11 pins on a roadmap to marketing success

In the business world there are proven processes and mindsets that when integrated, will guide your business down its own path of prosperity. For 33 years Powerhouse Advertising has refined these processes according to what we have found works, for all brands alike. This article and our presentation-fueled website is our way of giving back to the world of marketing. It’s not standard text book stuff, although it will make perfect sense to most marketing people – it’s about how to use these tools.

The best way to reveal our roadmap to success is to imagine a complete rebranding and reinventing of a company…

I’ll never forget my marketing lecturer’s first words to the students, “Marketing IS business.” These simple words stuck with me because I’ve seen that effective marketing is linked to all the other parts of a business, including internal culture. I’ve noticed that people often make the initial mistake of putting advertising and (1) brand design in “The centre of the mind map.” when trying to solve a marketing problem forgetting that design is only one aspect of brand communication and should always be guided by logical STRATEGY.

Strategy however, is still not the ideal starting point because a real game changer starts with INSIGHT into business complexities, capabilities and more importantly, potential.

At Powerhouse Advertising we start by gaining insight into a business problem – one of our preferred ways is to have communicative strategy sessions with our clients. This gets everyone involved in the brand’s development and aligned to its ethos, image and commitments that it has to its stakeholders. This results in a more inspired, focussed and accountable workforce for both parties. – (2) Brand building, inside out, the foundation on which we build meaningful strategy from which, profitable creativity emerges.

It is vital to bear in mind that brands are not just selling products – they are also selling a belief within the organisation. If the right internal passion is created and fully harnessed, it will stimulate sales and increase customer loyalty. This is based on the fact that even though you may report on your brand equity, you don’t own it. Branding inside out starts with including your team in formulating strategic positioning and direction. It is completed by aligning the entire team in execution.

(3) Segmenting and targeting is the next pin in the roadmap which involves the discovering of key target market profiles. This market analysis makes it easier to understand how they wish to be communicated with. So how do you get a clear picture? – Enter their headspace. Once the target market is understood and blind spots have been identified, the fun begins.

(4) Brand Positioning – How a brand is perceived in the mind of the consumer.

Powerhouse’s process firstly considers the products/services of a brand, more specifically, the functional and emotional benefits of its offerings. The brand personality is then defined and enhanced based on this information and importantly, the hygiene factors, differentiators and unique selling propositions of the company. During this process, the brand essence, promise, logo and slogan are reviewed so that their effectiveness may be improved upon whilst considering all the substantiators that relate to these elements.

Keep in mind that, “Boundaries.” can only be dissolved once you know where they lie. A proven tool we use to contextualize a brand in relation to key competitors is the strategy canvas. Utilising this allows us to identify or create the brand’s (5) Blue Ocean Space (Uncontested market space.) and then incorporate it into the value proposition for each market sector.

Once the key value drivers and the competitive landscape have been assessed, a (6) marketing plan is developed accordingly. A good marketing plan details what a company will do in terms of the 4 C’s, sometimes still referred to as the 4 P’s which we do not use because it is not customer-centric.

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An effective (7) communications strategy, including key messaging and an appropriately crafted (8) media plan is developed in alignment to the pricing strategy and are essential components of the marketing plan.

(9) Advertising campaigns form part of the communications strategy and are effective only when they are integrated (One voice), have innovative media solutions on all relevant platforms and include powerful calls to action.

Powerful creative ideas or, “Golden threads” which link the brand personality to the target market are formed and stitched based on resonance between the brands personality and its target market. What makes these threads golden is the fact that they are relevant, appealing and contain important (10) emotive triggers (See: The art of, “Emotivation.” – driving action)

In this age of instant communication, social-media platforms may function as powerful marketing tools (Word of mouse marketing and lead generation.) if maintained and interacted with effectively. That being said, social-media platforms have varying degrees of effectiveness depending on brand personality and the industry in which it exists.

It is highly beneficial to keep a brand’s (11) Public Relations story interesting, entertaining and respectable because that will create and leverage positive attitudes whilst minimising negative opinion.

The ultimate goal for Powerhouse Advertising is to increase our clients’ profitability, whether it’s through enhancing business strategies, improving brand perceptions/communication or both. We build brands in a multi-dimensional way so that they benefit not only from strong calls to action but also from the butterfly effect that positive word of mouth advertising has.

Your growth, our success.