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  • Writer's pictureMikaela Bolling

Six phases to a great marketing process

Marketing is an iterative process.


Companies need a comprehensive and concrete marketing strategy in order to have a clear direction and drive their business forward. However, companies also need to realize that the marketing landscape is constantly changing. This means it’s also important to pivot and make adjustments based on real-time data. Without a solid marketing process, pivoting can become haphazard and create major inconsistencies.

Enter the six phases of a great marketing process developed by Benson P. Shapiro.

This process involves research, creating a strategy, planning out your activities, allocating resources, implementing that plan and then iterating based on your metrics.

Let’s take a look at each phase.

1. Analysis and research

This is the first step to any marketing process and for good reason. Brands must understand their competitors and their customers to know how to market their products and services effectively. There are many frameworks and tools companies can use to do this research such as Porter’s 5 Forces, a 5 C’s analysis, customer surveys and interviews, and competitor research.

At Brilliant, we always start with a discovery and research phase to understand your market. Our process typically includes:

  • Reviewing any previous company research

  • Doing a competitive audit of your top 3-5 competitors to uncover the whitespace

  • Conducting a business assessment and reviewing your marketing channels and materials to look for strengths and opportunities

  • Interviewing and/or surveying customers to create customer personas outlining your target audience’s wants, needs and best ways to reach them

2. Marketing strategy formation

This is where the company outlines its long-term goals and basic approach to competing within the market. This includes making choices the best way to create value for your customers and developing a plan for reaching those customers. The marketing strategy includes (what marketers call) the 4Ps. This includes what your PRODUCT is, the PRICE of that product, how and where to PLACE the product (sell it through a partner, distributor or on your website), and the PROMOTION of that product.

When working with clients at this stage, our process:

  • Uses the research we conducted in the analysis and research to form the marketing strategy

  • Includes a diagnosis and strategy for each of the 4Ps

  • The sales funnel outlining each step of the customer journey and how each communication channel feeds into that customer journey

3. Marketing planning

This is where you put your strategy into a concrete plan with action items and timelines. These plans can be regularly reworked or last for years.

At Brilliant, we create an action plan framework for each of the 4Ps which lays out the specific step-by-step actions, timelines and KPIs for each strategy. This ensures there is accountability and a set plan for implementation.

4. Programming, allocating and budgeting

These outline the near-term priorities and objectives which are usually set once a year. It also includes how resources will be allocated to each activity.

Our strategic marketing plans include a section outlining the top priorities to focus on, what it will cost and when it should happen.

5. Implementation

It’s time to execute the plan!

As true business partners, we are able to help our clients execute on the areas they need support such as design, content creation, web design, etc. Through our coaching service, we also work with internal stakeholders to implement the plan and coach them through the process.

6. Monitoring and auditing

Every plan should have metrics that are tracked to show success. This is where you consistently evaluate those metrics against your goals and develop corrective action plans (i.e. small pivots).

Our plans include SMART goals and a key performance indicator dashboard laying out the most important data points to track each month.

7. Analysis and research

Wait, isn’t there only supposed to be 6 steps? Analysis and research should be ongoing! Marketing strategies need constant input from customers and should be a key priority to ensure your efforts are successful!

At Brilliant, our process follows these 6 steps to ensure our clients are successful. To learn more about our process, visit our process page.

Want more information about what a custom marketing strategy would look like? Set up a meeting!

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