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09 November 2011

Perspiration and inspiration needed for marketing success


There are no short cuts when it comes to marketing success. Although some sharply-dressed whizzbangs may say the answer lies in an adopting their simple success formula, or a novel activity, the truth lies elsewhere.  

Marketing success invariably involves a business creating its own unique strategy, selling proposition and tactics. This involves two essential ingredients: On the one hand, detailed research, analysis and planning. On the other, creativity and innovation. In other words, a mix of perspiration and inspiration.

We encourage businesses that use WHAM to help them with their marketing to first prepare a strategic marketing plan. Throughout the process — as with the development of a public relations plan —  the focus needs to be on ensuring the long-term sustainability of the business.

Here in broad brush are the steps that need to be taken:

1. Mission - Why are you in business?

Business vision and values
Core purpose
Strategic goals
Business goals and targets

2. Marketing and communication audit

Business operating environment
Sales analysis: trends
Competitor analysis
What are you already doing and saying?
What media are you using?
What appears to work/doesn't work/why?
What do stakeholders and influentials think of you?
Public issues – reputation analysis
SWOT analysis

3. Who is your ideal customer?
Their needs and expectations
Their persona
Who influences them?
How to reach them?

4. How do you want them to perceive you?
Brand development
Unique selling proposition
Key messages

5. Marketing and communications plan development
Objectives (measurable)
Tactics & creative

In the current business environment, companies can no longer rely on their old marketing practices to drive sales and achieve their goals. Nor is it sensible to stab randomly at marketing activities in an attempt to find something that works.

A carefully researched and creative marketing plan is essential. As are products and services that exceed customers' expectations for quality, service and innovation. Add to  that communications that maximise customer engagement and loyalty and you have a recipe for success.

- Trevor Walton

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