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Marketing planning - introduction

Author: Jim Riley  Last updated: Sunday 23 September, 2012


A plan is a way of achieving something. Your revision plan is a way of helping to achieve success in business studies exams. The Christmas present shopping list is a simpler example of a plan – a way of ensuring that no-one gets missed on 25 December.

In business, it is no different. If a business wants to achieve something, it is more likely to do so with a well-constructed and realistic plan.

What does planning involve?  Planning involves:

Setting objectives, quantifying targets for achievement, and communicating these targets to people responsible for achieving them
Selecting strategies, tactics, programmes etc for achieving the objectives.

The whole topic of planning brings with it some important terminology that it is worth spending time getting to know well. You will come across these terms many times in your study of marketing (and business studies in general):


Strategy is the method chosen to achieve goals and objectives

Example: Our strategy is to grow sales and profits of our existing products and to broaden our business by introducing new products to our existing markets


Tactics are the resources that are used in the agreed strategy

Example: We will use our widespread distribution via UK supermarkets to increase sales and existing products and introduce new products


Goals concern what you are trying to achieve. Goals provide the “intention” that influence the chosen actions

Example: Our goal is to achieve market leadership in our existing markets


Objectives are goals that can be quantified

- We aim to achieve a market share of 20% in our existing markets
- We aim to penetrate new markets by achieving a market share of at least 5% within 3 years
- We aim to achieve sales of growth of 15% per annum with our existing products


Aims are goals that cannot be measured in a reliable way. However, they remain important as a means of providing direction and focus.

Examples: We aim to delight our customers

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