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Writing a Killer Marketing Plan

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Writing a Killer Marketing Plan: How to Get The Authority to Go Along with Your Accountability by Mark Hammitt at SVPMA Monthly Event March 2007

Writing a Killer Marketing Plan: How to Get The Authority to Go Along with Your Accountability by Mark Hammitt at SVPMA Monthly Event March 2007

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  • 1. Writing a Killer Marketing Plan - or - How to get the authority to go along with your accountabilityMark HammittPrincipal, Crossbridge LLC mark@crossbridge.com
  • 2. What does this guy know about it? 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2006 2007© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 3. Purpose• Quid Pro Quo: “You give me certain resources; I’ll deliver a corresponding revenue forecast.”• Key elements – revenue forecast – budget request – overview of how the resources will be used – explanation of why this should work© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 4. Why write one?• From your perspective – You get more resources – Establishes you as the person in charge• From the organization’s perspective – Improves critical thinking – Tightens connection to underlying facts – Clarifies direction, leading to crisper execution – Enhances creativity – Addresses CEOs’ complaints about marketing© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 5. McKinsey survey• Among the top criticisms: – Inconsistent – Undisciplined – Not accountable• “More than half of those interviewed were underwhelmed by their marketers’ analytical skills.”• Many CEOs “expressed frustration at being asked for funds in the absence of -- or even in contradiction to -- data regarding the proposed initiatives.”© Crossbridge“A Credibility Gap For Marketers,” The McKinsey Quarterly, 2005, No. 2 Source: LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 6. Disconnects• Temporal: Business practices appropriate to 1999, not 2007 > The market has changed; we need to treat it accordingly• Empirical: Plans aren’t supported by data > Base strategies and tactics on facts, even if they’re anecdotes• Effectual: Skepticism that marketing earns its keep > Marketing needs to regain lost credibility© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 7. What Happened?• Divided responsibilities• High tech exceptionalism – “Things move too quickly”• Hedging instincts• Breaks in the oral tradition – Overfishing in the ‘90s• Political resistance• PowerPoint© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 8. Political ecosystem CEO/CFO Strategic Support Planning Quality Legal Assurance Corporate Engineering Marketing Ad Agency MarCom Product Product Development marketing management Marketing Services Research Business Channels Dev. Sales© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 9. Whose responsibility?Arguments favoring product Arguments favoring productmarketing management– Controls outbound resources – Controls the chief basis for– Frequent customer contact competition– Wide access to internal touchpoints – Deep understanding of the customer – Greater credibility with critical stakeholders© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 10. Before you start• Know the current budget cycle – make sure you’re just ahead of it• Give your boss a heads up – slightly downplay expectations• Find out if anybody else is doing something perceived as similar – if so, you have an “entrenched incumbent” problem• Determine your product’s role in the corporate strategy© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 11. Things to keep in mind as you write• Get the granularity right• This is insider stuff – assume a knowledgeable audience – don’t pull punches – … but remember that all documents are discoverable• Try to avoid repeating a figure, apart from the summary• Tone: serious and direct, without being formal – – eliminate intensifiers – remember your Tufte© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 12. Example• Second Degree Systems• Uses cell signals to identify people who may have witnessed or committed a crime• Technology creates Eigenvectors for nearby mobile phones that are compared with those for known criminal behavior• Systems need to be calibrated by law enforcement• Delivery is a managed services model• Beta 2004; FCS 2005 download at: www.crossbridge.com/marketingplan© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 13. StructureI. Summary 3. Context (continued) 1.1 Scope 3.4 Competition 1.2 Funding request 1.3 Targets 4. Overall Strategy 1.4 Major issues & initiatives 4.1 Target audiences 4.2 Positioning2. Objectives 4.3 Marketing strategies 2.1 Review of performance 2.2 Discussion of variance 5. Specific Plans 2.3 Forecast 5.1 Planned activities 2.4 Other objectives 5.2 Risks and contingencies 5.3 Timing3. Context 5.4 Dependencies 3.1 Market 3.2 Segments 6. Budget Summary 3.3 Customer base © Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 14. Timing selective pre-approval socialization 3. context iterative approval process extensive post-approval socialization 5.1 activities 5.1 activities 4. strategy float trial balloon by boss, controller, and counterpart 5.4 dependency sign-offs set expectations with boss 5.2-3 risks, assess current planning process timing gather inputs 2. objectives 6. budget roll-up week 1 week 2 week 3 1. summary© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 15. Context Summary Context Specifics Objectives Strategy Budget• Purpose: to lay a factual foundation 3.1 Market 3.1.1 Definition about the market, customer base, and 3.1.2 Size & growth competition 3.1.3 Trends & outlook 3.1.4 Key developments• Tip 3.2 Segments – Resist temptation to regurgitate everything 3.2.1 Definitions & size you know. Include only the information that 3.2.2 Awareness, attitudes is relevant or standard in your company. 3.2.3 Purchase logic 3.3 Customer base 3.3.1 Segments 3.3.2 Satisfaction, attrition 3.4 Competition 3.4.1 Shares, profiles 3.4.2 New developments 3.4.3 Attribute comparison© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved. 3.4.4 S.W.O.T.
