Strategic decisions concern the overall direction of the organization. Strategy is about where we want to be; decisions on tactics are about how we are going to get there. Strategic decisions tend to be difficult to reverse; they usually involve a rejection of other strategic options; and they generally therefore involve a major personal commitment on the part of the decision maker. Tactical decisions are relatively easy to change, involve less commitment, and can often run alongside other options.
Strategy must be integrated across the whole range of marketing activities, it must be formulated in the light of good analysis of the environment, and it must include a feedback system so that the strategy can be adapted in the light of environmental changes. Strategy is influenced by organisational objectives and resources, competitor activities, the structure of the market itself and the firm’s willingness to make changes and take risks. From an overall strategic perspective marketers need to decide on the following issues, and formulate strategies for coping with them:
The first stage in the planning process is to determine where the firm is now; this can be determined by carrying out a marketing audit.
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