Making Marketing Happen

How Great Companies Make Strategic Planning Work


  • Brian Smith, Managing Consultant, PragMedic and Doctoral Researcher at Cranfield University, UK.

'Making Marketing Happen' is prompted by needs of practising managers who have found the traditional marketing planning texts to be "fine in theory, but hard to apply to my special market". In short, it holds that marketing planning fails for most companies because it either does not fit their organizational culture, their market conditions or both. Successful companies do not plan. They use a hybrid strategy making process including vision, incrementalism and planning. The ratio of these three things is critical and the right ratio is unique to every company. The author develops this argument and explains how companies can construct the right hybrid strategy making process for their situation. The book has been designed for those practising managers who need more than the planning text book. It will tell you:* Why attempts at planning are foiled by the market, the company culture or both.* How effective strategists don't plan, but use organizationally tailored strategy making processes * How to design the right process for your company and your market* How to know if the strategy you make is strong before you implement it."An incredibly practical and hands-on book concerned with the realities of doing strategic marketing planning to enhance customer and shareholder value. It is packed with new ideas and practical tools and should be on every marketing manager's desk."Professor Nigel F Piercy, Professor of Marketing, Warwick Business School“This book starts where most others finish – making the theory work in the real world. Having done an MBA and held several Senior Marketing positions, I recommend it both to practising marketers who already have a thorough understanding of marketing theory and also to MBA students who are eager to apply their knowledge within their own organisation’s framework.” Mathias Aeberhardt, Director Business Intelligence Europe, Zimmer GmbH“As a strategic marketing professionals working in the fast-moving and complex world of UK retail banking and personal financial services, inevitable time pressures demand that we must be highly selective in the material we choose to read. Within this context, I would recommend 'Make Marketing Happen' as an invaluable investment of scarce managerial time. The text is full of practical guidance and exciting insights into the world of strategic market planning and is presented in an informative and highly accessible format - well worth the read.” Dr Jansen Ryder, Product Manager, Halifax Bank of Scotland"Making Marketing Happen is one of those rare marketing books that brings the right information to the table at precisely the right time. As a senior marketer in the highly competitive automotive industry, I have struggled with what the appropriate measures of marketing value are now, and what they should be in the future in order to maintain a competitive edge. Brian Smith has provided a detailed, pragmatic approach to marketing strategy with not only interesting examples but also with clear advise to make marketing really happen. The text is concise and clearly presented.Most of all, Making Marketing Happen is very readable and enjoyable to read."Willem Verschuur, GM Product Marketing Management, Mitsubishi Motors Europe B.V.“In the past writing on Marketing Planning seems to have been dominated by mechanistic planning models. This book brings a welcome insight into other approaches and their application and challenges managers to think about what works for them.” Gerry Johnson, Professor of Strategic Management, University of Strathclyde Graduate School of Business
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Marketing managers within corporations and those holding a marketing position who are responsible for constructing and implementing a marketing plan for the company.


Book information

  • Published: June 2005
  • ISBN: 978-0-7506-6248-2


Taken from the foreword by Professor Malcolm McDonald at Cranfield University School of Management. "In my view Brian Smith’s work on marketing planning sets a new standard for research in business schools because, not only does it tackle head on the most difficult task in the domain of marketing, but it brings to it a refreshingly challenging, original and creative approach. Now Brian Smith has translated his work into this book in a way which will catch the imagination of all experienced marketers. For everyone touched by the problems and issues associated with strategy-making, this book is a MUST read. Not only is it intellectually challenging, but it is urbane, pragmatic and entertaining in a way which most marketing books fail to achieve. Brian Smith is one of a new breed of marketers who are capable of original thinking. I have read and enjoyed every word. If you want to improve your knowledge and wisdom and hence your success as a marketing practitioner, I beseech you to read and note carefully what Brian Smith has to say. Your ability to implement all that is best in marketing will be greatly enhanced." "Brian Smith has developed his insights into the theory and practice of marketing through close associations both with the World of academia and with the hurly burly of industry, and the benefits of that partnership show through clearly in this book. 'Making Marketing Happen' does what few other texts on the subject do and that is combine a thorough analysis of the principles of marketing with the organisational and cultural challenges that beset every organisation and frustrate the delivery of best marketing practice. I found of particular use the assessment exercises in each chapter that help the reader take a fresh look at their own company and identify the areas for improvement as well as anticipating and planning for the potential barriers. The juxtaposition of academic insight with practical steps to realise improvements in an organisation make this one of the books that have relevance and utility to managers as an aide to strategic and marketing management and in-house capability building, rather than one of those publications that sit on the office shelf, placed their with good intent, never to get read again. I strongly recommend this book to practicing marketing professionals and those who aspire to such positions." Mark Jones, Vice President of Cardiovascular Marketing, AstraZeneca.

Table of Contents

Preface: Making Marketing Happen. Part 1: The Failure of Strategic Marketing Planning; Chapter 1: We know what strategic marketing planning is … . Chapter 2: And it does work … . Chapter 3: But most of us can’t use it … . Chapter 4: Pause for thought – strategic marketing planning as a failed technology. Part 2: What Great Companies Do; Chapter 5: We know what a strong marketing strategy looks like. Chapter 6: We know that real companies are not entirely rational. Chapter 7: We know that what works is what fits. Chapter 8: How great companies make strong marketing strategies. Part 3: How Your Company Can Make a Strong Marketing Strategy; Chapter 9: Understanding the market. Chapter 10: Choosing the best way to make marketing strategy in your market. Chapter 11: Adapting your organizational culture to support your strategy making. Chapter 12: Making Marketing Happen. Author’s afterword: a continuing journey