marketing online classes, understanding marketing planning, marketing management, and branding

completing the STP process segmentationtargeting and positioning gives you a clearer idea of how you're going tocompete who you're going to target and what you're going to say to the marketto position your offering now you have to bring that positioning to life andyou do that by creating and executing tactical marketing programs in marketingwe use four types of tactical programs product and service pricing promotionalcommunications and distribution the last one distribution is sometimes referredto as place because that's where we're deciding the places we need to put ourproduct to get it to customers now taken all together gives us product pricepromotion and place and you may recognize these as the famous four PS ofmarketing let's review each one by product and service programs these referto all of the aspects of how products and services perform their job indelivering benefits it includes things like the design of the product how itfeels to use it the packaging of the product and the people and processesinvolved in dealing with customers it's not just how the product functions butit includes the entire experience of buying and using it that experienceshould be consistent with your positioning and the brand promisepricing involves two things setting the actual price that customers will pay andcommunicating those prices in an effective way the price of your productor service implies their value that the consumer should expect from buying andusing it promotion includes all the things you say outsideof the company to the market this where you broadcast the valueproposition and other information about the product it includes advertisingin-store promotions email campaigns social media and sales promotions andfinally distribution these are the programs that create an effectivepathway to get your product from the factory into the customers handssomebody has to take the product ship it store it place it on the shelves sell itand possibly service it once the sale is made all four p's have to work togetherto convey the value proposition no one of the four piece can carry all the loada good marketer uses all the tactical tools available to make the biggestimpact possible Marketing is all about delivering valueto customers and you do that by offering them the right products and servicesthink of products and services as benefit delivery vehicles there are acollection of various features that create value when customers use them sohow do you build the right product or service for that you need to go back tothe analysis phase of the marketing planning process from there you'll needthe results of your product analysis that's where you did a detailedcomparison of how your product compares to the competition's feature by featureyou also created the feature benefit ladder that unpacked the product to seehow features connect to the benefits that customers seek you'll also need thecustomer analysis especially the market research on what factors are mostimportant to customers when they buy a product as well as the data on how theyperceive your brand versus the competition and finally you'll need yourmarketing strategy as expressed in your value proposition that we coveredearlier as a marketer you have to give your development team guidance on fouraspects so they build the right product first is what features the product musthave to compete against the competition and also satisfy the customer you havetwo especially guide them on what features or feature to emphasize themost look at your value proposition what benefit are you promising then look atyour feature benefit ladder find that benefit on the ladder then move down theladder to find the set of features that deliver it you want to make sure thosefeatures are most evident when the customer uses the product next yourdevelopment team needs guidance on performance of each feature once againyour value proposition should guide you on whether the product needs to workbetter than the same as or slightly less effectively than the competition alsolook at your market research if consumers perceive your product as lesseffective on a particular feature you may need to have the development teamincrease its performance your development team also needs guidance ondesign meaning the look and feel of the product or service what does your brandstand for given that what must your product or service look like to expressthat brand essence finally your team must think of the product or service asan entire customer experience remember the customer buying process from earlierthink of each step as a touch point where you as the marketer have anopportunity to figuratively touch the customer with something about yourproduct or service touch points include things like the service customers get ina store and how your products are displayed it also includes things likethe packaging and perhaps the instructions on how to use the producteverything the customer comes in contact with including things online our touchpoints based on their experience in each touch point the customer will formbeliefs about what your brand stands for whether it's consistent believable andauthentic the more authentic the more loyal your customers will become andthat's a very good way to build your business setting prices is the quickest of thefour-piece but that doesn't mean it's the easiest in fact making a mistakehere can be very costly in terms of lost revenue as well as sending the wrongsignal to the market about your products and services let's start with somedefinitions to be successful at pricing you need to understand the differencebetween a product's cost its price and its value the cost of the product is allthe direct and indirect expenses that you experience as the manufacturer tomake the product things like raw materials and labor for example price iswhat a consumer has to pay to acquire the product a price is a signal a pieceof information about what you might ask about the value value is what theconsumer gets out of the product the collective set of benefits delivered bythe product the most common mistake in pricing is setting it based on yourcosts it may seem counterintuitive but price is unrelated to costs yourcustomer doesn't care what it costs you to produce the product they don'tcompare your costs to what they pay instead they compare what they payversus the total value they get from the product if value exceeds price thenthey'll buy the product and if not they'll ignore the product value-basedpricing then is the process of calculating the total delivered valuefrom using the product then setting the price at or just below that amount thinkof price as a shortcut the price quickly tells a customer a lotabout the quality and value but what about the competition and their pricesgo back to the 5 box positioning tool and look at your value proposition ifyou're positioning your product is superior to the competition then youshould set the price higher than theirs if your product is equivalent to thecompetition make the price the same and if your product is inferior to thecompetition set the price lower that's how price becomes a signal ofvalue in comparison to competitors prices price is a signal of value in apowerful part of the 4ps so make sure you put it to effective use in yourmarketing campaign in the 4ps model promotion is where youcommunicate to the customer to get them to understand something and ultimatelyto get them to do something to create effective promotional programsfollow these steps first determine the objectives of the program second selectthe message you want to communicate next select the target audience to receivethe message then you select the media that will carry the message and finallycreate the material that you send to the market in this video I'll describe step1 how to determine the objectives of your promotional effort there are 5communication objectives that you can try to achieve think of them as levelsof awareness first is called basic awareness customers need to know thatyour product or service exists before they can even consider buying it basicawareness is achieved when the customers simply recognizes your product orservice when they see it or hear it mentioned basic awareness is essentialfor new products or for new features on existing products next is top of mindawareness now the customer not only knows your product but also would recallit first if they were asked to list the names of products in a particularcategory to achieve this you have to constantly remind customers about yourproduct and that gets expensive but it can be worth it having top of mindawareness can increase your sales significantly once the customer hasbasic awareness of your product now you want them to have information awarenessthis is where the customer can actually explain something about your product toothers perhaps about its features its performance or how to use the productthe fourth objective that you might want to achieve is called image awarenessthat's achieved when the customer can explain your product and also associateyour product with some mental image that image should be closely tied to thebrand image you're trying to convey ideally thecustomer associates some image about themselves when they use or experienceyour product finally your marketing communication objective might be tocause some type of behavioral awareness where you're suggesting that theyactually do something that behavior may be as simple as going to your website orit might be more aggressive such as asking the customer to buy the productnotice how these objectives are more complicated and difficult to achieve aswe go from basic