produce the response it wants in the target market. The marketing mix consists of product, price, place, and promotion decisions (the four Ps). OBJECTIVE 5 List the marketing management functions, including the elements of a marketing plan, and discuss the importance of measuring and managing return on marketing investment. To find the best strategy and mix and to put them into action, the company engages in marketing analysis, planning, implementation, and control. The main components of a marketing plan are the executive summary, the current marketing situation, threats and opportunities, objectives and issues, marketing strategies, action programs, budgets, and controls. To plan good strategies is often easier than to carry them out. To be successful, companies must also be effective at implementation — turning marketing strategies into marketing actions. Marketing departments can be organized in one or a combination of ways: functional marketing organization , geographic organization, product management organization , or market management organization . In this age of customer relationships, more and more companies are now changing their organizational focus from product or territory management to customer relationship management. Marketing organizations carry out marketing control , both operating control and strategic control.
Marketing managers must ensure that their marketing dollars are being well spent. In a tighter economy, today’s marketers face growing pressures to show that they are adding value in line with their costs. In response, marketers are developing better measures of return on marketing investment . Increasingly, they are using customer-centred measures of marketing impact as a key input into their strategic decision making. Notes 1 Strategic planning: Strategic planning is defined in the textbook as “the process of developing and maintaining a strategic fit between the organization’s goals and capabilities and its changing marketing opportunities" (p. 42). It involves defining a clear company mission, setting supporting objectives, designing a sound business portfolio, and coordinating functional strategies. In other words, strategic planning is the key top management activity that establishes the framework for functional planning activities and sets the stage for the direction of all the organization’s efforts. At the end of the planning process, a strategic plan is generally produced for a given period of time. For an example of a strategic plan, you can read the Athabasca University Strategic Plan for 2006–2011 . How does strategic planning relate to marketing? As one of several organizational functions, marketing has to contribute to the planning process by providing inputs on the performance of the organization’s offerings on the different markets served. Conversely, any subsequent marketing planning process has to be conducted within the framework set by the strategic plan.
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