The marketing planning cycle; Analyse, Planning, Implementation and Control (APIC) is a model used to visually illustrate the 4 stages of planning within a marketing environment.
The cycle starts with the audit and analysis step. In a new-business-start-up this forms the first part of the overall business planning and objectives. For existing businesses, the planning will generally come as a result of a major event, such as a recession, after a major change in technology or competitor activity. However, in both cases, annual reviews of the audit, analysis and planning stages are typical in most market orientated companies.
Following the Audit and analysis comes our actual planning. Here we write up the marketing plan, including; results of audit and analysis, marketing objectives, marketing strategy and overall tactical plans. These activities are synchronised with the overall corporate mission, strategies and objectives.
The implementation stage consists of your marketing and promotional mix. This also includes communications and delivery of activities derived from media plans.
Finally, with control/evaluation we examine our overall performance in meeting our objectives, by utilising a number of metrics. These will include measures such as; how well we are meeting the expectations of our customers , where we are strong/weak/vulnerable, how can we meet or exceed expectations in future in light of known opportunities and threats and what else do we need to do?
The information that is received back as a result of the control/evaluation feeds back into the overall planning and implementation. This minor tweaking and adaption of the planning cycle continues and is an ongoing process.