awareness all the way to behavioral awareness it's typicallymore expensive as you set more difficult objectives so how do you determine yourobjective well it depends on two things what does your customer believe andunderstand about your product now and what is your strategy look back at yourcustomer analysis based on your marketing research you should have someidea about what benefits and a product are most important to customers and youshould know how they perceive your products performance in delivering thosebenefits are there any beliefs about your product that you need to change nowlook at your five box positioning tool here you'll find the information youneed to set objectives especially in the desired belief and desire do and ofcourse in the value proposition itself what are you hoping to communicate andhow does that translate into one of our five promotional objectives building distribution channels may bethe most difficult of the four PS depending on your business it'stypically the most people intensive aspect of your marketing effort becauseyou have to enlist lots of partners to move your products physically into themarketplace a channel is a pathway that carries things and it may involve manysteps along the way three things move through it first asyour product typically your product flows from youthe manufacturer or reseller through to the hands of the customer occasionallythat product might move back the other way in case the customer wants to returnit and you have to be set up for that the other thing that moves through thechannel is money and it's not just money and credit cardsbut also all the money related parts of the transaction which may includefinancing negotiations and perhaps contracting you or your channel partnersneed to be skilled and available to do these things again depending on yourbusiness there's one more thing that flows through the pathway and in somerespects it may be the most important thing that is information and it flowsin both directions from you to the customer and vice versathe information you send through the channel could be information about yourproduct your prices availability or promotional messages about a new productthe channel and all the partners in it play a vital role in communicating yourvalue proposition in the other direction flows information about your customer itmight include demographic information about who they are geographicinformation about where they live perhaps feedback about your productpositive or negative earlier in the course I spoke about segmentation youcould learn a lot of information about what's important to customers and howthey perceive your product versus the competition through this channel youcould learn vital information that would help you analyzeyour market to create your marketing strategy that's assuming that yourpartners along the way in the channel let you sometimes they like to keep thatinformation for themselves they might see that customer as belonging to themnot you if you want access to that wealth of data about your customersyou'll have to select your partners carefully and strike the deal with themaround collecting and sharing that information and that's where managingchannels gets difficult conflict often arises in the channel because thevarious partners have competing goals your distributors for example may notlike your pricing approach so they might set the prices where they want them andthat price level might not be consistent with your value proposition they mayalso be selling competitors products and you have to do a lot of convincing andnurturing to make sure your products get the right amount of attention it takes alot of work in energy to train and motivate your channel partners to dowhat's needed to put your strategy into motion but if you do it right you'llhave a well-oiled machine to put more great products into the marketplace andearn new customers you there are five steps to writing amarketing plan step one is to analyze the market this is where you exploreimportant issues about market conditions your potential customers and thecompetition this part of your plan is called the situation analysis onceyou've analyzed the market you need to describe your strategy for achievingsuccess here you lay out your approach to segmenting the market targetingspecific customers and how you will position your products and services inthe marketplace next is the tactical section which includes your product orservice programs your pricing approach your promotion and marketingcommunications programs and your channel design these are often called the fourPS of your marketing plan a good marketing plan explains how you willimplement the various tactics described in the last step it's here where youdescribe what steps you need to take when those steps will happen and who'sresponsible for getting the job done and finally is the financial section of yourplan you need to describe a budget that outlines the financial and otherresources needed to implement your marketing plan here you also lay outyour forecasts of what you expect in terms of future revenues or otherbusiness goals this section of the plan may also describe how you will measuresuccess you can start the marketing planning process any time but animportant consideration is how and when your company does its annual businessplanning process that's where the company develops financial forecastsinvestments budgets and so on generally speaking there are two ways to connectthe marketing planning with business planning some companies start themarketing planning process first right around the middle of the fiscal yeareach marketing team develops their own sales revenue forecasts for theirassigned products they also develop a budget to spend on marketing programsthat they think are needed to achieve those revenue forecaststhose forecasts and budgets are combined into a company level revenue forecastand budget and that's fed directly into the annual business planning process butsome companies do just the opposite they start with the business planning processwhere they develop an overall revenue goal and spending target those aredivided and given to the individual marketing teams those teams now have totake those targets and develop the best marketing plan they can to achieve thosegoals so talk to your finance partner to find out which approach your companyuses another good idea is to create a calendar of when you'll write eachsection of the plan a good marketer is disciplined and doesn't cut corners inwriting a marketing plan it takes time and lots of work but in the end it'sworth it before you venture out into themarketplace with your products and services you've got to have a realisticunderstanding of where you are today after all you don't want to pick a fightwith your competition until you know what you've got to fight with this partof the plan is called the situation analysis there are four parts to itfirst is the market analysis analyzing a market means estimating how manypotential customers you might be able to sell your products and services to whenanalyzing any market you want to group customers into three types first are thecustomers that already buy from you todaysecond are customers that buy the same products and services you offer but froma competitor and third are potential customers that might be interested inyour type of products and services but not buying from anybody now estimate thepotential number of customers that you might be able to capture for each of thethree groups you do this so you can decide where you want to concentrateyour marketing strategy in marketing it's the old adage fish where the fishare next you want to analyze how your company compares to your competition agood tool for this is called the competitive matrix to create a matrixlist your company and your competitors across the top then down the side listthe things that you want to compare things like size market share strengthsand weaknesses and especially the key strategy elements like the valuepropositions what does each company have in terms of key resources and how dothey use those resources to acquire and retain customers now let's look at yourcustomers customers buy things for a variety of reasons but some are moreimportant than others if you know what's most important to them you can appeal tothat need when trying to get them to buy or you can try to raise the sense ofimportance they place on another factor you also need to measure how they rateyour product versus others and how it delivers youbenefit they may have misperceptions that you need to change you may be ableto emphasize a key feature of your product that is better than yourcompetition this analysis will be critical later when you begin segmentingcustomers to complete the situation analysis you need to test the featuresof your product and services compared to the same features on your competitorsyou need to determine which features perform better than the competitionwhich perform the same and which perform not as well when you complete theanalysis take a close look are there features that need to be improvedare there certain competitors you want to avoid or possibly go after based onproduct performance now keep in mind that the data and information that youput into the situation analysis doesn't have to be perfectly accurate it justneeds to be realistic that allows you to step back and see what customers to goafter what to emphasize when marketing to them and what competitors to go afteror avoid the situation analysis is an important step so you want to take yourtime here a good technique is to leverage the team you've created towrite the plan I suggest you break the situation analysis into the varioussections