Good strategy is it luck, genius or planning?
The most important reason for strategic market planning is to force managers to ask the right questions.
General Eisenhower is said to have remarked,
“plans are nothing, planning is everything”
This is true especially for marketing where outcomes will rarely turn out as planned. The real value of planning is not to produce forecast events but to encourage managers to explore carefully the real determinants of success in a competitive environment and assess the risks.
Organisations that do not undertake strategic marketing planning are usually focused on production or financial priorities. Short term problems displace the long term strategic thinking that is needed to build the capabilities required for maintaining and enhancing competitiveness.
Strategic market planning has other benefits such as stimulating the ambitions of management. Looking to the future, picking what is required for a ‘winner’ and creating stretching aspirations will enhance performance. Organisations that aim high usually achieve more. Well thought out and clearly communicated strategic plans provide direction and common purpose.
Peter Druker wrote that planning is not necessary for success. He observed that success could be achieved by three different means: by luck; by having genius management running the organisation; or by planning. The significance of planning is that it is the only route available to any organisation that clearly increases the odds of success. Luck and genius are attributes which are not readily available to all of us!