3ps-marketing-strategy

The 3 P’s of Marketing Communication

There are three main strategies when it comes to your marketing communication plan, and they are the three Ps; push, pull and profile. From my experience these can be, and arguably should be, used as a blended communication strategy rather than just one – however, this can depend on a number of factors, which are mentioned below. So what’s the difference between a push, pull and profile strategy? Push Strategy A push strategy is a more direct form of communicating with your clients; it’s about ‘pushing’ your products to them with as little advertising as possible. An example of this would be direct selling and exhibitions where a great deal of personal selling is involved. This is a useful strategy for when there’s low brand loyalty, many good substitute products available, or perhaps for impulse buys. Other examples of push strategies include: Direct face to face selling Forging agreements with retailers to stock a product Making supply chain enhancements Promotion through packaging design In store displays Pull Strategy A pull strategy is a softer, but potentially more costly approach, where you encourage customer demand through advertising and promotions, such as free samples, coupons and competitions. This is a good strategy …

Marketing Secrets

What is the secret to marketing? A question millions would like to know the answer to. After years in the field I don’t think there are any secrets as such, but I have found a pattern and elements which keeps cropping up. In my experience successful organisations, marketing functions and campaigns are all driven by one thing – people. People are who we market to, they make the decisions but they are also the ones who develop the marketing strategies and deliver the campaigns – so people are the key. Defining the solution as ‘people’ is unhelpful and fairly obvious, so to simplify things I summarise what I consider to be the formula for successful marketing into four areas, and they are a combination of personal traits, skills and processes: – The foundation – understanding – The number one trait – emotional intelligence – The number one skill – communication – The number one process – Segmentation, targeting and positioning (STP) These four areas, in my experience, are what the best marketers have and do, but CAN be learnt and improved on; something covered in our Formula To Successful Marketing eBook which can be purchased in our Digital Marketing store. …

5 Steps To Marketing Your Startup

Regardless of your product or market, the one thing all businesses need is to be marketed. In my opinion marketing is the number one area of expertise required to run a successful business. But what if you’re not an expert? What should you do to get customers through your door? The following 5 steps take you through a simple example of marketing a new running shop. Although by no means exhaustive, it will help you get started or at least give you some marketing inspiration! Step 1: define your audience Quickly write a profile of your audience. For example: Men, women and children who enjoy running as a sport. Aged between 15 to 80, they typically live within 20 miles of the shop and are either new to the sport of have been running for a number of years. Next describe the value you will be offering them i.e. why they would buy from you. We offer equipment and apparel which will help them improve their running performance. We are different from other running shops because we offer advice and customised training plans whether you are a beginner or an expert. By writing both of these statements it sets your …

Setting SMART Objectives

Setting objectives is an important part of any plan; without objectives you will have no direction, measurement for success or ability to focus on areas to improve in the future. It’s well documented that objectives should be SMART: Specific What exactly are you trying to achieve? E.g. Increase market share? Raise brand/product awareness? Measurable How will you measure the objective? E.g. Market share has gone up? Increase is sales? More inbound enquiries? Achievable/Attainable Can you achieve these objectives or are they to ambitious? If they are, perhaps they need to be broken down a little further for the short/medium term, but it’s ok to have more aggressive objectives for a longer period too. Realistic Are they realistic for your brand/organisation? E.g. If you’re a technology start up it’s unrealistic to think you will be competing with Apple after 6 months! Likewise you don’t want to under stretch yourself either. Targeted/Time bound Who is the audience and over what period does the objective need to be achieved? E.g. UK, by close of 2013 SMART Examples The SMART framework can be used to set objectives in the corporate/business plan, marketing plan and down to the brand and communications plan. Here are some …

Writing A Digital Marketing Communications Plan

Marketing communication plans are also referred to as marcomms and are the next level down to your marketing plan; it’s important that they build on the corporate and marketing plan and not duplicate them. Writing a digital marketing communications plan is much like writing an overall digital marketing audit and plan, the difference being that your subject matter is about communicating with your key stakeholders, particularly your customers. There’s a marketing communication plan framework (MCPF) which was developed by Chris Fill, but I tend to use the COSTAC framework which is similar to SOSTAC. COSTAC is broken down as follows: Context Very similar to situation analysis in the SOSTAC framework and helps set the scene. Context should be based on research, the objective here is to set the tone and platform to help position the messages to the key stakeholders. Context could include audience awareness, perception and attitudes; competitor analysis, how it will build on the corporate and marketing plan; STEEPLE factors, organisational values, culture and budgetary considerations. Objectives Set SMART comms objectives around brand/product awareness, customers attitudes and perceptions e.g. raise brand awareness score by 20% by 2015. Strategy Use the 3P communications strategy; Push, Pull and Profile which may include above …

Why Is Internal Marketing Important?

