The Marketing Lifecycle: Build Systems to Grow Your Brand | Chris Bolman | Skillshare

The Marketing Lifecycle: Build Systems to Grow Your Brand

Chris Bolman, Founder & CEO, Brightest.io

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12 Lessons (56m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:30
    • 2. Your Project

      1:12
    • 3. What is marketing?

      6:31
    • 4. Why does marketing matter?

      2:06
    • 5. The Lifecycle

      7:02
    • 6. Building a Team

      2:50
    • 7. Planning

      8:09
    • 8. Development

      7:26
    • 9. Production

      3:50
    • 10. Distribution

      6:06
    • 11. Monitoring and Analysis

      7:22
    • 12. Final Thoughts

      1:56
163 students are watching this class

About This Class

What is marketing in the digital age? Join Chris Bolman (Director of Marketing, Percolate) to learn a systemic approach to marketing that will help you better plan, execute, and measure the impact of your brand messaging efforts.

Today, as marketing's role in companies continues to expand, there's never been a better time to assess your brand and channel efforts. In this class, straightforward and insightful lessons will define marketing as a discipline, break down its purposes and objectives, and offer a way to think about marketing as a process.

Whether you're an entrepreneur looking to grow your marketing team, a junior marketer eager to understand the discipline today, or a seasoned pro looking for frameworks to hit "refresh," you'll gain insights to make the most of your marketing and drive impact.

