Having defined broad corporate objectives for the organisation, which are normally expressed in financial terms such as cash profit or return on objectives, and developed an overall corporate strategy to achieve these objectives we then move into the marketing planning process.

Of course it is dangerous to assume that the planning process can proceed in isolation without consideration of possible influences on the development of the mission and objectives at the corporate level and the resulting marketing objectives and strategies.

There are other influences to consider, in addition to the external environmental (both macro and micro) factors that have been identified, including:

•             Stakeholders – e.g. shareholders who will hold a view on company direction and rate of progress, and perhaps intermediaries and employees, and of course customers.

•             Corporate governance – companies have to observe guidelines on corporate governance, which can influence what they can and can’t do e.g. regulations affecting financial services and the duties of directors

•             Business ethics – likewise individuals are expected to serve with integrity and honesty.

•             Organizational culture – organizations are a complex mixture of cultural and political groups and processes. These may influence the way a company views its mission statement and decides on its objectives.

Marketers need to be aware of the whole mix of factors that will influence the planning process and the development of mission and corporate and marketing objectives. As we have outlined, there are external factors – at the macro and micro level in the environment – and internal factors such as the history of the organization, the leadership and management style, structure and systems.

The nature of the business, such as the situation in the market, the kind of product, or the firm’s competences, the stage that products have reached in their life cycle, and the state of technology used are also influencing factors.  Other influences are the individuals and groups within the organization – their values and expectations, and power bases – and external stakeholders, e.g. unions, customers, suppliers and distributors.

Objectives and strategy tend to be driven by people in the organization who wield the most power. Conflicts may emerge based around issues of growth and profitability, control and independence, cost and efficiency, mass production versus quality.