  • 16. Context Summary Context Specifics Objectives Strategy Budget• Markets for truly new products are 3.1 Market 3.1.1 Definition tricky to define 3.1.2 Size & growth – rely on sales estimates for related 3.1.3 Trends & outlook 3.1.4 Key developments products or indirect competitors 3.2 Segments 3.2.1 Definitions & size 3.2.2 Awareness, attitudes 3.2.3 Purchase logic 3.3 Customer base 3.3.1 Segments 3.3.2 Satisfaction, attrition 3.4 Competition 3.4.1 Shares, profiles 3.4.2 New developments 3.4.3 Attribute comparison© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved. 3.4.4 S.W.O.T.
  • 17. Context Summary Context Specifics Objectives Strategy Budget• Slice and dice the market in whatever 3.1 Market 3.1.1 Definition ways are meaningful 3.1.2 Size & growth – industry, size, geography, age, etc. 3.1.3 Trends & outlook 3.1.4 Key developments• Opportunity to include primary or 3.2 Segments secondary research on buying behavior 3.2.1 Definitions & size• “Purchase logic” describes why and 3.2.2 Awareness, attitudes 3.2.3 Purchase logic how people buy your product. 3.3 Customer base – differences are the most meaningful basis 3.3.1 Segments for segmentation 3.3.2 Satisfaction, attrition 3.4 Competition 3.4.1 Shares, profiles 3.4.2 New developments 3.4.3 Attribute comparison© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved. 3.4.4 S.W.O.T.
  • 18. Context Summary Context Specifics Objectives Strategy Budget• Customer segments should generally 3.1 Market 3.1.1 Definition follow market segments 3.1.2 Size & growth – compare compositions (market vs. 3.1.3 Trends & outlook 3.1.4 Key developments customer base) 3.2 Segments 3.2.1 Definitions & size 3.2.2 Awareness, attitudes 3.2.3 Purchase logic 3.3 Customer base 3.3.1 Segments 3.3.2 Satisfaction, attrition 3.4 Competition 3.4.1 Shares, profiles 3.4.2 New developments 3.4.3 Attribute comparison© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved. 3.4.4 S.W.O.T.
  • 19. Context Summary Context Specifics Objectives Strategy Budget• S.W.O.T. is always from the perspective 3.1 Market 3.1.1 Definition of your product. 3.1.2 Size & growth – Your product’s weaknesses vs. those of 3.1.3 Trends & outlook 3.1.4 Key developments one or more competitors. 3.2 Segments 3.2.1 Definitions & size 3.2.2 Awareness, attitudes 3.2.3 Purchase logic 3.3 Customer base 3.3.1 Segments 3.3.2 Satisfaction, attrition 3.4 Competition 3.4.1 Shares, profiles 3.4.2 New developments 3.4.3 Attribute comparison© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved. 3.4.4 S.W.O.T.
