Not only is this workshop is packed full of tools and knowledge for any executives who could use a brush up, training, or review of their Marketing Planning skills … Reviewing existing state-of-the-art Marketing Planning, but it ALSO also introduces new, evolving and breakthrough approaches to Marketing Planning that represent cutting-edge in Marketing science.

The course goes far beyond a revisit to a marketing planning template… embracing the issues around development and implementation ‘hurdles’ that all organisations face.

A leading FMCG executive described the my last workshop as, “One of the most insightful conference/trainings that I have attended for long time” and I’m hoping savvy executives will be equally as happy in the aftermath of attending “CREATING BREAKTHROUGH MARKETING PLANS THAT WORK!”.

If you are not at liberty to attend, why not tip-off anyone else who might be keen to do so? Click here for the PDF with more info http://j.mp/MkgPlnWS

An ‘early-bird’ discount expires at Xmas, so it might be best if you act right away…

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What about the future?

November 20, 2013

Many businesses reach the height of their success just before they expire. Why?

Under the operational umbrella, they they have learned rights and wrongs, developed an understanding for their strengths and weaknesses, developed quality networks, and streamlined efficiencies.

Under the strategic umbrella, leadership and management are starved of skills.

Ignorance, being blissful – until things go wrong – remains in tact. Management blames the economy, their workforce, their trade channels, their advertising agencies, even their customers, for their demise.

The truth is they do NOT know what strategy is. They do not have strategic skills. They have not managed, or planned, strategically.

A decent strategic marketing plan protects against an adverse future, in fact it creates a utopian one.

A decent strategic marketing plan understands industry dynamics, capitalises upon competitive circumstances, caters for and creates opportunity in economic change, and prepares an organisation for evolutionary adaption to new market forces.

Life cycle stage analysis is a crucial element of strategic marketing. So is product portfolio management. So is brand portfolio management. So is trend analysis. Tracking change in market and segments alike is mandatory for strategic planning.

I was once told by the CEO of Australia’s biggest software and hardware distributor at the time (with 75% market share), “We write a marketing plan in 3 weeks”. They went broke within 2 years.

I once expressed concern to Australia’s biggest Office Equipment supplier that they needed to think about Strategic Marketing. The Sales Director replied, “Don’t talk to me about ‘marketing’, we just need to get out there and sell!” They collapsed into liquidation 18 months later.

I counselled a company for three years in photographic services and forewarned them of changes to consumer behaviour. Their CEO said, “This company has been going 44 years, and you think you can predict its demise.” Four years later he, and his business, were dead.

National Account managers in FMCG, senior consultants in global consultancies, CEO’s of multi-nationals… all can fall into the trap of mistaking tactics for strategies: Perceiving operational skills as strategic ones, with impressive success camouflaging the absence of outstanding success.

When a business becomes bullet proof, immortal, and self-perpetuating; even then there can be no rest. This is (traditionally) when the smooth talkers, diplomats and bureaucrats – overshadowing the gifted strategic thinker – win Board level roles.

Insightfullness, the ability to see the future with clarity, the skills to determine what factors are relevant, crucial or significant, is not necessarily accompanied by charisma, diplomacy, or graciousness.

It takes a brilliant mind, wisdom of the ages, entrepreneurial spirit and great basic training to lead a company to a dominant future.

This is the aspiration great leaders must envisage and pursue. This is how CEO’s should be assessed and evaluated, and rewarded. For my money, it’s ALL about the future.

[Anyone wanting to know more about strategic planning should go to: http://j.mp/markstrat ]

