Marketing strategy and implementation
Market orientation is an integral part of marketing. A market-oriented
organisation must closely monitor consumer and competitive activities and
incorporate the results into its strategic planning.
Market orientation is a skill that focuses on translating environmental variables into organisational and marketing strategies, and eventually attempts
to implement these strategies. This final step – converting strategic plans into
actual activities, as effectively and efficiently as possible – is known as the
implementation phase. We will look more closely into developing
a (services) marketing plan in chapter .
Some important strategic issues in this regard are: r What are the organisation’s mission and long-term objectives? r Does the organisation plan to grow in the next few years and, if so, how? r Which skills do the organisation need to develop in the next few years?
To what extent are these differentiated with regard to the competition? r Should the organisation (radically) innovate? r What quality level is the organisation aiming for? r What image should it create? r In what way does it fulfil the relationship with its customers? r What are the objectives in the area of corporate social responsibility and
what sustainable values do marketing aim to create?
Management must regularly address such strategic questions – for instance:
How should Air France-KLM grow over the next few years? Does a rising
price of oil (an environmental variable) mean that it should look to other
forms of air transport (radical innovation)? Every service provider has to
wrestle with issues such as these. What strategy should ING Bank (in The
Netherlands) adopt if interest rates increase to 5% and/or inflation to 12%?
These might seem like doomsday scenarios, but changes in the organisation’s (immediate) environment can alter markets entirely. Do TomTom and
Garmin have a reason to exist in the long term, when Samsung and Apple
are incorporating navigation systems into their smartphones?
Various environmental variables are possible, and in an environmental analysis we distinguish between the micro (internal), the meso (transactional)
and the macro (contextual) environment. We class significant macro-environmental factors under the acronym DRETS, which stands for demographic, regulatory, economic, technological and socio-cultural trends and
developments. Other authors use the classification DESTEP (demographic,
economic, socio-cultural, technological, ecological and politico-legal). In
English-speaking countries PESTLE (political, economic, social, legal and
ecological) is a current term for macro analysis. Organisations may have
varying degrees of susceptibility to the same trend, e.g. the demographic
trend of population ageing affects the life insurance sector considerably
more than the transport sector. The extent to which a trend influences an
organisation is known as impact. A proper environmental analysis should
therefore define the impact of the relevant trends on the organisation.
These strategic plans should, of course, be further elaborated. They are – so
to speak – translated through to the personnel active in the service delivery
processes that serve the various customer groups.