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3 steps to implementing a basic integrated marketing plan

Updated: Sep 22, 2023


A pot of gold under a rainbow is as valuable as a good marketing plan

Download the ebook + worksheets - 3 Steps to Implementing a Basic Integrated Marketing Plan - 1 in a series of 9 ebooks.


In today's fast-paced and interconnected business landscape, a well-coordinated marketing approach is essential for success in the UK construction industry.


An integrated marketing plan brings together various tactics to create a harmonious and impactful brand presence, but most start-ups, founders, SMEs and even larger organisations can find it hard to rationalise the time it takes to create a successful marketing plan.


Crazy I know!

 
Download the eBook/Worksheets
 

This ebook has been created to guide you toward a basic integrated marketing plan using three fundamental steps.


By following these steps, you will create a basic marketing plan that will enable you to streamline your efforts, enhance brand visibility, increase sales activation and create a compelling narrative that resonates with your target audience - sounds a lot I know, but if you’re starting from scratch developing this plan will help to achieve these fundamentals for business success, short and long-term.


There is a bank of blank templates at the back of this ebook that will help you complete each stage of this plan. We’re the gift that keeps on giving right?


Note: Things that this guide doesn’t cover where the presumption is these are already in place or will be. If any of these aren’t yet sorted it’s best to get clarity prior to mapping out your next marketing plan.


1 Budget confirmed/understood
2 Analysis of any marketing plan output
3 Resources and capabilities are available
4 A level of marketing competency for understanding basic principles and theory
 

Step 1: Diagnosis - Understanding The Landscape


Things you need to do (see worksheets - pages 22-26):
Internal Audit
VRIO
External Review (PESTELE)
5 Impactful Forces
Positioning Map
SWOT
 

Before embarking on any marketing endeavour, it's imperative to

conduct a diagnosis of the current state of play - this consists of

looking externally and internally.


Externally

It’s important to research your market to gain insights into your industry, competitors and target audience's preferences, behaviours, and pain points - you have a target audience, right? Don’t panic if not, let’s just focus on understanding the lay of the land for now by

reviewing the market and industry you cater for, the factors that impact both the market and you as a business, as well as identifying key competitors to gauge your current positioning.


All sounds a little complex. It doesn’t have to be, just consider these seven areas of impact - Political, Environmental, Social, Technological, Economic, Legal, Ethics.


Internally

Additionally, conducting a simple audit of your existing marketing efforts will help uncover the changes to your current marketing efforts required to fulfil any business objectives. Evaluating the performance of your website, social media platforms, email campaigns, and any other communication channels as well as factors away from the promotional side of marketing such as pricing, distribution, resources, budgeting and the current range of products/services will give you a well-rounded review of your situation internally - i.e. the

things can you change and control.


Summaries Findings - SWOT

This diagnosis phase sets the foundation for a strategic marketing plan tailored to your unique positioning within the UK construction market.


Put simply, we are researching and assessing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). Simple to say, harder to execute. The idea behind this is to provide a detailed listing of what your analysis has uncovered within four different categories;


1 – Internal factors. We call these our Strengths and Weaknesses.

2 – Factors that can influence a business’s decision-making, where the business has little or no control over them. We call these Opportunities and Threats.

Note: The SWOT alone is pretty useless as it only provides you with a list of knowns with no real purpose or intent. Great for a review, but not so good if you want to move forward. Let’s pause this SWOT here and revisit it later when we use a TOWS model to squeeze the best out of this SWOT.

 

Step 2: Strategy - Crafting a Unified Vision


Once you've gained an understanding of the current state of play both internally and externally, it's time to put all of this (or at least some of it) to good use by developing what should be the most important step within this three-step process.


The bit that most people miss, ignore and damn right abuse!


A clear and cohesive marketing strategy. To get there we need to cover three additional steps:


a STP(Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning)
b Strategic Intent
C Objective Setting
 

a. STP(Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning)


Things you need to do (see worksheets - pages 27-28):
Meaningful-Actionable Grid
Positioning Map
(bring back the one you did for the previous section)
 

Segmentation

You now know in which direction you want your business to go, which is great – it gives you focus, clarity and drive. But focus, clarity and drive alone might not be enough. We need to dig a little deeper and get our targeting and positioning correct, but first, we must segment!

