Whether creating a single promotional piece or an integrated marketing campaign, all marketing communications efforts benefit from planning. Of course that planning might take place in a very compressed time period (“You need that by tomorrow?”), but experienced marketers consider brand, positioning, communications objectives and audiences (among other factors) before they ever put pencil to paper or cursor to blank screen.
The plan is never written in stone (pardon the pun); it lives and breathes, allowing for changes when new data comes in or new opportunities arise. Mapping it out ahead of time simply sets our primary direction, but it goes a long way toward reducing the intimidation factor.
For some clients, we have the privilege of planning full multidimensional campaigns that build over time on the successes of key components. We often begin with the marketing activities that help create a presence for the company or product – perhaps brand identity (logo, tagline, positioning statement), key brand messaging and language, capabilities materials, website, print and online advertising, and press releases. The second phase may include activities that soften the market for business development or sales efforts – always leveraging relevant content development – email marketing, direct mail, seminars or community programs and social media. Finally, we explore activities and materials that will be used to fulfill the inquiries generated by the new marketing efforts – maybe product- or market-specific sell sheets or product information, packaging, newsletters, blog posts and white papers.
For others, we’re tasked with creating one special element of their marketing or promotional material. Even in that case, we ensure our work dovetails into the overall plan and the communications strategy. It often takes only a few moments to confirm that we’re on track, and that can make all the difference.
For a select number, Stone’s Throw provides virtual CMO support, functioning as the business’s marketing department. As a Chief Marketing Officer would, we initiate and guide marketing plan recommendations and develop communications strategies that align with the company’s overall growth objectives. As a marketing manager and department would, we also provide the creative services, design and copywriting, art direction, production and programming that bring the company’s marketing plan to life. From broad goal setting, to day-to-day marketing tasks, we work side-by-side with you to build forward momentum. It all starts with a plan, even if that means determining a few loose parameters now, and establishing more focused guidelines later.
Over the course of 30 years, we’ve had the privilege of working with many fine businesses and organizations. Those most successful at engaging their target audiences — and manifesting brand language that resonates with customers — have one important characteristic in common; they understand the power of planning.