The market in today’s world is characterised  by stiff competition conditons.  The business environment is very volatile and conditions are rapidily changing as the competitve conditons change.  These have resulted to stiff cut throat competition between businesses.  These conditons have made planning in marketing vey difficult due to the upredictability of the condtions.Planning is a critical aspect in marketing.  Planning provides the importnt information required in the venture and the guideline on how the  marketing will be done.

  Planning also helps the organization to be prepared suffieciently to carry out the marketing campaign.  For a marketing initiative to be productive, plan have to be made prior on the human resource required, finances, facilities, tools and techniques to be used (Wood 2004, p.137).A marketing strategy have to be laid.  This should be detailed as it will act as the lead of the marketing efforts.  Planning also helps the marketers to be prepared in advance on how to tackle the challenges or obstacles that they may meet in ther  marketing.

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  This planning is a key ingridient to marketing if it have to be productive (Wood 2004, p.137).The modern business environment need marketers who are good planners. A good planner will be perepared with a change management strategy on how to adopt quickly and efficiently to different changes in the market. This may be through proactive measures such as intensive market scanning and evaluation. Through effective market scanning a firm will be able to take advantage of  emerging changes for example, advancement in technology, for the benefit of their business before their competitors. Poor planners are not able to assess the market or to make practical plans.

Thus their operations are only reactive to what others are doing, and because of the rapid changes, before such planners adopt to the concept of the change new changes will have taken place.Despite the importance of planning in the marketing, busienss are finding it more and more difficult to do planning in marketing because of the prevailing market conditons.  The competitve market conditons are evolving very rapidily making planning very difficult.

The rapidly changing competitve market conditons are as a result of a mixture of factors that blend to produce the volatile conditions.  One of the reasons for rhe rapidly changing competitive market conditons is the highly advancing technology.  Technology is taking new turn everyday causing massive changes to products, ways of production, ways o f operations, communication, and many more other business related operations. This advancementr results to great evolution of the market causing the rapidily changing conditions. When technology changes organisation  change in response but the change is always different to different organisations as organisations have different financial ability, different expertise and exposure.  Thus, it makes it very difficult to predict the  response of other busienss to the advancement in technology.  Technology change in different ways or forms and its difficult to tell in which way it will advance next.

  For example technology may bring rise to anew equipment for doing a certin task or it may imoprove an earlier equipment to be able to carry out the task in a faster or efficient way.  An earlier equipment may also be advanced to carry out other new tasks or the same tasks in a different way (Blythe 2004, p.86).

In the contemporary marketing environment the advancemnent of the internet as a tool of trade has led to great transformation with emergent6 of virtual organisations trading online. Other technologies like use of wire transfer, remote checks and credit cards to transfer funds have also resulted to transformation in the marketing environment. Through online trading you can be able to purchase items such as books, softwares as well as other items. Companies offering such trading services include Microsoft and Amazon.  There are numerous other firms offering online services and products. Credit cards in operation in the market include the mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover cards and many more.These rapid changes in technology greatly affect the marketers as they are not able to predict the course technology might take and the effects it may have on their and their competitors operations.

  They are also not able to predict how their competititors might react to this technological changes.  The market may also be affected through the customers.  Due to the technological advancement the customers may change their preferences or buying behaviours and this greately affect markets.  The unpredictability of this effect compounds the difficulty in market planning.Changes in the customer aspect of the market is alot causing rapid changes in the business environment thus causing uncertainity (Ryan p.1).  The economy have changed to become more customer oriented with the marketing efforts all directed towards the customers. This have been caused by several reasons.

  One of them is that the customer is now more informed and can easily access information. Also this have been caused by other developments in technology and in operations thsus incrteasing productiivity of industreies or service providers.  The increase in productivity and  ease of production have led to incresse in the number of procedures each with enhanced productiion but chaisng the same customer.  This have resulted to the customer having wider choice of the products to consume.  It have also improved the importance of winning the customers preference.  Because of the many  alternatives available, the customer will only buy a product if it is of his preference or taste. For example, due to the big number of banks that have been emerging, customers have a big choice of the banks to choose from and so there is no case of a customer going to a bank because it is the only one available.