and assign the writing of each section to the team member mostqualified to do it having a good understanding of your situation can go along way to setting you up for success as you write your marketing plan the heart of any marketing plan is yourstrategy this is where you describe how you plan to win in the marketplace thestrategy section has three parts first is segmentation where you break yourcustomers into homogeneous groups this helps you be efficient with yourmarketing resources by focusing only on the most relevant customers there arefour ways to segment customers demographic is where you group customersby their characteristics such as income level age gender or their height andweight it's useful for certain products or services that deliver a benefitspecifically tied to that characteristic if you're marketing a shampoo forredheads for example then you'd want to group customers by hair color geographicsegmentation groups customers by where they are physically knowing where yourcustomers are helps you know where to place stores for example and where tocommunicate or sell to them behavioral segmentation is grouping customers bythe things they do it can be things such as who they purchased from now howfrequently they purchase or their price sensitivity finally is psychographicsegmentation which is how customers think their attitudes about the benefitsthey seek in a product an example of psychographic benefit would be the needfor prestige or need for convenience segmenting this way tends to be verypowerful in targeting you make decisions on which specific segments to go afterit's a process of narrowing down your audience to a selected group let's goback to our shampoo example using all four types of segmentation you mighthave a target audience like this women over 40 with red hair who live incertain metropolitan areas who buy shampoo once a month and who seek thebenefit of natural looking hair color now you have a specific identifiablegroup of customers for the next step called positioning positioning isdetermining how you want your customers to think aboutyour products versus the competition so they're more likely to buy yours it mayseem a little abstract but positioning happens up here in the mind of theconsumer think of the consumers mind is a three-dimensional space and in thatspace they form beliefs about products and services in a particular categoryand you can change those beliefs so they have a favorable opinion of your productyou do that by making a claim and by supporting that claim with crediblereasons to believe or RT B's as we call them the claim becomes your positioningstatement what you'll say to customers when you communicate to them aboutbuying your product let's use our shampoo example apositioning statement might look like this for women over 40 with red hairthat want to look their best our shampoo gives you a more natural looking colorto your hair than our competitors shampoo now to support this positioningclaim you might include photographs of customers who have used the product andperhaps some testimonials of how much they liked itnotice how I included my target audience in the positioning statement as well asthe primary benefit that they want and that our shampoo can deliver so whatbenefit should you emphasize go back to your situation analysis this is whereyou compared your product to the competition to find out what benefit youdeliver better than they do when you position your offering around yourstrengths you'll get an important edge over the competition and that's whatgreat marketing is all about a great marketing strategy only comes tolife when you take action now it's time to dive in and write the tacticalsection of your marketing plan this is where you describe in detail yourproduct or service programs your pricing approach your promotion and marketingcommunications programs and your channel design in marketing we call these thefour PS by product and service programs these refer to all of the aspects of howproducts and services perform their job in delivering benefits it includesthings like the design of the product how it feels to use it the packaging ofthe product and the people and processes involved in dealing with customers nowbe sure to describe the entire customer buying experience which typicallyincludes the following steps first is the need recognition phase this is wherecustomers realize they want something the next step is information searchwhere they gather information from a wide variety of sources now this is acritical step because this is when a customer is most receptive to yourmessage once a customer gathers information they evaluate thealternatives based on what features are most important and which product doesthe best job in delivering those features eventually they go to thepurchase phase where they actually buy the product now you might think that thebuying process ends here with the final purchase but there's one last stepcalled the post purchase behavior phase once customers start using the productthey compare the results with their expectations pricing involves two thingssetting the actual price that customers will pay and communicating those pricesin an effective way the price of your product or service implies their valuethat the consumer should expect from buying it and using it your written planshould list the prices you intend to charge and why they're set at that leveldescribe where and when prices will be communicated to the customer this mightbe a simple price sticker on your packaging or you might have prices onyour website promotion includes all the things you say outside of the company tothe market this is where you broadcast the value proposition and otherinformation about the product it includes advertising in-store promotionsemail campaigns perhaps social media and sales promotion your written plan shouldoutline the specific programs in terms of where and when you'll promote yourproducts and finally distribution these are the programs that create aneffective pathway to get the product from the factory into the customershands somebody has to take the product ship it store it place it on the shelvessell it and possibly service it once the sale is madeincluding your written plan the specific details of where customers can buy yourproducts which might include store locations online distributors and so onto be an effective marketing plan all four P's have to work together to conveythe value proposition no one of the four PS can carry the load a good marketeruses all the tactical tools available to make the biggest impact possible once you're confident you have athorough comprehensive marketing plan for your business you need to take stepsto implement the actions outlined in the plan here are the specific factors youshould address first is how and when you'll communicate details about theplan make a list of specific audiences or individuals that need to hear aboutit then write in the schedule with the exact dates and locations for thesepresentations next are the marketing programs that you created in yourtactical section for each program I like to use a simple framework that describeswho what when where and how this section should describe who is responsible forthe program it should show the timeline they have to complete the programincluding when implementation starts and when it finishes you should also explainwhere the implementation actions occur and maybe some details on how your teamwill implement that program finally you want to set up key performanceindicators or KPIs for short key performance indicators help you keeptrack of your overall strategy and your individual marketing programs they alertyou when it's time to intervene and take action to get things back on trackwithout KPIs you're flying blind so to speak and you run the risk of fallingshort of your overall goal now to be most effective each KPI should bequantifiable and measurable you can have as many as you want but don't measure aKPI just because you have the data if you're not going to use it don't botherit's a waste of time measure something only if you plan to take action from itthat's why I like to set thresholds around each one each KPI should have atarget of what you expect to happen plus a high and low number around that targetfor those thresholds you and your planning team should agree in advancewhat action you'll take if those thresholds are exceeded here's anexample assume you create a KPI about the number of new customers acquiredeach month you set your target at 500 and you alsospecify a high and low threshold of 600 and 400 respectively if your actualcustomers per month is more than 600 you might consider taking an action such asreducing advertising spending or in the low end if you're below 400 you couldconsider increasing sales incentives good marketers not only reach theirmarketing goals but they also know whether those goals were achieved theway they expected them to be achieved they also take immediate action whenthey detect something is going in the wrong directiona well-written marketing plan will help your team do just that Marketing takes time and money so it'simportant that you develop a budget in a forecast of what you expect in terms ofbusiness results let's look at each of these a good budget helps you allocatethe right amount of resources to the right marketing programs to make themost impact now there are two ways to develop a budget you can decide on howmuch you have to spend in total and then allocate it some companies do this bytaking a percentage of sales revenue as the total budget for marketing thatamount then is assigned to different teams and programs I call this thetop-down approach the other approach is from the bottom