To a great extent, the same sequence of activities performed at the corporate level is repeated at the marketing level. The primary difference is that the marketing plan is directly influenced by the corporate plan as well as the role of the other functions within the organization. Consequently, the marketing plan must always involve monitoring and reacting to changes in the corporate plan.
Apart from this need to be flexible to accommodate the corporate plan, the marketing plan follows a fairly standardized sequence. The marketing plan begins with a mission. A mission reflects the general values of the organization. What does it stand for? How does it define integrity? How does it view the people it serves? Every organization has an explicit or implicit mission. The corporate mission might contain words such as "quality", "global", "profitability", and "sacrifice". The marketing-level mission should extend the corporate mission by translating the latter into a marketing context. For example, a corporate mission that focuses on technology might be accompanied by a production-oriented marketing mission. A corporation that stresses stockholders/dividends may result in a sales-orientation in marketing. A corporate mission that concentrates on value or quality reflects a consumer-oriented marketing mission. Once the mission is established, the situation analysis follows.
A marketing plan's situation analysis identifies factors, behaviors, and trends that have a direct bearing on the marketing plan. Much of this information is usually collected simultaneously with the corporate information. However, collecting information about potential and actual customers tends to be the concern of marketers. This is an ongoing activity and represents a great deal of the marketer's time and money. (The UNDERSTANDING AND APPROACHING THE MARKET chapter describes the process of marketing research.)
The situation analysis helps produce a relevant set of marketing objectives. At the corporate level, typical objectives include profitability, cost savings, growth, market share improvement, risk containment, reputation, and so on. All these corporate objectives can imply specific marketing objectives. "Introducing a certain number of new products usually" may lead marketers to profitability, increased market share, and movement into new markets. Desire to increase profit margins might dictate level of product innovation, quality of materials, and price charged.