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What Are The Barriers To Implementing A Marketing Plan And What Can Be Done To Overcome Them?

2732 words - 11 pages

According to McDonald marketing planning is "a logical sequence of events leading to the setting of marketing objectives and a formulation of plans for achieving them."(McDonald 2002 p56)The complexity of marketing planning means that when organizations embark on it, they should expect to encounter a number of organizational, attitudinal, process and cognitive problems (McDonald 2002). This essay is an attempt to outline some of those problems, however it is beyond this essay to clarify all possible barriers in implementing a marketing plan. After the potential barriers are of implementation are specified the essay will try and give possible solutions. The essay will first look at organizational constraints and then progress onto operational barriers.Organizational barriersIt is not uncommon for marketing planners to experience difficulties in gaining wholehearted executive commitment for an ongoing programmed of, planning implementation and control. This is often due to a lack of evidence linking marketing planning to direct financial benefit. This problem is less prevalent in the other organisational disciplines of Management, Production, Finance and Human Resource. Although marketing describes itself as the key business discipline- and rightly so if properly applied-vested interests often prevail to obstruct its centrality (McDonald 2002). In practice the other strands are able to flex varying degrees of muscle with the result that is often marginalised. Part of the problem is that marketing is perceived as an abstract art form rather than a science. Although a new status- that of Chartered Marketer- has been accorded to qualifying members of the Chartered Institute of marketing (Ree.C. 2000), the level of public awareness is low. A major cause for concern is that many organisations separate the three disciplines of business (production, HR, AND marketing). The problem with separating the three disciplines is that there will be a lack of participation of the key functions of the company. This is why a market-orientated approach is needed. As far back as the 1960's Lear (1963) recognised the barriers involved and that, whilst marketing orientation was desirable from the point of view of customers, the efficiency based structure of most organisations limited what could be achieved. Morgan and Piercy (1991) cite lack of proper training as a major inhibitor of marketing orientation this in turn can lead to weak systems and therefore weak, poorly valued marketing. Marketing orientation is of course a cultural issue. Smircich (1983) sought to define organisational culture as "something, which may be influenced, changed and manipulated, and in turn influence, change and manipulate members and features of an organization".(Smircich 1983 p359)In her article, Wilson (2000) quotes an assumption that "culture develops through problem solving within an organisation but suggests that the lack of clarity of definition leaves us with the conclusion that...

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