products or services in the marketplace successfully should have a strategic marketing plan to guide the allocation of its resources. A strategic marketing plan usually evolves from an organization's overall corporate strategy and serves as a guide for specific marketing programs and policies. For example, a few years ago Abercrombie & Fitch decided to reposition the brand as part of the overall corporate effort to attract a younger audience. As we noted earlier, marketing strategy is based on a situation analysis—a detailed assessment of the current marketing conditions facing the company, its product lines, or its individual brands. From this situation analysis, a firm develops an understanding of the market and the various opportunities it offers, the competition, and the market segments or target markets the company wishes to pursue. We examine each step of the marketing strategy and planning in this chapter.
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