DESIGNING MARKETING PLANS AND COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES
Christopher P Puto Susan E. Heckler University of Arizona
Image theory offers considerable potential for assisting marketing strategists and tacticians in developing, executing, and evaluating effective marketing plans. In this chapter, we briefly describe the marketing planning process, paying special attention to the role of marketing communications (i.e., promotion) in the consumer's decision making processes. The impact of various promotional tools is discussed in the context of image theory and its associated stages of decision making: framing, screening, choice, implementation. The chapter concludes with a brief examination of the relationship of image theory to the managerial development of the other strategic marketing variables: product, price, distribution.
Marketing is the process of identifying needs; developing solutions to those needs; making the solutions available at the time, place, and cost that are advantageous to both the customer and the organization; and making the customer aware of the solutions. These needs can take many forms. A family may have the need for fun and fulfilling recreational activities, or a person who is preparing for retirement may have the need to maintain his or her