Benefit from Strategic Thinking

August 2001
by Brian Jud

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A typical marketing plan has two major parts. The first
is a statement of what you are going to do, and the second describes how you
will do it. Your task is to create the optimum combination of strategy and
action that will achieve your objectives. And that depends on your ability to
apply strategic thinking.

The interaction of marketing planning and strategic
thinking is demonstrated in the following example, beginning with the
understanding that marketing objectives evolve from your financial objectives.
For instance, if you want to earn $100,000 in profit and your target profit
margin is 10% on sales, then you must set a goal of $1,000,000 in sales revenue.
With an average list price of $14.95 on a book sold through a distributor
discounting sales at 65%, you would receive $5.23 per sale. Therefore, you would
have to sell 191,205 books to generate $1,000,000 of revenue.

If last year you sold 145,000 books, then your unit
sales would have to increase by 32%. With this in mind, your goals would read:

Achieve total sales revenue of $1,000,000 by
12/31/2002.

Increase unit sales volume by 32% to 191,205 over the
planning period.

Now the challenge becomes a quest to find out what you
can do to reach these targets. This can be done through strategic thinking, the
process of creating new approaches to implemen

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