What makes you tick?

Foundations for a solid marketing strategy

Brooke Ashman | Global Marketing Strategist
3 mins
I love the hope and anticipation you get at the start of a new financial year. Bring on that fresh set of targets, that burst of energy. The drive to look ahead, mix things up, and deliver a smashing marketing plan.

All that verve and hard work will be for nothing, though, if you don’t have a crystal-clear idea of who you are – and where you’re going. You need a shared purpose that your entire team can articulate.

Don’t have it, or think it could be clearer? Here are a few tools we use when working with brands to bring everything into a sharper focus. We believe they’re things you should do every year to stay on course.

Think of them as a bit of spring cleaning for your brand.

Situational analysis

First, it’s important to take stock. What does your brand stand for? Where do you want to position yourself in the market? Does your brand reflect your current offering, or does it need to evolve?

Running a quick situational analysis allows you to look at the internal and external drivers that will help your brand evolve. I like to have a one pager which clearly outlines the market, customer challenges, brand promise, unique value, and tone.

It’s a great way to get everyone on the same page and can be easily updated as things evolve.

UVP check

Answer the following question as soon as you finish reading it: in one sentence, can you tell me your brand’s unique value proposition?

If it took you a moment, or the answer didn’t convince you as much as it should have, then strengthening your UVP will be pivotal to creating more effective campaigns.

A good starting point is to look at the stories you tell about your brand. What might your target audience take away from them? Compare this with the things you know keep that audience up at night – are your messages answering their concerns? This will help you find a stronger UVP.

Message housekeeping

Once you’ve dug out the UVP, that central kernel of your brand, you can look at your messaging framework. For this, the most powerful tool we use is the message house.

Quite simply, the message house is a page or two containing everything you want to say. It’s a way of compiling and ordering all the key messages you need to get across.

Once you have everything together like this, you can distil what’s there down into individual messages, campaigns and collateral.

A good message house is a place to come back to time and again throughout the year, ensuring everyone stays on message. It’s a force of unity when you’re working with a range of internal and external teams.

Playing it back

From these foundational tools, you can craft a playbook. The concise guide to your strategy for the year. A roadmap for how you’ll get those messages, campaigns and collateral out to the people you need to reach.

It will help you execute everything speedily and effectively.

To sum up, taking these steps before you create your full marketing plan each year will mean your entire organisation acts as one.

With your UVP underpinning everything, the message house holding everything you want to say, and a playbook to mark the road ahead, you’ll drive campaigns that are consistent and targeted.

Campaigns that resonate.

Ivory can help you formulate winning strategies. We use tools like these because we know every organisation is different, with different needs, challenges and goals, we meet you wherever you are on your journey.

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