How to lead a deep-dive business review on your brand

Too many marketers are not taking the time to dig in on the analytics. There is no value in having access to data if you are not using it. The best brand leaders can tell strategic stories through analytics. Conduct a deep-dive business review at least once a year on your brand. 

Otherwise, you are negligent of the brand, where you are investing all your resources. Dig in on the five specific sections—marketplace, consumers, channels, competitors and the brand. Then, draw out conclusions to help set up your brand’s key issues, which you answer in the marketing plan.      

Marketing Analytics to lead a deep-dive business review
Learn how to use marketing analytics to lead a deep-dive business review. Dig in on the marketplace, consumers, channels, competitors and the brand to uncover the issues facing the brand. To illustrate, click on the diagram to zoom in on the process.

The deep-dive business review takes a 360-degree look at your brand

  • Marketplace: First, look at the overall category performance to gain a macro view of all significant issues. Then, dig in on the factors impacting category growth, including economic indicators, consumer behavior, technology changes, shopper trends, and political regulations. Also, look at what is happening in related categories, which could impact your category or replicate what you may see next.

  • Consumers: Analyze your consumer target to better understand the consumer’s underlying beliefs, buying habits, growth trends, and critical insights. Use the brand funnel analysis and leaky bucket analysis to uncover how they shop and how they make purchase decisions. And, try to understand what they think when they buy or reject your brand at every stage of the consumer’s purchase journey. Uncover consumer perceptions through tracking data, the voice of the consumer, and market research.
  • Channels: Assess the performance of all potential distribution channels and the performance of every major retail customer. Understand their strategies, and how well your brand is using their available tools and programs. Your brand must align with your retail customer strategies.
  • Competitors: Dissect your closest competitors by looking at their performance indicators, brand positioning, innovation pipeline, pricing strategies, distribution, and the consumer’s perceptions of these brands. To go even deeper, you can map out a strategic brand plan for significant competitors to predict what they might do next. Use that knowledge within your brand plan.
  • Brand: Analyze your brand through the lens of consumers, customers, competitors, and employees. Then, use brand funnel data, market research, marketing program tracking results, pricing analysis, distribution gaps, and financial analysis. Focus on managing your brand’s health and wealth.

Marketing analytics

Summarize your deep-dive business review

To transition from the deep-dive review to your marketing plan, use these four questions.

  • First, what’s driving growth? The top factors of strength, positional power, or market inertia, which have a proven link to driving your brand’s growth. Your plan should continue to fuel these growth drivers.
  • Next, what’s inhibiting growth? The most significant factors of weakness, unaddressed gaps, or market friction you can prove to be holding back your brand’s growth. Your plan should focus on reducing or reversing these inhibitors to growth. 
  • Then, look at the opportunities for growth: Look at specific untapped areas in the market, which could fuel your brand’s future growth, based on unfulfilled consumer needs, new technologies on the horizon, potential regulation changes, new distribution channels, or the removal of trade barriers. Your plan should take advantage of these opportunities in the future.  
  • Finally, what are the threats to future growth: Changing circumstances, including consumer needs, new technologies, competitive activity, distribution changes, or potential barriers, which create potential risks to your brand’s growth. Build your plan to minimize the impact of these risks.

Example of a deep-dive business review using Gray's Cookies

SWOT, Marketing Analytics
We summarize the business review using drivers, inhibitors, opportunities, and threats. We recommend narrowing down to the top three factors for each box. To illustrate, click to zoom in.

Deep dive business review

Putting together your deep-dive business review

This process assumes you will put together a presentation of 15-20 slides for your management team. 

Each of the five sections you go deep on should have 3-5 ideal slides. The conclusion statement at the top of each slide gets carried forward to a summary page for each of the five sections. You then draw out an overall conclusion statement for that section. You will have five conclusion statements, which you bring to the front of your presentation to form an overall summary page. From there, you draw out one major brand challenge you are seeing in the deep dive.

