The Need for Solid Marketing Foundations

The importance of creating marketing programs from a solid basis

Much of the marketing visible in the marketplace looks like the leaning tower of Pisa because it is based on weak foundations. Actually, if your marketing looks like that, it’s not too bad because the tower stands out, as opposed to the majority of the marketing stuff that is buried in the market noise and clutter. For our clients, our first role is architect. We start with the design of solid and long-lasting marketing foundations that serve as a basis for the launch of a few well focused campaigns aimed at carefully selected targets.

In other words, we help them stand up and stand out through smart marketing investments. There is a joke that says “I know that half of my marketing money is wasted, but I don’t know which half.” When marketing tactics are built on solid foundations, the bad 50% is reduced to a minimum. Marketing foundations consist of a few essential building blocks, including bottom up:

Differentiation Question:

What are the three things that make you stand out or set you apart from your competitors? The key to standing out in a crowded market is to be different in an attractive and meaningful way. The choice of one major differentiation factor is the toughest problem most marketers are facing because they all have a tendency to bombard us with endless lists of specifications, features and benefits (including the proverbial kitchen sink). They don’t think hard enough about what not to say.

Positioning Question: What position do you want to occupy in the mind of your customers? Clear differentiation is, in turn, the key to successful positioning. Positioning is the act and the art of imprinting a unique, credible and memorable message in the mind of the customer and to consistently work at defending and reinforcing this position. This takes time but, once you are ‘there’, it’s difficult to dislodge you.

Core MessageQuestion: How do you translate the above into persuasive words? The core of your message needs to be attractive, relevant and persuasive to serve as a consistent basis for:- Your marketing plan- Tag lines and one-sentence statements- One-page company / product briefs- One-paragraph to half-page summaries- Elevator pitches, 60-second speeches, ..- Website content (e.g. “about us” statement)- Brochures, newsletters, direct mail, advertising- White papers, manifestos, case studies, etc

Customer ExperienceQuestion: How do you make it easy and comfortable for your customers to deal with you and use your products and services? We find it also very effective to describe, in simple words, what happens from the moment a prospect gets in contact with your company to the time your service is completed or your product no longer used.

Thinking Out of the Box Question: Why do you need an independent advisor? Our experience shows that this essential exercise works better with the objective, external point-of-view of a specialist who looks at your company or products from a different angle and who brings fresh ideas. We perform a thorough diagnosis and check if your company is ready for the market limelight, if your products are fit for market battles, and if your marketing strategies and tactics can withstand the heat. Then we help you define, among multiple possibilities, what marketing investments are smart, focused and effective.

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