Segmentation The Meaningful-Actionable Grid is a tool used to identify and evaluate potential market segments based on the meaningfulness of the impact on consumer behaviour and the actionable opportunities each presents for an organisation.


It’s a simple analytical tool that can add verified meaning to your market segmentation and subsequent targeting, rather than sitting in a dark room thinking of who you’d really like to email you and say ‘Hey, I’m that perfect client you’ve been aimlessly writing about and waiting for (I also like chocolate ice cream), can I buy your services?'


Meaningful-Actionable Grid
Meaningful Actionable Grid Cheat Sheet

List Variables

Start by listing all possible Variables that can be used to segment the marketplace. This can be done through a team exercise that involves brainstorming and researching different variables. Variables may include demographics, psychographics, behaviours, needs, and other relevant factors.


Rate impact (Meaningful = Consumer Behaviour)

Once listed, rate each Variable from 1 to 10 based on its impact on a consumer's behaviour. Variables that have a direct effect on behaviour should receive a higher score, while those that do not have a meaningful impact should receive a lower score.


Score data availability (Actionable = Availability and Actionability)

Next, score each Variable on a scale of 1 to 10 based on its availability and actionability. Ask questions like "Do I have this data?" and "Can I identify actual customers according to this Variable?" Variables that are easily accessible and have actionable data should receive a higher score.


Calculate Scores (Meaningful x Actionable = Score)

The Variables with the highest scores (out of 100) are deemed of higher importance in the segmentation process.


Plot on a Grid

The variables can then be plotted on the grid based on their meaningfulness and actionability scores (2x2 grid making sure the appropriate variables are placed accordingly). Using the insights and data gathered from your previous research, calculations can now be made as to how valuable each segment of the market could be to your organisation (for example, the total number of prospects within a variable x the £ spent on a specific type of

variable = Potential value of this segment).


To distinguish each segment, might as well give it a memorable but pretty pointless funky name!


Targeting - Prioritise Segments

It will be the analysis of these calculations that will hold the most relevance as well as importance in determining the most attractive segments to target. Other segments can be evaluated based on their potential for growth, profitability, and/or fit with the company's strategy, but always make sure each calculation is done fairly and without bias to not influence any outcomes.


It should now be obvious and easy to distinguish the groups of potential clients that are to become target markets - the markets that will be your main focus to maximise results.

 

Positioning

The final stage of STP is positioning, critical for establishing an organisation within a marketplace, especially where competition is fierce. Defining a position means looking at reviewing and executing one of the following;


- Defending the current position
- Moving into a new, more competitive position
- Attacking a crowded position

Each one has its own risks and rewards and with the previous research and analysis, you need to be confident in the position you are applying here. Once again you can either be analytical and base your position on research and statistics, or you can use your initiative - Like Warburton’s Half and Half, I find it’s always a good idea to have the best of both. Not too

analytical, nor reliant on intuition alone.


Whatever you decide to use, positioning maps (maps as in, you can create more than one) are your friend here. This means using an X and Y axis from a central point with each axis having defined polarising characteristics - these characteristics should be meaningful to your

target market. For example:



X-axis = Hardware Required - Nil and Comprehensive
Y-axis = Software Compatibility / Integration - High and Low

Once you have these maps structured placing both your own organisation and its competitors within each map will provide you with a visual representation of where you fit within the market and which POSITIONING will be most effective.


 

b. Strategic Intent


Things you need to do (see worksheets - page 29-30):
TOWS Analysis (bringing back your SWOT model)
SFA
 

Let’s bring back your SWOT. Great, now you’ve brought this back to your attention it’s time to make it work for you by enhancing your findings into actionable insights.


The TOWS

The TOWS is your secret weapon here. This is where you start to shape the future of your business, based on valid research and reliable data.


Most marketers will conduct a SWOT, but do nothing with it!!

Take a strength or weakness and match it with an opportunity or threat, allowing you to create a number of different strategic directions. So you may take a strength and an opportunity as they complement each other (i.e. the strength will help maximise the opportunity). You don’t have to do this for all the statements within your SWOT, nor does it have to be in a particular order.


TOWS Output

Strengths and Opportunities​

Maximising an opportunity by using a strength.

Strengths and Threats

Minimising a threat by doubling down on a strength.

