Even though a thorough process is used to arrive at a market-based forecast, senior management just focus on the revenue with/without profit. Sometimes the budget or forecast even comes before the planning, thinking in time, and at other times it is ‘imposed’ so the plan reflects how to achieve it, not whether it is at all achievable. There are three very different approaches to strategic planning: The data driven approach is based on hard data collected from a variety of sources, both primary panels and syndicated data, from which a market model is then built by brand from the bottom up.
Issues are then identified but there seems to be no real focus on what drives success in local markets, or on what competitors will do and the impact of their actions. This approach can simply lead to more of the same, making projection based on the previous year and no real change in approach, with the whole focus being on next year’s revenue. While many companies may not use such an apparently number-focused approach they still act in the same way, with the forecast being the key, rather than the rationale behind it.