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Percolate is The System of Record for Marketing, a complete web and mobile software platform to manage all your marketing in one place.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: My name is Chris Bolman, director of marketing at Percolate. So Percolate is the system of record for marketing. They really acts as the marketing operating system that helps a company understand what to say, when to say it and where to say it. So I think this class is really intended for anyone who just kind of wants to understand marketing better, how it functions as a discipline, what the purposes or objectives of marketing are, and how to think about marketing as a system, or lifecycle, or a process. One of the fascinating things about marketing to me, is it actually is of a kind of a high variance function. There's really not a lot of limits to marketing and I think one of the interesting things to me is marketing's role in companies continues to expand. So hopefully, if you take this class, you'll be able to walk away with a couple of things. Why does marketing exist? What does marketing exist to achieve, and how is marketing practiced at companies? From there, I'd like to walk you through the marketing lifecycle or the marketing process and really break down each of the different steps of marketing so that you can start to think about, how do I plan my marketing? How do I create my marketing? Once I've created it what do I do with it? And you can think about marketing as kind of this integrated lifecycle system and it does that in a way that ultimately builds your business and grows your brand. 2. Your Project: So, marketing ultimately is about making connections, and it's really about communicating with as many people as possible in interesting, relevant, and value creating ways. Your assignment for this class is to find and share one example of effective marketing or advertising that you really respond to and you think is great, and shared in the Skillshare project gallery. So, it could be an example of a billboard or a TV commercial, a YouTube video or even a social media post or an email that you saw and really, really liked. What's important is that you found it compelling, it was relevant to you, and the message really resonated, and it made you want to find out more about the brand or potentially research the product or service more. So, please just share any example that you really like, and really resonates with you. Not only is it a way to kind of share, and learn and think about, and apply some of the criteria we've talked about to advertising out there, as a test for yourself, but it's a great way to get feedback from the rest of the community, to hear from other students, and to compare and contrast what you're sharing, and what worked for you with what other people really liked and found compelling. 3. What is marketing?: In our first lesson I'm going to define sort of what marketing is in terms of fundamental principles and why it exists. And then in our next second lesson I'll go through the actual practice of marketing and how you can think about marketing in your own business. The really interesting thing to ask about marketing is that a lot of marketing today was really invented around the industrial revolution and the advent of mass manufacturing, mass transportation like railroads and interstate highways and then ultimately the development of radio and TV. Those innovations in history allowed brands and allowed companies for the first time to create lots of products and distribute them very widely. Right. You could mass manufacture something like soap or soda and you could transport it to a lot of different customers, who didn't necessarily know your brand or weren't familiar with your offering, they were used to buying something maybe locally in the store that was produced nearby. And what's really changed in the last few years is really the Internet and the impact that the Internet has had on marketing. So, if you think about how to define marketing at a basic level, it's the promotion or the storytelling around your product or service in a way that's going to ultimately grow your brand or grow recognition of your brand and help people buy more of your products. When we say brand, what we really mean is the mission, vision and values that guide you or your company. Right. Why do you exist? What problem are you there to solve? Why are you particularly qualified to do it right like? Why should people buy you as opposed to your competitor? Or why should people believe in the solution you're offering? And then what brand then becomes reinforced by and what ultimately makes it almost like an idea system are the visual elements of your brand, right. Your logos, your color palettes, the topography and fonts that you use and then communicating that across as many different channels as possible in a way that will get the message to your audience or the people who buy your product your customers or your consumers in a way that allows you to achieve your business objectives. So, marketing includes a lot of different disciplines. So, typically a marketing department or organization will actually have a lot of different teams. There might be an events team, an advertising or maybe a demand generation team, you might have a growth team or a more product or technically focused area and then you might have a PR and communications organization. What PR and communications is ultimately really focused on is this idea of crafting and developing the brand story, the brand's positioning and then taking it to market. And that could be through media relations, speaking with journalists and pitching stories that will bring a higher level or more early stage awareness of the brand, or it could be later stage things. Like for example, getting a case study or a client success story or a customer happiness story written up in an article that you can then share with other customers who are further along in the buying cycle. That will really convinced or kind of compelled them to buy what you're selling. So, marketing ultimately exists to again really kind of achieve two objectives: the first objective is to communicate and grow the brand and the second objective is to drive sales. And one way to think about that is the customer path to purchase. Typically when someone's going to buy or evaluate a product, they'll typically start out with an information search. Right. They'll have a problem and they'll go about searching. How can I find a solution to this problem? And maybe they search on Google maybe they ask their friends but that's usually step one, and then from there they'll use that information to start to look at or evaluate different solutions. And so once they're evaluating solutions that's usually when they would first start to interact with your company or your startup or