Strategic Planning Consists of Fitting the Organization's Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Strategic Planning consists of fitting the organization's objectives and resources to the available market opportunities. The purpose of strategic planning is long-term profitability and growth.

Strategic Business Units are independent of one another and maintain distinct missions and specific markets. They have control over their resources and their strategies are unique to their competitive environment.

Strategic Alternatives are different conceptual approaches toward strategic planning. Examples include: Ansoff's Opportunity Matrix, the Boston Consulting Group Portfolio Matrix, and the General Electric Model.

The Marketing Plan Process allows the organization to anticipate future events and design a plan for achieving the organization's objectives by adapting strategies for the marketing environment.

Business Mission Statements provide direction for the organization by defining its business and business objectives.

Situation Analysis is a process that allows the organization to identify its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). Environmental scanning identifies opportunities and risks based on the six major environmental forces: social, demographic, economic, technological, political/legal, and competition.

Sources of Competitive Advantage include cost, production/service differentiation, and niche markets. In principle, cost advantage means minimizing costs of raw materials and overhead while maximizing revenue; product/service differentiation advantage means establishing something about the organization's products or services that makes them different from those of competitors in ways valued by consumers; and niche advantage is similar to differentiation except that it is based on unique characteristics or needs of a smaller, more specific consumer market.

Marketing Objective Criteria for marketing plans are that they be realistic, measurable, time-bound, and comparable to a benchmark. They promote communication, management direction, employee motivation, clear thinking among executives, and a basis for control.

Target Market Strategies allow the organization to define specific markets and to develop a marketing mix that promotes the organization's goals within those markets. They include marketing opportunity analyses to better understand the market so that the organization can either: (1) appeal to the entire market using one marketing mix, (2) concentrate on one segment, or (3) appeal to multiple markets using multiple marketing mixes.

The Marketing Mix Elements are those factors that create a unique blend of the "Four Ps" products/services, place, promotion, and pricing strategies that will maximize revenue for the organization from a given market.

Implementation, Evaluation, and Control of the Marketing Plan are critical to success of the plan. A marketing audit allows the organization to measure the effectiveness of the marketing plan. That audit process supports better understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the marketing plan and the implementation of measures to make necessary improvements as indicated by the results of the audit.

Strategic Planning Techniques require continual attention, creativity, and the management of commitments.

Chapter 4 Summary

Target Markets are defined groups of consumers considered most likely to purchase the products or services of the organization. They change as consumers age and also as the elements of the external environment change.

External Environments of Marketing are those market conditions that exist based on the needs and desires of the target market. Organizations can respond reactively to changing market conditions and they can respond proactively by shaping those external environments through environmental management strategies.

Social Factors that Affect Marketing include the attitudes, values, and lifestyles of the individuals within the target market. Those factors play a critical role in the decisions that consumers make about what goods and services they purchase to match their personal attitudes, values, beliefs, and lifestyles. In the Information Age, digital media have become extremely important elements of social factors affecting marketing.

Marketing Managers' Understanding of Demographic Trends is important to developing marketing plans and strategies that are appropriate to different target markets. Some examples of important demographic distinctions include indentifying consumer groups, such as tweens, teens, Generation Y, Generation X, and Baby Boomers.

Marketing Managers' Understanding of Growing Ethnic Markets is critical to effective marketing. The ethnic minority population in the U.S. is more than 110 million and represents tremendous purchasing power. Some examples of marketing decisions based on understanding ethnic markets include the different approaches and messages used to appeal to Hispanic-Americans, African-Americans, and Asian-Americans, respectively.

The State of the Economy and Consumers are closely related and in ways that greatly affect marketing decisions. It determines four crucial factors that shape consumer behavior: income, purchasing power, inflation,…

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