MARFIN The Marketing Manager

IV. Marketing Analysis and
     Strategy Development

  1. Market
  2. Market Share
  3. Product
  4. Price
  5. Distribution
  6. Advertising
  7. Promotion

II. Introduction

This book together with the digital marketing managment system called MARFIN The Marketing Manager, aims at furnishing the new marketing executive or the entrepreneur, who has just started his or her business and cannot afford to hire expensive marketing consultants, with a complete marketing workbook that guides them through each step necessary to good marketing. This practical guide provides the theory for understanding the key marketing concepts, and the computer program makes their practical application easy.

For students, it is an excellent source of practical information as well as a teaching instrument. By following the MARFIN analytical and planning process, students will develop an understanding of the marketing thought process and how it can be creatively applied in real life.

The Concept 

The book begins by explaining the basic concepts of marketing and marketing planning and covers each element of the marketing mix. Then using MARFIN's logic, it explains what data to collect, how to analyze it, and finally how to draw conclusions for developing a successful strategy.

It also deals with the major financial concepts that must be understood in order to know how a business is doing as well as the correlation between marketing and financial strategies. Only a harmonization of financial and marketing strategies can lead to successful business management. Finally, guidelines for compiling the strategic decisions into a business plan are also included.

The Structure     

Based on the above concept, each section of the book consists of three parts:
(1) part one is a short summary of the relevant marketing concepts, (2) part two describes the analytical process, and (3) part three explains the steps to develop a winning strategy.

Enough marketing theory is explained so that each step seems logical and relevant to the business at hand, but academic discussions of theory are avoided. Practical and real life examples are used to demonstrate how marketing planning works.

The structure of this book is based on the nine key steps in marketing planning. The book explains why each step is necessary and gives examples to clarify each step:

1. Market definition and customer need(s) identification
2. Brand share analysis and forecast
3. Product strategy development
4. Establishing price strategy
5. Developing advertising strategy
6. Developing promotion strategy
7. Developing distribution strategy
8. Understanding the interdependence of financial and
    marketing strategies
9. Compiling the marketing plan

In practice, these steps are not linear and the marketing planning process becomes iterative, so that the planner may start with the section that seems most relevant at a certain time and then goes back and forth between the sections until the plan is complete. And in truth, the plan is never fully finished because it continuously changes as new information appears.

What is unique about this book is that it elaborates on the importance of each step of the marketing planning process. It explains how the data can be analyzed in different creative ways so that the planner better understands its strategic meaning. The book enlightens the process from data analysis to decision making and strategy development. It points out how each decision leads to a certain strategy and in turn to action.

This practical guidebook is representative of the planning process used in major corporations.  Most large companies have a business planning cycle of one year; the strategic plans define the vision and goals for three to five years; then marketing plans are developed every year to define the programs to be implemented and check the prior year's progress against long term goals. This book will aid in the process.

The table numbers in the book correspond to the numbers in the software program in order to provide consistency for those who would like to use both.