Marketing is crucial to the survival of any business or firm. A business must be able to establish brand awareness and sales of their product or service to make sales, drive revenue growth and stay in business. There is almost a plethora of approaches to marketing that many businesses attempt.
With so many frameworks and approaches to marketing, it’s dizzyingly complex and the right framework must be chosen in order to do the right job. As part of my graduate studies, I’m taking Marketing Strategy, with Drew Boyd at the University of Cincinnati. We are studying Marketing Management: The Big Picture. This post will be a crash course in what I’ve learned so far.
Frameworks are a way to systematically work through a challenge or problem so that everything is covered and nothing is left to chance.
What is The Big Picture Marketing Framework?
Simply put, The Big Picture Framework is an integrated framework that links the business’s strategy to the business’s execution of their marketing.
What this framework does is make sure that all decisions are always aligned with our other decisions.
Very few frameworks address this fundamental distinction, that the strategy and the execution must be linked and tied together. That’s why this framework is so powerful.
Where does The Big Picture Framework Start?
The Big Picture Framework starts with the first block in the photo above, the Business Objective
We start here first because we need to understand the business first. Other frameworks start with the customer. But this is flawed. We always should focus on the business first.
We need to answer three basic questions:
- Who are we as a firm?
- What are we good at?
- What is our goal?
These questions begin our work. We start with the company and our core competencies because we must, and should always enter the market in our strengths and what will set us apart from our competition. Finally, we need to make sure that we know and have set for ourselves a goal. Where are we going. For Boyd, this is our north star, our destination.
After we answer those questions, now we get to dig a little deeper and now start answering questions about our marketing objective.
What’s our Marketing Objective?
We start our marketing objective by understanding the following:
Who is our customer?
This includes our current customers. Who they are, how many they are, and who might be our customers and how many they are as well. Here we want to assess each category’s level of loyalty, which can be determined as Heart, Head, or Hand Loyal.
In this part of the framework we want to assess the lifetime customer value of our customers. We don’t use the product value.
Next, after we determine our market objective and customers, we need to now analyze our source of volume.
What is our Source of Volume?
Source of Volume, or source of growth, is simply a question about where our customers are going to come from and how we will grow. Are we going to earn share from a competitor or are we going to stimulate demand in a specific industry?
Depending on how we answer that question, our company markets itself differently. We learned that if you’re the category leader, you continue to focus on the strength of the category.
For example, if you are McDonalds, you are the category leader on the Fast Food industry where speed is the chief differentiator of McDonalds and other fast food chains. You will focus on marketing yourself on that aspect. If you are Burger King, you are not the category leader. Thus, you should market yourself on a secondary aspect. Burger King is known in the industry as the chain who lets you “have it your way”. So Burger King does provide food quickly, but, they focus on customization.
If you want to increase demand, then you market yourself differently. You focus on your strength and core competency and what makes your service unique or your product better than other products.
Strategy Now Meets Execution through STP
STP here does not, unfortunately, stand for Stone Temple Pilots. Here, in the Big Picture Framework, STP stands for:
This is the fun part where you get to dig into your customers on the bases of demographics, behaviors, attitudes, and aspirations. The further you go into your segmenting the better off you are. Demographics are easy to copy and the business isn’t as easily able to defend against competition. If you, as a smart marketer, know the attitudes and aspirations of your customers, you have a better, more defendable strategy because it’s less imitable.
You then can work on your targeting of your customers and then work on the gold mine and hardest thing about marketing; positioning.
Full On Execution
Now you’re in the thick of execution. Execution relies on a familiar framework of product, price, place, and promotion.
Product addresses really just what you’re selling. Are you selling a product or a service?
Price addresses your pricing strategy. Price communicates a lot about a product. Are you going to communicate that your product or service is of high value and charge more for your good? Or, are you going to price it as a competitive measure to possibly earn market share from a competitor?
Place where are you putting your product and what channels are you using to promote them? What are the short and long term effects of the decisions of what channels you will use? Finally, what value does each channel add and how can you maximize each one?
Promotion – promotion is really a communications strategy and one that is really difficult to determine. There are just so many channels to decide to use that it makes it hard to do so.
The guiding principle is to make your strategy dictate which communication channels you choose. It’s akin to the old saying, the right message, at the right time, to the right people, but adding in the right channel.
Right here is where we are in the course. Today, September 14, 2021, we will meet for class in person and we will talk about the third item in Segmenting, Targeting, and Positioning. I’m looking forward to this section as it begins to put “rubber to the road” in the marketing plan. The Big Picture Marketing Framework is truly one of the best frameworks to use in marketing.
Stay tuned for more insights from this graduate student as he pursues his Masters Degree from the University of Cincinnati.