Advertising is both an art and a science. The art comes from writing, designing and producing exciting messages. The science comes from strategic thinking.
Strategic Planning – is the process of determining objectives (what you want to accomplish, your destination) deciding on strategies (how to accomplish objectives, the route to the destination) and implementing the tactics (which make the plan come to life).
Nowadays the market competition is more drastic than before. The effective tools—direct marketing that is common in western country have entered into Chinese market. Direct marketing means to approach the target customer group based on effective cost and transfer the sales promotion information in first time. On the other hand, direct marketing is very useful for expanding marketing share with high customer loyalty by continuous contact with new and existing customers. Obviously, direct marketing is the optimal tools for corporate business development.
I Business Plan
II Marketing Plan
III Advertising Plan
IV Creative Plan
I Business Plan – sometimes is for the whole business or for units or combinations of units.
Includes a Business Mission Statement – supports the corporate mission and includes the broad goals and policies of the business unit. It answers questions such as: Does the business want to pursue long-term growth, short-term profits, or technological leadership?
The Business Plan examines opportunities and threats. An opportunity is an area where the company could develop an advantage over its competition. A threat is a trend or development that could erode business.
The Business Plan defines specific objectives and goals.
The Business Plan outlines specific strategies to meet the objectives/goals.
The Business Plan lays out the tactics – the programs to implement the strategies.
II The Marketing Plan – is a written document, usually updated once a year that proposes strategies to achieve marketing objectives. The marketing plan parallels the business plan.
The marketing plan begins with a selection of objectives, they could be percentage of market share, unit sales, store traffic or profit. Using research and objectives, the plan must identify and evaluate market opportunities.
The marketing plan defines and selects its target markets. It defines what segment or segments – a group of people having one or more similar characteristics – it is going to target.
The marketing plan includes the promotions/marketing communications plan. This year with this specific budget we are going to use public relations, advertising, special events and outdoor to accomplish our communications objectives.
III The Advertising Plan – states what audience/segment is going to receive what message in which medium.
Whom are you trying to reach? Target Audience
What do you say to them? Message Strategy
When and where do you reach them? Media Strategy
An advertising Plan outline would look something like this:
- Introduction – summary of the plan
- Situation analysis – background the making sense of all the collected data. Identify the problems and opportunities. Advertising can solve only message-related problems such as image, attitude, perception, knowledge of information. It cannot solve problems related to price, product, quality, availability. However a message can speak to the perception that the price is too high. It can portray a product with limited distribution as exclusive.
- Key strategy decisions – what the advertising message must accomplish.
The target audience – create a profile of the typical audience member’s personality and lifestyle. Can include a feature analysis – comparing your products and the competitions products by relevant features. Include the personality of the brand or the positioning relative to the competition in the target audiences mind.
- Budget – how much you have to spend to implement the plan.
Types of budget methods:
- a) Historical – based on last years budget with an increase for inflation
- b) task-objective method – looks at the objectives and determines the costs accomplishing each objective.
c)percentage of sales compares the total sales with the total advertising (or marketing communication) budget during the previous year or the average of several years to compute a percentage.
- d) Competitive – use competitors budget’s as benchmarks
e)All you can afford – whatever is left over gets allocated to advertising.
IV THE CREATIVE PLAN AND COPY STRATEGY
Planning individual ads – creative platform or blueprint that copywriters use to develop the message. The blueprint includes problems, objectives, and target markets.
Information advertising – is straightforward, fact filled and often focuses on news. This approach works for high involvement products or in a case where consumers are searching for information to make a decision.
With low involvement situation, advertising is more likely to focus on establishing an image or touching an emotion.
Selling premises – how you approach the prospect – either product centered or prospect centered.
Product centered messages center on the product itself. They look at attributes, also called features and build a selling message around them. Sometimes they make a claim about the performance – how long the product lasts, how much it cleans, how little energy it uses.
In benefit messages the product is promoted on the basis of what it can do for consumers.
A benefit statement that looks to the future is called a promise. It says something will happen if you use the advertised product.A reason why you should buy something is another form of benefit statement.