In my opinion internal marketing is almost as important as external marketing. It may be a cliché, but your internal staff are your business, they are a big part of your brand. Your staff don’t have to have direct contact with your audience, they can be part of the background mechanics but what ever they do they must understand the company’s direction and believe in the brand. A romantic statement, but if they’re not passionate about your brand it will show in their work. What is internal Marketing? It’s probably self-explanatory, however internal marketing is about treating your staff as your customers and communicating clearly, selling the company to them. You can take it as far as you want but at the very least business objectives and team strategies must be communicated and visible within the business; this gives everyone direction. You can then build on that with internal campaigns, for example Natwest wanted to improve their customer service, so they set up a campaign saying “Smile, your on the phone”. I would think this was marketed through training, communication pieces, posters, merchandise (mouse mats, mugs etc) and ambassadors. An example of what we have done – Share it Something …

Marketing: Efficiency Versus Effectiveness

This is probably an obvious one, but the simple things are often overlooked. If the basic role of marketing is to deliver what your customer wants at a sustainable profit, getting the balance between efficiency and effectiveness is a key part of marketing. If ‘efficiency’ is about delivering your products, services and plans in a resourceful way, ‘effectiveness’ is about how well you do it and what you deliver. Market orientation is key to finding the right balance between efficiency and effectiveness; it’s about your customer, competitors and own business. If your focus is on delivering products based on what they cost you, economies of scale etc, and not based on what your customers want, you will be efficient by not effective; this will probably mean that your business will die slowly because your costs are at a minimum. On the other hand, if you simply deliver what the customer wants at any cost, your business will probably die quickly because you can’t make a profit. It’s clear then that delivering what your customer wants is vital to your business surviving, but not at any cost. Using economies of scale and other efficiencies is right if what you’re delivering is …

All In One Marketing Audit And Plan

Having just finished the 1st assignment for my CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing, I thought I would put together an all in one Marketing audit and plan, similar to the one we used. This is a great template which gives you a comprehensive platform for building your winning digital marketing strategy! The audit will ensure your current situation is fully understood and the SOSTAC framework is used to outline your plan. SOSTAC is broken down as follows: – Situation – Objectives – Strategy – Tactics – Actions – Control This template is free to download; I hope you find it useful.

How To Develop A Sustainable Competitive Advantage

The answer every business wants to know – how do we create a sustainable competitive advantage? Well, it would be difficult for me to write a detailed article to fit all business models, so I won’t re-invent the wheel and instead will quote the work of Hugh Davidson. Here are the 8 ways to create an advantage: 1. Have a superior product/service e.g. Duracell batteries last longer 2. Create a perceived advantage e.g. Coke are perceived to be the best, even if their products don’t necessarily taste the best 3. Operate with low-cost e.g. Ryan Air 4. Use the legal system e.g. Pharmaceutical companies taking out hundreds of patents 5. Have superior contacts and networks e.g. Steve Jobs from Apple 6. Build superior knowledge e.g. Tesco using their club card data for marketing 7. Use economies of scale e.g. Most FMCGs 8. Have an offensive mentality e.g. Apple are proactive and lead the market with innovation I hope these get you thinking about how you can leverage a sustainable advantage for your business. Good luck.  