upeach marketing team develops a budget to spend on marketing programs that theythink are needed to achieve a revenue forecast and then those budgets arecombined into a company level budget if you recruited a finance member to yourmarketing planning team they'll be able to tell you what approach your companyuses whichever approach you take you still need to decide where to spend themoney and how much to spend how much you spend depends on a number of factorslook at each of your tactical programs the four P's product price promotion andplace estimate the required spending in each one for example do you need tospend money to upgrade your product or its packaging how much do you need tospend on marketing communications to reach a sufficient number of people andstill achieve the communications objective what are your sales people anddistributors need to do their jobs effectively next is your forecast orwhat you expect to achieve as a result of implementing your marketing plan nowyou can set any type of goal whether it be a revenue forecastperhaps units sold or maybe new customers acquired and so on for amarketing goal to be the most effective it should meet the following criteriafirst it should be specific just saying that your goal is to increase marketshare that wouldn't be specific enoughincreasing market share from 15% to 17% is much better as a goal because it'sspecific second the goal should be measurable setting a goal that can't bemeasured will become frustrating for you and the team especially when you try togauge your progress in reaching it next the goal must be attainable setting anunrealistically high goal won't do you any good in fact it could hurt yourcampaign by causing you to spend more marketing dollars than is warranted thefourth criteria is relevant that means the goal is directly related to yourmarketing strategy and finally the goal must be time bound meaning that the goalwill be achieved during a specific period of time a year or perhaps aquarter or even monthly once you've estimated what each program will costyou'll probably need to make some tough choices and this is a great time to usethe talents of your marketing planning team let them help you decide in myexperience a team decisions ends up being better than any single individualdecision after all you're in this together so put them to work in helpingyou develop the most effective budgets and forecasts possible you the branding process has five stepsfirst we have to define the brand and everything that goes into it a brand isa promise so we have to clearly define what that promise is and the core valuesbehind it think of the values as the DNA of thebrand at this step we also define how the brand links to your overall businessand other brands that you may have brands don't exist in isolation so wehave to give them a home so to speak somewhere in your portfolio we also haveto define what are called brand drivers brand drivers define how the core valueswill be manifested into the marketing mix or key business processes thatsupport the brand it's all the things associated with a brand that help youtranslate its value into actions the next step of the branding process is toposition the brand essentially we are shaping how customers think about thebrand we identify who those customers are what benefits they seek from yourproducts and services and what they currently believe about those productsand services versus the competition at this step we're making the direct linkbetween the products value proposition and the brand promise once you definethe brand promise and how its position in the market place you need to expressthe brand imagine the brand as a person a person needs a name a personality inan identity in terms of what they look like you do the same for brands at thisstep we create brand names and logos to help customers easily recognize thebrand and remember the promise that it delivers at this stage it's time tobuild awareness of the brand and put it to work for youwe do that by communicating it and we do that both internally to our ownorganization as well as externally to the market why internally your employeesand distributors play a critical role in delivering the promise they create anddeliver products and services that deliverbenefits that customers expect given the promise the brand is made keeping abrand strong means we have to communicate continuously and mostimportantly consistently to reinforce the promise in people's minds if youdon't brands lose their value and that leads us to the final step of the brandbuilding process measure you want to measure the value of the brand or whatwe call brand equity it's what you accrue when you develop promote anddeliver an authentic brand promise as brand equity increases company valueincreases you also measure the brand's performance is it living up to thepromise and isn't doing what you expected it to for your business thebrand building process takes time and money but if you do it right you'llcreate strong healthy brands that make your business more successful let's start building a brand first wehave to identify the values of the brand remember that a brand is a promise andunderneath that promise must be a supporting set of values they're like afoundation underneath a home for example if I make a promise to you it's becauseI believe certain things are important otherwise I wouldn't make the promisethe same is true of brands that we created marketing think of brand valuesas the key behaviors or virtues of the brand that need to be expressedconsistently day in and day out taken together these values form the essenceor the theme of the brand they're like a belief system of the brand determiningthe brand values starts by understanding the overall marketing strategy of yourbusiness what kind of products and services doyou offer what are the key trends and new opportunities in your markets whoare your customers and who are your competitors given that what is youroverall value proposition in the marketplace you've got to have a solidmarketing strategy before you can build a solid branding strategy the two areclosely linked for this course I'm going to use a hypothetical company that wantsto create a brand for one of its new products let's assume we're in the watchbusiness we're coming out with the new line of smart watches that integratewith other tech products like smart phones let's say that our strategy is tocreate a watch ideally suited for families but not just families ingeneral we are targeting the parents specifically we want to position ourwatch as the ideal watch for moms and dads for now let's call it the parentwatch remember that's the name of the brand not necessarily the name of theproduct itself now given our marketing strategy we want to create a brand thatdelivers this promise of being the ideal watch for parents we start byidentifying the key values that this new brand must have for this promise to haveany meaning to it so I start by listening beliefs that peoplemight have about parents for example parents are special being a parent is animportant role in the life of many moms and dads being a parent is hard workparents do everything they can to help their families by creating this list I'mlooking for one or a collection of some of these to shape and form the maintheme of my new brand I want to create a sentence that conveys what the brand isall about let's try this the parent watch celebrates Parenthood by helpingparents be the very best they can be I like this it's aspirational it'slinked directly to my strategy and it has a strong emotional appeal we canalways revise and fine-tune this later but for now let's stick with this as thecore purpose of the parent watch brand both why it exists and what it believestake a look at the brand's you have now or the brand you want to create askyourself these questions what is the belief system underneath those brands isit linked to your marketing strategy is it clear what this brand stands for nowand what it wants to be in the future building a strong foundation is thecrucial first step to bring your brand to life a brand's values form the foundation ofthe brand but now on top of that foundation you need to build more aboutthe definition of the brand think of it as expanding and stretching it out youdo that by creating brand drivers brand drivers are more detailed in descriptiveaspects of the brand they come in different forms they could be attributesof the brand itself they could be functional or emotionalbenefits that the brand delivers they could be self expressive benefits inother words what the customer is saying about themselves when they consume thebrand to create brand drivers make an exhaustive list of phrases or sentencesabout the brand that stretched the brand's core purpose don't worry toomuch about the wording of these and don't try to filter them later on you'llgroup them into similar categories and that's where you'll edit them to get themost relevant brand drivers let's go back to our case study a new brand for aSmartWatch that's ideal for moms and dads we call it the parent watch itscore value is the parent watch celebrates Parenthood by helping parentsbe the very best they can be given that what else might this new brand be aboutlet's start with the list we had already parent watch believes that parents arespecial being a parent may be the most important role in a person's life beinga parent is hard work parents do everything they can to helptheir families let's create more by asking ourselves what else goes intobeing a great parent let's write these from the parents point of view parentwatch helps me do the impossible by balancing tasks and getting it all donein the day it helps me protect my family it