Marketing Planning: Basic Steps And Major Stages

Introduction to Marketing Planning

Marketing planning is one of the basic processes which is employed by a firm or an organization for guidance. This process entails a set of basic steps which organizations should follow. These basic steps offer guidance to the organization on procedure on how the organization can market as well as sell their products in a competitive market for a given trading period (Jain and Haley, 2009).  Marketing planning contains various strategies which can enable any business to best sell their product in future. Marketing planning is composed of tactics as well as marketing techniques appropriate for achieving organizational marketing objectives.

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Marketing planning as a process has five basic steps to be followed by organization management. These five steps involve both specification of how the developed marketing goals will be achieved and developed of the objectives. These basic marketing planning stages are as discussed below:

Stage 1: Organizational Objectives Determination

Determination of the organizational objectives if the basis of marketing planning and takes the position as the first step.  The formation, determination as well as understanding of the company goals and objectives is the starting point for the whole marketing planning. This step serves as the foundation in which the organization marketing plans and objectives are built. Developed marketing goals and objectives provide guidance for all marketing planning phases (Armstrong, Kotler, Harker and Brennan, 2015). This stage is important to an organization as it provides a standard platform in which an organization can evaluate its performance.  The developed organizational goals and objectives should have some standards and S.M.A.R.T. that is marketing objectives should be specific, measurable, attainable, and realistic as well as time specific.

Stage 2: Assessment of Organizational Resources

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 The organizational planning strategies are affected by a number of factors both without and within the organization.  Availability of resources within an organization determines the best strategies which an organization can employ. Organizational resources is composed of the organizational production capabilities, marketing ability, finance, technological advantages as well as human resources (Baker and Cronin, 2015).  Through evaluation of these resources, the organization can be able to identify its weak points as well as strengths. With discovery of organizational strengths, an organization can be able to set goals and objectives, come up with proper plans for accomplishing its objectives and finally take advantage of prevailing marketing opportunities.  The organization will also be able to work against its weaknesses which can bar it from accomplishing its marketing objectives. At this point the organization can apply SWOT analysis to evaluate its resources.

Basic Steps of Marketing Planning

Stage 3: Opportunity and Risk Evaluation

Marketing planning involves identification of prevailing opportunities within the market.  Marketing opportunities can be affected by various factors such as level of competition within the market, legal issues within in the market, economic issues, political issues, technology as well as socio-cultural factors (Cravens and Piercy, 2006).  Opportunities within the market can be within a market as a result of innovations and new technologies. All these factors affecting marketing opportunities can be classified as business environmental factors. These environmental factors may also pose threats to marketing opportunities.

Stage 4: Marketing Strategy

After analyzing the available opportunities, the final net results is considered as the marketing objective formulation. This is designed to accomplish the general objectives of the organization as well as coming up with a proper marketing plan.  The developed marketing plan must be directed to accommodate establishing marketing strategies. These marketing strategies to be established must have specific characters. The establishing marketing strategies must be resource efficient, should be flexible to the business demands and should as well be adaptable to the business.  Marketing strategy involves identification and selection of a particular market target and coming up with appropriate methods of satisfying their identified customers’ needs. This stage involves overall organizational program for target market identification and satisfaction of the identified market group.

Stage 5: Implementation and Monitoring of Marketing Plan

This is the final stage in marketing planning and it evaluates the whole process of planning and whether it can achieve the desired objectives. The general marketing strategy plan acts as the foundation in which a series of organizational operation plans which are required to move the organization towards meeting its objectives.  At the end of every stage of marketing planning the organizational management team use available feedback to assess, monitor as well as adapting strategies in case the actual performance fails to generate the required end results.

Outline how five marketing planning stages should be employed by a hotel marketing manager in Barcelona to ensure a successful campaign to increase the number of British tourists it receives out of peak season

Stage one application

In order to have a successful campaign to increase the number of the British tourist during the peak seasons, the general manager ins Barcelona should start by developing perfect marketing objectives.  

The general manager should come up with a vision of how to increase the number of tourists during peak seasons. Before commencing the campaign the manger should make keen observation of the hotel objectives.  He should therefore start by setting appropriate goals for the campaign which is to achieve maximum number of British tourist in the hotel during peak seasons. This involves understanding of the hotel campaign vision and create best objectives before moving to the next step.

