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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.


Why Strategic Market Planning Is Critical

Puzzle piecesThe new CMO role has become the key to paving the way into new markets, new sales territories, new income streams and, yes, executive meetings reserved for the CEO, CFO and legal counsel. What changed?

The simple answer is the market has intensified and nothing should be ignored or pushed aside when it comes to forging a new frontier for your company’s growth. Nothing is more important.

What used to stack up as solid marketing is really not going to work today. Here are five things strategic market planners must keep in mind today:

1. Put everyone inside your company on your team.
Everyone in your company can give you useful insights and suggestions. Gone are the days when everything comes from research and executive committees. Really, who cares where the idea comes from as long as it comes?

2. Get to know your customers on a first name basis.
This is not optional; rather, it’s a new requirement that you and your full team should aspire to achieve. It’s not just for the sales team to do, but also for everyone actively involved in delivering value to your customers. Regardless of your company’s size, the better you are known by your customers, the more trust you will earn.

3. Track how much you spend per customer, per market, per year.

A lot has been written on marketing ROI, but still, very few companies actively engage in the tracking and analyzing of their marketing expenditures on a weekly/monthly basis. At full throttle, your company should be able to both spend and track simultaneously, and make adjustments on the fly based on actual data metrics of the results. Things to track include awareness scores, leads generated, customer satisfaction and the list should go on and on.

4. Put your best sales people on your best territories and prospects.
Often companies use the strategy of putting their best people on their toughest challenges. I do not subscribe to this at all! Why punish a high performer with a lousy territory? What makes sense to me is to put your stars where they can make the biggest impact and use the weaker sales reps in the weaker markets to prove themselves. (I welcome your Comments!)

5. Make sure your Website is aligned with your value proposition and messaging.

What you say in an elevator to a prospect should be found on your Website. If it’s not, either your Website or you are not using current brand messaging. Either way, the messages need to harmonize with each other to realize the full impact of your brand and its message. The importance of integration of messaging cannot be overemphasized.

Is all of this really that important? Yes! Consider this recent announcement that HP made:

“New York City-based Duggal Visual Solutions Inc. (DVS) has added a latex ink HP Scitex LX800 Printer and an HP Indigo press 5500 to its operations, offering customers a range of new applications such as wallpaper, vehicle graphics, fashion look books, art catalogs, cosmetic swatches and photo portfolios.”

Why did DSV purchase an HP vs. the dozens of other options available? Duggal’s chairman said, “When I heard about the Indigo, how they had reduced the effluent, and the amount of packaging for supplies, I was reminded again that HP is a company I want to do business with. There is also an array of partially recycled and FSC-certified materials allowing us eco-material options we simply did not have with photographic printing.”

Duggal knew all of this because HP’s integrated sales and marketing program includes the five points above and puts them into action each day. Not to mention that it has dominated the print space for years. Why? Because its products, services, messaging, customer service, brand marketing, etc.all harmonize throughout its strategic market plan.

Which brings us to the obvious question: How does your strategic market plan measure up? It’s definitely something your chief marketing leader should be able to answer.
Tom Wants to Hear Your Branding Issues:
If you are a printing company, or product/services company serving the industry, and would like to be considered for a feature in this blog, please contact Tom Marin for an interview.

Follow MarketCues on TwitterOpens in a new window for branding and social media tips, as well as the latest trends. Tom also welcomes emails, new LinkedInOpens in a new window connections, calls to 407.330.7708 or visit www.marketcues.comOpens in a new window. How can he help solve your branding issues?

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