you're offering and start to compare your product to potentially other competitors or other products that might solve that solution. Once they get there, if you're marketing is able to advance them further, what you then want them to do is really start to consider your product and start to wait or evaluate your product in a better or more positive light than your competitors ultimately with the goal of driving a true conversion or purchase of the product. And so marketing exists and the real goal of marketing is to communicate the right thing to a customer or to a consumer or a potential purchaser at the right time at each step of that journey. So, for example, if someone has never bought your product before, you might want to show them an advertisement something very simple that's aspirational that maybe develops or build some sort of emotional connection with your brand. And that could be a youtube video, it could be a print advertisement, it could be a billboard. It's something that's going to initially introduce someone to your company. Now, say someone sees for example, a digital ad that you show them and they click through that ad and they're interested. Once they get to your website they've gone to another, what we would say path down the path to purchase or a different step of the customer life-cycle and now they're actively evaluating what you're offering, they're looking at your website, they might be browsing different pages, they might go on your blog and read some articles to really try to understand who you are. Right, this is part of the information search. And then if they like what they see maybe they'll subscribe to your blog via email or maybe they'll click a request a demo button or if you have an e-commerce site maybe they'll browse your products and add a couple to a shopping card. And so, then at that point you've got kind of an initial conversion or you've got the point where they've gone from someone researching your brand to someone actively interested in your brand. And at that point you probably want to introduce them to more like product marketing. And so, product marketing as a discipline or area of marketing that's really focused on getting people to go from interested in your product to actively buying your product in terms of reinforcing credibility, explaining why it's so great or why it's special or distinct or better than the competition. And so, different elements or different sub-disciplines of marketing whether they're advertising or events or product marketing work at different stages of the customer path to purchase, again with the goal of communicating kind of the right thing at the right time that's going to move the customer along that journey to ultimately buy your brand and also to remember you and kind of like you and have a relationship with you so that they may hopefully by again from you in the future. 4. Why does marketing matter?: So, I guess one question is now that you understand the basics of marketing as why is marketing important for your business. If you look at some of the largest and most successful and most valuable companies in the world, and a common example that gets thrown around very often is Apple, Apple has done a tremendous amount of effort to market, grow and really build a very broad and powerful brand, right? Apple's brand extends not just from the devices that it makes to even seeing like white headphones on the street, or a very, very iconic logo. It's very easy to recognize Apple. Think about your business particularly if you're just getting started, or you have a startup, or you're you're just starting out, one of the most important things is really bridging this idea or creating this idea of product market fit. If you have a product that you want to take to a marketer and audience, marketing really in a lot of ways can bridge that gap. Obviously, the strategies or the tactics that a startup might take to go to market is very, very different from what an established company might do. What a company like Slack, or Dropbox, or Percolate might do as an early stage company is very, very different than what a larger advertiser like a Fortune 500 company might do in terms of how they get their message across or how they reach consumers, but it's still very, very important to think about what is the most cost effective way that you can build awareness of what you're offering. Particularly, if you're just starting out or don't have many customers, how you can build credibility around your offering, how you can make people trust your brand, and want to see you successful and want to buy what you're selling, then how you can make what you're offering as recognizable as possible in as many different places, so that again when people are thinking about solutions or when they're evaluating alternatives, or if they're in a purchasing or problem situation, your brand comes to mind. Again, you have that idea that mental availability or that brand memory, which will then ultimately lead hopefully as many of those people as possible to select and buy what you're selling. 5. The Lifecycle: So, at a high level, now that we've talked through some of the fundamental concepts of marketing. Now, let's talk about how you can put it into practice for your business. So, again if you'll remember what marketing is about, it's taking your brand, who you are, your brand identity, what do you stand for, what do you want to achieve. It's communicating that to your audience or your audiences. It's using different channels, different communications places where you can communicate or spread that message with the ultimate goal of achieving a business objective. So, marketing brings together those four elements and it's really important to develop a strategy around that and then also develop a process or a system that will allow you to go execute your marketing. At percolate, when we think about the marketing life cycle or the marketing process, we break it down into about six discrete steps. This is how we see a marketing team working overall. So, the first step is obviously just planning, right like you don't want to just go out there and do things without planning, but particularly with marketing when you're thinking about advertising, when you're thinking about producing events, you want to make sure that you have a plan or a real schedule. This could involve you know scheduling social media posts, it could involve buying media or buying a billboard and then creating the creative around it. That's going to go on that billboard. But you want to have a plan, and most importantly you want to have a plan that syncs up different elements or different aspects of your brand, right? You don't want your PR team talking about one thing when your advertising group is going off and doing something else. Or you don't want your website saying one thing when you have an event bright that you've