Making marketing decisions is among the key roles of management in directing the organization. The marketing managers make decisions on pricing, product strategies, place, people and promotion. Sustained growth and profitability of a firm over time highly depend on this function. However, decisions cannot be made effectively without considering other forces that influence the organization.
Managers must review the current and anticipated levels of organizational resources that are available for marketing purposes. This includes an analysis of financial, human and experience resources, as well as any relationship with key supply chain partners, strategic alliance partners or customer groups. If resources are expected to decrease, the manager should find ways to compensate; and if there are additional resources, he should create more competitive advantage in meeting customer needs.
Marketing managers examine the current and future situation with respect to customers in the firm’s target markets. They need information on the current and potential customers, their prevailing needs, basic features of the firm’s and competitors’ products perceived by customers as meeting their needs, and the anticipated changes in customer needs. Without this knowledge, a primary market research study may be necessary for an organization to fully understand its target markets.
The current and future actions of competitors are constantly monitored and even anticipated, especially between brand competitors. Strategies aimed at getting customers to switch brands are a major focus in attempts to beat brand competition. Managers can gather competitors’ information from annual reports, mission statements, company websites, data mining, patent tracking, periodicals and publications. Information on product specifications and prices can greatly improve competitive analysis.
Laws and regulations have the potential to influence marketing decisions and activities, acting as a predetermined aspect of market planning. Recent court decisions and interpretations can point to future changes in existing laws. Rulings by regulatory bodies and trade agencies should be examined to determine their effect on marketing activities. Organizations in international business should be mindful of legal issues surrounding the trade agreements among nations.