Organizing the information needed to develop a Marketing Strategy

Organizing the information needed to develop a Marketing Strategy and to establish the baseline of information and knowledge needed to make key decisions.

I have broken the thought process to develop a marketing strategy down into three sections: Market, Media, and Message. Each section has crossover into the other sections so the process is not a purely linear sequence of thoughts.

  • Market
    • What Problem Do You Solve?
      • Is it a serious problem?
      • What is the economic impact of this problem?
      • How much $ does the problem cost your customer?
      • How much $ can your solution save the customer?
      • How large is the market?
      • How many people or businesses have this problem?
    • Target Audience Profile – Who Has This Problem?
      • This is where you define your target audience with as much granular detail as possible.
      • Is your target audience Businesses? If so:
        • How many employees does the business have?]
        • What are their annual sales?
        • What is their credit rating?
        • What is the square footage of their facility?
        • How long have they been in business?
        • Are they a B2B or B2C business?
      • Is your target audience Consumers? If so:
        • Male or Female?
        • Age or Age Range?
        • Married or Single?
        • Education Level?
        • Income Level?
        • Kids or No Kids?
        • Home Value?
        • Home Size?
        • Number of cars owned?
        • Other pertinent factors?
  • Media: What is the most targeted way of getting a message to your target audience?
    • How do you get your Message to them?
      • Television?
        • Which stations?
        • Which shows?
        • What day parts?
        • How long?
      • Print media?
        • What print media?
        • How much time spent reading?
      • Radio?
        • Which stations?
        • How much time spent?
        • What dayparts?
      • Internet?
        • What social media?
        • What news outlets?
        • What shopping sites?
      • Direct Mail?
      • Other?
    • Where to they congregate?
      • Music Concerts?
      • Civic Events?
      • Religious Events?
      • Sporting Events?
      • School Events?
      • Other?
  • Message:
    • What Message will they respond to? Your Message must cut through the clutter and capture their attention long enough to convey the solution you offer. What is the nature of the message that your target audience is most likely to respond to?
      • Fear?
      • Special treatment?
      • Cost savings?
      • Pain avoidance?
      • Limited Time Offer?
      • BOGOs?
      • Discounts?
      • Limited Audience?
      • Special Access?
    • What Call to Action will they respond to? When you do get their attention what action do you want them to take?
      • Buy Now
      • Call Now
      • Sign Up Now / Subscribe
    • Frequency: How many times will they have to hear your message before they fully absorb the importance of responding?

The end result of the above exercise should be a powerful, short, statement of problem, solution, benefit that is easy to articulate and understand. Think about a television commercial. They are typically 30 seconds and the best ones do a wonderful job of articulating a problem, solution, benefit message very quickly. This is your goal.

Problem, Solution, Benefit

The single most powerful marketing message is typically presented in the Problem -> Solution -> Benefit format.

  • Here you present your audience with powerful statement of THE PROBLEM… so that they quickly respond by paying closer attention.You must hook the audience to want to learn more. You are building a relationship.
  • Then you present THE SOLUTION in as simple a way as possible. The solution needs to be simple enough that the audience will immediately be attracted to take an action. They must want a solution to their problem.
  • Finally, you provide THE BENEFIT of the solution to the problem using an emotional connection that rings familiar to the audience. This is where you cement the relationship with the audience by generating a powerful drive to take the action you want them to take.

Example:

  1. Geri has acne (show picture of a person with acne alone in lunch room)
  2. Our product cures acne (show clear picture same person with face clear of acne)
  3. She is now popular (show picture of Geri sitting in lunch room with friends having fun)

Of course it is very difficult to provide a single document that covers every thing that you need to consider when formulating a marketing strategy, however, the above list is a pretty good starting point to help you gather your thoughts.

To develop a marketing strategy It is usually best to perform this exercise individually then again collectively with one or more trusted advisors. By starting individually you get the benefit of independent thought. By working collaboratively you get the benefit of cross pollination of ideas by sharing. The combination of the two approaches typically yields high quality results and more comprehensive thought processes.

Here are some additional articles that will help you develop a marketing strategy: