Marketing planning is identified as one of the key components of the marketing planning process. There are three main approaches to the marketing planning process.
1. Top-down planning- According to the top-down planning method, the senior management of the organization sets the goals and most of the plans in the organization. Once the goals and plans are set, those will be passed down to the middle-level managers. from the middle-level managers, the goals and plans will be converted to tasks and responsibilities and delegated to the lower level management and employees. Under the top-down planning method, it is assumed that top-level management has sufficient internal and external environment knowledge for the decision-making process.
It is recognized that the decision-making process is quite faster in the top-down planning method as higher-level management has the ability and experience for quick decision making. This will help to put together the marketing plan quickly and easily than the decision-making process of the middle level and low-level managers. Developing ownership of the marketing plan is difficult since there is no involvement from the middle level and low-level managers in the decision-making process. The reliability of the decision-making process is questioned as it is identified that the internal and external knowledge of higher-level management is limited and it is directly impacting their decisions.
In the process of decision-making in the marketing department, the marketing managers will create the entire marketing plan for a product or service after evaluating the market conditions. The created marketing plan will be passed down to the middle-level managers to design tasks and job responsibilities that will help to achieve the marketing plan. The lower-level managers and the employees will engage in the activities assigned in order to obtain the results expected through the marketing plan.
2. Bottom-up planning- bottom-up planning is the second stage of the three main approaches to the marketing planning process. According to this approach, The various departments of the organization produce their own plans. Best on the analysis
of all the provided plans the senior management will provide the approval for coordination and creation of the main plan. Department wise planning was created based on the individual understanding of the department. Those will be used in creating the organizational objectives and goals.
In this situation, the marketing-oriented companies will find the process easier because the suggestions for the organization plan comes from the employees who are closer to customers and who are well aware of the customer needs. The business marketing planning process is time consuming due to the requirement of collecting details from all the departments. However, it is considered one of the most effective marketing planning methods.
According to bottom-up planning, the employees in the marketing team get an opportunity to participate in the marketing plan. This will allow them to use their industry knowledge as well as practical experiences for the benefit of creating a more realistic and productive marketing plan.
3. Goals-down-plans-up planning- this is considered as one of the most common planning methods out of all three main approaches to the marketing planning process. Under this method, senior management of the organization sets the overall goals of the company and allows the details of planning the various departments to build their department wise planning based on the resources available while maintaining the overall goals and objectives set by the senior management.
According to the main approaches to the marketing planning process, whatever the technique adapted for the marketing planning process, it is important to have a proper understanding of the purpose of marketing planning. In addition, the planning and decision-making team should have a thorough understanding of the internal and external environment of the organization and the product’s ability to capture market share out of all the competitors available in the market.