Weaknesses and Opportunities

​Focus on an opportunity that reduces a spotted weakness.

Weaknesses and Threats

Avoiding a threat by removing a weakness.

Example

Strength

Distribution of your products locally is exceptional – 99% deliveries on time.

Opportunity

Some wider geographical locations are pockets where your products and services are seen as desirable.

Strategy

​Implement trails in distributing to these locations with the plan to roll out a wider delivery network.

SFA (Suitability, Feasibility, Acceptability)

Setting that Strategic Direction Correctly

By now you should have a list of potential options that you have identified as strategic directions from your TOWS analysis. It’s time to decide which of these should be taken forward, which of these is the most appropriate for the business and which is most likely to succeed.


By putting some method and analysis behind this by way of each of your chosen strategic directions suitability, feasibility and acceptability (SFA) it should become apparent as to which is the best fit to take forward.


Suitability: How suitable is this direction to what we are trying to achieve?
Feasibility: How feasible is the implementation of this direction?
Acceptability: How acceptable to the rest of the business is this direction?

By scoring each of the above (marking each out of 5) you will end up with a total score for each direction.

 

c. Objective Setting


Things you need to do (see worksheets - page 31):
SMART Objectives
 

You need to set some objectives. Good objectives. SMART objectives.


An objective should cover all the elements of the acronym SMART (Specific, Measurable, Agreed Upon, Realistic, Timed), meaning a sentence or maybe two that covers all the elements, not a sentence to explain each element.


Some Rules of Thumb
1. Be specific about your goal
2. How will you measure success
3. Is it achievable? Don’t go mad!

Piss Poor Examples

– Increase turnover by £1 million

– Improve customer engagement

– Enter a new marketplace

– Produce 3 new products


Reet Good Examples

– Achieve at least a 95% excellent customer service rating each month by those visiting all our physical merchant stores by the end of the year.

– Increase the number of customer website enquiries by 10,000 per month until the end of the year.

– Reduce average distribution costs on orders over £25,000 to less than 5% of gross revenue on all roofing products by the end of the month.


Note: Don’t get too hung up on each part of this SMART model. Adding an end date, a number to aim for and not making it impossible, you’ve pretty much nailed it. Perhaps it should be renamed EDNNI instead.

 

Step 3: Tactics - Executing Your Plan


Things you need to do (see worksheets - pages 32-36):
4P’s
Customer Journey
Brand Guidelines
 

With a solid strategy in place (see step 2 if you’ve skipped it you cheeky monkey), it's time to put actions to your marketing plan through carefully chosen tactics.


Your tactics will vary based on your objectives, target audience, available resources (including budget) and strategic intent. Remember that the devil is in the detail.


The 4 P’s and a Bit More

The best way to document these tactics is by using the tried and trusted 4 P’s model (a lot of marketers now chat about the 7P’s which includes Physical Evidence, People and Process, but for simplicity, we’re discussing the ‘traditional’ 4 here).


Oh, and we’ve added a bit about branding and a bit about the customer journey for completeness.
 

Product

Firstly, understanding where your products fit within the market is key. This will identify any gaps within the portfolio that may need to be addressed with new product developments in the future and hopefully what this roadmap looks like.


A fundamental error is not to consider or indeed ask your customer base what products or updates they require (when I say products, I actually mean products and/or services, but I’m being lazy so we’ll just stick to classing both as ‘products’).


It could be that you’re planning to update a popular product that is declining in sales or release complementary products to coexist with a current range (plugging those gaps).


Regardless, if you are not focussed on these factors you may find yourself scratching around, changing your freshly made plan and making a whole lot more work for yourself quite quickly.


This should already be set and in place to assist in the successful execution of this marketing plan but you still need to factor this into your mix.

 

Price

Pricing and expectations within the market are critical as a misstep here can mean being seen as too cheap with the perceived quality of the product misunderstood or too expensive and the benefits not seen as outweighing the price tag.


For these and multiple other reasons, such as the pricing structure (bundling, skimming, cost-plus, high-low, premium or otherwise) marketing needs to be part of the conversation.


Pricing goes hand-in-hand with the product and product development, with a marketing plan honing in on different tactical requirements from potentially varied price points for multiple different target markets (think, good, better, best within a product portfolio) to entry-level products with an upsell (think software with additional bundles).


