The 30 (definitive?) benefits of strategic marketing planning (2 of 2)
As you have seen in the previous post (https://nestplaninternational.com/the-30-definitive-benefits-of-strategic-marketing-planning-1-of-2/), I had to split the list into two posts (too many benefits!) and started with the first fourteen, grouped into two categories: A. Guidance, direction, and control and B. Analysis, interpretation and information management.
Here are the other 16 benefits, grouped into four categories:
C. Consistency and coordination of resources
- with an explicit planning activity, it’s much easier to assess the soundness and coherence of both the decisions and the underlying estimates;
- in particular, it’s easier to check the coherence between the stated objectives and the necessary financial, technological, and human resources for reaching them;
- not to mention the fact that a good and credible plan facilitates the access to financial resources and/or better conditions in using them, irrespective of their source (banks, shareholders, private investors, venture capitalists, donors);
- furthermore, the plan facilitates an integrated and balanced view of the firm’s portfolio of activities, allowing the identification of the appropriate responsibilities;
- … and, therefore, the assignment of specific objectives to the various levels of the corporate structure and the reconciliation of potentially conflicting objectives among the various functional areas (e.g. sales vs. manufacturing or finance).
D. Savings and risk management
- thanks also to the above advantages, planning allows a reduction of the degree of uncertainty, and a corresponding abatement of risks;
- a better focalization of the efforts reduces wastes and, therefore, increases the operational efficiency;
- not to mention that the savings can be diverted into more promising uses, facilitating the attainment of the critical mass that is necessary to compete in the various market contexts.
E. Internal communication and motivation
- strictly connected to the accessibility of the know-how crystallized in the plan, is the possibility of communicating its content and logic to all the people that, within the company or systematically in contact with it (for example, sales agents), could or should contribute to its implementation in their respective area of competence;
- communicating facilitates a better understanding and sharing, not just of information, but also of the firm’s objectives and constraints, which further reinforces the reconciliation with the individual expectations;
- communicating and sharing are the best ingredients of motivation, since they give everybody an explicit sense of mission and belonging;
- this provides a significant incentive to a better and focused commitment and to better professional performances …
- … stimulating also a better awareness of the need for a coherent integration of everybody’s efforts towards common goals, and of the importance of teamwork;
F. External communication and partnerships
- obviously, the existence of an explicit plan also allows better communications with the outside world, facilitating, for example and with all the necessary precautions for protecting confidentiality, the development of alliances with other firms and potential partners;
- not to mention the possibility of supporting and improving, with appropriately selected information on an ongoing basis, the relationships with the press and the development of public relations initiatives;
- finally, the availability of a good strategic plan, if correctly communicated, is a good symptom of advanced managerial culture, and this could more easily attract key professional resource, which could otherwise be reluctant to embark on a boat without any compass.
Considering all the above benefits, it’s rather incredible to see that a large majority of companies (especially small firms, but not just them) does not have a real strategic marketing plan.
An explanation of this apparently strange phenomenon, in addition to the lack of managerial culture in most countries, is that planning is not easy, strains the brain, takes a lot of time, and, sometimes, some amount of money (especially if you need somebody to help you).
One of the few ways of reducing the impact of these constraints and facilitating at least an embryonic planning activity, is that of simplifying and automating (although with some inevitable initial investment, especially in terms of time), the strategic planning process: this is exactly the purpose of the judgmental modeling approach we have been talking about in several posts (see, in particular, https://nestplaninternational.com/why-judgmental-models-1/).