10 Place Marketing Power Questions

Characature 3x2People have asked me to outline my thought process for creating an effective marketing campaign. After I got over the initial panic of wondering if I did have an actual process that I routinely follow, I distilled it down to 10 Power Questions I think are worth answering any time you are asked to create a marketing plan.

I hope you find the questions helpful as a guide. Certainly, it is not an exhaustive list of questions that could (and maybe should) be asked.

I also think it would be great if you could add to the list by leaving a comment on a Power Question you find useful that should be considered. I am guessing that, as a community, we will be able to create a very helpful list that will help our next marketing plan be even more effective than our last.

 

  1. Who is the strategic target you want to influence?
  2. What is the current behavior that needs to change and the desired replacement behavior?
  3. What are key insights regarding the barrier to change?
  4. What is the driving insight that will lead to overcoming the barrier to change for most of your strategic target?
  5. What is the promotional campaign concept that best brings the insight to life?
  6. How does your strategic target typically receive information?
  7. How is the best way to communicate to your strategic target when they are most emotionally and intellectually receptive to hearing your message?
  8. What is the minimum reach, frequency and time required to deliver the message so the behavior changes?
  9. What is the cost of the plan?
  10. How is the plan going to be adequately resourced and success measured?

Discussion

I think these are 10 great questions, but they are certainly not all the questions you could (or should) ask. Leave a comment and share some of the key questions you ask when putting together your place marketing plans.

Please leave a comment with your thoughts.

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9 Comments so far

  1. Alan 'Brand' Williamson

    October 25, 2009

    Top 10 Great Questions
    To move the debate forward let’s just focus on the Top 4:
    1. Influence strategic target
    2. Replace current behaviour
    3. Discover barriers to change
    4. Identify driving insight

    In the spirit of moving place branding to a higher level destination, consider:

    The traditional methodology of focus group research is sadly flawed, because people can only verbalise what is in their ‘conscious’ part of their brain. In other words, why people do or no not do something – their behaviour – is buried deep within their ‘sub-conscious’ and cannot be easily extracted within a focus group context.

    Witness how most product and promotional launch campaigns fail to find traction ie. plenty of awareness but sadly no change of behaviour.

    But also witness the re-branding of Brand America by its leading brand developer – Barack Obama. Notice how he has given ‘hope’ to the ‘land of the free’ – its cultural source code – which Americans cannot easily verbalise in a focus group setting, because its part of their sub-conscious – the DNA of Brand America.

    Now consider Brand America’s foreign target audience – Britain, Germany, France, Mid-East etc. Each foreign nation has a different cultural code connection to Brand America which a focus group will fail to identify. For example, the French cannot consciously verbalise why they behave in a certain way to all-things American.

    Discuss and Debate please…

  2. Ed Burghard

    November 4, 2009

    Alan, you may be interested in the work of Dr Rapaille’s work on decoding reptilian motivational triggers – http://www.creativityatwork.com/Newsletters/Aug00ReptilianBrain.html I have not seen this work done in economic development, but I have seen the results in the health care field and they were extremely insightful.

  3. Alice Elliott

    November 14, 2009

    Great questions, they certainly put everything into perspective.

    My small contribution would be: never forget to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. At the end of the day the customer is key, and if you don’t adapt all your marketing to your customer’s point of view: copy, imagery, focus, delivery, call to action, incentive, communication; as opposed to concentrating on how wonderful your business is, then everything is a lost cause.

  4. […] 10 Power Questions ForvYour Marketing Plan  […]

  5. […]   […]

  6. Ron Strauss

    March 10, 2013

    Your questions tend to look at what should be done to change the behavior of the customer, the premise being that so doing will result in better sales of your client’s product or service. It’s a media-centric approach.

    You may want to consider an alternative approach:
    Create questions that provide insight into the behavior of the customer; then ask questions about how your client should change to better serve that customer. Do the same for all key stakeholders in the market. This customer-centric approach embodies the philosophy that before you ‘fix’ the customer, you should fix yourself. It’s an approach ready-made for the social media/world-of-mouth age.

    Properly done, you will have actionable insight you can use to create not only communications plans, but how channel, sales, customer service, billing and other aspects of the client’s value creation network should be changed, and how to measure the outcomes.

  7. Michael Haywood

    March 11, 2013

    Ed, Great questions lie at the heart of developing strong brand (marketing) plans. In identifying and overcoming problems in any organization, however, we have to be extremely careful with the language we use.

    For example, when we phrase a question as “How SHOULD we…..” some people might feel as if they are being singled out or are being included in a blame game. Rather than inhibit or narrow the search for solutions, the key objective should be to encourage the creative search. It is important that questions avoid any implication of judgment,

    In today’s world, the search for answers to questions also takes us to unexplored and unknown territortories. The real power questions, therefore, should be those that challenge our assumptions

    As a proponent of design thinking, I am interested not only in spurring creative confidence, but in generating an iterative process of DIVERGENCE, CONVERGENCE, DIVERGENCE…….. I have discovered that identifying viable options is best approached by asking questions that begin with “How MIGHT we….. This HMW approach was developed by Min Basadur and is used extensively by IDEO.

    While I appreciate marketers’ desire “to change consumer behavior” this objective most often leads nowhere. Consequently the wrong questions often get asked. The real and most powerful questions are those that are asked during the audit phase. Before any strategy is formulated it is essential to storyboard the user experience.

    Deep understanding of the consumers’ problems/tasks/jobs lies at the heart of innovation. By altering and improving the value creation and capture opportunities for consumers, the pathways for organizational value capture are opened wider.

    Now attention can be focused on branding and marketing.

  8. Rowland Heming

    March 13, 2013

    Here’s my three penny worth….ask also…

    1 Who is it for /who buys it?
    2 When do they use it (consume it)?
    3 Why should they be interested?
    4 Is it relevant to their lifestyle (do they need it)?
    5 What benefit should they understand?
    6 Is there an emotional reason to connect?
    …etc

  9. Sumit Roy

    March 17, 2013

    Hi Ed:

    Thanks for sharing your 10 Power Questions. Good ones.

    Here’s what I use in my online ‘learn-by-earning’ coaching program to help people learn how to ride the brand building motorcycle confidently:

    The six questions to a smooth brand building road map

    1. What is the obvious emotional truth on which your brand is based?
    2. Therefore, what business are you really in?
    3. Therefore, at whom is your brand aimed?
    4. If so, what is your brand persona that will attract this target mindset?
    5. What is the organizing idea, that captures the essence of your brand, that users will want to champion?
    6. Do you have a SMART objective for your brand? [S ustainable M easurable A llowable Cost (per brand champion) R eviewable (proof that the idea is working) T imebound]

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