Major Stages in Marketing Planning Process

Stage two application

After coming up with the best objectives for the campaign, Barcelona hotel general manager should then audit the whole process. The manager should then apply SWOT analysis of the whole campaign as well as the organization. The manager should identify prevailing opportunities during peak seasons which can be exploited to increase the number of British tourist coming to the hotel (Stone, Woodcock and Wilson, 2006). At this stage the manager should also identify weaknesses of the hotel as well as the achieve this the manager should apply SWOT analysis, which will enable him to identify various strengths of the hotel, weakness of the hotel which cannot allow them reach their target customer number, identify opportunities which can help the hotel achieve an increased guests during peak season and finally assess the existing threats. Through this evaluation the manger will be able to come up with appropriate plans related to all internal as well as external factors which can help them achieve their goal.

Stage three application

After auditing the hotel situation the manager will have the idea relating to the external as well as external factors which can influence the success of the campaign. As already stated above this stage involves coming with marketing strategy. At this point the general manger of the Barcelona hotel should come up with perfect strategies for the campaign. This will be based on the available resources set by the hotel for the whole campaign. The manger can use of market mix to analyze the market and come up with suitable strategies for the camping.  Application of this stage by manage will enable the manger to use valuable tactics for this marketing campaign.  The general manger should select different strategies which will be used during the campaign.  This phase will also help the manager of the hotel with guidance towards where the marketing campaign should be direct, the appropriate market segment which the campaign should be focused.

The general manager of the Barcelona hotel should select the best mode of communication how he will position the hotel in order to attract more customers. For this phase of planning to bear fruit to the manager of the hotel he will employ the use various components of the market mix (Kotler, Roberto and Lee, 2002).  The manger will use marketing mix components in order to come up with a proper campaign strategy. The hotel manager will then formulate marketing strategies with the knowledge of prevailing opportunities in tourism sector. This formulation will help the hotel to organize the marketing campaign towards creation of a successful competitive advantage which can help the hotel attract more British tourists during peak seasons. At tis face the general manage will also decide how to the planned marketing campaign and make effort to approach the British tourist whore have been selected as the market target group.

Application of the Five Stages in a Hotel Marketing Manager in Barcelona

Stage 4 application

This stage implementation of marketing plan, the manger should come up with resources fir the campaign in order not to allocate resource blindly to the marketing campaign team. The manager based on the auditing have an understanding of the available hotel resources which can be used for the campaign. The manger then will allocate resources based on the requirement and the market target group (Jain and Haley, 2009).  The Barcelona hotel manager will then ensure that the planned marketing campaign has the required resources and ready for commencement.  This stage is the milestone and the manager at this stage will work with the appropriate marketing team to start the campaign. The manager will make the budget for the implementation of the marketing campaign. Application of this stage will enable the manager to implement the campaign strategies and make an appropriate action plan.

Stage 5 application

At this stage the general manager will have to conduct a consistence monitoring of the marketing campaign as assess whether it will lead to an increase in the number of British guests.  The manager will also employ this stage to make a consistent overview of the whole process of the marketing campaign plan. This overview will be based on the response of the British tourist visiting Barcelona (Heath and Wall, 2011). The manager will use the consumer opinions and feedback to generate a proper promotional plan. The manager will have to make reviews of the implantation of a regular basis and come up with contingency measures in case the campaign is not bearing fruits or meeting marketing objectives.  The manager will have to come up with strategies and adapt those strategies when actual performance fails to increase the number of British tourists in the hotel during peak seasons.


In conclusion, marketing planning is a very crucial process which mangers should take keen while venturing into new markets of expanding the available market.  Marketing planning I composed of five steps which forms the foundation in which the success of an organization can be achieved. For the general manager in Barcelona to have a successful marketing campaign and meet their objective of increasing tourists during peak seasons, he must take keen of the five steps in marketing planning. Organization should therefore take marketing planning as a very important process in business and create marketing strategies based on the five stages of marketing planning.


This essays seeks a detailed examination of the major forms herein referred to bases of leisure segmentation in the hospitality and tourism industries. It further showcases clearly how marketers use the understanding of major forms of leisure segmentation in hospital and tourism industry in their marketing activities. Finally, the essays showcases how leisure marketing differs from marketing in the conference sector. This case is illustrated clearly with case studies encompassing examples from Barcelona.

