This chapter discusses the steps in the strategic marketing planning process. It talks about a long-term strategic direction (mission) for a company, business unit, product line, or single product. The chapter illustrates the usefulness of a business portfolio plan to balance short-term earnings with long-term growth, yet still maintain a competitive advantage. The marketing plan process begins with a situation analysis of a specific product or market. Whereas the strategic plan looks ahead three to five years, the situation analysis requires that one look back three to five years to obtain a historical perspective of the business. The situation analysis is divided into three parts: marketing mix analysis, market background, and competitor analysis. The combination of the three-to-five-year strategic and the annual marketing plans form a total strategic marketing plan for any level of an organization, from corporate management down to product line manager.