Chapter 4

Marketing planning for services: the problems


Marketing planning and services

Having reviewed the ten key steps in the marketing planning process, we next briefly discuss some formal studies on the use of marketing planning by companies and consider the key problems associated with marketing planning. We review these studies chronologically in order to show how the study of marketing planning has evolved.

The need for effective planning in the services sector has been recognized for a considerable time. For example, as long ago as 1975 Chisnall1 pointed to the growing services sector and emphasized that in planning services, whether it be in the commercial or public sector, greater attention should be given to input/output measurement to ensure that resources used reflect their contribution to the efficiency of the organizational output. He described the relevance of marketing techniques such as marketing research, strategic planning and marketing control to help improve the development of service organizations, but argued that there was an institutionalized reluctance of service industries to develop a more realistic and market-oriented approach to marketing planning.

By the 1980s, there was little evidence that service organizations had adopted marketing planning on a widespread and successful basis. Hooley2 and his colleagues found that 43% of their sample of 529 ...

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