It is now easier than ever before to find the components that are required for marketing planning as well as instruction to get it done. Templates differ but all contain the basics for creating and delivering a product/service of value to a defined segment of consumers using company resources and tactical tools. There’s nothing wrong with this…it’s all good! But most of your competitors are doing this too. So it’s not good enough to win in the marketplace. If you want to win in the marketplace battlefield here are some things you can do to take your plan from good to great.
First you must be customer, not company, centric. Nobody outside your office/company cares why you think your product/service is great. You must focus on the customer instead. It’s not always easy to fully understand the attitudes, desires, characteristics and habits of your customers but doing so will put you ahead of most of your competitors. This often requires devoting resources for proprietary research. If you want to win, do it.
Once you have a thorough understanding of your customer you must clearly define why they should buy your product instead of anything else. In a word, differentiation. Be realistic here. If you can’t clearly state the reason to buy the customer won’t know either. There are 2 types of differentiation…hard (technology, features, etc. no one else has) and soft (creating a position in the customer’s mind that defines your product in a unique way). Both can be effective in helping you win.
Now you need to create a message that is both engaging and salient. It’s not enough to be clever and likeable…you must communicate that differentiation you have defined in a meaningful way. When it comes to creative development there are always options. It’s a good idea to create and test different approaches to define the most effective idea.
Deliver this powerful message in the most effective (targeted) and cost effective way. Whenever possible use media and tactics that have metrics available to determine impact. Monitor the metrics from the very beginning so you can adjust and improve as the program unfolds. If you wait until the end to measure you will have likely wasted some of your resources.
Finally, be real about your budget. You need to be able to allocate the resources you need to fully implement the plan. What are your competitors spending? What is the relationship between spend and movement (share, sales, awareness, etc.) in your category? The best, most thoughtful plan will not be effective if you lack the resources for full implementation.
Every story is different…every plan is unique. At R&A Marketing we are dedicated to doing the hard things that are necessary to create marketing plans and campaigns that win in the marketplace. Let’s talk about how that can help take your sales from good to great.