The Strategic Marketing Planning Process answers the following questions:
• Where are we now?
• Where do we want to be in future?
• How will we get there?
• How effectively can the goals be achieved?
Long term strategic planning is based on the principle that what happened in the past will repeat. Sticking rigidly to a plan can be harmful to a company as it is not necessary that what happened in the past will repeat in future. Strategic Marketing Plans must be flexible enough in order to change and react to the circumstances. Successful Strategies is about reacting to the situations most of the times. Planning can only help in getting an idea about the future. Most of the planners who are successful allow the strategies to be shaped by the events. Being reactive is as important as to being proactive because decent reactions can formulate into a great strategy. There are many companies who examine the past strategies
Strategic Planning should neither be rigid nor flexible. It shouldn’t be so rigid that there couldn’t be any changes made in the five to ten years of the plan. It also shouldn’t be that flexible those changes are made to the plan every month and the whole shape of the strategic planning changes. There can never be any correct amount of flexibility or rigidity for a plan. The flexibility depends on a variety of external and internal factors which includes social factors, environmental factors, and economical stability. The size of the product portfolio and the complexity of the organizations are also important in deciding how flexible a plan can be.