Most Content Writers will not start writing any piece without first getting an outline. Simply because they understand how important having an outline is when writing an article. Like a to-do list, it shows you what has been done and what is next.
Just as it is important to have an outline when writing an article, so it is important to have a document of your marketing process. It makes it easier for every member of the marketing team to stay on the same page and remain productive.
So what is a marketing process? What does it mean to document your marketing process? What is the best method of documenting your marketing process? This article will be providing answers to these questions.
Let’s begin the discussion!
What is a Marketing Process?
CoSchedule defines the Marketing Process as a series of steps that allow organizations to identify customer problems, analyze market opportunities, and create marketing materials to reach the desired audience. See https://coschedule.com/blog/marketing-process, for details.
In his book Principles of Marketing, Anders Parment defines the Marketing Process as the process by which organizations create value for customers and build strong customer relationships to capture value from customers in return.
So we can conclude from the above definitions that the Marketing Process involves some steps that enable an organization to accurately identify customer needs, and create value for them by fulfilling these needs.
In the process of creating value for customers, the organization also creates value for itself, as customers will always purchase what adds value to them.
How to Document the Marketing Process?
As hinted earlier, the marketing process involves a series of steps. In this section, we will be discussing those steps that will enable you effectively document your marketing process.
Let’s get going!
Step 1: Define Your Mission!
Even though we are encouraged to always keep an open mind, sometimes keeping an open mind can be counter-productive.
For instance, nobody wants to join a bus where the driver has an open mind about his destination. You would want a driver who has made up his mind about his destination.
The same applies to documenting your marketing process. The very first step to take as you documentthe marketing process for your organization is to write out your mission statement.
What is a mission statement?
According to Investopedia, a Mission Statement is used by a company to explain in simple terms, its purpose for being. It is usually short, either a single sentence or a short paragraph. See https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/missionstatement.asp, for more details.
Among other things, Mission Statements help members of an organization stay in touch with why they are in business and continuously seek ways to reach this objective.
Beyond that, the Mission Statement gives direction to the entire marketing process of the organization.It sets the tone for what should be done in delivering value to the consumers. Below is the Mission Statement of a few organizations:
- Tesla:To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
- Starbucks:To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.
The marketing process of these organizations iscentered around their Mission Statement. It influences how their marketing materials are created, distributed, and how their marketing campaigns are organized, etc.
As you start documenting your Marketing Process, ensure to first write out the Mission Statement of your organization. Because this is the foundation on which the whole Marketing Process is built.
Step 2: Conduct a SWOT Analysis
What is a SWOT analysis?
The word SWOT is an acronym that represents the following words: Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats.
SWOT analysishere refers to analyzing an organization internally to discover its Strength and Weakness, and externally to discoverits Opportunities and Threats.
The SWOT analysis is a step by step process that scrutinizes the following:
Here our focus are the things the organization does so well internally. Below are a few questions to help you discover the internal strength of your organization:
- What does your organization do very well?
- What are the processes in place that help the organization maintain efficiency?
- What does your organization do so well that helps her stand out in your industry?
If you answer these questions sincerely, you will arrive at the real strength of your organization.
Although many may not be willing to admit it, every organization has its unique weakness that stands as a challenge to its marketing. The problem is, a few times, these challenges are so subtle that you could miss them if you don’t look carefully.
However, whether the weakness of an organization is obvious or subtle, it remains a challenge to their marketing and it has to be resolved.
These questions will help you arrive at the weakness of your organization:
- What needs to be improved in your organization?
- What factor acts as a hindrance to your organization’s progress?
- What needs to be improved in your marketing process?
As you may have noticed, the first two parts of the SWOT analysis focuses on the internal part of the organization. Whilethe other two parts focus on factors outside the organization – Opportunities & Threats.
We shall be looking at the external factors now.
As the name suggests, this refers to situations around your organization that it can take advantage of. These advantages could come as a new government policy, a need among your consumers, etc.
These are few questions that can help you identify some of the opportunities facing your organization:
- What are you currently doing in your marketing that is helping you fulfillyour mission statement or goals that have been set for your team?
- What is happening in the current market that your organization can take advantage of?
- What change is happening now in your industry that you can take advantage of right now?
These questions are sure to help you find the opportunities that are available to your organization.
Externally, your organization also faces threats that can pose a challenge to her marketing or her business in general. The focus here is to identify such threats. Find below, a few questions that can set you on the right part in finding your threats:
- What is the competition doing better than your organization?
- Are there changes in your industry that could threaten your organization?
- Is there any economic, political, and or social activity or issue that could compromise your marketing efforts?
