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Managing a business

Before managing a marketing plan we manage a business

Management is a cyclical process which is all about the right combination of planning, executing and controlling.
As we control the effectiveness of our last marketing activity we improve our upcoming planning capabilities - that’s why management is a self-improving, cyclical process. 

Management is a cyclical process which is all about the
right combination of planning, executing and controlling.

Business planning process starts with giving a thought to the long run of the organization in what’s called a Vision.
As an employee, you have to be aware of the vision of the company you work for. As an entrepreneur, your vision has
to be as transparent as possible. Such a vision should be fixed and stable over time. This is the opening phase of
business planning.

In order to reach a vision one needs a Strategy, a confusing term that is often used incorrectly. This claim is also
made by Michael Porter, the "reviver" of modern business strategy, in this 2-minute video.

A strategy is a long term holistic plan that represents the ways the management uses in order to accomplish the vision. Historically, strategy was used by military leaders in order to defeat the enemy and win the war.
As a practical, modern example, turning a high street shop into a small chain of two outlets well fits an ’expansion strategy’ (could be related to a ’conquering strategy’ by military officials).

The following PowerPoint presentation; Marketing Strategy Background (PDF-14 slides) was prepared by Marketing Plan NOW.

A strategy is made up of many components that are called Tactics. Marketing activities, or tactics, need to be planned in advance as they require resources such as budget, time and knowledge. An advertising campaign in a local newspaper that lasts for 12 days is one activity that has to be integrated among other marketing communication activities. These are all tactical activities with a clear timing: When does it start? How long does it take? When does it end?

Another layer of planning is Standards and Procedures that distinguish a business from its direct competitors. An example of a standard is your requirement from the printer to use the exact colors (pantone) of your logo in a brochure, as well as the way a sales person answers his phone.

Business planning includes vision, strategy, tactics and standards.
Other terms such as mission are also used.

Business plan, or B-Plan, is often confused with the term ’Marketing Plan’. When the existing business faces a major change or when planning a new venture all together, a 3 to 5 year business plan is essential.
Such a plan represents all aspects of business planning process; declaring vision and strategy alongside sub-plans to cover finance, operations, human resources... and marketing. A business plan is a compound summary of those
disciplinary plans.

A business plan is a compound summary of several disciplinary sub-plans,
including the marketing plan
, and is required twice along the business
life cycle; at its launch as a new venture and when a major change is to take place.

Marketing plan - get it, learn it is the focus of this site!
In this site we are focused on marketing plans that are regarded as business to customer marketing plans (B2C), selling
a product or a service to an end user, although much of the support can suit business to business marketing plans (B2B), also called a relationship marketing plan or industrialized marketing plan.

A marketing plan covers a period of two years; the year that has passed by and the year that is ahead of us. The past year is to be analyzed to an extent that it can serve as a benchmark while next year requires its
marketing plan strategy and objectives.

There is no risk in analyzing the past - it’s much more risky to commit yourself to next year’s marketing strategy and objectives! That’s why our methodology starts with the phase of marketing strategy and marketing objectives that are closely backed-up by relevant
analysis of the current situation.

So you can check-in and...

marketing plan glossary
any term highlighted in red in this page is part of our marketing plan glossary

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