The leisure marketing in Barcelona remains a novel concept since marketing was established for selling products profitably. Marketing remains simple as it is about understanding the needs of potential consumers and responding to their needs (Hollensen, 2015). It is all about meeting the potential consumers’ needs and making the public know what leisure is about as well what leisure service provide to the public as well as the benefits which a consumer gets in participating in leisure programs. Leisure facilities and services rely on satisfied consumers or they go out of business.  

Because individuals don’t have similar needs and wants, enjoy similar things or even partake same sports or enjoy similar recreational activities. This calls for both market segmentation and target marketing for leisure. The market segmentation describes the process of heterogonous market segmentation into smaller homogenous subgroups which are similar based on needs, wants, profiles, demographics and respond to marketing mix. The target market choose one or two market segments for focus. Before choosing a target market, the market has to be segmented. Market segmentation permits an agency to look at various markets, their particular needs and products which meet such needs instead of mass marketing approach. Whereas mass marketing is based on assumption that everyone needs the same thing. For example, it will develop a leisure program without undertaking proper needs analysis for potential players but merely assuming people will like the program or that such a program will be appealing to everyone. Market segmentation remains better use of time as well as money as its energies are directed towards groups which are most probably to respond.

When making a decision to market segmentation, it remains imperative to establish whether the market remains identifiable, sustainable, accessible as well as responsive. In the market segment which remains identifiable, individuals within such a segment will be able to be distinguished from overall population that shall unearth size of market alongside its buying power or its sustainability. The market need not to be so small as to be poor utilization of resources but large enough as resemble a mass market (Cross, Belich and Rudelius, 2015).

The market segment must be accessible. Individuals within the segment have to be reached by distributing as well as promoting products. The isolated homeless or seniors individual could prove to be difficult cohort to access irrespective of value of recreation offering to them. The market segment has to remain responsive to marketing mix. Two aspects of responsiveness exists including the ability of program to meet segment needs to marketing initiatives.

The two aspects have to take place for viability of the segment. The other aspect of segmentation criteria for recreation and park profession is perceived need. Inactive children, low income families and youth at risk are a few examples of segments which might be excluded on the basis of other 3 guidelines but remain in need of services offered by profession and denote a fair community share.

Segmentation bases are mean by which a mass leisure market is segmented into smaller and more homogenous cohorts. Leisure uses 5 different bases including geography, demographics, behavioral, psychographics characteristics alongside benefits. The utmost common base for segmenting leisure is demographic. It includes age, gender, income, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and education (Sarstedt and Mooi, 2014). The leisure services providers often utilize demographics when segmenting their corresponding markets. A 2nd segmentation base is geography. This variable takes into account factors like proximity and geoclusters. Geoclusters or how close individuals live to one another makes an assumption that individuals who live close to one another share many common features.

The leisure providers are able to select market segment hinged on that.  Identical to geoclusters, proximity identifies how close individuals are to service. A relationship between proximity to a given service as well as utilization of such service. An individual living a ten minute away from the park stays increasingly more probably to utilize the park compared to an individual living 1 hour away from the facility (Christopher, Payne and Ballantyne, 2013). This is why it remains imperative to offer leisure facilities close to consumers since non one shall be willing to travel kilometers just to visit the Hotel or leisure facilities.

The psychographics encompass personality, motivation as well as lifestyle and social class factors. Psychographics data remains challenging to collect, but it stays beneficial if utilized together with demographic data. Lifestyle factors remain particular interests to this industry. Such variables remain a combination of activities including vacations, hobbies as well as entertainment, interests like community, family and work. Psychographics encompass all lifestyle variables which define an individual. Leisure providers are able to utilize psychographics in the promotion of leisure services to some people.

How Marketers Use the Understanding in the Industry Marketing Activities

Following the leisure market segmentation into various groups or segments, the understating is used to select target markets. Determining which specific segments to target shall rely on various factors. These factors entail resources available as well as the likelihood of segment to respond to the efforts of marketing. Three basic strategies to choosing a target market are used: Undifferentiated, concentrated and differentiated strategies. The undifferentiated approach makes an assumption that the mass-marketing approach that each person shall be accessed by a single marketing mix. Such an approach negates the different market segments by focusing in all of the segments.

