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What Makes A Great Marketing Program?
Components & Differentiators

I'm often asked, "What makes your programs so successful?"
My answer:  A proven business model!

Each Marketing Program that I develop - regardless of whether it is international, national, or regional - includes six finite stages:           

  1.    Quantify the Program Objective & Strategy
  2.    Specify Target Audiences; Secure Lists
  3.    Develop a Menu of Suitable Tactics
  4.    Finalize Offer to Create Action; Test
  5.    Execute Selected Tactics; Pilot
  6.    Measure Effectiveness 

1.   Quantify the Program Objective & Strategy 

    The Program Objectives must be clearly stated and agreed upon, such as 

             *     Sell X units by a certain timeframe;
             *     Increase market share by Y points; or
             *     Recruit Z retailers by a certain date.   

            The Strategies are also very specific, and explain how the Program
            objectives will be achieved, for example 

             *     Develop new qualified database of X end-user prospects by date;
             *     Reposition product as aggressive #2; or
             *     Create interest for appointments with telesales person. 

2.   Specify Target Audiences; Secure Lists 

    The target audience(s) is (are) accurately specified in terms of demographics, current perceptions, and personal pains and/or needs.  I also detail how they currently receive market data.  (No sense in a fax-back campaign if the target audience(s) don't use fax machines!) 

            I can research, acquire, and merge/purge lists for immediate use.

3.   Develop A Menu of Suitable Tactics 

    The tactical options can sometimes look like a Chinese menu, since the list features so many different tactics that can be employed to achieve the stated strategies. I frequently use a combination of the these types of tactics, specifying how each would be used, and the cost for: 

             *     Advertising                  *      public relations techniques
             *     Customer testimonials  *     slide-charts
             *     Direct marketing            *      telemarketing              
             *     Incentives                     *     toll-free information numbers
             *     Phone cards                *      trade show and special events
             *     POP displays                *      website microsites                       

    And there are more tactics! 

4.   Finalize Offer to Create Action; Test 

In order to be successful, each program must have an offer that has been tested for accuracy.  Due to time and budget constraints, this stage is normally accomplished without focus groups... but focus groups can be included if time permits.  This stage includes 

             *     Message(s) and offer development
             *     Message(s) and offer testing 

5.   Execute Selected Tactics; Pilot 

    Once the specific tactics are selected, you choose whether you want me to execute them in collaboration with or independent of the marketing team. (This decision usually depends upon time constraints, budget and team experience.) Then I create and maintain a specific tactical timetable, specifying everyone's responsibilities. 

    Contrary to agency non-disclosures, you are furnished with contact and pricing information for each subcontractor selected, so these tactics can be repeated in the future. 

    If time allows, I always recommend pilot programs to test the Program's effectiveness.  Pilot programs are usually delivered to a geographical cut of the target audience several months prior to Program launch.  This game plan reduces risk and often discloses hidden objections and/or mechanical issues. 

6.   Measure Effectiveness 

    The only way you know if you have been successful is when you measure the Program results vs. the Program Objective(s). This stage serves as a success barometer, and enables the team to constructively criticize program components for further enhancement. 

    Is it true that you only learn by your mistakes?  You bet!!!  I've made plenty of "misjudgments" over the last 25 years.  Don't suffer from the same errors - hire an experienced marketing program contractor!

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