Consumer Discretionary

How to Make a Marketing Plan!

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<p style="text-align: justify;">Once you have the strategy &amp; the budgets in place, how does one go about allocating resources and building the actual execution plan? How do you decide how much to put in advertising, digital, print, radio, and new age media? Further, there are even more complicated questions, like do I want to put my money into advertising or consumer engagement? What about digital?</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The marketing plan steps to follow are often quite straight forward:<br />- What&rsquo;s my campaign objective?&nbsp;<br />- Roles of various media elements<br />- Mix of advertising vs. consumer engagement<br />- The marketing plan - connecting the dots</p><h2><span style="font-size: 14pt;">What&rsquo;s my Campaign Objective?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">While there can often be several types of campaign objectives, the most common ones are:<br />- &nbsp; &nbsp;To drive salience<br />- &nbsp; &nbsp;To drive consideration&nbsp;<br />- &nbsp; &nbsp;Or persuasion</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Now, frankly, all these objectives sound very similar but taking one at a time. A salience plan is usually a &lsquo;maintenance plan.&rsquo; You already have a strong brand that stands for something unique, and you want to use this opportunity to keep the brand and its proposition salient in people&rsquo;s minds.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">So, the salience plans are usually the simplest . You chase a medium with the highest reach and the most optimal cost &amp; go ahead and blast your creative edits. So, if Lux, a Cadbury Dairy Milk or a Coca Cola wishes to remind you, they will possibly build a salience plan.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The next kind of objectives is where you need to push just a little harder. So, you have a brand with fairly good awareness, but it&rsquo;s either more expensive than the competition or has benefits that are not as obvious.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">In such cases, just sharing your brand&rsquo;s message may not be good enough. That&rsquo;s when you start looking at additional media elements to shift consumer behavior. Hence, &nbsp;Kellogg&rsquo;s Breakfast Cereal, Gillette Mach 3 Razor Blades, or Tropicana Juice might need to invest here.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">And finally, the hardest working plans are those that need to drive persuasion or impact actual purchase. Definitely, the hardest working plans are required here, and action standards for the success of your campaigns are more black &amp; white in terms of Market Share Gain or Business Lift.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">So, a Saffola World Heart Day, HDFC Life Insurance, or an Automobile Company may be making more of these plans.</p><h2><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Role of Media Elements</span></h2><p>Next, we understand the various types of media elements at your disposal and the roles that each of them plays in helping you meet your campaign objectives.</p><h3><span style="font-size: 12pt;">TV / YouTube: </span></h3><p style="text-align: justify;">These are usually the highest reach and hence often the most impactful mediums. These are hence usually the lead media elements in any media plan. They offer you the highest reach at the lowest cost. These elements are defined as High Reach but Low Engagement. As in, they are simply used to send out messages and not receive messages.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">You view the content from these media devices passively without actually getting any direct response from the consumer. These are usually great for salience plans.</p><h3><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Radio/ Facebook: </span></h3><p style="text-align: justify;">Now, these make great secondary mediums of choice and are a great follow-up medium to the lead medium. These mediums are often defined as Moderate Scale but High Engagement as you can really engage the audience through polls, call-in discussions, encouraging conversations, etc.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">So, if you have a complicated proposition, you can use these mediums to have an engaging discussion. Hence, plans that are driving consideration usually invest here as well.</p><h3><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Print/ Outdoor/ Banner Ads on News Apps: </span></h3><p style="text-align: justify;">These mediums are usually quite expensive and often only used when you have exhausted your kitty in the first two buckets. These mediums have their specific advantages. For example, print is great at providing detailed information about your product, like in the case of a car or a property purchase.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">At the same time, outdoor is great at delivering a topical message, say a range of Diwali gift offers just before Diwali.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">I have elaborately used digital as a part of the types of elements, as digital offers a versatile way of delivering the same tasks at mainline media with limited budgets. However, I have always found mainline media choices to be more effective, provided you have the investment scale required to invest in them.