This should already be set and in place to assist in the successful execution of this marketing plan but you still need to factor this into your mix.

 

Place

In an industry such as construction, the supply chain and distribution networks are critical to the whole industry (take a look at the complexity of the industry by downloading our guide to the Construction Industry Mapped Out), not just certain stages within it. For this plan however, consideration must be given to your customers, wherever they are within this complexity and tailored to their needs;


- Preferences to purchase
- Preferred delivery option
- Expectations of this service
- Aftersales and the ease of communication
 

Promotion

This is the icing on the cake, or should I say the cherry on the cake, the bit that stands out, gets noticed and its execution is critical to your whole plan.


What I’m trying to say here is that you don’t get to touch this until the rest of your cake is mixed and baked - what I’m trying to say is, don't touch promotion until your diagnosis, strategy and the other elements of the tactical mix have been completed.


Within the promotional element of your plan you need to consider;


– Communication channels
– Type of creative
– The key message you want to get out there
– The tone of this message
– Its consistency and being on-brand
– A call to action and that particular creatives’ main purpose

Remember, the key to successful execution is consistency and alignment across all tactics. Ensure that your messaging, branding, and communication style remain cohesive across all touchpoints and that it compliments your product/service and pricing.

 

Customer Journey

Regardless of what you are buying, you will always follow a certain set of stages and this means that your potential customers will also follow a certain set of stages. If you can master each one, and make it easy to transition from one stage to the next, then you make it much easier for people to find you and want to do business with you.


Explore: In 2011 Google classed this as ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth), you need to be part of this moment. Searches and opinions form before any decisions have been made. You want to be the ‘top search’ for the first name on the ‘solutions to solve my problem’ list.

Consider: Although consumer opinion is developed within the EXPLORE stage, people will still look for alternatives before and after an initial search. Make sure you are still adding value at this stage.

Cognition: People will always look for validity in their choices and even though decisions are being actively made here, it is important to keep providing reassurance. Always building know, like, trust factors.

Convert: Consider the fact that this may not be monetary (yet). At the point of conversion, it is still easy (especially online) to abandon this action. Reducing the friction, openness and transparency will help here.

Connect: Loyalty can be difficult to achieve so it is vital that you keep building a relationship with your newly acquired customers.

When we start to map out a customer’s journey it can become complex and confusing as there are so many different ways of communicating with our audience (a study conducted by Smart Insights (2017) discovered over 120+ forms of digital communication alone).


Mapping out each customer journey is impossible. So let’s not do that, let’s start with the general steps that a consumer will go through from the first point of contact to the point of purchase (or conversion) and thereafter.

 

Brand

As most construction technology companies are founded as start-ups it can be difficult to justify spending on brand building (similar to promotional spending), but the brand warrants its own section in this guide due to its ability to deliver results long-term. The benefits of

building a brand is multiple;


higher pricing,
better visibility,
shorter sales cycles,
and better investor opportunities,
can all be attributed to creating a well-known brand.

While the promotion element here is focused on the short-term sales activation, the brand is very much long-term, both are important within the world of construction technology from the start-up phase where generating income and investment can be critical, to being well-established within the market which will only occur by maintaining high levels of brand authority.


To do this you must make sure you create and stick by your brand guidelines. To create these you must include the following attributes which must be salient within all your assets. Failure to do this will result in a weaker brand in the long term:


- Brand Overview
- Logo and Logo Variations
- Brand Colours
- Typography
- Brand Voice
- Imagery & Photography
- Video & Animation
- Salient Assets
- Working Examples
 

Summary

In conclusion, implementing a simple integrated marketing plan in the UK construction industry requires a strategic approach that encompasses diagnosis, strategy development, and tactical execution while mapping out your brand and customer journey(s). By understanding your market landscape, crafting a unified vision, and carefully executing your chosen tactics, you can create a compelling and impactful brand presence that resonates with your target audience and sets your construction business on a path to success.

 
- Internal Audit
- VRIO
- External Review (PESTELE)
- 5 Impactful Forces
- Positioning Map
- SWOT Chart
- Meaningful-Actionable Grid
- TOWS Analysis
- SFA
- SMART Objectives
- 4P’s
- Customer Journey
- Brand Guidelines

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