How To Segment A Market

Segmentation is the first stage of the STP process (segmentation, targeting, positioning) and is arguably the most challenging, but insightful of all marketing tasks. This article only covers the process at high level and further reading should be done to build your knowledge. To help get you on your way, we’ve broken the process down into four steps detailed below; but first let’s define market segmentation: Segmentation is the process of grouping together markets who have similar characteristics, needs and buying styles. Note: Markets can be your target consumers, customers, businesses, individuals, groups or a mixture of these. Let’s go through the four steps: 1.Define your market(s) For each market you’re in, answer the following questions: – What is the market about? – What is that market’s need? Note: You need a clear set of boundaries for each market; for instance, geographic area.  Your markets should be broad, yet specific as there could be a number of ways in which to satisfy your audiences needs (not just yours). Example: Market description Global Communication devices Market need – to communicate with friends, family and colleagues 2.Map your market(s) Who are your suppliers, distributors, retailers, contractors and final users? Map them out so that you …

Why Do Digital Marketing Plans Fail?

Digital marketing plans fail for all sorts of reasons – in my experience it comes down to people and communication, however for a more in-depth and researched based list I’ve turned to those outlined in Malcom McDonald and Hugh Wilson’s Marketing Planning book: – Lack of support and interest from the board of directors – Delegating the plan to someone who may not fully understand the business e.g. a planner – Lack of belief of the planner in the value of the plan – Failure to align the marketing plan with the corporate plan – Having an ‘all in one’ plan which doesn’t separate and define the short and long-term objectives – Heavy use of statistics which are not summarised and put into context – Poor planning and internal release of the plan – Confusion and misunderstanding of plan terminology – Treating the plan as a once a year activity Some of these points are in the control of the individual creating and implementing the plan and some are not – this makes the success of your digital marketing plan even more challenging than creating it! So work hard on the points above and be sure to allow up to 3 years to see the results of …

Why Is A Digital Marketing Plan Important?

Having a strong digital marketing plan sets the foundation for business success and is underpinned by a marketing audit. Clear objectives, missions and visions on all levels set the tone of the business for the short, medium and long-term. Detailed research must go into your target markets, audiences, competitors and internal business to ensure a sound foundation for your plan. The overall objective of your digital marketing plan is to identify and deliver sustainable and profitable competitive advantage year on year. As marketing in general is responsible for delivering value to stakeholders as well as your audience, a comprehensive plan should be developed to satisfy their interest too – this means key sections of your plan should be communicated to the whole business; this will ensure that everyone’s working together to deliver what you promise your audiences. What should your digital marketing plan include? Well all plans are different, but we find the SOSTAC model to be the simplest – here’s an example: 1. Introduction to the plan 2. An Executive Summary ——2.1 Current Position ——2.2 Key Issues/Challenges 3. Organisation Vision, Mission & Values 4. Marketing Vision & Mission 5. Situation Analysis (S) ——5.1 Customer Touch Points ——5.2 Learnings from Last Year …

Why Is A Digital Marketing Audit Important?

To create a marketing plan without first conducting a comprehensive marketing audit would be like building a house straight onto soft sand – you need a strong foundation for long-lasting success and it’s your marketing audit which gives you that in business. A marketing audit can be defined as: ‘A review of the internal and external marketing environments as well as the company’s operation.’ It’s your marketing audit which sets the direction of your main plan and is often written as a separate document. Below we have listed what should be included in accordance with Megicks, Donnelly and Harrison (2009): 1. Introduction to the audit 2. An Executive Summary ——2.1 Key Issues/Actions 3. Marketing Environments ——3.1 Micro (including internal) ——3.2 Macro 4. Marketing Strategy ——4.1 Vision, Mission & Position Statement ——4.2 Marketing Objectives and Goals ——4.3 Marketing Strategy 5. Marketing Department ——5.1 Formal Structure ——5.2 Functional Efficiency ——5.3 Interface Efficiency 6. Marketing Systems ——6.1 Information systems ——6.2 Planning systems ——6.3 Control systems ——6.4 New Product Development systems (NPD) 7. Marketing Productivity ——7.1 Profitability ——7.2 Cost Effectiveness ——7.3 Return on investment (ROI) 8. Marketing Functions ——8.1 Full Marketing Mix (7 P’s) Each area above should be fully audited for performance, effectivness and return; you’re looking to …

What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is a sub branch of traditional marketing and uses modern digital channels for the placement of products e.g. downloadable music, and primarily for communicating with stakeholders e.g. customers and investors about brand, products and business progress. So digital marketing is about two things –  access to your products and communication. Online Marketing – Website Optimisation –