Evolving Your Marketing Plan

Savvy marketing plans are custom and continually evolving

By Dave Lesser – President

My two daughters, now 22 and 19, are so different, you wonder if they were born on the same planet, never mind in the same family. My wife and I learned pretty quickly that a good approach for one was not necessarily good for the other.

The same holds true for every company’s marketing plan. Each is unique, so why wouldn’t you create an integrated marketing communications plan customized to match your products, markets and objectives?

One mistake we, as an agency, see over and over again when it comes to marketing communications is that people like to stick within their comfort zone, unwilling to deviate from the tactics that may have worked before.

Of course, there are many timeless marketing principles that will hold true regardless of the delivery method, but try getting a publication to provide you with bingo card leads on pre-printed labels…

Sure, I could lament about feeling old…but I like to look at it in a different light. This evolution keeps us marketing folks (now there’s a dated term) on our toes and on the lookout for new ways to promote our clients’ products.

Plus, the new ways of doing things can be much more results-oriented, as in trackable clicks and web statistics linked directly to an eblast.

And that’s value that a savvy marketing communications agency should supply – a continually evolving marcom plan that’s right for you.

It’s the ways we implement the marketing plan, not the basic principals, that change – and it’s the unique differences in your products and services that provide the solid foundation:

Every product line is different:
• Is it a custom product or a commodity?
• How long does it take to sell your product – five minutes or five months?

Your markets are different:
• Do you sell products that only are used in a small number of applications, or are they used across a wide number of industries?

Your customer demographics are different:
• Are they 20-somethings that live their life with a roll-over and a click, or do they have grey hair and still read newspapers?
• Are they in China, where it is all about the Internet, or Japan where it isn’t, or somewhere in between?
• Do they know what Facebook is and know how to Tweet, or do they think that’s for the birds?

Your sales channels are different:
• Are your products sold direct or through distribution?
• Big box stores or specialty sales reps?
• What about e-commerce?
• End users or OEMs?
• Do third parties, such as engineering firms, specify your product?

Your marketing objectives are different:
• Are you most interested in lead generation?
• Is your brand a household name, or are the only people that know you existing customers?
• Where is each product on the life cycle curve – mature or new?
• Do you have a cash cow, a rising star or a problem child?

Your sales objectives are different.
• What are your sales objectives?
o $5 million?
o $50 million?
o $500 million?
• What other measurements do you use to gauge success?

Your selling proposition is different.
• What really makes customers sit up and take notice?
o Price?
o Delivery?
o Performance?
o Time or space savings?
o Customer service?

So the next time you are developing your marketing strategy, take some time and find out what makes your business different. Just as any individual, your company needs a targeted, customized program that will speak in a way that your unique differences can actually heard.

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