One of the most popular blog postings is ‘The Real Role of Marketing’ and the Winning Strategies Masterclass delivered by LEAD Masterclass Professor Malcolm McDonald. I am delighted that one of my former senior managers in one of my former businesses has taken the time to write about his experiences. Niels is a successful business person in his own right and an inspiration to others. He has humbly written how he embraced the Marketing Planning Process transforming the way he works, the businesses he worked for and his career.
I read about the meeting with Malcolm McDonald on the blog and decided to write about my practical experience with the Marketing Planning Process (MPP).
I was introduced to the MPP more than 10 years ago. I had several years experience as a sales director/manager in a major Danish building materials company.
The model represented a complete mind-set change and paradigm shift for me and the business. MPP means that you can proactively plan your sales activities. The inputs and outputs in the MPP are based on facts and most importantly what customers think about us!
I spent 2 to 3 weeks every year visiting our customers to do the research demanded by the process. The primary reason was to collect data so we could score our strength in the market compared to our competitors. The visits also had another effect - it gave respect - our customers were pleasantly surprised that we wanted their input.
The next step was to assess what an attractive market looked like. It was an interesting internal task to do and one companies rarely do.
We then constructed our directional policy matrix (DPM). This is a fantastic tool generating many interesting discussions around the Boardroom table regarding where we would focus our efforts.
Previously our focus had been wrong. We had invested time and money dealing with an unattractive market segment where the customers did not rate us highly. We should have been raising pricing, minimizing promotion and cutting back on the organisation. It was an eye opener! We reassigned employees to focus on segments that we had chosen as our future. Our profits increased dramatically.
We completed the process each year. The result was a large number of actions to be implemented during the year - we called it our “year-wheel”. Our marketing plan became the foundation of our business model.
I have since been managing director in several companies. I use the model every year and have asked my management teams to think and work using the model.
The MPP is more than conducting research and making plans for the companies. It affects the way you think in your working life. It has changed the way I do business, for the better.
So do yourself a favour and read “MARKETING PLANS - How To Prepare Them, How to use them” by Malcolm McDonald. Understand the idea and start the journey. You will find that your company will be more market driven than you ever thought possible!
That is brilliant Niels and thank you. If you would like assistance to create an MPP within your organisation then we would be delighted to assist you.