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  • 12 August 2013

    Marketing Planning Part II

    “There is more to marketing than nice looking ads.”

    It’s the tip of the iceberg principal we’re talking about here. The ads that are placed in magazines and on websites, the direct mail and email campaigns that are created are, as I’m sure you are aware, the end results of: careful planning.

    In the previous planning article, we were showing how activities need to be planned appropriately in order to synchronise with external events (shows etc). With this second article, we are stepping back even further and considering the corporate requirements that need to be addressed.

    Why Do We Need It?

    The key question that must be asked is: Why do we need a marketing campaign? The answer we are looking for is not: “Because we are exhibiting at such and such event” or “Because it’s the traditional time to advertise”.

    It’s more fundamental than that. It comes down to the company’s business objectives. If the answers range from “We need to open new markets” to “We want to sell the business in three years time” or “We need to increase the sales of an under performing product”, then the three steps to heaven we outlined in the first article will change dramatically.

    For Example...

    One of the most complex marketing tasks is, in actual fact, the first of our suggestions – the need to open new markets. The marketing strategy that would be adopted for this is called a repositioning strategy. A company successfully selling in to one market, say motorsport, may well consider targeting other markets, for instance automotive, because they feel that their expertise, resources and knowledge enables them to do so.

    But before we can begin planning the marketing campaign, it is necessary to do some planning of another sort: corporate management planning. It may sound obvious but some companies fail to do the checklist shown below in stage one before embarking on a marketing campaign.

    Stage One

    1. Has anyone worked out how much new business will be needed to make the strategy viable?

    2. Has production got the capacity?

    3. Has the flexibility of the production line been tested?

    The process of repositioning a company whilst retaining its existing core business is much longer and requires more patience than most businesses expect, before it becomes a success. Our experience at CMA bears witness to this! Once the company directors are confident that they have positive answers to those questions in stage one, we can move on to:

    Stage Two

    1. Agree an expected percentage increase in business for the company as a whole.

    2. Agree a period of time over which the incremental increase should be allocated.

    3. Convey the plan to all the company stakeholders – management, workforce, shareholders – so they can all buy into it and give 100% support.

    Stage Three

    Revisit our first article on planning and implement our “three steps” (repeated at the end of this article, to save you time looking).

    So, you can see that, for a marketing campaign to be successful, it is essential that all the bricks are in place within the company itself, to be able to deliver the promised goods, before instructions are given to a marketing manager or external agency.

    I am sure you realise there is more to be discussed than this potted outline but if you’d like to know more, call us. Initial advice is always free.

    Step 1

    - Set a sales target
    - Create a budget
    - Set marketing goals

    Step 2

    - Determine who your target audiences are made up from
    - What are the methods of delivering your message to them?
    - What do they need to know?

    Step 3

    - Decide the creative approach
    - Examine the various media options
    - Create a strategy for dealing with response