set up for your website and that event bright page says something else. You want a consistent brand across all your communications channels. So, that's what makes planning and collaboration and alignment and teamwork really really important in marketing. Once you have your plan, you want to start to go into creative development. Creative development is really step two. That's the process of developing a brief and then saying from this brief, here's what we're going to go make, here's what we're going to do, here's what we're going to go say. At Percolate, when we talk about a brief, what we really mean is a creative brief. The easiest way to think about a creative brief I think in my sense is to really think about it as a problem statement that's going to inspire the team or the other people who have to go solve the problem to come up with a good solution. So, typically your brief is going to lay out important elements or building blocks of your brand. It's going to talk about what does the brand exist for? What are the important elements or attributes of the brand to communicate? Who is the brand trying to communicate to? Right. You can think of the brief as a problem statement or requirements stock that you'll then develop a solution against. Once you know what you're going to make, obviously you can go to step 3 and that's production. Production is the actual process of creating your marketing. There's lots of different elements or different ways or types of creative that you can produce in marketing ranging all the way from full TV commercials, down to blog posts and tweets and sort of social media copy. So, creative production can really run this very very broad spectrum. Some projects may take only a few minutes or hours or in the case of a really large marketing campaign maybe even months or longer. Once you produce your work, then you've got it distributed, and what distribution is about, it's about taking your creative. or taking your content or your message or your story and getting it out to your audience. Right. So, you can think about and what we often would say in marketing, is talk about a distribution channel and you could say, "Okay. Social media is a distribution channel for our story or email as a distribution channel or PR and journalism as a distribution channel." So, as a marketing department and as a business, you have lots of different distribution channels where you might tell different elements or different variations of your story while still wanting to maintain again this kind of consistent whole that reinforces your brand's mission, your brand's value, your purpose and what you're trying to do. So, as a marketer once you've produced everything, you're then going to go through the act of distributing it, across all of the different channels that you're active on, with the goal of distributing your message in the most cost effective way to as many people as possible. You want to get as much reach on your message as possible ideally with the most relevant people. Once you've distributed your message, once you've started communicating, the next step is really around monitoring or listening. Right. We talk about monitoring or listening as a, I guess in some ways kind of gathering feedback or trying to understand how your customers or how your marketing audience responds to your messaging. This could take the form of monitoring your Twitter feed and seeing how people are talking about your brand. This could involve maybe competitive intelligence or enterprise listening in terms of going out and looking and seeing how are people talking about your brand, how are they talking about competitors, how are your competitors responding to your marketing messaging. Or it could involve things like media monitoring using something like Google News or Google Search to see are journalists talking about your brand? Are you getting press coverage? Are you getting media attention? How are people talking about you? Are they talking about you in the way that you would want them to talk about you? Or are they misunderstanding your marketing message? Or they may be talking about your product in a way that isn't right or is incorrect? Right. There's lots of different ways that you can listen to what's going on in the market and understand how your marketing messaging is either resonating or not working. Finally, once you have your message out there, once you're starting to get feedback, the final step in marketing really comes down to analysis. It's taking the data and the feedback that you're able to gather and using that to drive insights around. Is your marketing working? How can you make it better, and what new messaging will communicate and grow your brand and drive sales even more effectively than before? This is actually one of the most important elements of marketing as a whole is, it's important to think about each of these steps as different finite areas or tasks that either you or your team are going to go do and you want to do really well. But it's also really important to think about the overall system and think about all of these different steps as one closed loop. Right? Because if you don't understand or you can't get good data and analytics on how your marketing is produced, you may not know whether the tweet or the post or the image or the ad or the billboard that you created is actually working. So, you want to be able to gather data about the previous steps as much as possible, so then your team or your analytics manager or whoever is sort of gathering or evaluating your performance results, can understand not just how you're doing, but what the opportunities are to optimize it and make it even better. 6. Building a Team: So obviously, one final thing that you want to take into mind or think about is how you're actually going to do your marketing. What's the team, what are the resources that are going to allow you to achieve these goals. That's really, really important in terms of thinking about a marketing team, and I've thought a little bit about how you might want to think about getting started. I think the first thing is if you think about marketing starting with the brand. Your brand is a set of ideas and it's a set of stories and messages that you want to communicate, and it's also going to be reinforced by these visual elements. Your design standards, the way you design your website or your e-mails, your logo, your fonts, your color palettes and things like that. So, in my opinion, every great marketing team starts with at least one great storyteller, one great communicator and writer, and one great designer or brand expert who can really figure out how to communicate the brand visually. You then want to think about, particularly if you're a startup or a small business, how you might take these ideas to market. So, a lot of early stage companies will typically start with a website, they