helps me perform my duties at homework and everywhere else it helps me stay connected to my kidsit helps me teach my kids important life lessons itmakes it fun to be a mom or dead wearing parent watch tells the world that I careabout my family above all else do you see what's going on here we're creatinga list of specific things that are important to our target audience then wetake those and turn them into attributes of the brand itself or a benefit thatthe brand delivers when you do this for your brand you should have several dozenof these try to create as long a list as possible then group into categories suchas functional benefits the basic job that the product does emotional benefitshow a product makes a consumer feel economic benefits how a product savestime and money self expressive benefits how a product makes us appear to othersother types of benefits such as benefits to society or to the environment nowonce they're grouped into categories we look for ways to refine or combine theminto a more coherent list for example these two drivers parent watch helps medo the impossible by balancing tasks and getting it all done in a day and parentwatch helps me perform my duties at home work and everywhere else it seemssimilar perhaps I could tighten these up into one phrase such as parent watchhelps me balance multiple tasks at work home and everywhere else brand driversput more meaning into the brand we call them drivers because these are the ideasthat you use to express and communicate what your brand is all about so what is it that you actually brandwell that's kind of a trick question you don't brand things rather you createa brand with its core promise and list of associations as we did in the lasttwo videos then you attach something to that brand promise like a product or acompany name by attaching that product or a company name to the brand yourcustomers associated with the brand now I know that may seem like a subtle pointbut here's why I make it don't think of branding like taking an iron and burningit onto the side of a product or it's packaged like Cowboys do and they brandlivestock that's the single most common mistake people make when doing brandingthey think you can just slap a logo and a clever name on the side of a productand voila here's my new brand to be a savvy branding professional you want toavoid this mistake and instead follow a discipline step by step process with aset of tools to create and manage your brand's that's what this course is allabout now once you've created the core brand promise and list of associationsthe correct question to ask is what kinds of things can I attach to thebrand the answer may surprise you we've already mentioned products insidethis bottle is fizzy brown water with the syrupy sweet taste when we associateit with the coca-cola brand the consumer memorizes this association for futurereference every time a consumer drinks what's inside here they instantly recallthe brand promise and subconsciously think to themselves promise made promisekept that's why we sometimes call a brand a locus of emotions it's all theemotions inside that are triggered by a brand that define it a brand is a memoryjogger a shortcut so to speak to make that memory jogging a bit easier we givethe brand a certain look and sometimes a namewhen you rap that name and that look around the product consumers have a mucheasier time making that connection maybe that's why it feels like we are brandinga product like using a branding iron on livestock it's not only products thatcan be branded you might want to brand just one feature of that product Hertzthe car rental company brands its Gold Club an exclusive club for loyalcustomers you could also brand a single ingredient within the product myfavorite example is when Intel created the now iconic Intel Inside brand mostpeople have no idea what the Intel thing actually did or how it workedit didn't matter as long as the computer they were about to buy had Intel Insidethey were satisfied promise made promise keptif your product has a unique technology especially if it's something you ownperhaps with patents you can also associated it with a brand Toyota forexample branded it's Hybrid Synergy Drive as part of its fleet ofeco-friendly cars can your brand services absolutely a service is thesame as a product in that they are both benefit delivery vehicles Google forexample offers a wide range of services that are branded in fact an entirecompany can be branded take Starbucks for example you can also create a stringof brands for example Amazon Kindle delivers ebooks using whisper nettechnology a branded company a product and Technology all-in-one you may bethinking hey wait a minute what if you take this too far that's a good questionif you're not careful you may end up with what I call brand chaos where yourbrand to many things in a way that might confuse the customer to avoid that takea look at your current brands or brands you want to create then try to identifywhat you've actually branded a product a featureand so on good brand builders then start to think about how these differentbrands exist together to deliver value for the customer creating and defining your brand is onlythe first step of the brand building process at this point the brand is stillan empty vessel empty because you haven't made or kept any promises tocustomers remember that a brand is a promise kept over and over to a targetaudience to the point that they believe and trust it trust builds loyalty andthat is your next step to identify the specific customers that you want yourbrand to be relevant to for that we use a marketing technique calledsegmentation segmentation means dividing the market of potential customers intosimilar groupings there are four ways to do itdemographic segmentation focuses on physical characteristics of customerslike gender age their hided weight even hair color it's a very useful way tosegment especially if your brand's promise delivers on something related toa customer characteristic if you're marketing shampoo for redheads forexample then you'd want to group your customers by hair color closely relatedto demographic segmentation is Geographic use this approach when youwant to group people by where they live or where they work it can also includethings like where they go for certain activities or where they just hang outif your brand promise is related to that locationthis way of grouping customers makes the most sensenext is behavioral segmentation here we focus on things that potential customersdo or how they behave it includes things like purchase behavior lifestyles andthings like how customers use a product once again it's the right way to segmentcustomers if your brand delivers something of value related to thisbehavior for example people who want to drive fast are going to appreciatebrands that promise speed finally is attitudinal segmentation this is whatgoes on in the customers head about the benefits they seekgrouping customers by their needs or benefits they're looking for isextremely powerful because it gets right to the core of your brand's promise forexample if you're building a new brand for an automobile you'd want to groupcustomers around benefits such as fuel economy luxury eco-friendly or statusselecting the right segmentation approach is critical because it helpsyou with the next two steps of the brand building process Express and communicate branding is about making and keeping apromise over and over to the point where consumers trust you and they becomeloyal what do you promise and when do you promise it you answer thesequestions by analyzing your potential customers when people buy products andservices they're buying a collection of benefits you can categorize thesebenefits into three types functional benefits refer to a products physicalperformance for example when buying a car functional benefits include size ofthe engine passenger seating or how the car handles economic benefits arerelated to saving money or saving time with the car economic benefits wouldinclude the miles per gallon annual maintenance cost or the cars reliabilityfinally our emotional benefits these are related to the psychological feelingsyou get when using a product for a car it would include things like status orself esteem customers buy things for a mix of these benefits but some are moreimportant than others if you know what's most important to them you can appeal tothat need when deciding on your brand promise you can also raise this sense ofimportance they place on another factor and focus your brand on that instead youalso want to understand the steps customers take when buying somethingthat will help you shape the overall experience they have with your brand anddecide the best point to make the promise typically those steps are asfollows first is need recognition phase this iswhere customers realize that they want something the next step is informationsearch once customers feel a need to have something they start gatheringinformation about solutions for that need once a customer gathers theinformation they go to the next step which is to evaluate the alternativescustomers make choices based on what features areit's important in which brand does the best job in delivering those featuresit's critical that you communicate your brand's promise at this pointeventually the customer will narrow their choices down to one brand and goto the purchase phase finally is the post purchase behavior phase oncecustomers start using the product or service they compare the results withtheir expectations that the brand deliver on the promise how did theproduct make them feel when they used it this phase is also critical becausecustomers will form opinions about