Chapter 2

The Marketing Planning Process: 1 The Main Steps


  • What marketing planning is
  • Why it is essential
  • The difference and the connection between a strategic and a tactical marketing plan
  • Budgets and associated problems
  • The marketing planning process
  • What a marketing audit is
  • Why marketing audits are essential
  • Their place in organizational planning
  • Who should carry out marketing audits
  • What should be done with the audit results
  • What the relationship is between strategic marketing planning and corporate planning
  • Positioning marketing planning within marketing
  • What the key components of the strategic marketing plan are
  • How strategic marketing plans should be used
  • What the link is to the budget
  • Exercises to turn the theory into actionable propositions


Although marketing planning would appear to be a simple, step-by-step process, in reality it is a multifaceted, complex, cross-functional activity that touches every aspect of organizational life. This chapter explains and explores some of these pan-company issues by focusing on the process of marketing planning. It is not an attempt to suggest that the model outlined here is the only one that can be implemented. Indeed, other models are discussed. However, the one we select to concentrate on is the one most widely used and accepted by both academics and practitioners.


Any manager will readily agree that a sensible way to manage the sales and marketing function is to find a systematic ...

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