</p><h3><span style="font-size: 12pt;">A Mix of Advertising vs. Consumer Engagement</span></h3><p style="text-align: justify;">The next piece to understand is figuring out the mix of advertising vs. <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customer_engagement">consumer engagement</a>. While both sound very similar at the end of the day, both are just about a brand engaging with consumers. &nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">However, the real difference between advertising &amp; consumer engagement is that advertising is about sending out your brand&rsquo;s proposition to the consumer. Expressing the identity of your brand and giving the consumer a unique reason to prefer your brand!</p><p style="text-align: justify;">And consumer engagement, on the other hand, is about figuring out what your consumer is passionate about &amp; being able to participate in that conversation in a manner that&rsquo;s expected from the brand.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Now, advertising is arguably more efficient and usually the first port of call. It can also be very efficiently executed by scale mediums like TV &amp; YouTube. This route is also the most efficient in growing awareness &amp; brand recall, especially for young brands.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">However, the moment your campaign objective becomes more complicated, or if you need to engineer a brand shift, the role of engagement grows. Engagement is also a great way of building brand loyalty and brand love, and hence a brand that engages regularly has more stickiness in the minds of the consumer.</p><h3><span style="font-size: 12pt;">The Marketing Plan &ndash; Connecting the Dots</span></h3><p style="text-align: justify;">So now, let me demonstrate how you will use the above thinking through a set of examples.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">1. &nbsp; &nbsp;If you are a large brand like Lux and want to keep your brand on the top of &nbsp;your consumer&rsquo;s mind you will regularly invest in TV through an edit that engages the consumer and a creative that is enjoyable to watch.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">2. &nbsp; &nbsp;At the same time, if you are a challenger brand that needs to disrupt competition and challenge existing views of the consumer, you will possibly rely on radio or digital to shake existing consumer views as Pepsi did in the US through their Taste Challenge where they challenged consumers on blind tasting Pepsi tastes better.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">3. &nbsp; &nbsp;Again, in terms of the more complicated services like Insurance, Real Estate, or Automobiles, the consumer usually demands a lot of convincing. That&rsquo;s where mediums like print become very effective, given the amount of information expected.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">4. &nbsp; &nbsp;For those times of the year, when you need to drive a massive amount of business in a very short period of time, topical, low scale mediums like Outdoor become very relevant, like in the times of Diwali with a large number of gifting &amp; clothing brands communicating their offers.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">5. &nbsp; &nbsp;Finally, you remember Ads only if they are impactful, but a consumer engagement that you ever participated in leaves a lasting impact, and hence that&rsquo;s where a Saffola World Heart Day, P&amp;G Share the Load, Gillette Women against Lazy stubble comes in and can often leave a lasting and longer-term impact that often spurs brand love &amp; loyalty.</p><h3><span style="font-size: 12pt;">In Conclusion</span></h3><p style="text-align: justify;">The media teams in any organization play a crucial role in helping the brand team make and execute exciting marketing plans. However, the process is always collaborative &amp; always starts with complete clarity on the brand &amp; campaign objectives. These initiatives usually end with metrics that are studied for business impact and shifts in consumer behavior.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">However, it&rsquo;s crucial for marketers to build sustainable long-term strategies that can be executed consistently for a lasting long-term impact.</p><p><em><span style="font-size: 10pt;">This <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/making-marketing-plan-saurabh-bajaj/">article</a> was contributed by our expert Saurabh Bajaj.</span></em></p><h3><span style="font-size: 18pt;">Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Saurabh Bajaj:</span></h3><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">1. What are the things to consider when making a marketing plan?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">The things to be considered are:<br />&bull; &nbsp; &nbsp;What is my Campaign Objective<br />&bull; &nbsp; &nbsp;Is the key task to Advertise my Proposition or to Engage with the Consumer<br />&bull; &nbsp; &nbsp;My Budget<br />&bull; &nbsp; &nbsp;Key Metrics of Evaluation that I am looking to Impact</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">2. What are the benefits of a marketing plan?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">A marketing plan ensures that we approach the task of impacting a consumer to drive business objectives in an objective &amp; systematic manner.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">3. Why is marketing plan important in an organization?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Consumer-facing investments are the key to profitable and consistent growth. A well-made marketing plan ensures those objectives are met.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">4. Why is media marketing important?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Choice of media ensures that the marketing plan doest remain in theory and meaningfully impacts the consumer through the right choice of media elements.</p>
KR Expert - Saurabh Bajaj