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16: The Marketing Plan

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  • Much as firms must set their customers’ expectations, Chief Marketing Officers must set their organization’s marketing expectations. Marketing plans help them do that. A well-designed marketing plan should communicate realistic expectations to a firm’s CEO and other stakeholders. Another function of the marketing plan is to communicate to everyone in the organization who has what marketing-related responsibilities and how they should execute those responsibilities.

    • 16.1: Marketing Planning Roles
      Who, within an organization, is responsible for creating its marketing plans? From our discussion above, you might think the responsibility lies with the organization’s chief marketing officer (CMO). The reality is that a team of marketing specialists is likely to be involved. Sometimes multiple teams are involved. Many companies create marketing plans at the divisional level.
    • 16.1: The Marketing Plan
    • 16.2: Functions of the Marketing Plan
      The actual marketing plan you create will be written primarily for executives, who will use the forecasts in your plan to make budgeting decisions. These people will make budgeting decisions not only for your marketing activities but also for the firm’s manufacturing, ordering, and production departments, and other functions based on your plan.
    • 16.3: Forecasting
      Creating marketing strategy is not a single event, nor is the implementation of marketing strategy something only the marketing department has to worry about. When the strategy is implemented, the rest of the company must be poised to deal with the consequences. An important component is the sales forecast, which is the estimate of how much the company will actually sell. The rest of the company must then be geared up (or down) to meet that demand.
    • 16.4: Ongoing Marketing Planning and Evaluation
      Our discussion so far might lead you to believe that a marketing plan is created only when a new offering is being launched. In reality, marketing plans are created frequently—sometimes on an annual basis, or when a new CMO is hired, when market dynamics change drastically and quickly, or just whenever a company’s CEO wants one. Moreover, as we indicated, a marketing plan should be something of a “living” document.
    • 16.5: Discussion Questions and Activities