Importance of Planning

As we have seen throughout the Principles of Marketing Tutorials, marketers consider many factors when making decisions. Of course the main factors are those directly associated with how customers (including distribution partners) respond to an organization’s marketing efforts, such as how they may react to changes in a product, new advertisements, special pricing promotions, etc.

But when making decisions marketers face other concerns that are not directly customer related. For instance, we have discussed how marketing decisions (e.g., lowering price) may place pressure on other areas of the organization (e.g., production, shipping). Other examples include:

  • As we noted in our definition of marketing back in the What is Marketing? Tutorial, decisions must be made with an understanding of the value these provide not only to customers but to the marketing organization. Consequently, marketers must be well aware of how their decisions fit with the overall objectives of the company. For example, a company whose goal is to be the low-price leader may have concerns if the company’s marketing department wants to market a very high-end product, since this would go against the reputation and core strengths of the company.
  • In the Managing External Forces Tutorial, we showed that marketers’ decisions may affect peripheral stakeholders who are not directly connected to the marketing organization but have the potential to impact the organization if issues arise that draw their attention.
  • Marketing decisions also directly affect an organization’s financial condition. Marketers’ efforts generate the funds (i.e., sales) needed for the company to survive, but do so while using company resources, in particular, expenditure of funds. Controls must be put in place to insure the results of what the organization spends through marketing (i.e., return on investment) meet expectations.


Because marketing decisions have both internal and external impact, marketers are wise to make their decisions only after engaging in a careful, disciplined planning process. Marketers who make hasty, off-the-cuff decisions without regard to the implications are taking risks that may lead to problems. Instead, marketing decisions should be made with consideration of how these affect others and the resources (e.g., funds) required to carry out the plan.

Marketing Planning and Strategy
The Marketing Plan