your brand and share their experiences goodor bad with other customers great brand builders know they have a role to playin each step of the customer buying process they know where these steps takeplace when they take place and who's involved with these insights you'reready to develop an effective brand experience perhaps the most central idea in all ofmarketing is that of positioning a company's value proposition is thesingle-minded claim that it makes to change the customers mind and cause themto do something that something could be to buy a product or to try a product orto pay a certain price or to visit a website or just to think about yourbrand and its benefits in a certain way how you position your product in themarket will ultimately determine the overall promise you make to create yourbrand now let's make a distinction here in a marketing plan you create a valueproposition that is this central piece of your marketing strategy so how doesthat relate to brand positioning are they the same well not necessarily butthey're closely related the brand promise is essentially your overallvalue proposition it's a broad definitive statement of the bundle ofbenefits to customers by the brand it's a clear articulation of precisely whatit is that gives the brand an edge over competitors think of brand positioningas the long-term strategic positioning your marketing strategy valueproposition is more like a short-term tactical positioning let's do an exampleto see this connection using our case study of the parent watch we know thatour overall brand positioning is the parent watch celebrates Parenthood byhelping moms and dads be the very best they can be now by design we've set thatat a pretty high level but what if you're about to launch a new product orperhaps just introduce a new feature on an existing product for that you need amore tactical short-term positioning for example let's assume our parent watchhas a new feature that allows us to SMS people automatically moms or dads canuse it to create reminders for their kids that come directly from them viatext messaging I'm not sure kids would like it but I bet parentsso how do we position this new feature for ideas on that you go back to yourbrand drivers recall that brand drivers are more detailed in descriptive aspectsof the brand so let's look over our list created in Chapter two now here's onethat might work parent watch helps me stay connected to my kidsnice our new SMS feature becomes a credible reason to believe this valueproposition and therein lies the connection between brand strategy andmarketing strategy think of these value propositions designed around your branddrivers as RT B's or reasons to believe for the overall brand strategy promisesmade promises kept so take a look at your brand's whatfeatures and benefits of your products and services are you emphasizing in yourmarketing strategy then look at your brand drivers to find the ones thatconnect best to those benefits that helps your target audience believe thebrand is doing its job well and can be trusted to do it in the future you when I talk to marketing leaders thesubject of pricing almost always comes up they lose sleep wondering if theirprices are too high or too low it's a constant ongoing challenge for everymarketer of the four PS of marketing product price place and promotionsetting prices is the quickest but that doesn't mean it's the easiest in factmaking a mistake here can be very costly in terms of lost revenue as well assending the wrong signal to the market about your products and services so howdo you overcome this challenge the key is to understand the role of pricingthen you need to understand the most common pitfalls companies make whensetting prices let's start with some definitions to be successful at pricingyou need to understand the difference between a products cost its price andits value the cost of the product is all the direct and indirect expenses thatyou experience as the manufacturer to make the product things like rawmaterials and labor for example price is what a consumer has to pay to acquirethe product a price is a signal a piece of information about what you might askabout the value value is what the consumer gets out of the product thecollective set of benefits delivered by the product the most common mistake inpricing is setting it based on your costs it may seem counterintuitive butprice is unrelated to cost your customer doesn't care what it cost you to producethe product they don't compare your cost to what they pay instead they comparewhat they pay versus the total value they get out of it if value exceeds theprice then they'll buy the product but if not they'll ignore it value-basedpricing then is the process of calculating the total delivered valuefrom using the product and then setting the price at or just below that amountthink of price as a shortcut the price quickly tells a customer a lot about thequality and value hey but what about the competin their prices well first look at your value proposition if you're positioningyour product is superior to the competition then you should set theprice higher than theirs if your product is equivalent to the competition makethe price the same and if your product is inferior to the competition set theprice lower that's how price becomes a signal ofvalue when compared to a competitor now pricing can be a very touchy subjectbecause everyone in your company will have an opinion about it sales teamstend to want lower prices because it makes their job easier finance teamstend to want higher prices to cover the fixed costs they're driven to meettargets around profit margins but you as the marketing leader need to take acustomer centric view and not be unduly influenced by your colleagues and otherdepartments focus on value and see pricing as a way to help customersunderstand what your products and services are truly worth hey peopledon't mind paying higher prices if they get high value in returnin my experience price is without a doubt one of the top 10 marketingchallenges for any business the trick is to balance financial impact with goodcommon sense about customers expectations perhaps the most important role of themarketing leader is creating a competent team and for that reason alone it's oneof the most challenging it's a constant fight for talent hey you may have thebest products and services in the market but without a strong and talentedmarketing team behind them you'll start losing ground to the competition solet's look at ways to win this battle but before I start let me share aninsight you read a lot in the media about the generational aspects ofbusiness and the many differences between Millennials Gen X and BabyBoomers but guess what for my experience the same things that excite Millennialsare the same things that excite my generation so don't get too caught upwith the demographic shifts so how do you attract and retain great marketingtalent it starts with great products and services back by the reputation of aglobal brand coca-cola Apple Amazon and so on but what do you do if you have awonderful reputation but no one's ever heard of you here's an example theglobal fortune 500 company with over 50 unique and successful companies withinit if it's going to win the fight for talent it has to raise its prominence inthe job market especially in business schools so you do that with promotionalefforts attending job fairs and having a great website about careers at yourcompany next look at how you communicate opportunities at your company what is itthat you're stressing are you telling them how amazing they need to be or areyou telling how amazing it would be to work at your company now here's why thatmatters if you stress why they need to be super talented those who are supertalented already know it if you just reinforce that you're looking forsuperstars they're likely to react by saying well duh I know thatso instead focus on why it's amazing to be at your company promote all the perksthe cool spaces in your headquarters the types of challenging work you do thevalue you bring to society overall that's what really matters to thesuperstars of all ages sure you need competitivebenefits but it's the intangibles that matter so much in recruiting talent nowone area that I think is often overlooked in recruiting is telling thecandidate about how much autonomy they'll have in their job if the messagecomes across as will tell you what to do when to do it and how to do it heyforget it marketers especially want some degree ofautonomy in their job and finally you need to assure potential candidates thatthey're joining an elite team thoroughbreds like to run withthoroughbreds give candidates a strong sense that they're joining a team ofpeople just as talented as they are that really gets their juices flowing butthat means you have to back it up a players want to be with other a playersif you've got a lot of B players good but not great you may be over promisingand if you have any C players who you haven't cut yet these new recruits willspot it right away that's not good going out and getting the best talentyou can afford maybe your biggest marketing challenge of all if you do itsuccessfully you're on a path to win in the marketplace there is a constant tension between themarketing organization and the sales organization hey believe me I've seenshouting matches in the boardroom between marketing and sales leaders thistension is a challenge and will never go away so it has to be understood andmanaged or the organization will suffer hey and it takes a lot more than justhaving a cup of coffee every so often with your counterpart now it's not hardto see why this tension exists the two organizations are vastly different