Go with your gut. That’s great advice for ordering in a restaurant. It’s a lousy way to make marketing decisions. Even so, many CEOs and marketing executives often make strategic marketing choices on little more than gut-feel. These are decisions that can affect the future of a company for years to come. Yet, making these kind of spur-of-the-moment marketing decisions can greatly reduce the likelihood of your brand’s success.
A more effective approach to marketing is to perform a systematic and comprehensive review of markets and opportunities. Remove yourself from today’s distractions. Isolate yourself from the din of day-to-day sales activities. Look at the big picture. Take your gut out of the equation. Here are questions to ask yourself:
• What needs do our product/services satisfy?
• How do we improve a customer’s life, business, health, etc?
• Which customer market segments are attracted to our products/services?
• What ultimately motivates people to choose our products/services?
• What trends will impact our brand today and tomorrow?
These are some of the questions our Dallas branding agency asks at the beginning of each new client partnership. This is how we make sure that the message, the markets and the metrics of a campaign will be strategically sound. This is how we safeguard our clients ROI. Our mantra is “to fail to plan, is to plan to fail.” We call this strategic planning process Combustion. Here are the 5 steps of our approach:
1. Discovery – This is the information-gathering stage where we wholly immerse ourselves in your business strategy, marketing goals, and target audiences.
2. Definition – This is where we define your positioning strategy and how we will support your brand in-market.
3. Passionate Expression – This is where strategy and creative come together from a conceptual standpoint, where we breathe life into the new brand relative to messaging, tonality, look/feel, etc.
4. Integration & Metrics – This is the marketing planning stage where we develop the integrated marketing/communications plan, tactical mix, and the specific measurements assigned to each tactic that is deployed.
5. Ignition – This is the campaign launch where we go to market. But, this is not the end. We test, evaluate, optimize ––all in service of our stated goals and objectives.
The thing that’s great about our planning process is this: it gets directly to the heart of the company’s brand essence –– the proverbial Unique Selling Proposition. Plus, it instructs us on how that essence can best be expressed to the intended audience to get the best result possible.
Best of all, it creates a forum where all the company stakeholders can collaborate and build consensus. It avoids the situation where the marketing manager is isolated, destined to roll marketing proposals uphill like Sisyphus and his soul-crushing boulder. Each stakeholder is involved at each stage of the process–– so when we get to the point of campaign launch there are no surprises.
Like to know more about our strategic planning process? Contact us today toll-free at 866.642.7559.
After all, there’s a lot riding on every marketing decision your company makes.