It is necessary to be aware of possible threats to your organization and its marketing efforts. Being aware of these threats will help you make plans on how to manage them if they become an issue. And having a plan puts you in a better position for success.
As you can appreciate, this analysis will equip your marketing team with the requisite information needed to effectively document your marketing process.
Step 3: Design Your Marketing Strategy
The next step to take in documenting your marketing process is to design your marketing strategy. Having gotten a clear picture of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats facing your organization, it is time to use this information to your advantage.
Below are a few steps to guide you in designing your marketing strategy:
Define your target audience
Your target audience are the persons that will be most interested in purchasing the goods or services your organization has to offer.
As you start designing your marketing strategy, it is necessary to define your target audience as the nature of your target audience will influence your Marketing Strategy a whole lot.
For instance, if your target audience is mostly teenagers, it will influence the way and manner in which your organization does its marketing. They will most likely leverage Social Media Marketing.
Here are a few questions that will help you arrive at your target market if you are not sure of it:
- Which persons are a part of your present customer base?
- Which persons respond the most to your efforts?
- Why do people use your products and or services?
- What need or problem does your product or service solve?
The answers to these questions will help you arrive at your actual target audience.
Create Your Marketing Goals
We have heard a lot about goal setting and how necessary it is to have one before starting a task. Among other things, it gives direction to your efforts and helps you know just how much progress you have made.
However, for your goals to be effective, it has to be done right. One popular, yet effective way of goal setting is the SMART approach.
For your marketing goals to be effective, ensure to make them SMART. What do we mean by SMART? SMART is an acronym that represents the following:
- Specific: Your goals should be specific, directed at the achievement of something.
- Measurable: Your goal has to be measurable. One should be able to tell if it has been achieved or not. Or if some portion of it has been completed. The point here is to be able to measure how much progress you have made in the pursuit of your goals.
- Attainable: An effective goal is one that can be achieved if the individual or team works hard. It will be preposterous to ask a sales team to sell 5000 units a day if the highest they have ever done is 200.
- Relevant: Are the goals relevant to the success of your organization? If they are, then it is an effective goal.
- Time-based:What is the time frame to achieve that goal? What is the deadline for the goal to have been achieved? An effective goal must have a deadline attached to it.
When your Marketing Goals are SMART, it increases your chances of successfully achieving the goal.
In addition to making your marketing goals SMART, you should also ensure that they are linked to the overall business goals of your organization.
Set a Budget
The last step in designing your marketing strategy is to set a budget. The focus here is to decide how much will be used in financing your marketing process and how this fund will be raised.
There are various models for deciding your budget. However, the key thing to note here is to allocate adequate finances that will successfully run the marketing activities for the year.
Step 4: Build Your Marketing Mix
The Marketing Mix refers to the 4 P’s of marketing – Product, Price, Promotion, and Place. These factors are often responsible for what product gets produced, its price, where it is sold, etc.
We shall be discussing each in more details below:
As the name suggests, it refers to the goods or services your organization is offering the public. When we speak about the product, we are also concerned about its quality, how it is branded, packaged, etc.
The price refers to how much your organization is willing to offer its goods and services to its target audience. It also involves other considerations such as if there will be discounts offered at any point to customers, and how much will be discounted, etc.
For a product or service to be successful, it has to be shown or advertised to the right bunch of persons (Your target audience).The focus here is to figure out which media will be most effective in helping you reach your target audience.
Place here refers to where your organization has decided to sell her goods or services, and how theyintend to transport themto their preferred location. As you will appreciate, the goal of choosing a place is to identify an area or platform, where you will find most of your target audience.
A place can be a physical store, an online store,a City, a Country, etc.
Building your Marketing Mix will get you a few steps closer to completing the documentation of your Marketing Process.
Step 5: Execution
A plan is only as good as it is useful. Having taken the time to plan your marketing process, it is now time to implement everything you have written so far.
The key here is to ensure that all the Marketing Processes documented so far are effectively implemented. If this is done effectively, then we can have the final step in the marketing process.
Step 6: Record &Review Your Efforts
The final step here is to record and review your efforts so far. The data recorded in the course of implementing projects can be reviewed by the Marketing team, and then the insight gained from this exercise can be used to improve the Marketing Process.
Furthermore, these records can be shown to the management of the organization to help them realize just how much has been accomplished so far.
Below are a few metrics that could be measured in the course of the review:
- Engagement rate.
- Email opens (if you used email marketing).
- Link Clicks.
- Social Shares.
So these are the steps in creating your Marketing Process. To arrive at an effective Marketing Process, ensure to follow them, and you will be glad you did. Cheers!