We work together as a team. No one knows your business better than you. I work with you to maximise the offer to your customers and translate that into great marketing assets.
Firstly, we have a phone conversation to discuss your business. This allows both of us to access if I can help you. If we both feel I could be of service we schedule a 2 hour meeting.
At the meeting we discuss your business in depth and what you what to achieve. If we agree I am best qualified to help then I write a proposal. This proposal will outline the costs of marketing plan or the particular project costs.
We discuss the proposal and once it’s finalised I start work.
I recommend starting with a small well defined project. That way we can work together with a minimal risk to you. Over the project (website, Adwords campaign, landing page) you can assess what value I bring to your business. We develop trust and start to look at the wider aspects of the business.
This might lead to the development of a marketing plan or not, but I would recommend any business to undergo a detailed analysis every year. Please read through at the process of making a marketing plan and think how it might benefit your business.
The process of creating a marketing plan can has 3 major steps:
- do as much research as possible, this will automatically generate insights
- from these insights the marketing strategies will flow
- only then should an action plan be written, your marketing plan.
I’ll outline the 3 steps in detail.
This is critical. I’ve worked in advertising companies that work start brainstorming without ever looking into the industry they were representing. You may have worked in the industry for all of your career, but that’s even more reason to try to look at it differently. This process is to rid ourselves of any preconceived ideas we have of how to approach the marketing plan. The three C’s will need complete examination;
These are the three points in any business marketing landscape. You need to know them inside out if your going to deliver a marketing plan that is relevant to the current climate.
This seems the most obvious. What does your customer want? I have worked with many companies that failed to understand their customers underlying motivations. The company thinks the customer wants their products, not the benefit derived from the product. This means when the customers desires are better served elsewhere, the company will still try to sell them it’s products. Think Kodak. Think Blackberry.
Understanding why your customers buy is critical business information that will allow you to better focus on customer satisfaction and not on products. So spend the time to research. The information may already reside in the business with sales people and customer service. The worse thing you can do is presume why your customers buy.
This question can be answered differently by the various customer demographics. This could give you a lead as to where to focus resources and the different messaging these demographics need to trigger a response. Audiences for traditional marketing campaigns are continually fragmenting, therefore, efficient marketing needs to be targeted.
You cannot consider your offer to the consumer without considering the competition because the consumer will certainly consider it. With the competing products just a few clicks away it never been so critical to understand your market position. And this can change dramatically very quickly.
An independent market analysis is vital due to build in bias. Studies have shown conclusively that once you own something you value it more that the market is willing to pay.
Re-look at your brand positioning. Understand what you are saying to your customer. How clear is your message? Is the manifestation of your mission statement translating to every part of your business? Is one department saying something different to the market than another?
A marketing campaign will not be effective if your business sucks. Think Vodaphone. Think Dodo. It may be more effective to put resources into fixing the business before throwing away money on marketing that will bring a short lived spike in sales. As we all know, social media makes it impossible to hide these days.
Once you’ve competed your first step, research, make sure you know it inside out. In this process you’ll gain insights. These are gold. Think Nike. Nike would have their agency research the sports market to gain a insights; example, sports people are doers. Sports people don’t sit and think all day about it. From that insight the positioning statement is born “Just do it”.
Once you have these insights the marketing strategies will follow.
The research and following insights will allow you to set (or reset) the businesses mission statement, profile the ideal consumer/s and position the business within the competitive landscape. That’s the business side. To make marketing strategies we need to think tactically.
This is what I call the associative phase. You use psychology, creativity and experience translate the business into consumer proposition that will trigger action. You don’t think about your product, think about what the consumer wants and how to deliver it.
Think about makeup. Women buy makeup, ok, but more than that women buy feeling better about themselves. They buy confidence. They buy new image of themselves. So when Mayballine adds New York as a tag line they’re jacking into every woman’s fantasy of being Carrie from Sex in the City.
How many thousands of toothpaste variants can Colgate produce? The answer is as many as the market will bear. The fact is the toothpaste is all the same. Colgates market strategy is to provide the feeling of choice so that their strangle hold on the market will continue.
Apples insights into human behaviours have helped them build the biggest company in the world. When Steve Job’s first showed the iPod, he didn’t say it had a 4Gig hard drive, he said I’ve got a thousand songs in my pocket. That drove a stake straight through the CD players heart. He spoke straight to the consumers desire for choice and convenience.
Only when you define your approach to the market can you then start on the plan.
The first thing we need is a budget. A lot of small businesses with struggle with this, especially startups, but it’s critical and should be an integral part of any business plan.
Traditionally small business would have stuck an ad in the yellow pages and sponsored the local footy team, job done. A medium business would take out print ads in the papers, a radio ad or if the budget was big enough made a TV ad. Everything has changed and continues too.
You can’t run a business without the internet today. There’s your own website to think about, SEO, search and the ever growing list of the latest social media to add to the marketing mix. This gives you great power to reach you target demographic because everyones on the net, but it also means putting in the time and resources day in day out.
As every business is different, so is their marketing plan. This marketing plan will contain an action list and timings. There should be a date of beginning and end. Key performance indicators (KPI’s) and return on investment (ROI) must be outlined. All marketing must return a profit to the business. This can be difficult to outline as some marketing, like social media, don’t have clear boundaries or sales funnels.
I’ve had mature businesses that refused to set KPI’s or they have set unrealistic targets that will never be reached. The point of making a marketing plan and setting KPI’s to instigate a way to view results and make decisions based on those results that enable you to refine your marketing strategy.
There’s no business or sales without marketing. Most businesses start by thinking about their product as central the success of their business, but without a proper marketing plan no business will survive. A marketing plan is a live document that will continually be refined.
If you need help to define your marketing goals and how to achieve them, give me a call.