Sometimes, it seems like people have forgotten that a marketing plan should be a clear and concise set of directions that, if followed correctly, ensure you achieve or exceed your goals.
So many marketing plans end up being a report of where the business is now, or a weak wish-list of what the writer thinks might be as good a guess as any.
While many businesses accept the importance of a marketing plan, few know where to start or the questions to ask to build this comprehensive and powerful business tool.
Partly this is because few marketing planners actually have a decent marketing planning template or marketing planning workbook on which they can craft and build a winning marketing plan. See this blog for more>> http://wp.me/pO33U-1r
With literally thousands of awful, limited, and distracting documents offered on the web, all promising they represent a decent marketing plan template, the problem is magnified. Discriminating planners find these are not written by marketing planners, or those whose marketing planning skills and talent have much to be desired. The documents offered appear to be plagiarised extracts from basic business textbooks, devoid of commercial marketing planning functionality.
Since rising to Marketing Manager level in the mid 80’s, I’ve learned, the hard way, how to put together marketing plans that work, and have written around 30 marketing plans since then: 3 were not implemented due to politics of weak management, every other one succeeded.
Since my current consulting firm, Launch Engineering, has been going, we’ve seen frequent occurrences where an aspiring entrepreneur, middle management, marketing executive, or a frustrated COO brings us their marketing plan built upon a generic marketing plan template they’ve wasted weeks of their valuable time trying to fit their business into: The structure of a marketing plan template they have acquired, having distracted them from the key, specific and individual issues that may make or break them.
After seeing this over and over we said to ourselves, “There needs to be a better option for marketing planners.” So we set about empowering marketing planners to identify the real issues and key variables to build proper marketing plans. We built a professional’s marketing planning workbook.
Sharing this with key clients across diverse industries such as banking, telecommunications, infant nutrition, tobacco, international air transport and fashion retailing, this marketing planning workbook has proven to be universally applicable for building marketing plans that are relevant and individual, while being concise and implementable.”
As a non-profit endeavour, we simply called it “the Ultimate Marketing Planning Workbook”, an Excel formatted document of over 30 individual worksheets that force the marketing planner to explore the pertinent issues, and dismiss irrelevancy. Marketing Plans evolve from the workbook’s output of isolating the key issues and identifying the tactics, resources, and strategies necessary to achieve marketing objectives.
Peers, colleagues and even a few clients says the tool is worth its weight in gold and that making it available at a nominal price doesn’t indicate its true value.
However, in an effort to enlighten struggling marketing executives, and raise the bar (so to speak) we decided to release it for only the fulfilment/processing cost.
Anyone who is less than 100% satisfied with their marketing plans will find using this workbook a dream.
Give it a try, go to: http://bit.ly/mktgplan

Nothing beats a good plan…

December 13, 2010

Anyone who has assembled an IKEA product KNOWS the importance of a good set of instructions.

A proper marketing plan, for small or global operations, should be a complete set of instructions that shows the reader EXACTLY how to complete the outcome that they set out to achieve.  A proper marketing plan nominates every step, clearly and concisely, how to arrive at the result you set.

Better than an IKEA set of instructions, a proper marketing plan tells you everything you need to know… what tools and resources you’ll need, what contingencies to be wary of AND what to do if you experience them, what time period the process will consume and what circumstances around you might impede your progress.

Sadly, most templates and examples on the Internet are poor excuses for marketing plans and price is not a yardstick of quality. In fact, most web templates are likely to constrain, interfere and distract from development of a proper marketing plan… because EVERY business is unique.

What makes it harder is that good marketing planners are made not born, so experience and formal training are each as important as the other… a bit like brain surgery or space travel.

There are four parts of a proper marketing plan:

1.    The ‘where are we now?’: Before you know where you are going, and to get to where you want to be, you have to know where you are now…. This means an objective market assessment, understanding of customer, competitor and market segments, your capabilities and competencies, but also the dynamics of the world that are out of your control and how they are likely to effect you.

2.    Very few pioneers set out without a planned destination – and made it home! Setting mission and vision, nominating your purpose and reason for being is one of the most crucial and significant factors in successful business longevity.

3.    The ‘how are we going to get there?” There are ALWAYS choices In travel we have plane trains and automobiles. In marketing we have

4.    What how do we monitor progress and control variance? Few marketing plans even consider contingency, sensitivities, and vigilance.

Embracing the fourth pillar of planning, is insurance against failure.

The BEST way to develop a marketing plan is to write it from scratch. The worst way is to try and edit the very disappointing marketing templates you find splashed across the internet.

So bad are these, that the team at Launch Engineering developed a marketing planning workbook to help people in the DIY marketing planning space.

Have a look at

http://www.launchengineering.com/MarketingPlanTemplate.htm