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 brand plan.
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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.
Beloved Brands is the playbook to keep at your fingertips
Everything you need to run your brand. Our readers reach for Beloved Brands a few times each week as a reference toolkit to help them with the day-to-day management of their brand. Over 90% of our Amazon reviews receive 5-star ratings, and Beloved Brands has spent numerous weeks as a #1 bestseller in brand management
Summarize your deep-dive business review to set up your brand plan
- 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.
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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.
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.C
How to build the ideal analytical slide
When telling your analytical story through a 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.
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.
Beloved Brands is the playbook to keep at your fingertips
Our readers tell us they reach for Beloved Brands a few times each week as a reference toolkit to help them with the day-to-day management of their brand.
- To start, we will challenge you with questions that get you to think differently about your brand strategy.
- Then, we take you through our process for defining your brand positioning. We will open your mind to new possibilities for how you see you can differentiate your brand. And, we use examples of brand positioning statements to bring the learning to life.
- Next, we will show you how to write a brand plan that everyone can follow. Make sure all stakeholders know precisely how they can contribute to your brand’s success.
- Moreover, we will show you how to run the creative execution process, show you how to write an inspiring brief, and make decisions to find both smart and breakthrough work.
- Finally, you will learn new methods to analyze the performance of your brand with a deep-dive business review.
Above all, over 90% of our Amazon reviews receive five-star ratings, and Beloved Brands has spent numerous weeks as a #1 bestseller in brand management.
Our Brand Management Mini MBA is a virtual brand training certificate program designed for ambitious marketers in the real world. Upon completion, you will earn a certificate that will solidify your resume and LinkedIn profile.
- Learn about strategic thinking, brand positioning, brand plans, advertising decisions, and marketing analytics. We provide 36 training videos that allow you to learn at your own pace, whether you want to complete them in one week or one year.
- We provide reading from our bestselling Beloved Brands playbook, a Brand Management workbook to try out each of the exercises, and a download of our Brand Toolkit with all the PowerPoint slides you can use for your presentations.
- Learn from Graham Robertson, a former VP of Marketing, who brings a wealth of real-world brand management experience from Johnson & Johnson, General Mills, Coke, and Pfizer. For over a decade, Graham has been a brand advisor to the NFL Players Association, Jack Links, Shell, Reebok, Honda, The Mayo Clinic, Miller beer, and Pfizer.
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.
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.