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.
Re_formulating objectives: after the close examination of data gathered in the previous stage, sometimes it is needed to re_formulate the initial objectives, in order to address all the issues that might have come up from the previous stage. The distance between the initial objective and the re_formulated objective will be covered by appropriate strategies. We must ensure the re_formulated objective is SMART as well.