Monday, November 30, 2009

Behavioral Marketing Planning

Marketing Planning and the Individual

Human and behavioral inputs are brought to marketing planning by the marketing manager himself or herself. The driver for the illogical approach of Piercy and Giles (1989) lies with the experience of managers. So where informal marketing planning recognized that there are different approaches to marketing planning, away from the structure and linear process of formal marketing planning, where the behavior of the manager influences the plan, a behavioral approach to marketing planning sees the individual at the center of the marketing plan.

The plan is driven by the individual and his human characteristics influence the plan. Such characteristics include the experience of the manager and the nature of his learning. The relationship between planning and human behavior is recognized in a number of ways. Culture is distinguished from planning techniques and specifications (King and Cleland 1978). Therefore corporate or national culture would influence, to an extent, the individual that plans for marketing. According to Martin (1987), they see that 'human-based culture' at both strategic and operational levels to be an antecedent of effective planning. Recognition of the human nature of marketing planning could dispel the mistaken beliefs that managers have (Piercy and Giles 1998). In contrast, a behavioral view of marketing planning sees fewer stages to the process itself. Strategies may evolve or emerge (Minzberg 1987). Culture influences the behavior of the planner (King and Cleland 1978). Analysis and planning are ongoing, and are not always deliberately written down as a formal 'plan.'

Too much attention is given to the marketing audit, and the audit itself tends to ignore the organizational context of marketing planning i.e. the attitudes of individuals and groups to the process of planning (Martin 1987). The individuals and groups that shape the marketing plan, and their interaction, can affect the attainment of marketing objectives. Such a behavioral process will influence the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing planning. The nature of the marketing environment may also dictate the approach taken by the marketer when planning for marketing. In low change, low complexity situations marketing structure is the most important factor. However in high change, high complexity situations skilled managers secure better results (Bonomo and Crittenden cited in Wilson, Gilligan and Pearson 1992). There is recognition that moving away from structure to the skills of an individual may secure better results. The way in which the skills are applied is down to the behavior of the individual. How these skills are developed are down to the learning of the individual.

How these skills are developed are down to the learning of the individual. Learning and marketing planning begin to demonstrate some common traits. Dispensing with an oversimplified traditional formal marketing planning process sees the emergence of an iterative process (Piercy and Giles 1989). The marketer plans constantly and makes minor improvements as marketing occurs. An iterative marketing planning process is constantly reviewed and fine-tuned. The marketer reflects upon marketing planning and makes changes where necessary. Reflection is a key activity to behavioral marketing planning. Reflection is a key activity to experiential learning (Kolb 1984). There may be a relationship between behavioral marketing planning and individual learning.

Marketing planning is done to target consumers more effectively so that profitability can be enhanced therefore its an important aspect in marketing. Behavioral factor needs much more attention so that planning is successful.