Strategic Planning

At Marketing Etcetera, our objective is to make your marketing goals come to life. Here’s our approach:

We begin with an advertising strategy; one that supports your marketing plan, which in turn supports your company business plan.

The first step in the development of your communications strategy should be a SWOT analysis.
A Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats assessment will give you a 360 degree, full-color picture of your market, product or service, and company.

The SWOT analysis will lead to a strategy, for example:
• Position, or re-position the product.
• Invest in, create a stronger brand personality.
• Use traditional direct mail and electronic media.

The SWOT analysis will lead to development of a sound strategy. There are two major parts to an advertising strategy.
• Assessment.
• Action

What’s going on in the market, What’s the history, the current situation. What are the major trends in the market, what’s the future looking like? With the product. With competitors. With consumer attitudes.

What should your client do about the the most significant opportunities or problems presented by the situation? What should you do with the brand? With direct marketing. The Web site. The way the company is positioned.

The ad strategy deals with the big strategic issues: branding, positioning, direct marketing, and media. And it does so with simple action statements describing, high-level, what you intend to accomplish.

Eventually your strategy will influence all the details, down to the copy and design of your ads. But start with an executive summary of the big issues, the big picture. and what we will do about it. Big picture. One, two, three.”

That’s the essence of strategic leadership and vision.

Here are some key issues to consider when creating an advertising strategy or campaign.
• Understand, or define, the brand … as it is now, and what you want it to be, whether the same or something different.
• How to create and characterize a brand.
• Know how the company is positioned in the minds of consumers, and where you want it to be positioned.
• How to position a company, product, service or brand.
• Understand the Psycho-Dynamics of the market, or what’s going on inside the brains of buyers, of perspective customers.

It includes, but is not limited to, Consumer Involvement Theory – how the consumer relates to the purchase:
Rational to emotional. High to low involvement. You probably buy the same brand of soap or soda without too much thought. But you do your homework when buing a car or TV.

Besides CIT, there are likely other issues, such as why people buy the other brand. For example,“People think our competitor produces higher quality, more reliable products.” Or, “People think Big Bank has more services and products than we do. Things like investments and insurance, even inexpensive safe deposit boxes. So they think Big Bank is more convenient.”

Or perhaps it’s not so much what people think about competitors, but what they think about your client. It’s all that stuff rattling around between the ears of potential customers. The thoughts, feelings and ever-changing prejudices that influence purchase decisions. That’s the Psycho-Dynamics of the market; and it is always changing.

Next, you’ll need to define exactly what you want the advertising to accomplish; this is called the advertising objective. Another way to define the Ad Objective is to ask, what’s the most important task for our advertising?

Is it to encourage an emotional connection with the brand?
To provoke, challenge or give them an incentive to re-appraise the brand? Give the product another try?
Is it to convince them rationally that the service delivers better value for the money?
Is the objective to get consumers change their usage patterns? To buy your butter instead of the butter Mom always bought?
Or react immediately in some way to the advertising? Such as pick up the phone or go online and order?

Understand or define the marketing objective and strategy.
The marketing objective is a business goal. For example, “in the first year we want to capture 10% of the market in six cities.” Or, “Our goal is to be profitable in this country within 6 months.” Or, “We want to increase sales with this product to the point where profits reach $50,000 per month, and do this in 12 months.”

All of the above, of course, to be accomplished within a budget.
The advertising strategy supports the marketing strategy.