Discussing the Concepts 1. Explain what is meant by a market-oriented mission statement and discuss the characteristics of effective mission statements. 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. Some companies define their missions myopically in product or technology terms (“we make and sell furniture” or “we are a chemical-processing firm”). But 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 Products and technologies eventually become outdated but basic market needs may last forever. A mission statement should be meaningful and specific, yet motivating; too often, mission statements are written for public relations purposes and lack specific, workable guidelines. It should emphasize the company’s strengths in the marketplace. Finally, a company’s mission should not be stated as making more sales or profits—profits are only a reward for creating value for customers;
instead, the mission should focus on customers and the customer experience the company seeks to create. 2.Define strategic planning and briefly describe the four steps that lead managers and a firm through the strategic planning process. Discuss the role marketing plays in this process.Strategic planning is the process of developing and maintaining a strategic fit between the organization’s goals and capabilities and its changing marketing opportunities. At the corporate level,the company starts the strategic planning process by defining its overall purpose and mission (see Figure 2.1, textbook, p. 43). This mission then is turned into detailed supporting objectives that guidethe whole 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 company-wide plan. Marketing planning occurs at the business unit, product, and market levels. Marketing supports company strategic planning with more detailed plans for specific marketing opportunities.Marketing plays a key role in the company’s strategic planning in several ways:
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