If you have a marketing excellence program for your brand management team, the focus should be on the skills related to strategic thinking, brand positioning, marketing plans, marketing execution, and marketing analytics. Essentially, build your marketing excellence training programs around how to think, define, plan, execute, and analyze.
Think, define, plan, execute, and analyze
First, marketing excellence should start with strategic thinking as the foundation. Brand leaders need to slow down. And, we teach the strategic skills to ask the big challenging questions that will steer their brand positioning and brand plan. We introduce our Strategic ThinkBox to take a 360-degree look at their brand. Our strategic tools help marketers to assess their brand’s core strength, the competitive dynamics they face, the consumer bond they have to work with, and the business situation.
Next, marketers must know how to define their brand, learning the tools to write a brand positioning statement. I have created lists of potential functional and emotional benefits to kickstart their thinking. We provide a step-by-step process to come up with a brand idea. And. bring it all together with a tool for writing the ideal brand concept.
Marketing excellence must help marketers to learn how to build a brand plan. The marketing plan is a decision-making tool to help get everyone on the same page. We teach you how to write a brand vision, purpose, key issues, strategies, tactics, and build execution plans. I provide templates for a long-range brand strategy roadmap and the annual brand plan.
Marketers need to know how to make smart decisions on marketing execution around creative advertising and media choices. Our marketing excellence programs teach how to write creative briefs, managing the creative process, how to provide feedback to experts, and how to make decisions.
For marketing analytics, marketers need to know how to write a deep-dive business review. Our analytics training looks at the marketplace, consumer, channels, competitors and the brand. We teach how to work with brand data to make informed decisions.
1. Strategic Thinking
Strategic thinking is an essential foundation for a marketing excellence program. We force marketers to ask the big challenging questions to focus on the decisions that steer their brand positioning and brand plan.
Our Strategic ThinkBox tool forces marketers to take a 360-degree holistic view that captures the unique circumstances before taking action. We show how to assess your brand’s core strength, the bond the brand has with consumers, the competitive dynamic in the market, and the brand’s business situation.
Brand leaders will learn to slow down to think strategically, to come up with the most challenging, interruptive questions before reaching for solutions.
Marketers must learn to slow down and structure their thinking
We introduce our five elements of smart strategic thinking. Marketers should start with a vision of what you want for your brand and investing resources in a strategic program. And, we push you to focus on an identified opportunity, leverage a breakthrough market impact, and find a performance result that pays back with added power and wealth.
Brand leaders will learn how to turn smart strategic thinking into the most challenging key issue questions that set up the ideal strategic objective statements to use in their brand plans. The best brand leaders are able to articulate the strategy throughout the organization to ensure all stakeholders and partners deliver against the same strategy.
2. Brand Positioning
One of the most essential part of any marketing excellence program is brand positioning. A winning brand positioning statement matches what consumers want with what your brand does best, always in relation to your competitors. Brand leaders must gain comfort in the functional and emotional benefits their brand delivers to consumers.
The four elements of a brand positioning statement include who you serve, where you play, where you will win, and why consumers should believe you. These are the consumer target, marketplace definition, the consumer benefit, and support points.
Our brand positioning process starts by defining the ideal consumer target, framed with need states, consumer insights and consumer enemies.
We push brand leaders to take a consumer-centric approach to turn brand features into functional and emotional consumer benefits. Learn to work with our consumer benefit cheat sheets that use 60 functional benefits and 40 emotional benefits.
The brand positioning statement should put you into a space that is ownable and motivating to consumers
Our brand positioning decision tools help summarize your brand positioning statement in a unique space that is ownable and motivating to consumers. Learn to add support points and claims to solidify the final brand positioning statement.
Another part of marketing excellence is to learn to develop a brand idea that can steer how the brand shows up to every consumer touchpoint. The brand idea should organize all stakeholders who deliver on behalf of the brand.
Everything marketers learn with brand positioning can be transformed into learning how to write a brand concept, brand story, or an internal brand credo that can steer the culture.
3. Marketing Plans
The third element of a marketing excellence focus should be on writing brand plans. The marketing plan is a decision-making tool to help get everyone on the same page. And, we teach how to write a brand vision, purpose, key issues, strategies, tactics, and execution plans.
We revisit our Strategic ThinkBox questions with a focus on how to translate smart, strategic thinking into key issues and strategic statements that form the foundation of the brand plan.
At Beloved Brands, we teach how to make decisions on each element of a strategic marketing plan:
- Key Issues
Brand leaders learn how to build the ideal strategic slide that forms the basis of the brand plan presentation. It is essential to be strong in writing, and presenting the brand plan to senior management and across organization to sales, agencies, and partners. We provide templates for a brand plan presentation, as well as our one-page brand plan and brand strategy roadmap.
Learn to develop smart execution plans—brand communication, sales/in-store, and innovation—to ensure everyone is delivering against the same brand strategies
4. Marketing execution
Marketing excellence should focus on teaching marketers how to make smart and creative decisions that finds the outstanding marketing execution with your creative advertising and media choices. Marketers need to build a creative brief, give feedback that inspires, and make decisions on marketing execution.
Our marketing execution decision-making process works for any type of marketing execution project. Essentially, marketers make decisions on brand communication, innovation, purchase moment, or consumer experience.
Inspire, steer, and decide
Brand leaders will learn how to write strategic, focused and thorough creative brief to steer and inspire great work from any type of expert.
We challenge how to be the best partner as you engage experts at agencies and throughout the organization. Our greatness comes from the greatness of others.
Learn how make smart and creative decisions on execution that delivers the strategy. Great execution helps tighten the bond with consumers, and drives revenue growth for the brand.
We introduce our creative advertising checklist to find the most significant gaps, and creates directional feedback to move the creative team. And, we use case study examples for you to try to craft your own feedback for the creative team. The tools and experience will help you make smarter decisions on execution.
5. Marketing Analytics
Learn to dig in a deep-dive business review to assess your brand’s performance and set up smarter strategic thinking. And, we show how to look at the marketplace, consumers, channels, competitors, and the brand.
We teach you how to do a deep-dive business review by looking at every area of the brand, providing you with our 60 best analytical questions to trigger your thinking.
First, we show marketers who to dig in on the market, taking a macro view, looking at economic indicators, consumer behavior, technology, and political issues. Regarding the consumer, we define the target, buying habits, trends, consumer enemies, and critical insights.
Next, learn how to dig in on the sales channels to assess major customers, available selling tools, and programs.
With our marketing excellence programs, we teach how to assess competitors by looking at their performance, innovation, pricing, distribution, perceptions. Finally, we show techniques to evaluate your brand, using brand funnels, reputation scores, tracking results, pricing, and distribution.
Our marketing finance 101 teaches how to evaluate the P&L, and the impact of price, cost, market size, and market share. We teach the key formulas you need to run your brand.
We show how to build the ideal analytical slide and provide a template for an ideal analytical presentation to set up your strategic thinking that goes into your brand plan.
Building the core marketing skills that define great brand leaders
We have taken the five elements of our marketing excellence program and created 20 core marketing skills, four for each of the five areas. These twenty skills form the foundation of our Beloved Brands training program.
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.