Choosing Marketing Plan and Program Implementation Resources (Choosing Resources) by Bobette Kyle

Deciding What to Purchase (continued)

Who are their target markets – small businesses or large businesses?

Large businesses seemingly have infinitely more money than small businesses. This changes the program choices and implementation for small businesses as compared to large businesses.

As an example, I used to be a Brand/Marketing Manager for the non-chocolate division of Nestle (before they dissolved the division). We mostly operated independently as a small business. When we got into product licensing with Nestle, however, we could see how the budgets and rules were different for the larger Nestle brands:

  • Advertising for our own small-budget projects was limited to sell sheets for the wholesalers, cross promotion on the different packaging, and sometimes limited print ads. If we were lucky we had a budget for a couple more small programs (a local sponsorship, retail premium, etc.).

Nestle’s advertising was typically much more extensive: nation-wide television advertising campaigns and/or larger sponsorships, for example. In fact, a single NestlĂ© TV campaign budget was larger than the sales figures for some of our products!

  • We occasionally used an outside agency to help develop the positioning and branding of our own new products or to handle minor “spillovers”. Mostly, however, we did these things ourselves with internal resources.

The big companies often hire major, high profile agencies to develop all of the collateral (sales and marketing material), advertisements, etc.

  • When doing market research for our own projects, we usually conducted one or two focus groups and maybe a one-on-one questionnaire when developing a new product or campaign. We’d often conduct “grandma research” by doing informal surveys of family and friends (a practice that makes many big-company minds cringe).

According to many big companies the “right” way is to have several waves of research (first qualitative, then later quantitative) to get the product and message as optimal as possible. Then, introduce first only in a test market to analyze and refine. When rollout comes, it should be with a nationwide bang from several directions – TV/cable ads, radio ads, sampling, price discounts, etc., with different waves scheduled over several months – as well as many collateral pieces.
What is “right” for a large business may be totally impossible for a small business.

More Ways to Decide Which Products/Services are Right for Your Company

Look for a comfortable style.

There are numerous styles out there. You’ll likely get more out of material written by someone with a style you are comfortable with. Myself, I stay away from the charismatic leader types who tell me exactly what to do according to their “secret methods”. I like to march to the beat of my own drum, so I am not comfortable with following “gurus”.

Trust your business gut.

We all have an internal radar that starts pinging when something isn’t quite right. I’ve learned to listen to mine. Every time I don’t, I’m sorry later. If yours pipes up about a particular program or person, listen to it.

When it comes right down to it, helping you decide is what these marketing plan articles are all about. As you click through the site you will see several articles from different viewpoints about how to write a marketing plan and reference to different marketing planning products.

As you read each article and research the different products keep the above points in mind. Before long, you will be on your way to greater business success.