The Role of Situation Analysis in Marketing Plan
Facing to more complex business environment, systematically marketing plans are important to organizations in terms of maintaining a high level of operating efficiency and achieving goals fully. According to Sally and John (1996:3), marketing plans are “the written document or blueprint for implementing and controlling an organization’s marketing activities related to a particular marketing strategy” (Sally, D., Lyndon S., & John, B., 1996: 3). A successful marketing plan is able to improve organizations’ profits and growth, uses in objective setting and monitors results (Subash Jain, Michael D. Clemes, Gregory Brush, 2008: 5)
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Rundle-Thide, D.Waller, G. Elliott, A. Paladino, 2007: 64)
Brumby’s not only seize the opportunity but also satisfy complex customers demand. Comparing to its competitors, it has more chances to build its customers’ loyalty in order to develop its sustainable competitive advantages.
Hence, situation analysis is a key and basic function to marketing plan, which provide comprehensive and accurate information to the plan. In addition, through a detailed situation analysis, managers can find some key performance issues which are unnoticed in day-to-day operations. According to those issues, managers can make plan to address those weaknesses for organizations surviving and long-term achievement of their goals.
Factors in situation analysis
Basing on marketing environment factors, situation analysis consists of reviewing of organization internal environment and external environment.
1) Company’s capabilities analysis
First of all, a marketing manager constructing a situation analysis should consider the company’s capabilities including “the business unit’s financial position, management and leadership capabilities, human resource capabilities, research and development capabilities and operations capabilities” (Reed. Peter W, 2006: 74)
An example about NEPC, the marketing manager diagnose its non-marketing capabilities may have the following results：
What business in: “NEPC is manufacturer and marketer of a variety of food and nonfood products including coffee, cake mixes, toothpaste, diapers, detergents, and health-related remedies.”
About development capabilities and financial position: “In 2003, the company’s worldwide sales amounted to $43.4 billion”
One market decision relating to this analysis is “to strengthen significantly the company’s core businesses (I.e., toothpaste, diapers, and detergents)” (Subash Jain, Michael D. Clemes, Gregory Brush, 2008: 37)
2) Marketing capabilities analysis
The other capability should be considered is marketing capabilities including “the firm’s competitive position, brand recognition and loyalty, its intelligence gathering capabilities and marketing control strategies” (Reed. Peter W, 2006: 74)
Since understanding KFC is more popular than McDonald in Chinese market and it enjoys higher brand recognition than McDonald among Chinese, therefore, managers of KFC can launch a consumer loyalty program in order to gain more marker share.
3) Macro level environment analysis
Next, managers have to review external environment including the macro level and the industrial level. As Rundle-Thide (2007: 65) said, macro level external environment includes “the economy, socio-cultural, political factors, legal, global” (S. Rundle-Thide, et al, 2007: 65) and technology factors, which are PEST factors.
Different business cycle stages may affect buying power or consumer expenditure levels. For example, during a recession stage, for unemployment rises will lead to buying power declines, managers...