  • 20. Specific Plans Summary Context Specifics Objectives Strategy Budget• Purpose: To describe the revenue- 5.1 Planned activities 5.1.1 value creation building activities for the product that… 5.1.2 awareness – address key issues, many of which were 5.1.3 value reinforcement 5.1.4 lead generation described in Context 5.1.5 lead conversion – are consistent with the Objectives and 5.1.6 services Strategy sections 5.1.7 international 5.1.8 internal comm. – are thematically grouped 5.2 Risks & contingencies• Source of Volume analysis applies 5.3 Timing mainly to volume-based businesses 5.3.1 product road map 5.3.2 marketing activities 5.4 Interdependencies 5.5 [Source of Volume]© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 21. Specific Plans Summary Context Specifics Objectives Strategy Budget• Themes are highly specific to the product 5.1 Planned activities 5.1.1 value creation• Elements 5.1.2 awareness 5.1.3 value reinforcement – critical issue 5.1.4 lead generation examples – activit(ies) 5.1.5 lead conversion – who’s responsible 5.1.6 services 5.1.7 international – timing as applicable 5.1.8 internal comm. – budget request 5.2 Risks & contingencies• Tips 5.3 Timing 5.3.1 product road map – keep the details in subordinate plans: 5.3.2 marketing activities marcom, sales, channels, etc. 5.4 Dependencies – try to use 1-3 simple, declarative sentences per point© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 22. Overall Strategy Summary Context Specifics Objectives Strategy Budget• Purpose: to introduce overarching 4.1 Target audiences 4.1.1 customer prospects messages and to cluster activities into a [4.1.2 financial markets] few commonly accepted themes 4.1.3 technology analysts 4.1.4 partner prospects 4.2 Positioning 4.2.1 statements 4.2.2 key messages 4.3 Marketing strategies 4.4 Channel strategies© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 23. Overall Strategy Summary Context Specifics Objectives Strategy Budget• What different kinds of prospects or 4.1 Target audiences 4.1.1 customer prospects buying influences are you targeting? [4.1.2 financial markets] 4.1.3 technology analysts 4.1.4 partner prospects 4.2 Positioning 4.2.1 statements 4.2.2 key messages 4.3 Marketing strategies 4.4 Channel strategies© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 24. Overall Strategy Summary Context Specifics Objectives Strategy Budget• Positioning 4.1 Target audiences 4.1.1 customer prospects – meaningful to targets [4.1.2 financial markets] – differentiating 4.1.3 technology analysts – supportable 4.1.4 partner prospects – sustainable 4.2 Positioning – does not have to double as a tagline 4.2.1 statements 4.2.2 key messages• Messages 4.3 Marketing strategies – e.g., value proposition 4.4 Channel strategies© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 25. Overall Strategy Summary Context Specifics Objectives Strategy Budget• Examples: 4.1 Target audiences 4.1.1 customer prospects – invest in developing Asian markets [4.1.2 financial markets] – deny market access to competitor 4.1.3 technology analysts – acquire complementary technology to 4.1.4 partner prospects complete software stack 4.2 Positioning – accelerate development of differentiating 4.2.1 statements technology 4.2.2 key messages – increase awareness and trial in EMEA 4.3 Marketing strategies – preferentially develop platinum channel 4.4 Channel strategies partners in North America© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 26. Specific Plans Summary Context Specifics Objectives Strategy Budget• Get agreement from counterparts your 5.1 Planned activities 5.1.1 value creation forecast depends upon 5.1.2 awareness – explicit email from them is best 5.1.3 value reinforcement 5.1.4 lead generation – email to them documenting your 5.1.5 lead conversion understanding is O.K. 5.1.6 services 5.1.7 international• Tips 5.1.8 internal comm. – don’t scare them with formality 5.2 Risks & contingencies – use it, if you can, to showcase buy-in and 5.3 Timing to let others pursue pet projects 5.3.1 product road map 5.3.2 marketing activities 5.4 Dependencies© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 27. Specific Plans Summary Context Specifics Objectives Strategy Budget• Risk is a function of… 5.1 Planned activities 5.1.1 value creation – the probability that something will happen 5.1.2 awareness – the impact if it happens 5.1.3 value reinforcement 5.1.4 lead generation• Significance = probability x impact 5.1.5 lead conversion 5.1.6 services• Before the fact: ameliorate 5.1.7 international – reduce the probability, the impact, or both 5.1.8 internal comm.