Gathering information: this stage is based on the concept of marketing audit. After performing the audit of the macro_environment by analyzing the STEP factors (social, technologic, economic and politic), we should turn the focus upon the immediate extern environment (the micro_environment) and analyze the competitive environment, the costs and the market. Finally, we will conclude with the SWOT analysis, by this way we will have a general view upon the internal environment compared to the external one. The SWOT analysis combine the two perspectives, from the inside and from the outside, because the Strengths and the Weaknesses are internal issues of an organization, while the Opportunities and Threads come from the outside.
Marketing plans and strategies are ever_evolving and have to be drawn up to fit the situation and its specific needs. They are required at whatever stage a business might be. Whether you are a start_up or an established business, you must have an effective marketing plan. To have a successful marketing plan, you will have to consider the following essential elements