The Basics of Branding

Branding is an important building block to any successful business, large or small, retail to B2B.  With an effective strategy, your brand can have a major edge in increasingly competitive markets.  But what IS branding and how does it affect a small business.

This week we will hear from Lamborghini Executive Manfred Fitzgerald, as he discusses the importance of brand strategy and corporate identity. (Mind you, I understand that Lamborghini is not comparable to small biz, but you have to start thinking big!)

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What’s Your Purpose?

Strategy

Welcome Back!  Thank you for returning to #PlansForSuccess, a blog designed to help you plan to succeed, tee hee…I know, that is sooo cliché:)  Anywhoo, did you pull out your business plan? How about your marketing plan?  Were they dusty, lol? What did you find?  Believe it or not, many entrepreneurs and small business owners omit marketing planning and a solid marketing plan from being a part of early business strategy and strategic planning. This week I will discuss the purpose of marketing planning and a marketing plan with the intent on helping you understand why it is a process that should be included in the early stages of business development.

Going back to last week’s post, remember that a marketing plan is a detailed document that summarizes the information found during the marketing planning process AND outlines the proposed strategies, timelines, and assignments for the planned activities, that will be executed to achieve the business’s goals and objectives. Whereas, marketing planning is the real process of researching and analyzing the market and its current condition to understand the best approach.  Successful marketing planning finds a way to provide value to key stakeholders and customers, and clarity to the business goals and objectives.  Ultimately, the overall purpose of marketing planning is to produce a strategic marketing plan that provides value, builds relationships and make a difference.

There are six processes to marketing planning and following each of the process thoroughly will result in developing a solid strategic marketing plan.  As we move forward with future posts, we will discuss each process and its sub-processes in detail; so in this post, I am simply going to list an outline of the processes that will eventually translate into you finding valuable information for your marketing plan.

  • Researching and Analyzing the Current Situation by looking at the current Internal and External business trends.
  • Understanding the Industry based on its NAICS code, the Market, and your Customer Behavior.
  • Planning, Segmenting, Targeting and Positioning.
  • Planning Direction, Goals and Objectives, and Marketing Support.
  • Developing Marketing Strategies and Programs.
  • Metrics, Implementation and Control.

Now that we understand the purpose and processes of marketing planning and its connection to the overall strategic plan and business strategy, next week we will move forward with discussing the contents of a marketing plan. As you will see, eventually the contents of the marketing plan will be provided directly from the information obtained during the six outlined processes above.  Again, my goal is to give you a step by step way of retrieving information that you can apply to your current marketing plan and contribute to your business’s growth and success.  I hope you found this post helpful, please share with a friend, or comment for feedback and suggestions.

 

Setting the Objectives of Your Marketing Plan

Ok, are you ready for some footbaaallllll? Oops, wrong blog, lol! Are you ready to set some marketing objectives? Good, I am too.. this is where the fun begins!

(As we move forward, keep S.M.A.R.T, at the back of your mind as your begin to formulate your marketing objectives.)

Using set objectives will allow you to set benchmarks that can be used as destination points, on the path of long-term organizational success. There are normally three types of marketing plan objectives:

  • • Marketing Objectives-The targets for managing key marketing activities and relationships. This includes maintaining and fostering relationships with current customers and suppliers, as well as developing relationships with new customers and increasing customer loyalty.
    Example Marketing Objective:
    § Build customer relationships
    § Increase market share
    § Build brand awareness

• Financial Objectives-Shows how the marketing plan will help the organization meet its financial goals.
Example Financial Objectives:
§ Increase sales revenue by product or service
§ Return on investment
§ Profitability

• Societal-Shows how the marketing plan will help the organization be socially responsible.
○ Example Societal Objectives:
§ Community outreach-Supporting community events
§ Charitable donations-Company employees participate in an annual United Way Campaign
§ Efficient operations-Company-wide recycling program, reduced waste

Using the above list, start thinking about which direction you want to take your organization or company, and what are the Marketing, Financial and Societal objectives that will help you achieve your long term goals. Just a little tip: society adores socially responsible organizations…I repeat, society adores socially responsible organizations.

Thank you for reading, I hope you are finding this information helpful as you either create or readjust your marketing plan. See you next post where we will talk about Marketing Support and the Mix!

S.M.A.R.T Goals for Smart Marketing Objectives

Smart Goals 2

Wait…before we start talking about setting marketing objectives, let’s first understand the importance of setting SMART goals. S.M.A.R.T., stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable,  Relevant, and Timely. And then there is always the 6th Acronym of C-for Consistent, but a SMARCT goal does not sound as good as a SMART goal right, lol! However, those of you in marketing know the importance of consistency when it comes to a successful marketing campaign, so in this instance the C is silent.

Back to creating SMART goals and a little about what they are.  SMART goals are usually set by those in leadership roles as a system of measurement, and a  way to set the expectations for their employees.  However, in this case, we are using SMART goals, to define the expectations of our marketing plan. According to the website HRWeb.MIT.Edu., SMART goals have been defined as:

 

Specific– The activities you plan to do during a set time period.

Measurable– The activities are within the scope of measurability, (yes, measurability lol)

Achievable-Considering the resources on hand, can you achieve the proposed marketing goals effective?

Realistic-Considering the resources on hand, are your marketing goals realistic?

Timely- Set for a specific time period.

By understanding and implementing SMART goals, you are creating a system of measurement that you can use to determine if your marketing efforts are effective and meet your organizational objectives, or if they need to be revisited and revised.Smart Goals

Next post we will go into more detail about setting marketing objectives

Thank you for reading, see you next post!