Customer value can be defined as the difference between what the customers have to give to get the benefits of the product (See Appendix 1). Marketers often face the task of creating customer value, mostly when developing new products and services (Smith and Colgate 7). One of the main goals of effective marketing is to provide appropriate customer value. Therefore, marketing directly affects customer value. Customer value depends on brand loyalty and repetitive buying habits.
Marketing activities aimed at creating brand loyalty have a positive influence on customer value as creating a strong brand is a “successful strategy for differentiating a product from competing brands” (Huang and Zhang 105). Growing brand loyalty is a primary task of marketers working on delivering superior value for customers (Huang and Zhang 105). Marketing strategy used to promote repetitive buying habits also contributes to creating appropriate customer value, as customers tend to value the products they are used to buy for long period of time more than the ones they are familiar with for a shorter period.
Strategic Planning at Different Levels of the Organization
Strategic planning is aimed at determining certain strategies that should be used to achieve the goals, which correspond to the primary mission of the company or organization. A strategic plan is essential for making different levels of the company capable of making unanimous important business decisions (Barksdale and Lund 5). Strategic planning can be effective only if carried at different levels of organization and encouraging the effective coordination between different departments. At the corporate level of organization, strategic planning is aimed at defining the corporate mission and creating corresponding business units.
At the business unit level, strategic planning involves analysis of environmental factors influencing the chosen area of business, formulating the goals it needs to achieve, and defining the appropriate strategy. At departments’ levels, such as HR, finance, or marketing departments, strategic planning includes creating the strategy that helps a certain department to reach its goals within the broader organization mission. Individual goals and settings are the last part of strategic planning aimed at providing each employee with directions how to provide benefits for the company through everyday performance. The strategic plan should give guidelines to all levels of organization and provide them with a clear vision of how they can contribute to reaching the main objective of the whole organization.
A marketing plan is aimed at determining effective marketing efforts that help to be “focused on the vision of your practice” (Buttell 6). Whalen and Boush have analyzed the studies investigating the influence of marketing planning and found out that the results of the research show that planning improves performance (454). A marketing plan should include all points essential for providing well-grounded guidelines for the company to follow to achieve the goals. The first point that should be included in the marketing plan is the analysis of the market.
It involves data on market dynamics, customers, competition, and other factors determining the specifics of the chosen market. The next step includes defining the target market and considering its main features. Another point is defining the mission statement, which describes the main objective of the company and its advantages compared to other competitors. Marketing goals and strategies for achieving them should also be included. Analyzing the budget and choosing corresponding pricing and branding are also of vital importance. Proper marketing plan determines goals and provides the ways for achieving them. Appendix 2 provides an example of simple and effective marketing plan.
Barksdale, Susan, and Teri Lund. 10 Steps to Successful Strategic Planning, Alexandria, Virginia: American Society for Training and Development, 2006. Print.
Buttell, Amy. “4 Steps to an Effective Marketing Plan.” Journal of Financial Planning 1 (2009): 6-8. Print.
Huang, Jiatao, and Depeng Zhang. Customer Value and Brand Loyalty: Multi-dimensional Empirical Test. 2008. Web.
Smith, Brock, and Mark Colgate. “Customer Value Creation: A Practical Framework.” Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice 15.1 (2007): 7-23. Print.
Whalen, Peter, and David Boush. “Why, How and to What Effect do Firms Deviate from their Intended Marketing Plans? Towards a Taxonomy of Post Plan Improvisations.” European Journal of Marketing 48.3/4 (2014): 453-476. Print.
Zentall, Lena. More Visuals: Picture Your Strategic Plan. 2010. Web.