Strategic Plan Separates Winners From Losers
I often speak with prospective clients who don’t have the patience or the budget for a marketing plan. As I explain, failure to plan is planning to fail. They can’t afford to skip this important step. Solid planning involves several steps, including a strategic assessment, a competitive analysis, customer research and more. It unveils issues and opportunities that can make or break the return on your marketing investment. This goes for public affairs and issue-management campaigns, as well.
Is there a budget for an aggressive marketing program? Can we afford to hit each market segment 7-10 times every year?
Now, we have to slow down and plan even more. If we want the company and the campaigns to be meaningful, memorable, defendable and productive, we have to make our plans even more precise.
Branding. Positioning. Messaging.
This is the detail and overall integration that separates the leaders from the losers. It’s more than talking the talk. It’s also walking the walk when the planning is done. Below is a sample of some of the steps that we take our clients through as part of our strategic assessment.
- Define the problem this communication campaign must solve?
- Define the target audience and key market segments for this communication campaign?
- What problems are experienced by the prospective customer that can be solved by this product/service offering?
- What is the unique selling point (features, advantages, benefits)?
- What is the current brand and position of the top competitors? Is this position meaningful to the customer and defendable/credible?
- Where are the top competitors vulnerable?
- What do the prospective customers think of our product/service/company now?
- What do we want the customer to think about the product/service/company? Is this position meaningful to the customer and defendable?
- What are the critical market trends now?
- What objections must be overcome to generate the desired thoughts and response among the key customers in each market segment?
- What position in the market and in the mind do we want to claim and defend? Is this position meaningful, memorable, and defendable?
- What are the critical success factors? What else should we know?
Let’s talk about the opportunities and the challenges in your industry. We guarantee that we can make a difference as you dodge various obstacles in pursuit of your goals.