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Tom Marin

Building Brands

By Tom Marin

About Tom

Tom Marin is the managing partner of and provides corporate and brand strategy to organizations of all sizes. He has an extensive background in the graphic arts, printing, publishing and media industries. Marin is an accredited member of the national and international chapters of the Business Marketing Assn., is a (CBC) certified business communicator and a past marketing chair of the Chicago chapter.


Three Basic Rules of Strategic Planning

The marketplace has finally come to understand that there aren’t going to be any special bullets handed out in the near future for developing new business or building an existing one. This, in part, helps explain why so many businesses express the view that, “Things will be a little bit better in 2012 than last year.”

Many business owners have taken ownership of their company’s direction and are finding improved results by doing so. To get your strategic plan on the right path and your organization on the same strategic page, there are three basic rules that you must follow:
  1. Create a cohesive strategy that delivers the top goals you’ve established;
  2. Provide ample room and opportunity for everyone in your organization to contribute their best ideas; and
  3. Find new ways to produce an improved customer experience with your products and services.

These three basic rules will do more for your organization than a 300-page report on what’s wrong with your company and how to fix it.

The last rule is particularly important given the massive amount of new content on the Internet being posted each day that provides customers with more choices than ever. This often causes confusion for customers when trying to distinguish one product from another, which highlights a profound need that should be at the center of your strategic plan:
You need to establish a rock-solid relationship with your customers by opening up the lines of communication and promoting two-way interactions whenever and wherever possible.

Short-term sales/marketing tactics can increase the results of a strategic marketing program, but short-term success can quickly build a ‘blind spot’ when it comes to seeing your customers’ true needs.

A recent example we noted is a company that sold its products successfully because there was no real alternative to its products. However, while those successful sales were being posted, the company’s distant competitor introduced an alternative product—at a much lower price point—and overnight the successful company’s sales plummeted.

Had the company enjoyed strong customer relations, it would have discovered far earlier what the potential problems were and should have been able to stave off this extremely negative occurrence.

In a very simple and efficient way, you can:
  • break down your customer relationships,
  • get your customers to tell you what you are doing well and what you need to do better, and
  • refocus your efforts on your best growth areas.

This will allow you to confidently go into the marketplace because you will know what your customers need and have the ability to deliver it to them.
Tom Wants to Hear Your Branding Issues:
If you are a printing company or product/services company serving the print-media market and would like to be considered for a feature in this blog, please contact Tom Marin for an interview.

Follow MarketCues on Twitter for branding and social media tips, as well as the latest trends. Tom also welcomes emails, new LinkedIn connections, calls to 407.330.7708 or visit How can he help solve your branding issues?

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