- LO1: Describe three kinds of organizations and the three levels of strategy in them.
- LO2: Describe core values, mission, organizational culture, business, and goals.
- LO3: Discuss how an organization assesses where it is now and where it seeks to be.
- LO4: Explain the three steps of the planning phase of the strategic marketing process.
- LO5 & 6: Describe the four components of the implementation phase of the strategic marketing process.
- LO7: Discuss how managers identify and act on deviations from plans.
LO1: Three kinds of organizations and the three levels of strategy in them:
- Corporate Level Strategy: This level of strategy focuses on the overall direction and scope of the entire organization. It involves decisions related to diversification, mergers, acquisitions, and strategic alliances. Corporate-level strategies define what businesses an organization will be involved in and how it will allocate resources among them.
- Business Unit Level Strategy: At this level, strategies are developed for individual business units or divisions within the organization. Business unit-level strategies are more focused and specific, aiming to achieve competitive advantage in their respective markets or industries.
- Functional Level Strategy: This level of strategy concentrates on specific functional areas within the organization, such as marketing, finance, human resources, and operations. Functional strategies are designed to support the overall business and corporate strategies and ensure efficient operations within each department.
- Organizational Level Strategy: Non-profit organizations also have an overall strategy that outlines their mission, vision, and objectives. This strategy determines the overall direction of the organization and the causes they aim to address.
- Program Level Strategy: Non-profits often run various programs to achieve their mission. Each program may have its own strategy, focusing on how it will achieve its goals and impact the target beneficiaries.
- Fundraising/Resource Development Strategy: Since non-profit organizations rely on donations and grants, they need a strategy to secure funding. This strategy involves fundraising campaigns, grant applications, and building relationships with donors and sponsors.
- National/Regional Level Strategy: Government organizations work with a broader scope, and their strategies are typically focused on the development and welfare of the nation or region they govern. National-level strategies may involve economic development, public welfare, infrastructure development, etc.
- Department Level Strategy: Within government organizations, different departments may have specific strategies relevant to their functions. For example, a health department may have a strategy for improving public health, while an education department may have a strategy to enhance the quality of education.
- Public Policy Level Strategy: Government organizations also deal with public policies that affect citizens and businesses. These strategies involve formulating and implementing policies to address societal challenges and promote public welfare.
LO2: Core values, mission, organizational culture, business, and goals:
- Core Values: Core values are fundamental beliefs and principles that guide the behavior, actions, and decision-making within an organization. They represent the shared ethics and principles that employees are expected to uphold while working towards the organization’s objectives. Core values create a sense of unity and purpose among employees.
- Mission: The mission statement of an organization defines its fundamental purpose and reason for existence. It describes what the organization does, who it serves, and what sets it apart from others. A clear and compelling mission statement helps employees and stakeholders understand the organization’s direction and goals.
- Organizational Culture: Organizational culture refers to the shared values, beliefs, norms, and behaviors that shape the work environment within an organization. It influences how employees interact, make decisions, and perceive their roles within the company. A positive and strong organizational culture can improve employee satisfaction, productivity, and overall performance.
- Business: The business of an organization refers to its primary activities and operations that generate revenue and create value for its customers or clients. It includes the products or services offered, target markets, and the industry or sector in which the organization operates.
- Goals: Goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound objectives that an organization aims to accomplish. These objectives align with the mission and vision of the organization and help in measuring progress and success.
LO3: How an organization assesses where it is now and where it seeks to be:
Assessing the current state of the organization and determining the desired future state is a critical part of the strategic planning process. The following steps are involved in this assessment:
- Environmental Analysis: Organizations conduct an analysis of their internal and external environments. Internal analysis involves evaluating the organization’s strengths and weaknesses, such as its resources, capabilities, and organizational structure. External analysis involves examining factors in the external environment, such as market trends, competition, technological advancements, economic conditions, and regulatory changes.
