What is marketing, really?
We could go into a deep philosophical explanation like others attempt to do but most of it ends up being just gibberish. To keep this simple, let’s first tell you what it is not. It’s not sales and the term marketing should not be used interchangeably with the word sales! Isn't that a surprise?
Plans and blueprints are necessary to build a building just like a Marketing Plan is necessary when launching advertising and promotions. I think you’ll get this. When you want a house built, do you get started by ordering some lumber then hiring a carpenter, plumber and electrician? Of course not. You begin by hiring an architect who develops the plans. If you don’t start this way you end with a disjointed mess which is just what happens to most promotional efforts.
A strategic marketing plan is what develops the blueprints that lead to more sales by learning about the competition, pricing, potential markets and a lot more stuff you need to know. This dictates the messaging, positioning and branding. The creative gurus, designers, writers, advertising media, PR, web developers, printers and then the sales team, follow the plan.
If you go to the creatives first who each do their own thing and then buy random advertising media you invariably end up with a mess because there was no plan to follow. They may all be very professional but the end product is not cohesive which dramatically reduces your programs effectiveness by missing or worse yet confusing your target audience. You need all of these services - but not until the blueprint is in place.
Why do I need a strategic plan?
A strategic plan is the work product of a properly designed marketing program. It is where the un-glamorous grunt work is done to achieve ultimate results. This is where research and competitive analysis is conducted to learn all we need to know so that when the creative team gets involved there is a clear road map to guide them. Any other way generates less results or worse yet is doomed to total failure. This research is also very helpful when developing new products or considering an acquisition. Remember, the earlier it is included in the process the better your results will be.
This sounds expensive?
Over the years we have developed many case studies that clearly illustrate the cost effectiveness of incorporating good marketing and strategic plans. What's expensive is anything you spend that produces no returns. Results really are the bottom line.
We believe so much in our methodology that we have even partnered with some of our customers. That’s putting our money where our mouth is. Ask the other guys if they will take a chance on their work. We doubt it. It’s also why we don’t refer to our customers as clients but partners and why “Partners” is in our name. We really do care more about your success rather than only what’s in it for us.