When you really want to hit the ground running in any new position, wether a new job or new venture of your own, you need a solid 90-day marketing plan. The details of your plan will be unique to your situation and take into account the current state of the marketing efforts, the product offering, market forces and budget. To help show you what a successful 90-day marketing plan looks like I have provided the following sample. This is a 90-day marketing plan a wrote recently for a local start-up. I have removed their name for privacy reasons but the content that is important here is how to structure your plan.
Your first 30 days, covered here in this post, are really about laying the ground work for success. During this time you should be forming relationships with stakeholders across the organization, trying to secure some early wins and learn all that you can about the market, product, competitors and the end users. I am using the Objective, Goal, Strategy and Tactic framework that I explained here. In addition I have also included when appropriate the resources and deliverables.
Here is how I outlined the first 30 days of this plan.
1.0 Day 1 – 30: Focus The Brand
Marketing efforts for the first 30 days will focus on defining the brand and then codifying the company and product messaging. A traditional brand process would normally take several weeks. However in the case of a start-up the overall direction of the company and its offering are often still being developed. Instead of spending several cycles on defining a brand and messaging system that may quickly become outdated, an accelerated brand development effort will be used with short iterative steps towards improvement instead.
Define and codify the company’s brand to ease the path for raising awareness.
Every employee of the company is able to similarly explain the company’s brand at a high level as well as some number of key company and product messaging talking points.
For Example, at PubNub I developed messaging in a new category that previously didn’t exist. Some competitors were calling it “Realtime-as-a-Service” but that didn’t resonate with prospects. Instead I developed the following messaging.
The PubNub Real-Time Network
Build real-time apps quickly and scale them globally.
Core Building Blocks for Secure Real-Time
The PubNub Real-Time Network delivers Unicast and Broadcast Data Streaming, Presence, Storage, Mobile Offline Push Notifications and more, with security features for the most demanding of apps.
Real-Time on a Redundant, Global Network
Spanning eleven data centers, we are the only globally distributed and redundant network designed from the ground up to deliver the core building blocks for any real-time application.
Rapid Development and On-Demand Scaling
Cut time to market and scale effortlessly without needing ops teams or real-time architects. PubNub delivers premium support with a 7×24 call center and up to 99.999% SLAs.
The end result was employees were able to tell a consistent brand story that hit several key points of differentiation.
Formalize the brand and marketing messaging by engaging in a brand development process.
1.1 Brand Development
This will entail four to six brand development meetings with key stakeholders to go through a formal brand process. This would be accomplished using a Brand Development methodology that I have developed to quickly clarify a brand’s meaning. Through a series of exercises and brainstorming sessions the team will work collaboratively to land on a unified brand message. I have led this process for over twenty-five companies over the last 10 years with excellent results.
The product of this effort is a Brand Book that unpacks the meaning of the brand in a clear and concise way. It will serve as a selling tool for sales efforts as well as a guidebook for marketing vendors and employees. The Brand Book also includes different levels of the sales pitch that can be delivered as an elevator pitch in 30 seconds or used to explain the offering at an exhibit stand at a tradeshow or conference.
- “Onliness” Statement – Differentiates the company
- Purpose Statement – The why the company exists
- Company Messaging – Values, Vision and Mission
- Product Messaging – Thirty second and three minute pitch
1.2 Audience Identification & Market Research
The current marketing aims to communicate to every possible audience all at once. For those looking to modernize their workforce the company offers a new way to develop their people. For individuals looking to advance their careers it offers the ability to sign up for a mentorship. And if you are interested in mentoring it gives you an opportunity to do so yourself. It is time to devise a hierarchy to the brand messaging.
These are the questions to be addressed so that marketing materials better reflect the audience.
If you could get 100 of the top prospects in your market into a room for a presentation:
- What job titles would they have?
- How many employees would be at their companies?
- What would be the annual sales of those companies?
- What matters most to them professionally?
- Where do these professionals congregate?
- What sites do they visit?
- What professional services do they currently value and why?
Resources: Time. The process will take a number of brainstorming sessions and meetings. The team will need to be available and engaged.
Next I will cover the second 30 days.