The Associate Professor, consultant and conference speaker Pablo Contreras led a new session of EAE’s Focused Program entitled “Building integrated and impactful marketing plans”. In the session, the marketing and market research expert shared his insight into the concept of integrated and impactful marketing, and everything it entails.
Pablo defined integrated marketing as a marketing approach that advocates the need to unify and integrate all the communication channels to offer a consistent brand experience for the consumer. As far as he is concerned, the integrated marketing plan must involve all the areas and be clearly market-oriented, “mobilizing all the areas of an organization, introducing the market inwardly”, explained the speaker.
He went in to analyse the concept of impact with respect to the marketing plan, which he described as the real and tangible effect of the plan on the company’s position in the market. This enables the improvement to be measured, as “the result of the full alignment of all the areas of the company, which contributes to the company’s adaptation to a changing and increasingly demanding environment”, he clarified.
The consultant then analysed the process by which the company plan is used to develop the marketing plan and then, in turn, the strategies for human resources, organization, operations and finance. Pablo explained that the marketing campaign originates from a general starting point, understanding the environment and considering the company’s capacities and resources, to identify response to improve the company’s competitive position in the market. In order to carry out an impactful marketing plan, the lecturer recommended using mind maps when planning and applying the SOSTAC model: Situation, Objectives, Strategy, Tactics and Control.
In the analysis phase, the lecturer recommended using the 5 Cs Model: Company, Competitors, Customer, Collaborators and Context. This methodology enables us to gain a sound understanding of our starting point, in order to make decisions with respect to our strategy and action plan. The customer is closely linked to the demand analysis. “We have to understand our customer very well, identify our target market and ascertain their most common behaviour patterns”, explained Pablo while introducing the concept of the buyer persona: “a stereotyped description of the profiles to understand the target market we are aiming for well”, he added.
The internal evaluation of the company, the business model and concepts such as vision, mission, organizational structure and objectives form part of the subsequent analysis, which is followed by a study of the competition. Pablo Contreras recommended using benchmarking (broadening our knowledge of other organizations) and taking the utmost care with respect to our relations with collaborators and stakeholders. “Suppliers and retailers are extremely important because they offer us the resources we need, so we have to establish satisfactory agreements to ensure that our product reaches the market”, he explained. The fifth and final C in this analysis model is Context, which refers to sociodemographic and economic factors.
Once the analysis phase has been completed, it is time to set quantitative and qualitative goals. The former refers to sales, profitability, number of customers, sales/profitability per customer and market share. The latter included key concepts such as brand recognition, product image and customer satisfaction.
Based on all of this groundwork, the next phase is to establish a strategy. This involves identifying the marketing mix tools that we are going to use to formulate the 4 Ps strategy: Product, Price, Promotion and Place, to which we have to add four more Ps: Personalization (discounts, offer and specific P/S), Participation, Peer-to-Peer and, finally Prediction. Predictive models gain special importance with technology, “which enables is to measure and forecast. Being able to manage these resources is a competitive advantage for the company”.
Pablo Contreras analysed the Planet variable in the marketing strategy, which is related to raising awareness of the impact of consumption on the planet. “Brands are increasingly incorporating this aspect into their marketing strategy. We have to add the P for planet to the price, product and place, not only in the marketing campaign”, concluded Pablo Contreras.
The last part of the Focused Program discussed the development of action plans for achieving the objectives listed at the beginning. During this phase, Pablo recommended specifying as much as possible and making a direct, linear connection between objectives, strategies and actions. Last but not least, it is important to measure and analyse these actions “to make sure that we are doing things well and, therefore, repeat initiatives, check if something hasn’t worked and rectify specific errors so that we can improve and avoid making the same mistakes again”.