interms of their role in the organization their structure and their ambitions theyhave different perspectives of the market they have different processes andthey may have a different sense of urgency about what's important but theorganizations have a tremendous amount of overlap and that's where the frictioncan occur for example the two groups can argue about things like the pricing ofyour products which products to focus on which customers to go after and whatmessages to put in the marketplace the codependence between the organization'screates a natural rivalry now some tension between sales and marketing ishealthy and productive the vers viewpoints lead to creativity and betterproblem solving you need to harness those differences and turn them into abenefit and sometimes you have to agree to disagree you can't let therelationship deteriorate where things will get worse after all you probablydisagree because you each have different assumptions you're working with oryou're using different criteria to evaluate a situation so here are someways you can keep that tension in check first you need to have role claritybetween the two organizations which things does sales do on its own whattasks does marketing do and which tasks are done jointly for example I thinkit's critical that the two organizations jointly set goals and objectives thatthey conduct joint planning sessions and that they create common definitionsabout what is a customer and who is our competition this creates a goodfoundation another great way to keep the relationship positive andoctave is to hold joint recognition events these events help build empathyand respect for both sides and finally you want to create frameworks andprocesses that require the two organizations to communicate andcollaborate for example look at your pricing processes product developmentand the ways you get customer feedback put steps into these activities thatrequire input from both organizations this tension will never go away soexpected and manage it minimize the downsides and distractions but takeadvantage of the positive sides be a strong supportive leader who creates aculture of teamwork and cooperation hey your customers will appreciate it creating a powerful brand is a great wayto build loyalty with their customers for many companies brands are the singlemost valuable asset but once you've created a brand that'swhere the challenge is kick in and it can be a real headache if you don'tmanage brands correctly these challenges come from both inside your organizationas well as outside for example one of the most common problems marketingleaders have with brands is what I call brand chaos it happens when new brandsstart popping up almost out of nowhere and sadly they have no consistent lookor feel to your other brands and then one day you're flipping through yourproduct catalog and you see a mishmash of products and brands that have nothingto do with each other your brand architecture is in a state of anarchyhow does this happen well marketers love to create brands heyit's fun and exciting and they like creating ones that are distinctive andunique let's face it they want to put their mark on something so they gettogether with their design team and branding agencies they throw a lot ofmoney creating the next big thing if left unchecked you'll experience brandchaos it's expensive to fix and it can really confuse customers on what yourbrand's mean another common brand problem is when employees take one ofyour brand marks and create their own adapted version of it in other wordsthey make it look different than the official version a sales rep might putan altered brand mark in a presentation for example or a marketer might changeit slightly to fit on a package those sources of this problem are many Brantchaos can also stem from things outside the company if your competitors startattacking your brands by D positioning them you have to fight backfor example a competitor might begin an advertising campaign telling consumersthat the benefits of your brand just aren't that important this type of deeppositioning strategy can lower your brand equity another common problem iswhen some company copies your bread and creates counterfeit products andservices hey consumers don't know the difference so you leave as a sale eachtime they buy a fake product with your brand on it so how do you deal withthese challenges well first you need to create a brand book just as the nameimplies the brand book is the complete story of the brand and all the elementsthat go into it it establishes strict guidelines on every aspect of how acompany's brand will be managed this affects everything from how the logo canbe used the look of a website how social media is used advertising product designand so on second you need to appoint a strong brand champion someone who issenior enough in your organization to regulate and monitor brand complianceand stop anyone who violates standards in the brand book and finally you need astrong legal team either internal or external that will go aftercounterfeiters or anyone that hijacks your brand's for their own use greatbranding is about making and keeping promises in a consistent waythat's why great marketers do whatever they can to prevent brand chaos Marketing operates in a world of changeand ambiguity so you have to constantly monitor trends to spot opportunities andavoid problems now depending on your market this could be one of your biggestchallenges you don't want to be guilty of missing a key trend that puts yourcompany out of business trends and your business happen in many areas forexample consumer tastes can change Campbell Soup for example is looking atways to change its legendary long-standing chicken soup recipebecause of perceived changes in consumer taste trends and technology are anotherbig source of risk and reward you can also be affected by trends in economicconditions politics regulatory and legislative policies as well as trendsin foreign countries there's a lot going on out there when I analyze trends Ilike to sort them out this way first I decide whether the trend willhave a big impact or a small impact on my company then I assess whether thetrend is fast moving or slow moving when I say fast moving I mean it happensquickly over a matter of days or months whereas slow moving trends might last 20years or more now I wouldn't say that you should completely ignore low impacttrends but clearly you want to focus on the big ones those are the ones thatwill get you in trouble if you ignore them trends that have abig impact and are fast-moving need immediate attentionso assign someone from your team to study it and make recommendations try toavoid a quick knee-jerk reaction you might make matters worse get alignmentfrom your peers and your boss before taking action you don't want to beguilty of what we call in marketing over driving your headlights now from myexperience the ones that give me the most concern are the big impact slowmoving trends I call these the silent killers there's slow moving so there'sno sense of urgency until BAM one day you're staring at something that you'veknown about for a long time but you're waybehind your competitors in dealing with it not good so how do you keep up withtrends you need to set up a way to monitor what's going on out there orwhat I call listening-posts for example you might want to hire a marketingresearch firm to watch trends in taste and attitudes also monitor social mediachannels to hear the conversations that consumers are having about you and yourcompetitors one of my favorite techniques for dealing with trends is toform an advisory panel of experts both from inside and outside the companytheir advice can guide you when you need it mosthow do you deal with trends once you spot them well you have to ask yourselfa critical question well I let this trend change what we're doing or well Igo out and change what this trend is doing in other words you have to decideif you're a market taker or a market shaper in reality you'll have to be alittle both you can change some but not all trends of course you need theresources and skills to do that you need to decide where to focus to get the mostwith the resources you have and avoid trying to change things you can't forthose you'll just need to adapt and survive great marketing leaders thrivein a world of ambiguity and change trend-spotting is what helps them stayon top a lot of my senior marketing colleagueswould come to me and complain about some of their new staff members they werefrustrated because these new marketers just couldn't seem to get the rightperspective of the market and translate that back to their day to day actionsit's a very common problem especially for less experienced marketers but itcan affect just about anyone like everything else we've discussed in thiscourse it's a big challenge because you'll miss critical insights if youdon't have this skill I've put a name to this skill I call it zooming out andzooming in zooming out is when you change your perspective to see the bigpicture the whole market from a very wide angle zooming in is just theopposite you zoom in to a new perspective right on the ground so tospeak very close to the customer and the buying journey think of it like the lenson a camera the photographer sees a completelydifferent view of the subject when the lens is changed by zooming closer in orby zooming far away changing the view triggers new insights on how best totake that shot you can do the exact same thing when trying to understand a markethere's an example imagine you work for a pharmaceutical company and you want tointroduce a drug that treats diabetes into the Chinese market now China is avery big country with around 1.