- SWOT Analysis: A SWOT analysis is a strategic tool used to identify the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It helps in understanding the current position of the organization in the market and the areas where it can leverage its strengths and address weaknesses.
- Vision and Mission Review: The organization’s vision and mission statements are reviewed to ensure they align with current market conditions and future aspirations. If necessary, adjustments are made to reflect changing priorities and emerging opportunities.
- Goal Setting: Based on the analysis, the organization sets specific and achievable goals that define what it seeks to achieve in the short, medium, and long term. These goals should be aligned with the organization’s mission and strategic direction.
- Gap Analysis: A gap analysis is conducted to identify the difference between the current state of the organization and the desired future state. This helps in understanding the areas where improvements are needed and where resources should be allocated to bridge the gaps.
LO4: The three steps of the planning phase of the strategic marketing process:
- Situation Analysis: In the planning phase, the strategic marketing process begins with a comprehensive situation analysis. This step involves gathering and analyzing data related to the organization’s internal and external marketing environment. It includes assessing the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis), understanding customer needs and preferences, studying market trends, and evaluating competitor activities.
- Target Market Selection: Once the situation analysis is complete, the organization identifies and selects its target market(s). This involves segmenting the market based on relevant criteria, such as demographics, psychographics, behavior, and geographic location. The organization then chooses the most attractive segments as its target market(s) where it will focus its marketing efforts.
- Marketing Objectives and Strategies: In this step, the organization establishes specific marketing objectives that align with its overall business goals. These objectives should be measurable and time-bound. After defining the objectives, the organization formulates marketing strategies to achieve them. Marketing strategies may include product positioning, pricing strategies, distribution channels, promotional activities, and customer engagement plans.
LO5 & LO6: The four components of the implementation phase of the strategic marketing process:
- Resource Allocation: During the implementation phase, the organization allocates resources such as budget, personnel, technology, and time to execute the marketing strategies effectively. Resource allocation ensures that the necessary inputs are available to support the marketing initiatives.
- Implementation of Marketing Mix: The marketing mix, often referred to as the 4Ps (Product, Price, Place, and Promotion), is put into action. This involves developing and launching new products or services, setting competitive pricing, determining distribution channels, and implementing promotional activities to reach the target market.
- Marketing Organizational Structure: The organization defines the marketing organizational structure, roles, and responsibilities within the marketing team. Clear communication channels and coordination are established to ensure the effective execution of marketing plans.
- Monitoring and Control: The implementation phase also involves continuous monitoring and control of marketing activities. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are established to measure the success of marketing efforts. Regular performance reviews help identify any deviations from the plans and allow for timely adjustments if needed.
LO7: How managers identify and act on deviations from plans:
Managers play a crucial role in identifying and acting on deviations from plans during the implementation phase. Here’s how they typically handle such situations:
- Monitor Progress: Managers regularly monitor the progress of ongoing projects and initiatives. They compare the actual results with the planned targets and milestones. This ongoing monitoring helps in identifying any discrepancies or deviations.
- Analyze Deviations: When deviations are identified, managers conduct a thorough analysis to understand the reasons behind them. It involves investigating the root causes, external factors, or internal issues that contributed to the deviations.
- Decision Making: Based on the analysis, managers make informed decisions on how to address the deviations. They may decide to make adjustments to the existing plans, reallocate resources, change tactics, or introduce new strategies to get back on track.
- Communication: Effective communication is essential in dealing with deviations. Managers communicate changes or new strategies to the relevant teams and stakeholders to ensure everyone is aware of the updated plans.
- Continuous Improvement: Managers emphasize a culture of continuous improvement within the organization. They encourage teams to learn from past deviations and incorporate the lessons into future planning and decision-making processes.
- Flexibility and Adaptability: Managers should be flexible and adaptable in their approach to handling deviations. Market conditions, customer preferences, and other factors may change, requiring the organization to adjust its plans accordingly.
By addressing deviations proactively and implementing appropriate corrective actions, managers can steer the organization back on track to achieve its strategic goals.