All successful organization strategies start with planning. Marketing planning involves forecasting the future market environment, and then selecting the optimum goals, objectives and positions to have the best chance of success in that environment.
There are different levels or hierarchies of objectives in an organization. They are:
Organization vision or mission: the vision or mission statement is a crucial element in the strategic planning of an organization. Creating a vision is one of the first actions an organization should take. By defining a vision an organization is making a statement of organizational purpose.
Organization objectives: these are common objectives that an organization sets for itself, for example, Social Return on Investment (SROI).
Marketing objectives: marketing objectives should be created after understanding the strengths, weaknesses, and the environment in which the organization operates. They should also be linked to the overall organization strategy.
Communication objectives: objectives that an organization seeks to achieve through its promotional program in terms of communication effects such as creating awareness, knowledge, images, attitudes, or donating.
Marketing research aids marketers to analyze the internal and external business environments and then exploit the opportunities, prevent or minimize effects of threats, overcome weaknesses and build on strengths. Situational analysis is also known as the marketing audit which scans the marketing environment.
Once the environmental analysis and marketing audit has been conducted, the next step is to set objectives based on the results of the audit. Objectives should seek to answer the question ‘where does the organization want to go?’
For nonprofit marketers, planning is an essential task that must be performed consistently. Shifting market conditions, including changing customer needs and competitive threats, will always keep organizations on their toes, thus requiring revisions in how a service or product is marketed, such as Kenan’s education services.
Marketing plans are an important part of marketing and its success. The plan helps the marketer to focus on the path that should be taken in order to take the company and the brand to where it aspires to go. The marketing plan shows how the organization will get there. The most important benefit that planning provides is monitoring the progress of actual performances against the scheduled plan.
Putting the plan into practice
Effective nonprofit marketing also involves building relationships and gaining buy-in with many internal and external stakeholders, through stakeholder mapping. This is important if an organization and its services are to be considered as marketing oriented.
Marketing plays a pivotal role in overall organization strategy. Peter Drucker expresses, “the purpose of a company is to create customers.” Drucker added that “a business has two (only two) basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results: all the rest are costs.” To achieve the desired results, it is essential to select the right audience and channel and to also understand the audience’s needs and emotions. This requires a skillset based on economic and psychological analysis, as well as having the aptitude to communicate the message effectively.
Once organizations are aware of their competition and their position in the marketplace, the goal is to do their best to meet their customers’ needs. By providing good products and services, organizations hope to be successful and even lead their competitors.
Budget planning is also important for marketing planning, especially for nonprofits where budget constraints can be a challenge. This involves identifying any sources of income by taking into account all current and future expenses, to meet the organization’s financial goals.
Finally, the plan needs to be monitored carefully to track results, and make adjustments and improvements in order to better fit changes in the dynamic marketplace.
Find out more about Kenan, our services, vision and values: https://www.kenan-asia.org/vision-and-values/