Yesterday my colleague Karen wrote a post on how to save tens of thousands of marketing dollars by developing a marketing strategy. If you're thinking about planning your marketing for next year, her post is a great place to start.
I get asked a lot about how Mezzanine develops marketing plans for our clients. We have an intensive process that we've created over the last 10 years that produces smart, actionable marketing strategies and tactical plans - and we do it in about 10 days rather than the 10 weeks that it can sometimes take to pull a marketing strategy and road map together.
Here, in 10 photos, is how we do it!
One - Get everyone into a room
We gather the client's managers and sales team in a room along with 4 marketing experts from Mezzanine.
We extract all the knowledge the group has about the company, customers, market opportunities and competition. We don't like to reinvent the wheel, and we find that a lot of small and mid-sized companies know important things about these topics already. You just have to get it out of their heads!
Three- where do you want to go?
We talk about the company's goals and what growth targets they have, and how marketing will contribute to achieving those objectives.
Four - Structure the discussion
We work through a process that we've put together that defines the marketing strategy. We cover the fundamentals - in a very pragmatic way. Have a look at Karen's post on developing a marketing strategy for the details.
There's a lot to cover, but we find that in 5 hours we can accomplish what some companies might take weeks to pull together. (That's Leah in the picture doing some super-woman speed-writer facilitating).
Six - Ask a lot of 'Why' questions
We push on topics that sometimes companies haven't thought about simply because 'that's the way it's been done forever'.
Seven - Do some additional research
We look at competitors to understand what they're bringing to market and what opportunities exist to differentiate from them.
Our marketing planning sessions are usually full of laughs.
And yes, there's even some day-to-day business thrown in throughout the session.
Once we finish a workshop, then the process of pulling it all together into a cohesive strategy and tactical plan begins. We spend about a week defining the strategy, choosing the tactics that make the most sense, identifying the calendar of activities, the marketing budget and scorecard.
And that's it - a marketing strategy and tactical plan in ten photos.
If you'd like to talk about a marketing planning process for your company, give me a call at 416 583 5831, ext 2344 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about strategic marketing planning, download the executive guide featuring practical tips for success from 65 CMOs.