For me, summer is flying by. Which means 2012 is looming in the distance. For our agency, that means we’re starting to work on new marketing and media plans for next year. In fact, we’re already looking at deadlines for national, consumer print on January publications.
One of the most important things a business should do each year is analyze their marketing program. What’s changed? What’s new? Where are the opportunities and new customers going to come from and what are the threats to market share? It’s all too easy to start making plans based on what you’ve always done, when it would be very beneficial to step back, look at where you are today and where you want to go, and put plans in place that will get you there.
One service we provide is Discovery. It’s typically a half-day session with our client’s marketing team where we provide questions in advance and then facilitate a discussion on topics relevant to their unique marketing position. Companies that have made changes in management or are adding a new brand find it particularly beneficial. We might discuss new markets they’re trying to penetrate or talk about a new product launch. We might step back to square one and go through a SWOT Analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats). We might discuss brand strategy or up and coming competitors. Our battery of questions is vast and in preparation for each Discovery, we assemble the questions that are specific to the task at hand and we provide them in advance so participants can have a chance to reflect upon them, prepare questions and gather their thoughts.
Clients find this process enlightening and illuminating. They see things from a new perspective. They discuss things openly that maybe they’ve thought about, but never talked about. They get new ideas and we get a foundation of current information and insight that we can use to develop strategies for them that are fresh, relevant and on the mark. From there, we can build a tactical plan with timelines and budgets that can be executed, either by us or our client.
If you don’t go through this process every year, you’re missing a real opportunity to freshen up your marketing program or completely revamp it. We can help. If you would like to talk about it, please give us a call. So, what’s your plan?