This have caused a change in the banking sector leading to emergent of a ver wide variety of banking services and programs.The advancement of technology communication and infrastructure have made the customer to get access to products wherever they are thus overcoming the distance barrier.  Todays customer will examine the products he buys more seriously and will only buy the best.

  These development, have posed the challenge to markets to providee poroduts that appeal the best to the custoemrs.  But the biggest challenge is that as marketers try to provide the best product, the competitors are trying to provide a better than theirs while also the consumers prefence are cahnging.  The consumers change of preference is more rapid because of innovations and new products getting into the market and  the easier flow of information brought about by technological advancement (Ryan p.1).Todays market environment is characterised by new firms, new products, innovation and quick entrances and exit of products (Vadim K.

p.1).The economy is full of upcoming entrepreneurs with many more people venturing to start their own busiensses.  This have resulted to an increasing number of enterants into the market.  New firms are coming up every day.

  Many more people are scanning the environment and going forward to utilise any opportunity that rise up.  This have led to a big number of businesses that atre producing the same product, offering the same service or dealing with the same type of business.  This have consequentloy increased the number of competitiors and the intesity of competition. Competition have become so intense that busiensses that are not able to compete favourably are edged out of busienss.  To keep in business the firms are fighting with all efforts in the competition theough innovation and efficiency in operations and management of rapid changes (Brassington, Pettit 2004, p.

356). This have resulted to more unpredicatability of the markt environment.The influx of new enterants in the market have also resulted to many new products.

  Business are developing new products everyday as a means of  utilizing opportunites available, adoption to prevent being edged out of business or to increse profitability.  The upsirge of this products continue to increase the level and intensity of competition as the new products try to penetrate the markt while pusshing other products out.  This have led to increase in  the uncertainity in the marktet thus creating a bigger planning challenge to the marketers (Vadim K. p.

1). In the credit card services the firms offering have immensely increased each offering a variety of the cards with different interest program. The Bank of America for example have over twenty different credit cards that are available in the market.Influx of new products in the market have led to shortening of the life cycle of products.

  Many products are entering the market but many as well are existing.  Due to general reson the life cycle of products have greatly shorten in the modern economic situation.  New products  get into the market and within a short period other products get  in and the earlier products phase out.  This have beocme a challenge to marketers as they plan because the shorter products life cycle the higher the unpredictability of the market (Vadim K. p.1). This unpredictability hinders effective planning.Another market conditon that is making the market so unpredictable is the information age that we are currently in.

  The econonomy is characterised by a lot of  available information.  Thedevelopment of technology and enhancement of up to date information system is organisation have facilitated ease of communication and spread of information and knowledge.  Most of the stakeholders are well versed with information on the  values of products, market condions and practices, new developments and innovations as well as opportunites in the local and intaernational business environments.  Consequently, the customers are now vbey well informed and knowledgeable, competition also.  They get new information everyday.  These information affects their actions and preferences in differenct ways.

This is a great challlenge to plannig in markting as the planners do not know the information that will reach the competitors, customers and the public in the future and how they will respond to it (Vadim K p.1). many of the customers in todays world have access to the television, internet, newspapers as well as magazines and journals. These customers also get newsletters and read bill boards as they commute to work or other places.There is a big influx of new innovations in the economy which are triggered by the now popular inclination to reasearch and development.  Organisation are now investing a lot of their funds in  Research and Development. This research is carried oput uising advanced tools due to the advancement of technology and so have resulted to major development in th olrgansation operation and production.  These developments are many and on going as more research is done.

  The resultance effect is that the economy is full of new developments in terms of innovation of new products, new processes, improved operations or production and new ways of managing change and competiton.  This have resulted to be a challenge to the marketers in their planning.  Its now more difficult to predict the new developments or how to counter them thus making planning in marketing almost impossible (Vadim K. p.1). An example of innovation is the introduction of the use of talking automated teller machines by the Bank of America.Globalisation have also brought up a  a horde of effects to marketing today.

  Globalisation have integrated the whole world with its  markats inot one big market with free accessibility.  Technological and geographical borders have been  surpassed by use of hoighly advanced technology and communiction tools.  Globalisation have led to access of markets by other businesses. International firms or firms  in other ocuntries are ablea to access the domestic market in another country thus creating global hypercompetition.  Businesses are able to collabolate more with their partners, suppliers and consumers in remote places.

