Developing a Strategic Marketing Plan for Horticultural Firms
White, Gerald B.; Uva, Wen-fei L.
A marketing plan is essential for every horticultural business and for efficient and effective marketing of any horticultural product or service. A marketing plan serves as a road map. It establishes objectives, recommended actions, and timing for achieving the objectives. An understanding of the marketing planning process is also a valuable aid in helping managers organize their thinking about the marketing process and the various methods and procedures used. A strategic marketing plan takes into account the market environment facing the business (e.g. trends, competitive environment, regulatory issues, technological advancements, etc.) Thus, the emphasis is not only on projections but also on an in-depth understanding of the market environment, particularly competitors and customers. Its goals are to take maximum advantage of opportunities, solve problems and counter threats to the business. Before discussing the details of a marketing plan, it is important to identify the three different levels of planning activities that a firm may conduct to determine marketing strategies. The company strategic plan defines the organization’s mission, sets long-range goals and formulates broad strategies to achieve these goals. The strategic marketing plan is the long-term plan for the marketing area and deals with the overall marketing objectives of the organization. The operating marketing plan focuses on the tactical decisions needed to carry out the strategic marketing plan. It is a detailed plan indicating the results of a situation analysis and offering a set of objectives and tactical statements to accomplish these objectives by the end of the year. Fundamentally, a tactical plan provides the answers to the questions – WHO, DOES WHAT, and WHEN (timelines). The firm’s marketing strategy must support the overall business mission and be consistent with other components of the business strategic planning.
Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University