will start with social media, email and other things that are ostensibly free as ways to build their audience and start attracting people to the brand. So, once you have those two initial core elements or people on your team, you then want to think about what are the digital or what are the communications specializations that will give me the maximum amount of communications reach and effectiveness for as little investment in probably as few people as possible. Myself personally, I've seen this firsthand. I was the only person doing all marketing at a startup before, everything from designing the website to doing the e-mails to writing social media to writing other copy and even going into sales conversations and trying to support that way, whereas with Percolate, I've had the really great fortune of seeing a marketing company really grow and being able to build it from very little. When I first started here, we were really two marketers and two designers, and now we've been able to grow to a marketing organization of more than 20. As you grow your marketing organization, what you're really going to see or find or be able to achieve is going from a smaller team of more generalists communicating your brand in a few places to a larger organization of specialists who are able to not only communicate your brand in bigger ways in more places, but also do it in a more tailored and customized manner. If you only have a few marketers, you may only be able to communicate to audiences in North America, whereas as you start to grow your marketing organization, you may get to the point where you can start to hire international marketers or multilingual marketers who can start to take and translate your messages into other countries and into other cultures. 7. Planning: First, we'll start with planning. Planning is actually one of the most important elements in all of marketing and I think if you really think about what marketing takes, it makes a lot of sense why you want to start with a great plan. The first is you want a plan for consistency right? You want to make sure that what you're doing in different places and across different marketing channels is consistent both from a brand messaging standpoint, and also just from a timing alignment standpoint. For example, to give you a basic example, if you planned a TV commercial and you bought the airtime for that, you want to make sure that you plan your production so that you have the TV commercial made and edited when it's ready to go on air. If your planning is off and you don't make the TV commercial on time, you already bought the airtime, you invested the media and you might lose a huge element of your campaign. So, it's very important that planning brings together your different brand messaging, what you're doing across different channels, what different members of your team or what different teams are doing, and potentially what you're doing with external partners like a vendor, or an agency, or just someone else you're working with maybe like a freelancer. So, from there it's important to think about what planning actually is. Obviously planning means to prepare for the future, but in marketing or advertising, planning has some more specific definitions. I think the first thing to understand is there's actually different types of planners in marketing. Common examples, if you walk into a major advertising agency, you might find a brand planner, you might find a communications planner, you might find a media planner who actually buys advertising space, or you might have someone like an event planner. All of these different types of planners or different planning roles would work together to create an overall marketing campaign, and to guide, and kind of schedule out the marketing that you're going to do over time. Another important element of planning is the actual active brand or communications planning in terms of planning out your messaging, how your message is going to be developed, and ultimately how it's going to be distributed. If we think about the other steps of the marketing life cycle, you have the development of a message, you have the production or the creation of a message, and then you have the distribution of a message. One element or one important role of planning is making sure that those are ordered and also structured in a systematic or consistent way. So, one example of that is, say you have a brand, like we are Percolate for example, in where this system of record for marketing. We want to create technology and create software that builds the best brands in the world. So, we would take that core brand identity concept, and then we might distill that or break that down into a campaign idea or a campaign framework. One example of that would be systems make great things possible. People don't actually realize the role of systems in our day to day lives, the healthcare system, the Internet is a system, systems are a way of ordering and structuring human achievement so that it can be repetitive and other people can build on top of it, many people don't understand that. So, if we come up with the idea of the campaign tagline of systems make great things possible, what we would then do in terms of building out our brand and our communications plan, is saying okay, what are the different tactics or the different ways that we can phrase that message? How might that message appear in a video or a film? How might that message appear in a banner ad? How could this message appear in outer form? So, a lot of the act of planning also goes into thinking about what's the message, and how do you break down that message into different executions, and then how do you go out and actually execute, and deliver and tell that story over time and in different locations and in different places. So, to give you another example or give you a practical example of marketing planning, I'm going to walk you through Percolate right now and just show you a quick example of percolate's own marketing calendar, if you don't have access to percolate, you're welcome to put together your own marketing plan in a google calendar or even in just a spreadsheet, or google document. So, one of the major campaign focus areas that we have going on in September is our transition conference. Transition is an industry event, a branded Percolate event, that we throw, where we want marketers to find their higher calling and to really think bigger about their impact. The world is becoming richer, the global middle class and global demographics are improving, the world is becoming more connected, three billion people in the world have access to Internet right now, and that's all having a pretty major impact on marketing. So, Transition is an event where we really want to talk about that, and we want to bring together thought leaders from across the industry to talk about how marketing is changing and how the