Developing a Marketing Strategy? Conduct a Workshop


I am regularly asked to help companies develop a marketing plan. Some are for a new business, others for a new product. My first question is usually “do you have a marketing strategy and is your leadership aligned with it?” “

If not, you risk setting yourself up for failure. For those who need support, I usually recommend hosting a strategy workshop. The goal is to collect key data points, align the goals of the management team, and determine the next steps to develop a go-to-market plan. Participants should be a variety of members of your leadership team (ie sales, marketing, finance, operations).

While the workshop can be conducted in a single day, more research will be needed if you want to gain additional information and confirm the strategic direction. This can include conversations with internal and external resources (i.e. customers, partners, target customers) and analysis using available tools.

The Strategy Workshop will provide you with the basic framework used to develop a marketing plan. The marketing plan will then focus on implementation.

Here are the basic elements to solve in the workshop:

Market segmentation

Start by identifying the needs of your customers and therefore determine the best way to meet them. Keep in mind that it is almost impossible for a business to meet every unique need. Instead, it’s more efficient to allocate resources to specific customer groups. Since a customer’s needs vary, marketers should identify common needs within similar customer groups and recognize the distinctive needs between different customer groups. The first part of the workshop should consist of

  • Identify or align with market segments based on revenue potential and market size

  • Profile your ideal client (size, location, capabilities) and identify target accounts by name

  • Create personas to identify who has buying power in your target business base

  • Set market priorities to focus with limited resources

Company and product positioning

Identify what you do best, what your target market wants, and why customers are buying from you. Then create a set of core messages that sets your business apart quickly. Areas to be discussed should include who you are, what you represent and want to represent, your expertise and what you offer to the market).

The positioning of the product portfolio itself is separate from the business. Key features, benefits, product naming, order details, roadmap, technical and promotional details, and other data needed to develop products and web media.

Market analysis

Success depends on knowing your business in depth. To do this, you should plan to perform a SWOT analysis for:

  • Identify methods to address weaknesses and threats, and take advantage of strengths and opportunities

  • Identify a list of top competitors and identify their differentiating characteristics

  • Barriers to entry into this market

  • Market trends, effects on the economic outlook, available funding

Establish sales and marketing goals

These goals should reflect what you think your business can achieve through marketing in the years to come:

  • Revenue forecast

  • The amount of new business compared to old or recurring business

  • Estimate the average transaction size and the order / sale cycle

  • Define a strategy to attract and retain customers in order to identify and anticipate changes

  • Identify marketing goals based on resources and the ability to meet forecasts

Sales channel and partners

Much of the marketing plan and budget will depend on the channels in which you sell. The type of sales tools, campaign size, and customer retention methods all depend on determining the right mix of marketing and sales programs. Questions to address:

  • What are the short and long term plans for recruiting sales and distribution channels?

  • What pricing structure is offered at these levels?

  • Do you have a list of potential partners and distributors to target by industry type and name

Some additional points

Keep in mind that marketing strategies can vary in length and style depending on your business. In general, however, there are a few more things you should have in mind before starting a marketing plan:

  • What is your marketing budget (i.e. a percentage of existing or future sales?)

  • How will your expenses be allocated and tracked (print material, web development, promotion, etc.)

  • What is your timing for a soft launch (internal and selected customers) and a hard launch (public promotion)

  • How will you measure success or failure? Leads, revenues, conversions, gross sales?

So what comes next?

Review the end results of your strategy and engage with your management team to ensure strategy agreement. Then move on to implementing your strategy using the information you’ve gathered to develop a marketing plan.

Need help developing a strategy or plan? Consult with an expert who has worked in your area of ​​expertise, who can extract information using interview techniques, and who has the network of vendors and suppliers of tools to gather reliable information.

Source by Kevin Kohleriter

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