  These aspects have exposed domestic businesses to competition from firms in other countries who may be more advanced in technology, expoertise or financially.  These effcts have led to heightened competition and complex and rapid changes in the busienss environment. Consequently the market has become more uncertain and unpredicatable (Vadim K p.

1).Many countries are now venturing into economic integrations with other countries.  These agreements are aimed at easier trade among the member countries thus they are opening up boarders for free movement or more free movement of goods and people.

These movements have expeosed the domestic markts to foreign businesses thus heightening competition.  It have also given the consumers a bigger choice of products to purchase.  As these economic integration adopt different developments with time, different agreements are made which create diverse changes in the market.

  Thus the marketsers are left with the challenge of trying to predict the direction the market is likely to take amidst the new developments.  This is not easy as the developments are vey unpredictable thus making market planning very difficult (Vadim K. p.

1). In Europe the European Union growth have led to many more countries seeking inclusion leading to more collaboration in trade and economic issues.Busines are increasingly becoming complex.

  With the many developments in the economy, technological advancement and globalisation, business operations are becoming very complex.  Businesses are now using advanced processes, technologies, tools and models to manage their operations.  New business dimension are coming up and value system are changing.  Emphasis in businss management  is changing and businesses are emphasising on human resource management.  A mixture of all these factoes have led to great complexities requireing high level of expertise in management. Consequently analysing  markets in which these businesses are players have become a difficult task thus making market planning almost impossible (Vadim K p.1). for big institutions like Bank of America a lot of complex expertise is needed to manage operations because they deal with a wide variety of products with branches located in all parts of the country.

Competitive marketing condtioins for both the industrial and servive  based markets are rapidly changing.  This is due to the many forces that  are in play in the business environment today.  The situation is a big challenge to marketers as they find it impossible to do market planning.  The environemnt now requires organisation to adopt dynamism in their operatiuons including marketing.

  Flexibility in strategies employed will be very valuable for an organization to survive in the highly evolving environment.Organisations should adopt change mechanism that will enable them to keep scanning the environment to identify the changes taking place and those with potential of taking place so as to device ways of adopting  to changes favourably. Thus the organisations will always be able to compete effectively and consequently remain in business in the long run.Because of the dynamics of the modern environment companies with a strong wish to succeed in their business venture should utilize the services of efficient market planners and strategies. Market scanning should be a core concern of the company and advanced techniques and tools should be utilized to make market projections. Despite the rapidly changing conditions a company can utilize the situation to keep ahead of itys competitors at all times.       Reference:Vadim K.

Key features of the new rapidly globalizing and changing knowledge economy. Retrieved on January 29, 2008 from B.Mistele D.

Customers and competitors continue to change. Retrieved on January 29, 2008 from http://www.uwex.

edu/ces/cced/downtowns/ltb/lets/letsrt.htmlBrassington, Pettit. Principles of marketing, 3rd edition. London. Prentice hall, 2004.Blythe J. (2004). Essentials of marketing.

London. FT Prentice Hall.Wood M. (2004) Marketing planning: Principles into practice 1st.

London. FT Prentice Hall.Kyle B. developing a marketing plan outline and writing the plan.

htm             AppendixPlanning in marketing involves several steps. According to marketing ( there are five steps that can act as guideline to a marketer when developing the marketing plan.The first step is gathering of information and analysing it.

This involves gathering information about your company, its strength, goals and other aspects as well as information about competitors, customers ans the industry as a whole. There are different aspects that should be delt with and this may include ways of promoition, products qualities, pricing of produces. SWOT analysis can be used sa a toolof doing this analysis (Kyle p.1).The second step is analysis of challenges that are likely to face the marketing efforts.  The market plans should project all the likley setbacks that they may encounter as this will help them make a plan on how to tackle them (Kyle p.1).The third step involves developing the objectives.

Objectives are the achievements that the marketing plan is aimed at achieving. This should be identified in consideration of the challenges that may be faced so as to develop a practical plan on what is expected to be achieved (Kyle p.1).The forth step is creation of strategies. Strategies are the ways through which the objectives are to be achieved.

These should be practical and in line with the objectives. They should also address on how to tackle the challenges in order to achieve the objectives (Kyle p.1).

The fifty step is choosing the marketing program. This will be a schedule that will show how the activities will be carried out (Kyle p.1).