, strategic planning refers to the process of
trying to strategically fit a company with its changing market environment. Just as
compatibility is important to how well individuals fit together in personal relationships,
compatibility is also important in the relationships between businesses and their customers.
As with personal relationships, often a little work can go a long way in enhancing those
relationships, so, with most organizations, strategic planning occurs at all levels, frequently or
continually. And where it involves customers and the four Ps (remember, that's product,
place, price, and promotion), it involves marketing.
All organizations set out to do something. While part of what they set out to do usually
includes some kind of financial element (that is, an effort to make money), companies usually
have their eyes on other targets as well. Perhaps they set out to meet a need they feel is
currently not met in the market, like providing comfortable shoes at a low price to customers
in a specific area or region. Or maybe the organization hopes to improve the natural
environment with its products, or provide superior quality or easier access to a set of products
that were previously more difficult and costly to attain. In order to help pave the road for
strategic planning and success, organizations first must identify and articulate what it is they