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In the process of yearly marketing planning, the challenges of all marketers now ranging from FMCG & Beverage to other industries are how to make an action right and convey the right message to capture the target customer insights in proper channels. A planning process is normally defined as building  Mix Marketing and Communication 360 degrees. I have gained some experience from various industries from Telecom to Jewelry and Beverage that poor plans and campaigns normally would appear when the marketers could not determine a comprehensive approach on how to bring their brand or product roles to capture customer insights. And they have been inclined to the marketing & communication plan to a series of interventions scattered in a wide range of channels from Above-The-Line (ATL) to Below-The-Line (ATL) in which the Online channel seems as the leading the marketing expenditures to bring in more sales leads. In another context of the limited budget, some SME owners have raised a question to me whether their companies should build the marketing & communication action first or build the sales acuities first then apply marketing as a supportive tool to sales.

Honestly,  the author Philip Kotler and Kevin Lane Keller in the famous book of Marketing Management and in the newest book of Marketing 4.0, did not affirm any right or wrong planning approach in the development of a marketing & communication strategies in a specific industry for businesses and organizations. The 5A or AIDA approach is given to ensure the right track of marketing intervention along with customer-purchase journey is not to help the marketers exactly define the effective performance of their marketing & communication vehicles and Key Performance Indicators (KPI) set up in a real situation.

This is the first and a very important advice from my experience to SME owners that they must identify the priority of generating sales revenues or building brand clearly prior to executing their new yearly-business plan. If an enterprise wants to improve sales, they will focus on setting up marketing activities as well as push sales in all channels. In case the enterprises want to build their brand, they will focus on not only the marketing 4 P (Product, Price, Place, and Promotion) but also the appropriate communication activities which convey the right message to right target audiences in right platforms, channels by using communication vehicles and KPIs rightly.

A recent case study when we developed a yearly marketing & communication plan  for an EDF (Energy Drink Fruit) – a Brand targeting the young generation aged from 14 to 22 years  has revealed an effective and efficient approach of planning process when we could combine the database from online platforms provided by Google and facebook surveys with real field studies in which we had some open-discussion with teenagers regarding to their styles, their expectations, their hobbies, their fears…and in what way they consider the reasons to believe for buying a products after touching an advertising message.

The booming of digital marketing has led to the key roles of available data, offering many opportunities to measure the impact of marketing plans & campaigns where the marketers could engage, personalize and attribute the success of their campaigns in real time. However, the lack of expertise, skills, and tools for data management, media planning, online performance tracking and media optimization is the biggest challenge in the most of Vietnamese SMEs. These fundamental expertise and tools will help the marketers navigate their way through planning & executive steps, which aims to turn data into insight and most important brands and products’ attributes and roles, and enables them to set up attractive concepts which bring their right message in right channels to their right consumers.

Last but not least, my advice on how to apply marketing 5A and AIDA in specific mix marketing & communication case could include some key steps:

  • To analyze data from different sources to the outcomes of marketing including identified target audiences and their insights, consumers purchase journey and key drivers affecting each stage of it, market share and competitors, the current trend of consumers’ behaviors and advanced technologies for approaching them.
  • Define the roles of brand or products offering to capture the consumer insights that enable the marketers to develop the key concepts, messages, and key visuals.
  • Define the channels & vehicles of communication where marketers could calculate how many target customers or traffics will be exploited on each.
  • And finally, execute all activities in detail with a strict budget.

Let’s start with your efforts and do not forget to track and optimize your marketing & communication plan and campaign every day with data extracted by Facebook insights, Google analytics, Brand Lift Survey and other advanced tools.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       By Thinh Phuc Vo

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