The public sector is most probably to utilize this approach since market research skills, money as well as time limit a healthier segmentation strategy. Differentiated market segmentation acknowledges that market segment need various marketing strategies. A range of segments are recognized and particular marketing plans are subsequently developed for particular segment (Weinstein and Cahill, 2014). The concentrated market strategy recognizes a precisely defined target market and then focus its resources as well as marketing mix on such a specific market. The commercial as well as non-profit sectors are highly probably to utilize this marketing approach than the public sector.

Various leisure service agencies and facilities showcase their marketing weaknesses by ignoring market segmentation as well as target marketing. Managers are anticipated to utilize restrained resources as best as feasible and each one of the m tries to mass market a given product is wasting resources. It is all known that individuals stay different and their corresponding interest varies. Mass marketing is time-, money- and energy wastages. The money, time and energy is greatly saved by grouping individuals in accordance with their corresponding needs alongside demand.     

The understanding of the major form of leisure segmentation is always useful in ensuring that marketing mix is responsive. Marketing is concerned highly with the provision of right commodities and services and subsequently forging the best relations between products and services and customers. The Marketing Mix is thus the means through which the expression of such a relationship is manifested (Hollensen, 2013). Marketing mix has to follow the understanding of market segmentation and target market derived from major forms of leisure segmentations. This is because marketing mix has to integrate products, place, pricing as well as promotion. This can only be done once the major forms of leisure segmentation is understood. This is because it remains the careful as well as purposeful combinations of such elements which make marketing effective.

The Product must be responsive to a given segment. This information is, therefore, used to tailor services to the particular segment and target market. It is upon the segmentation that marketers in this industry will be able to choose the particular target market to focus on and to offer their services. For example, in leisure sector, the products in are facilities like tennis and squash courts alongside activities like theatres-going as well as aerobics. However, in practical, such are the vehicles for getting to “real” product-experiencing gratification via leisure “participation” This is the unit of exchange with customers. The segmentation information is used to customer services of leisure in a manner that they have repeat purchases and this makes us understand labor as not merely facilities and activities on offer, but further experiences provided and relationships with clients (Kiel, 2014).  This helps marketing understand that the leisure product is the satisfying or worthwhile experience drawn from partake in or engagement with an activity in the leisure time of a person (Torkildsen, 2004).   

The information on major forms of leisure segmentation is also useful in choosing the place or distribution channels to ensure a responsive marketing mix. The marketers can only determine how to get the leisure products to the clients. This will help the marketer to choose from many possible places including parks, hotels, recreational centers, resorts and golf centers. By segmenting, the business will find itself in a given community which then presents the opportunity to know what kind of services to offer to such given target market already derived from segmentation.  Segmentation information is also useful in determining the pricing to ensure that the marketing mix is responsive.  

Only when the segmentation has taken place will the marketer know what to charge and what pricing strategy is to be used as he is marketing. This is because the target market people must be matched in terms of their needs with the products at a price such target market or segment is willing to pay (Hurd, Barcelona and Meldrum, 2008). The segment will help as determine whether to price high and subsequently decrease; price low for quick penetration of a segment market, price at single rate of all clients; or offer unique rates, packages and discounts. The information will also help marketers determine the right promotion to ensure a responsive marketing mix. Such information will avail what specific channel a particular segment or the derived target market uses to determine the channel for promotion.

How Leisure Marketing Differs From Marketing in the Conference Sector

Unlike conference sector marketing, in leisure marketing, the product is never goods, but experiences of gratification. Leisure is very intangible, till one experience it. For example, the soccer ball never sold today can be sold tomorrow; the stadium seat unsold today can be sold tomorrow. In leisure, the stadium not solved today is lost forever unlike in the conference. This is because leisure marketing is “sell by” data which remains in advance of activity. Leisure is never stored, product is highly perishable and further fragile as well as unpredictable unlike in conference (Torkildsen, 2004). Leisure is easily damaged unlike conference marketing. For example, a customer rudely treated at the reception, double-booked on court or unable to get drink at bar in reasonable time, is able to take his custom elsewhere. Leisure behavior stays less predictable as compared to work behavior as customers have choice and capable of tickling.  


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