Northern Media have begun the process of reviewing clients’ marketing strategies and budgets with a view to setting out detailed plans for 2014 before year end.
The first step in the review process will be to analyse our clients’ financial results, including turnover, profit and growth, both in total and across each division, market sector, products or service area. This will provide us with general feedback on the overall financial performance of the business. The financial review will then be assessed in relation to the marketing campaigns that have been deployed chronologically throughout the year. The specific and overall impact of these campaigns will be measured and evaluated against agreed performance metrics or general client expectations. Any campaigns that delivered successful results or showed poor performance will be highlighted and discussed.
The key to planning and delivering successful strategies in 2014 is first to understand our clients’ business objectives. Our account managers will work closely with clients not only to assess their top line financial and growth objectives, but also to drill deeper into how they would like revenue, profit and growth to be structured across each of their divisions, product categories or service categories. Clearly some clients will have different aspirations, often dependent upon economic conditions or financial restraints, so at no point will we assume that business growth is an objective common to all.
As part of the review, we will re-visit clients’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and risks, and consider the effect of these upon their business objectives. We will then consider how their marketing strategy and specific campaigns need to be adapted to accommodate these external influences and internal changes. Our account managers will also re-visit the marketing mix and discuss with clients what product or service offerings may be introduced during 2014 and how these will be incorporated into the strategy and any budget considerations.
Particularly with clients that have ambitions growth objectives, we will endeavour to understand how they plan to manage, service and control that growth, from a structural, resource, operational, organisational and financial perspective. Whilst we take pride in campaigns being a huge success, if we felt it could potentially cripple a business’ cash flow, then we would advise against it.
We will invite clients to talk us through their sales and business development strategies to ensure our planned marketing strategy supports it and integrates with it in a structured, organised, efficient and timely fashion. We will offer honest and professional feedback if we believe the sale and business development strategy is unrealistic or doesn’t coordinate with the marketing plan.
Our account managers will have open discussions with the clients around their marketing and advertising budget, in relation to general and specific objectives across each part of the business. In the event we feel client’s growth objectives are overly ambitious and the allocated budget will not achieve their expectations, we will provide constructive feedback using performance based evidence to suggest why. Equally, if a client is over allocating budget, we will suggest either reducing their spend or re-distributing that budget elsewhere.
Finally we will invite clients to give feedback about our performance, across a number of key indicators including communication, creativity, ideas, quality of service, advice, recommendations, planning and implementation.
If your business has a marketing and advertising budget but there is no structured strategy in place to ensure that you see a solid return on your investment, talk to Jonathan Scott from Northern Media.