Marketing Planning & Brand Building
Every marketing effort needs a strong foundation. Our process begins with conversations about your organization; its goals and vision – what do you need to achieve now? Where will you be five or ten years from now? How will you get there? Those talks lead to discussions about your target audiences. In healthcare, how are you going to build patient volume or attract more residents to your senior living facility? Are there new markets available to you? Or are there audiences that simply don’t know about your new solution? What misperceptions do you need to overcome?
As part of the Marketing Collaborative process we gather information from the following audiences based on the challenge ahead:
- Interviews with key internal stakeholders
- Interviews with your target audiences: both key influencers, referrers, and consumers.
- Focus groups, online or quantitative research when needed.
- After this phase and a look at the competition, a short-term plan can be created.
Competitive Analysis and Perceptual Map. After analyzing the compeittion and the needs of your prospective customers, a perceptual map is created. The axis represent the customer perspective and we map where you currently are in relationship to your competition and where you want to be.
After the interviewing or research phase of the Marketing Plan we have the insight to create a succinct Value Proposition or Brand Promise – it answers the question: what are you good at, for whom, and why? A simple question but the answer needs to be a thoughtful one. It’s hard to be all things to all people, and certainly no company has enough money to spray the market with messaging. That’s where a Value Proposition, much like a mission or vision statement, will be very helpful to keep your program focused.
It all comes together in the Marketing Plan — your blueprint for the next twelve months. In addition to the market situation, target audiences, value proposition, it also includes the strategies and tactics that help you attain your goals. And the financial resources needed to do so.
Communications And Brand Audit
An Audit is often part of the planning process but can be implemented as a single program. If on its own the steps include:
- Discuss with key internal audiences their vision and goals for the future of the organization
- Evaluation of your marketing initiatives undertaken in the past 12-18 months along with results
- Identify key messages and brand personality conveyed in these programs
- Competitive analysis: undersetand how your brand stacks up against others
- Identify best practices and how they can be utilized to your benefit
- Outcome: a report that analyzes what you’ve accomplished and initial recommendations for a more effective marketing approach.
When the Marketing Collaborative is hired on a project basis it is to address specific marketing problems that need an immediate solution or an event that needs support. We still take a strategic approach no matter the size of the project.
This engagement begins with the development of a Marketing Brief:
- Description of project/problem/market situation
- Marketing and communications objectives
- Competitive Analysis
- Target audiences, their current and desired mindsets
- Key messages
- Recommendations for tactics and budget
The information for the Marketing Brief is gathered from conversations with internal stakeholders, review of available research, and a competitive analysis. It’s a shortened strategic process but a necessary one to produce an effective program. The Marketing Brief is reviewed and agreed upon prior to the development of the creative.