To Build Your Marketing House, Start With a Strong Foundation

by Jennifer Beever, Marketing Consultant
Copyright New Incite, All Rights Reserved

This article discusses how to build your marketing house-starting with a plan, then the foundation, adding marketing collateral on the first floor, doing outreach marketing on the second floor, and finally creating on-going image building and branding at the roof level.

Marketing Plan: the Architect’s Drawings

When you build a house, you usually have an architect draw up plans so that you don’t end up with one style on the first floor and another style at the top of the house. Architectural plans ensure proper structure and construction. Architectural plans are much like marketing plans. Marketing plans map out all the elements of your “house” so that anyone working on it can understand what they are supposed to do. Because it’s planned in advance, there are few surprises and everything is designed to work together.

Business Mission, Vision and Goals: the Foundation

Great marketing programs are based on a solid understanding of your business’s vision, mission and goals. If you haven’t taken time to ask the question, “who are we and what do we stand for?,” your marketing program will not be effective. The mission, vision, and goals are like the foundation that a house stands on. If the foundation is weak or ill defined, your house can’t stand up.

Many businesses fail to clearly identify their vision, mission, and goals. They also fail to understand their marketplace and their competition and position themselves accordingly. They may think that marketing means creating a brochure here and an ad there with no consideration as to how integrated or in concert the different messages are.

To build a solid foundation for your business’s marketing, you need to conduct appropriate field and empirical research from which you can develop a strategic marketing plan. By analyzing your market, competitors and client base, you can develop a marketing strategy that provides you with competitive advantage and allows you to leverage your strengths.

Marketing Collateral: the First Floor

Once your strategic plan has been developed and the foundation of your marketing house has been poured and set, you can begin building the first story by creating effective marketing collateral, including a logo, stationery, brochures, websites, presentation templates and trade show booths. These basic marketing materials are for use in day-to-day business activities to promote your company and its products or services, much like the first floor of the house is often for general, day-to-day use, including the kitchen and common living areas. If your company’s foundation is strong, the first floor (the marketing collateral) will be strong as well.

Direct Response Marketing: the Second Floor

Marketing collateral, by itself, is static and will have limited results. That’s why, on top of your marketing collateral, you must conduct direct response marketing campaigns. Elements of this campaign carry the vision, mission, and goals, and also reflect the “look and feel” of the logo, stationery, brochures, web site, and other materials. Direct response marketing is the second floor of your marketing house.

Direct response campaigns are targeted to different target markets, much like the bedrooms of a house are customized to their specific occupants. Direct response campaigns are an extension of your business’s marketing collateral. Direct response activities include advertising, direct mail, online marketing activities such as email campaigns, trade shows, and articles printed in trade journals.

On-Going Branding and Public Relations: the Roof

The roof is sometimes the most visible part of the house-it is a natural extension to the style that your marketing house is built in. The roof protects the house in the long term-from sun and the rain-much like public relations and on-going branding activities protect a company from deterioration of its image, including losing marketing identity and crumbling to the competition.

On-going branding and public relations protect the rest of the marketing program-ensuring that the life of your marketing program is as long as possible.

On-going branding and public relations activities include sponsorship of events, press in trade journals and other publications, and seminars to educate the public and customers or clients.

Build your marketing house starting with a strong foundation and superior construction, and you’ll find your business results and, eventually, your resale value will be that much greater.

Author Jennifer Beever is a marketing consultant and founder of New Incite Marketing Analysis and Design. New Incite is the outsource marketing resource for growing businesses. The company provides marketing planning, implementation, results tracking and organizational development services for its clients. Contact Jennifer at 818-347-4248 or by email.

This article may be reprinted with permission of the author. Please contact Jennifer Beever at 818-347-4248 or by email for permission. Proper acknowledgement of the author, including name, company, and contact information, must be made with use.