A sensible, seven-step process for developing an effective marketing plan.
As the founder and president of a marketing, communication, and sales-promotion agency, Fliehman (Customer Retention Through Quality Leadership, 1993) is eminently qualified to tackle her subject, and she does so with gusto here. This brief, straightforward book walks through each of her seven steps in concise chapters, each closing with an exercise designed to reinforce the content. Fliehman is consistently upbeat as she deftly describes her thoughtful steps, which approach marketing planning with a solid combination of the strategic and tactical. For example, Step 2, “Develop Purpose Statements,” discusses the strategic importance of a mission statement and then clearly delineates the difference between it and vision and values statements. On the other hand, Step 3, “Create Corporate Identity,” mainly digs into tactical details of specific elements of corporate identity, such as a logo, a typeface, and a color palette. A “bonus chapter” at the end of the book further expands on this step by covering how to build a graphic-standards manual. Thankfully, Fliehman doesn’t shy away from two areas that are typically the knottiest for marketers: budgeting and success measurement. Step 6, “Prepare Budget,” presents good advice for how to do so, such as by making an itemized list of deliverables, and it offers an example of how an agency and a client collaborated during a budgeting process. Readers may want to look closely at Step 7, “Implement and Evaluate,” because it contains such key sections as “Calculating Return,” “Projecting Results,” “Return on Investment,” and “Measuring Results.” The author also includes valuable examples of several specific types of marketing elements, including a brochure and a trade-show advertisement, along with measurement criteria for each. Fliehman prudently points out throughout the book that any marketing plan must be fluid and flexible so that one may easily modify it when it needs change—as they inevitably will. Overall, this book should be valuable to any marketer but particularly to newcomers to the field.
An excellent, authoritative manual that demonstrates a deep understanding of its subject.