The paper "Feeding the Marketing Management and Planning Process" is a good example of a literature review on marketing. Before settling on the ideal marketing objectives to use in any organization, the marketers need to understand what the objectives really are, and their role in the marketing activities. According to McDonald (2007, p. 275), marketing objectives quantify the products or services that an organization markets, and also highlight the market targeted with the product. Without clear marketing objectives, therefore, marketers would be operating in an environment where the strategies to be taken are not clear. According to McDonald (2007, p.
276) setting clear objectives for marketing operations enables a firm to identify existing opportunities, threats and conditions that are likely to affect the business in the future. This thought is shared by Stapleton and Thomas (1998, p. 79) who observe that marketing objectives make it possible for a firm to develop marketing strategies that stand a higher chance of succeeding in a given market scenario. These authors recommend the “ Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)” analysis as one of the ideal ways that a firm can establish the nature of its internal and external environments.
Used together with a marketing audit, a SWOT analysis “ enables the management to formulate its marketing objectives” (Stapleton & Thomas, 1998, p. 81). But what exactly is a SWOT analysis in relation to marketing? Well, a company’ s strength is represented by internal factors that may include skills, market dominance, superior brands or a dedicated workforce among other advantages that a firm has over its competitors. Weaknesses, on the other hand, are internal inadequacies that disadvantage the firm in relation to its competitors in the market.
A firm that lacks the financial capabilities required to launch a wide marketing campaign can, for instance, classify financial limitations as one of its key weaknesses. Opportunities give the firm a favorable environment to excel. They may come from technological advancement, regulatory changes and a change in the firm’ s relations among other things. Marketers understand that the swiftness of their actions in response to the opportunities determines whether they will make something out of it or not (Stapleton and Thomas, 1998, p. 79).
Threats, on the other hand, are defined by Lord (2009, p. 10) as unfavorable developments in a given market, which can affect the firm adversely. Some of the common threats that marketers experience on a regular basis include new market entrants, technological changes, regulations, and increased supplier or buyer bargaining powers among others.