How to build each of the five analytical sections of the deep-dive business review

A: First, for each of the five sections of your deep dive business review, use all the data you have dug into to draw out the three hypothetical conclusions. Then, build one ideal slide for each conclusion, adding the 2-3 critical support points, and layer in the supporting visual charts. This type of analysis is an iterative process where you have to keep modifying the conclusion headline and the support points to ensure they work together.

B: Next, once you have nailed the conclusion headline for each page, you should build a summary chart for each of the five sections, which takes those three conclusion statements and builds a section conclusion statement. The example above shows how to do it for the category, which you can replicate for the consumer, channels, competitors, and the brand. 

Deep-dive business review
Our Business Review process looks at five key areas. Marketplace, Consumers, Channels, Competitors, and the Brand. We recommend having a slide for each of the three issues you uncover. Then summarize those issues into one slide that draws out the summary issue. To illustrate, click to zoom in.

Summarizing the deep-dive business review

C: For each of the five sections, take each section conclusion statement, move them to an overall business review summary slide, and draw one big summary statement for each of the five sections. 

D: Finally, use those section conclusion statements to draw out an overall business review major issue, which summarizes everything in the analysis.

Deep-dive business review
Once you have the summary conclusion statements for each of the five sections of the business review, take those summaries into an overall summary slide. Then, draw out the major brand challenge that summarizes the overall business review. To illustrate, click to zoom in.

Analytical slides

How to build the ideal analytical slide

When telling your analytical story through a deep-dive business review presentation, start every slide with an analytical conclusion statement as your headline, then have 2-3 key analytical support points for your conclusion. Provide a supporting visual or graph to show the thinking underneath the analysis. Finally, you must include an impact recommendation on every slide. Never tell your management a data point without attaching your conclusion of what to do with that data.

Ideal Marketing Analytics Slide
The ideal Marketing Analytics slide should include four elements. A headline summary. Visual and supporting points that explain the visual. Then, include a recommendation based on what you are seeing in the analytics. To illustrate, click to zoom in.

Business review example

Example slides for a Business Review for Gray's Cookies

To illustrate, click to zoom in.

Business review template

You can download our business review templates to work on your brand

Marketing Career

How to manage your marketing career from ABM to CMO

At every level of your marketing career, you have to adjust to the new role. Brand Managers fail when they keep acting like ABMs and Directors fail when they keep acting like Brand Managers and VPs fail when they don’t know what to do.  In a classic marketing team, the four key roles are Assistant Brand Manager up to Brand Manager then up to Marketing Director and on to the VP/CMO role.

Marketing Career Success Ladders marketing training or brand management training
We go through the five success factors at each level of the marketing career. Assistant Brand Manager. Brand Manager. Marketing Director. VP Marketing. To illustrate, click to zoom in.

Marketing skills

Learn more about how to find your brand positioning

To find your ideal brand positioning statement, you want to find the space that is most motivating to consumers. And, find the space that is most ownable for your brand. Our brand positioning statement process starts with a defined consumer target your brand will serve. Then, we focus on the emotional and functional benefits that differentiate your brand. Further, we use support points to help differentiate your brand from competitors.

Brand Positioning Statement examples that differentiate
Our brand positioning process starts with our consumer benefits ladder. Then explore various functional and emotional benefits. Write out potential benefit statements. We recommend testing with consumers. This helps write the ideal brand positioning statement.

Learn more about how to write marketing plans

A strategic marketing plan gets everyone on the same page, including senior management, sales, product development, customer service and your agency partners. So, we have a one-page brand plan to help. That way, everyone drives against the same vision, key issues, strategies, and tactics. Throughout this article, I will show how to write a marketing plan, with a few marketing plan examples. And, we have a marketing plan template you can purchase. 

How to build a marketing plan
Above demonstrates our marketing plan process. The process starts with a deep-dive business review that is summarized into the drivers, inhibitors, risks, opportunities. Then use our strategic thinkbox questions to find the key issue questions. The answers are the strategies. You can now create your own marketing plan. To illustrate, click on the diagram to zoom in.
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Graham Robertson

Email: graham@beloved-brands.com

Phone: 416–885–3911

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