Monitoring procedures plan an evaluation schedule for the progress of the action programs, as well as of the results of the marketing strategy in terms of the sales and profit figures. The evaluation process must serve as a reference point for the marketing manager, who then has the opportunity to correct the company's marketing strategy. The evaluation process should not, however, become a restraining device that will keep it from adapting itself to the market. Bureaucratic companies do not survive in the high-tech industry.
With all the turbulence and uncertainties in a high-tech environment, certain authors suggest adding a fifth phase, called a "contingency plan," to the marketing plan . If a threat such as the entrance of a new competitor or the disappearance of a market segment occurs, a ready-to-use contingency plan is very useful. With such a plan, a company can react instantly and with much greater efficiency than if it were completely taken by surprise.
A marketing plan is very useful because it allows for a more complete understanding of the competitors' market, as well as of the company's strengths and weaknesses. It is also useful in documenting the main strategic marketing decisions that can then be discussed or adopted using clear and precise information. This information facilitates quick decision making, as well as communication among the company's different departments. Finally, the marketing plan must be approved by the executive board of directors, which emphasizes the importance of the marketing department.
As a conclusion of this chapter, Figure 2.11 summarizes the marketing manager's role in the general framework of the company's strategy. A marketing manager contributes to the collection of necessary information on markets and the environment to facilitate decision making with regard to the strategic segments (or business activities). For each of the selected strategic segments, the marketing manager establishes a marketing strategy and supplies a marketing plan, which is used by the executive board to allocate the available resources among different departments.
The marketing department implements its plan depending on the allocated financial resources. Ultimately, these plans are regularly evaluated by the executive board, which allows the marketing manager to make new recommendations.
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