• After the fact: create contingencies 5.2 Risks & contingencies 5.3 Timing• Tips 5.3.1 product road map – include an estimated probability 5.3.2 marketing activities – get air cover by soliciting others 5.4 Dependencies© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 28. Specific Plans Summary Context Specifics Objectives Strategy Budget• Internal road map 5.1 Planned activities 5.1.1 value creation• Graphic of salient activities 5.1.2 awareness 5.1.3 value reinforcement• Tip 5.1.4 lead generation – Put your most precious activities in Q1 or 5.1.5 lead conversion Q2, and try to pre-pay a portion of Q4 5.1.6 services 5.1.7 international activities 5.1.8 internal comm. 5.2 Risks & contingencies 5.3 Timing 5.3.1 product road map 5.3.2 marketing activities 5.4 Dependencies© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 29. Objectives Summary Context Specifics Objectives Strategy Budget• Purpose: 2.1 Review of current per- formance against plan – To document what you will deliver for the 2.1.1 revenues company if your plan is approved 2.1.2 market share – To account for any difference between this 2.1.3 other objectives year’s actual results and what was 2.2 Discussion of variance forecast 2.3 Forecast 2.3.1 quarterly revenue, by product line 2.3.2 quarterly revenue, by channel 2.3.3 market share 2.4 Other objectives© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 30. Objectives Summary Context Specifics Objectives Strategy Budget• Don’t mince words 2.1 Review of current per- formance against plan• You may hear that there’s as much 2.1.1 revenues shame in being above plan as being 2.1.2 market share 2.1.3 other objectives below it. 2.2 Discussion of variance 2.3 Forecast Don’t believe it. 2.3.1 quarterly revenue, by product line 2.3.2 quarterly revenue, by channel 2.3.3 market share 2.4 Other objectives© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 31. Objectives Summary Context Specifics Objectives Strategy Budget• Sales will have their own forecast, but 2.1 Review of current per- formance against plan so must you, and it will probably be 2.1.1 revenues different 2.1.2 market share 2.1.3 other objectives (remember: marketing’s actions matter) 2.2 Discussion of variance 2.3 Forecast 2.3.1 quarterly revenue, by product line 2.3.2 quarterly revenue, by channel 2.3.3 market share 2.4 Other objectives© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 32. Objectives Summary Context Specifics Objectives Strategy Budget• Examples 2.1 Review of current per- formance against plan – awareness 2.1.1 revenues – trial % 2.1.2 market share 2.1.3 other objectives – penetration into a new market 2.2 Discussion of variance – awards 2.3 Forecast – press mentions 2.3.1 quarterly revenue, – Web hits by product line – leads 2.3.2 quarterly revenue, by channel – account mix 2.3.3 market share – … 2.4 Other objectives© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 33. Budget Summary Summary Context Specifics Objectives Strategy Budget• Roll-up of requested discretionary 6.1 Budget request spending and incremental headcount 6.2 Sensitivity analysis• Cluster into related categories and separate by quarter© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 34. Budget Summary Summary Context Specifics Objectives Strategy Budget• Estimate a reasonable floor and ceiling 6.1 Budget request 6.2 Sensitivity analysis budget max = incremental incomeprojected risk multiplier perceived income resources© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 35. Summary Summary Context Specifics Objectives Strategy Budget• Besides its obvious function, this 1.1 Products covered section defines the scope of the plan 1.2 Funding request 1.2.1 total 1.2.2 qtrly, by category 1.2.3 qtrly, by region 1.3 Targets, year-end 1.3.1 revenues 1.3.2 market share 1.4 Major issues and initiatives© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 36. Aftermath• Ensure its survival beyond the nest – Get it immediately and transparently into the hands of your highest- placed allies who have at least some need to know – Consider using some form of document control• Maintain the integrity of the resources/results relationship – Negotiate in good faith – Don’t stand on principle• Socialization – Prepare a sanitized deck: you’ll need it© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.
  • 37. Q&A© Crossbridge LLC 2007, All rights reserved.

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