4 billion people that's almost 20% of the world'spopulation should be a great market right so where do you start how do youget your drug from the plant in the US to the people with diabetes in Chinafrom this perspective it seems overwhelming so let's change ourperspective and see if it helps let's zoom down to let's say one city in Chinalike Shanghai now it's a big modern city with about 14 million people but for methat's still too big let's hoon down again to a very small town in the middleof China with no more than say 50, 000 people in fact let's zoom into just oneneighborhood in that neighborhood let's find one homewith one person with diabetes let's say a man in his 50s got it now let's askourselves the same question how do we get one dose of our diabetes drug fromthe plan in the u.


into this man's body now here's why this helps if youcan't figure out all the things that have to happen to get the product tojust this one customer it's hopeless to consider how you would do it for all ofChina but if you do figure it out you created a model that can be scaledup to other customers with this in mind we're going to zoom out and imagineother homes in this neighborhood then zoom out to other neighborhoods then toother towns around the region and so on before long you're back at the level ofthe entire country to see the big picture with each change in perspectiveI get the insights I need to create a successful marketing campaign so look atyour markets and train your eye to see new perspectives zoom in and zoom out tofind new ways to grow a company that retains a high percentageof its customers must be doing a lot of things rightthat's why retention rate is the best indicator of a company's long termviability but keeping customers can be very challenging to succeed you need tounderstand how and why your customers buy your products in marketing we dothat by defining four types of purchasing styles the first one is whatwe call brand laziness that's when customers want to exert theminimal buying effort they don't want to be bogged down with a lot of informationthey just want to buy something now consumers use this style with oldfamiliar products and services that have worked well in the past so they buy themout of habit without even thinking about itthey have no commitment to the brand think about for example how you buyflour this approach is highly efficient for low-risksimple products because it saves time and effort now the key here is to becareful not to disrupt anything about your customers purchase flow if youchange the Shelf location the packaging or anything that makes them have tothink about too much about the purchase you may lose them to another brand nextis brand loyalty truly brand loyal customers are highly involved with thebread they've had a good experience with it and they know a lot about it insteadof buying it out of habit they buy it because they're emotionally attached toit the key here is to continue to deliver high levels of quality andservice consistency is the name of the game if you let them down they startdrifting away next are the variety seekers people who shop for newalternatives over more familiar ones varieties seeking is the opposite ofbrand loyalty consumers use this style because they have yet to fall in lovewith a particular brand try to get your customers out of the style as quickly aspossible otherwise they'll keep switching back and forth between you andthe competing brands try to lock them in with free trials followservice or discounts or perhaps a loyalty program and finally are theproblem solvers as the name implies consumers use this style when dealingwith complex products involving a lot of risk and uncertainty they need to behighly involved and they need to gather a lot of information especially if theproduct or service is expensive or purchased and frequently think aboutbuying a car for example or shopping for a plastic surgeon it takes time andinformation to make a good decision now as a marketer you have to help customerswhen they're using this style first provide as much information about theproduct as you can make sure it's where people can find it in your stores oronline or perhaps with your salespeople and show comparisons between yourproduct and the competition loyalty drives high retention rates the bestmarketers are those that understand each type of loyalty so they can continue togive their customers exactly what they want imagine your marketing team comes upwith an idea for a great new product you absolutely love it but when you startshopping the idea around the building he gets some strange looks from peoplethey're resisting and you and your team are getting frustrated well guess whatresistance to innovation is a natural phenomenon in companies and it canbecome a huge challenge unless you manage it correctly why do people resistnew ideas well as you'll see in a minute there are lots of reasons but firstlet's understand that resistance is necessary that's right it's necessaryand here's why innovation and resistance essentiallyhelp define each other after all something's not really innovative unlessit meets with at least some pushback think of resistance as a gatekeeper alladoption of new ideas starts with resistance so think of it as animportant filter to get the best ideas you is the marketing leader have twoimportant roles to play first you want to resist ideas from the very start whennew ideas are brought to you it's okay to question them bring up challenges andso on that will only make the ideas stronger but once you're on board youwill have to go out and champion it but be prepared to still meet resistancepeople want to know what value it brings how risky it is how compatible it iswith your current products and services also can the idea be tested preferablyin stages and can we back out of it if need besometimes people resist ideas because they just don't understand it finally isthere flexibility to change the idea how long will it take to realize thebenefits and will the idea have some unintended side effects on otherprojects but people also resist ideas because of their personality and pastexperiences with innovation if they had a bad experience with the last ideathey're going to be more resistant to the next one another trait that canaffect how resist they are is their own ability togenerate highly creative ideas the poor they are at innovating that less likelythey'll be open to new ideas resistance can also arise depending on who you areas the person selling the idea if you're seen as credible and as someone whoexplains ideas clearly you'll meet with less resistance your job as a marketingleader is to understand the strongest sources of resistance and define ways tolower the effect now don't try to tackle every source just the ones that matterand that can be changed if you do you'll find the next great idea winning in themarketplace I'm willing to bet that every marketerout there would agree that their biggest challenge is how do you keep revenue andprofits growing at your company a growing company typically sees its stockprice going up that's why this challenge never goes away so what's the magicformula I have some bad news there isn't one so my recommendation issimple it's time to get back to the basics let's look at what that meansfirst take a fresh look at your market conditions what's changed what hasn'tchanged and why what might have been true once isn't true anymore ourcompetitors doing anything differently or economic conditions having an impactbut be careful here you have to challenge your assumptions on what youbelieve is true my advice is to pretend everything you once knew about yourcompetitive market situation is out the window just start over and build yourmarket understanding from the ground up that way you're less likely to hold onto old beliefs that just aren't true anymorenext look at your commercial strategy have you segmented your customersappropriately and are you targeting the right ones pressure test yourpositioning is it still relevant be sure to look at your customer retention ratesrate of retention is the best long-term indicator of a firm's viability if yoursis slipping a bit you may have a bigger problem on your hands than just growthnow look at your overall structure of your commercial operations is it stillproductive do you have the right positions with the right competentplayers in place now here's a tip a common mistake is to look at yourorganizational structure and base your strategy on it this is what we can do sothis is what we will do no that's backwards structure should followstrategy not the other way around finally look at how you're executingyour strategy are your product launches on time are they making an impact theway you thought they would are your averagein marketing agencies still performing at a high level our distributors andretail outlets achieving their goals hey sometimes all it takes is a shake up inthese tactical areas to spot new sources of growth ultimately though the bestsource of growth is to create new value in the marketplacethe best way to do that is with innovative new products and services youand your team need a steady stream of fresh new ideas you want to increase thevolume of business increase the price of your offerings or reduce the cost ofdoing business now I know what you're thinking innovation is so obvious andeveryone knows it produces growth but how do you do it well now I have somegood news creating new products and services is askill that can be learned like any other you and your team can create new ideasin a systematic repeatable way it's a method based on patterns that innovatorshave used for thousands of years business growth is so important becauseit also increases a country's economic growth that's why there's a constantspotlight on it your challenge and your biggest opportunity is to be seen assomeone willing to tackle it head-on you.

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