Marketing planning is the interface between the enterprise and its market/customers. Internet marketing places the consumer at both the beginning and the end of the business process and that any firm practicing marketing in the proper sense has to identify correctly the needs of the consumer, translate the needs into suitable products and services, deliver those products and services to the total satisfaction of the consumer and through this process generate profits for the firm.
Marketing planning is the instrument through which all these tasks get accomplished. The quality of marketing planning is revealed in the success of all marketing activities. Obviously, considerable thought, expertise and effort have to go into the process of marketing planning.
The marketing planner first scans the environment followed by an internal scanning of his unit, its strength and weaknesses and assesses to what extent his marketing organization is equipped to pursue the various opportunities emerging in the environment. Then he formulates the marketing objectives and marketing strategies. And finally, he formulates the detailed functional plans in each aspect of the total marketing task.
As the first step in the marketing planning process, the firm scans its marketing environment. The main purpose of this exercise is to find out the favorable and unfavorable factors prevailing in the environment and the specific business opportunities available to the business unit and their relative attractiveness. In the case of marketing planning, environmental scanning focuses on the environment of the business unit in question and its scope is limited to the business in question.