Sep 28, 2012

Always Use a GPS: Marketing Plans as Roadmaps for Your Company

You wouldn’t go on a road trip to a far off land without some kind of map or GPS.  Similarly, you wouldn’t implement a marketing strategy without a plan outlining benefits, costs, etc.  A marketing plan is an essential part of any marketing strategy and acts as a road map for your company’s marketing efforts. 

As an intern here at LEAP, I have been thrust into the business world, observing how a well-run digital advertising agency works.  I have learned a lot of valuable information that I often take back into the classroom.  One thing that I am going to be working on this semester as Client Development intern is creating and helping implement a marketing plan for a client.  Not only is this a great portfolio piece, but it will help me understand marketing strategy and how to implement that strategy efficiently.

Here are some of the classroom marketing concepts I’ve applied when discussing building client marketing strategy at LEAP:

  • SWOT Analysis – your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  This includes examining the competitive climate.  What are your competitors doing well that you can do better?  What are some of your strengths that you can capitalize on to make the most of your marketing plan?  SWOT involves seeing how you’re doing, what you could do better, and what you need to be doing that you aren’t doing already. At LEAP we present this information to our clients as a competitive analysis focused on the specific marketing services we are providing.
  • Market Segmentation – Once you have pinpointed your target market(s), you will need to divide these markets into segment that share common characteristics.  This segmentation will help with your brand differentiation strategy within the industry. Understanding a client’s voices and target audience helps LEAP to create strategy, specifically for clients using our social media, PR, PPC or display advertising services.
  • Marketing Mix– Remember the 4 P’s.  Product, Price, Promotion, and Place.  These are crucial when you are looking at what makes your brand better than your competitor’s.  You can’t change the competitor’s strategy, but you can change the 4 P’s to offer a more lucrative option. As a full-service digital agency, LEAP understands these 4 P’s and works with clients to develop long-term strategies aimed at long-term success.
  • Short and Long term projections – What do you expect your marketing strategy to do for your company?  These are the projections that you foresee when implementing both short term and long term strategies. LEAP works with their clients to review goals for strategies and implements monthly reporting to help track the progress of meeting those goals.

At LEAP, or any advertising agency for that matter, it is important to give the clients a clear view of what we can do to help them reach their goals.  This is where the marketing plan comes in.  As an intern, I’m still learning a lot of the strategy that goes into making a project successful.  From social media strategy to web development, a good marketing plan will set goals for the client and illustrate what can be done to achieve those goals.

LEAP has taught me the value of having an integrated marketing strategy across all marketing channels. Brands and clients can benefit from agencies by having a resource that provides them with efficient processes that work towards their goals. I look forward to dazzling my professors this semester with the real-world experience I have learned from LEAP. The learning hasn’t stopped here – more to come!

 

Contributed by Sabrina Wellendorff, Client Development Intern