Marketing Planning and the Marketing Manager

Marketing Planning and the Marketing Manager

The Relationship Between the Marketing Planning Process and the Marketing Manager

After considering the current management literature in depth, it has become apparent that there are four main categories of marketing planning based upon the relationship between the marketing planning process and the marketing manager. The four types of marketing planning are formal/functional, informal/functional, formal/individual and informal/individual.

Classification A: Formal/Functional

Kotler (1991) comprehensive, independent and periodic
McDonald (1984) logical model of planning
Lancaster and Massingham (1988) planning role of marketing management
Wesley (1994) activities a firm plans to take
Baker et al (1983), Ogunmokum (1990)
Robinson and Pearce (1984) positive relationship between planning and business success.
Hayes (1985) and Kallman and Shapiro (1978) planning nil/negative effect on performance
Kurato (1995) written planning document

Classification C: Formal/Individual

Shein (1987) planning ignores human and organizational factors
Martin (1987) human based culture a determining antecedent
Piercy and Thomas (1983) human nature of marketing planning

Classification B: Informal/Functional

Greenley, Hooley and Saunders (2004) how decisions are made
McDonald (1986b) different plans for different organizations
Monroy  (1995) objected to output of a business plan.
Bracker and Pearson (1986) unstructured nature of planning
Hannon and Atherton (1998) written plan not evidence of planning process
Piercy and Giles (1989) illogical sequence of activities

Classification D: Informal/Individual

Lancaster and Waddelow (1998) learning cycle advocated to SME marketing planners
Hill and McGowan (1998) use of learning diaries by marketing managers.
Revans (1978) Learning starts with the individual

The Relationship Between the Marketing Planning Process and the Marketing Manager


Classification C: Formal/Individual

There is an acceptance that planning ignores the human realities and organizational factors. The marketing manager influences the process of marketing planning. The human based culture and its regard for the individual influences the formal process of marketing planning (Shein (1987), Martin (1987) and Piercy and Thomas 1983)). Marketing planning is still a linear process with a series of steps. It is still logical and structured. However the impact of the plethora of attributes that the individual brings to the formal marketing plan are accepted.

Classification D: Informal/Individual

This is the behavioral classification. It recognizes the relationship between the individual, marketing planning and ELT. The process of marketing planning, albeit structured or illogical, is replaced by the individual’s own learning. The learning is generated through experience. It begins with the marketing manager since learning starts with the individual (Revans 1978). It need not take the form of a written plan. The plan is replaced by a written learning diary or by a recognition on the part of the individual marketing manager that learning through experience is taking place. Diaries assist individuals with reflection (Hill, McGowan and Maclaren 1999).The formal stages of the marketing planning process are removed, experiential learning has become an integrated part of the marketing planning process, and there is recognition of the importance of individual experiential learning.

The literature reviewed dates from the 1960’s to the current day. This allows for an overview of academic thought on the subject of marketing planning that allows for an up-to-date typology of marketing planning. The classifications are as follows:

Classification A: Formal/Functional

Marketing planning is a linear process with a series of prescribed steps. It is logical and structured. It spells out a series of activities that the plan needs to include in order to achieve its marketing objectives. It is recommended as an approach for all types and sizes of organization regardless of sector. It is a written, tangible document (McDonald (2003), Dibb (2002), Kotler (2001), Simkin (2000), Baker (2000), Hooley et al (1996)). This classification relates to the theory of marketing planning i.e. that a formalized marketing planning system will help a company to improve its performance. The marketing planner is seen as a role rather than an individual. Personal factors such as experience are not taken into account.

Classification B: Informal/Functional

There is a recognition that different organizations use different approaches to marketing planning. A formal written document is not the output of the marketing planning process, neither is it evidence that marketing planning has taken place. The nature of planning is unstructured. In fact the marketing planning process is not a series of prescribed steps but is an illogical series of activities (Greenley, Hooley and Saunders (2004), Lyle (1993) McDonald (1986b), Monroy (1995), Bracker and Pearson (1986), Hannon and Atherton (1998) and Piercy and Giles (1989)). The marketing planner is seen as a role rather than an individual. Human realities of the planner are not taken into account, and personal factors such as experience are ignored.

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Tim Friesner

Marketing Teacher designs and delivers online marketing courses, training and resources for marketing learners, teachers and professionals.