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Have you seen a simple, visual roadmap around building a marketing plan? If not, would it be useful?

I'm a marketing guy. I believe in the value of a marketing plan no matter how big, small, new, old a company is:
  • Look outside your company: market trends, competitive landscape, size of the opportunity
  • Look inside your company: positioning, unique value proposition, messaging platform, target market(s) / target audience, where to find the target audiences, financial projections, Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats analysis,
  • Look behind you: how did you get where you are? What marketing / selling activities? How did they perform? What are your financials to-date?
  • Look ahead of you: measurable objectives that roll up to support the overall corporate objectives, strategies/tactics to achieve those objectives, ongoing metrics analysis, optimize/revise...etc.
Now all that said, has anyone seen a simple roadmap that would lead an entrepreneur through this process with guidance and tips and questions along the way to help guide them? Simple example - one potential step might be trademarking your company name so there's a process: Google search, USPTO database search, use legal firm to do their preliminary search, do full search, file for trademark. Include general timeframes, tips about first usage, how to use TM and so on. That's just one example.

If you haven't seen one, would it be helpful to have something like that?

Reason I ask is that I've thought about creating something like that for years. Not as some kind of business but really has a side project. But don't know if there's already something out there. Could be simple and visual but interactive so for steps that are relevant to a particular business, such as the trademarking example above, you could get another level of detail.

Two of my favorite quotes that reinforce the importance of a plan:
"If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up somewhere else." Yogi Berra
"Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important." Stephen Covey

Thanks!

11 Replies

David Wheeler
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David Wheeler Entrepreneur
Vice President of Operations at EdgeCore
Very helpful!
Kim Ellery
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Kim Ellery Entrepreneur
Director of Product Marketing at Absolute
Interested to see what you find or what the community recommends
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Entrepreneur
Yogi Berra got it exactly the other way around: if you don't know where you're going, that's exactly where you will end up. In fact, the only way to end up exactly where you are going is not to know where that is.
Shereen Soliman
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Shereen Soliman Entrepreneur
Marketing Consultant/Project Manager/Sailor/Blogger/Beautician
I've heard of the business model canvas which is similar but I think it's aimed at existing businesses -http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/canvas/bmc
I'm actually in the process of starting a business and I think something like this would be extremely helpful.
Erika Hanson Brown,  Community Engagement Expert
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CEO: PATIENT ACTION LEAGUE LLC (the "PAL" Group)
Chris: I think that visuals (especially maps) are amazingly powerful. I needed a map for purposes of building a network of people with 'common cause" - that cause being colorectal cancer. This map (attached) has done the trick. As you might imagine, I love maps. Erika Hanson Brown Mayor/Founder: COLONTOWN - the community of CRC patients, survivors & family members Managing Member: Patient Action League LLC 3800 Powell Lane, Ste. 1202 Falls Church, VA 22041 [removed to protect privacy] [removed to protect privacy] (cell)
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Why am I receiving this?
Peter Johnston
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Peter Johnston Advisor
Businesses are composed of pixels, bytes & atoms. All 3 change constantly. I make that change +ve.
No business should ever create a marketing plan. That separates marketing from the rest of the business and makes it "someone else's problem" for most people in the company.

What is needed is a distribution and awareness system. This involves:
1. Awareness: Creating a methodology for creating awareness of your offering - not just a brand name but all the key points. Content here includes making people aware they have a problem, the cost of doing nothing, the things they should think about in making a decision, the social kudos of choosing one offering over another, the TCO and Lifetime value and the cost to upgrade/switch. Methods include creating and scaling word of mouth, paid and unpaid promotion, use of channels (where others promote for you), influencers, guerrilla marketing (piggybacking others marketing and events) and upsell/cross-sell/incremental sale and product lifecycle management.
2. Distribution: Making sure it is easy for people to take on your offering. This may involve making sure it is in the stores they use, that they can find it online, that it is on Amazon, in the vending machines or on Facebook - basically on offer on whatever channel they use to do this sort of stuff. Making sure that if there is a problem this is used to show off your capabilities to work with them, rather than breaking the relationship you have with them. Making sure it is easy and intuitive to use, to recommend to friends and reflects well on them.

Some of this would be seen as a traditional marketing department's job - most of it is outside that remit. That is why it has to be a company-wide initiative, not a marketing one.

And it is about setting up systems to make sure these things happen consistently and effectively and adapt to market feedback. Plans often mitigate against this - setting up a set of inflexible goals and rules which lock the organisation into a course of action without the flexibility to change if/when the assumptions underlying it change.
Nigel Dessau
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Nigel Dessau Entrepreneur
Chief Marketing Officer at Wellsmith, LLC
I think you are sort of asking - can some explain the whole of marketing in a simple set of graphics/charts. I think that's a huge and tall order - there is a lot to it. Also, it's reason why people get a marketing degree and then hired as marketing professionals! Have a go - it might make a huge different.

BTW - working with start-ups I think the biggest issue is around building realistic value proportions. Too many fail because they don't know how to do this. A great idea and a great business is often separated by the ability to communicate the value.
Michelle Bufton
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Michelle Bufton Entrepreneur
Purveyor of Geekery
Hey Chris,

I just came across this, haven't had a chance to use it but it looks a bit like what you are asking:


Shell
Chris Taylor
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Chris Taylor Advisor
Director, Channel Marketing at Yuneec USA, Inc.
Thanks Michelle - that's exactly the idea.
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