world is changing. If you actually look at the product itself, we've got a lot of different efforts that we're trying to coordinate around transition. So, for example we have a transition social give away campaign where we're offering people who mention Transition and talk about the hash tag on social, and answer the question, "How has technology made your world better?", the opportunity to win prizes and win free tickets to transition. As you can see next to that on the planner, we've got an example of a blog post where we're going to announce the giveaway. We'll have an email going out to our list, serve, it's good to announce the promotion, and we've got other support on social that's also going to sort of provide people with information and distribute the message across that channel. But now that transition campaign is going to be an ongoing effort that's going to stretch over the course of a couple of weeks, leading into other initiatives, like for example, the actual coordination or launch of different marketing and advertising messages in different cities, leading up to the actual conference on September 24th. One of the things that you want to think about when you look or when you plan out your marketing, is you want to look at your marketing across different topics, potentially things like events versus news, versus PR and communications. You want to look at your marketing across different platforms, across channels. So, maybe you want to look at what you're doing on your blog versus what you're doing on email, versus what you're doing on Facebook, or other areas, and you want to also be able to look at your marketing over time, and be able to also collaborate with your team members to see what they're doing, what they're working on, and to make sure that everybody is aligned on the same page. So, one interesting question or one thing you might ask yourself is like, how do I know that I'm ready to go from planning to development? How do I know that I've completed one phase and I'm ready to move on to the next? I think the honest answer is you don't, and that's kind of the point. You want to think about the whole marketing life cycle as one integrated process, and you want to actually have a system set up where you're always planning, you're always thinking ahead for the future, and then within certain windows or within certain campaign lines, you're then launching into development. I think the really important thing for marketing, particularly with digital marketing areas where you can actually gather relatively quick feedback date on what you're doing, is you really want to think of marketing as an iterative process. It's not something where I plan and then I create it, and then I put it out in the world, and I completely move on. What you really want to be doing is you want to plan, you want to come up with your brief, you want to develop those briefs into ideas and into creative, then you want to execute them, and then you want to understand how it performed and use that as an input into your future planning process. So, I think you know there's no easy answer, in some cases you could spend an hour on a brief, and in some cases you could potentially spend weeks or even months thinking about how to schedule and how to map things out. What's really more important is that you're thinking about this in the context of a process, if you have multiple members of your team, you might have different members of the team working on different things, and I think you just want to make sure that you curve at least some time out of your weekly schedule to think about more long term planning and initiatives, rather than just the short term reality of like I have to get these things out or I have to get these things done. 8. Development: So, once you've got your plan and you feel confident in it. Its time to move on to development. I think one important distinction to make up front is what's the difference between development and production which is what we define as the third step in the marketing lifecycle. I think one of the easiest ways to think about it is maybe think about the process of making a movie, right? If you think about what goes into film making, development is writing the script, it's casting your actors, and it's lining up all of the different resources and pieces that you need ahead of time to go make the film. Then once you go into the production phase you've got your actors on camera, you're shooting scenes, you're editing, you're actually taking the different elements and building blocks and you're turning it into a completed whole. So, in a lot of ways you know development is the process of writing your script, figuring out what resources, and what the scope you need to execute your marketing. Who's gonna be involved from a team standpoint and things like that, and then you'll be able to move into production and go and actually make things. With us, from our standpoint in development or in marketing and advertising in general and typically development would really start with the brief. A creative brief is really a contract or a requirements document that the marketing leads or the creative leads would put together that really defines the problem, defines the objective for your marketing. Then gives all of this in one sort of document that then inspires the team that's going to respond to the brief or create the work to go solve the problem. So, typically a great creative brief will be pretty open-ended. It'll be pretty general and it'll basically say, "We're this brand, we're trying to go achieve or accomplish this, with this type of message to this audience to achieve this objective." It's going to lay those things out. Then a great creative director or a great creative team or maybe just you yourself or someone that you're working with can then start to come up with ideas and responses to the brief that meet those objectives. By the end of your development phase, what you really should have is you should have a completed brief, and you should know what you're going to go make, right? You should have an itemized list or an inventory of these are the different marketing messages and materials I need. The brief and the scope that response to the brief should lay out these types of things so that once you go into production you know exactly what you need to create. I think one other important distinction to make is that briefing, particularly more complex briefing typically involves a lot of people and it's more in the realm of larger advertisers and larger companies that need to coordinate marketing messages and marketing activities across many different members of the team and potentially with people who work at the brand and agency partners. If you're smaller, if you're just getting started, if you're a one to two person marketing team, you still probably want to write a smaller abstract or short brief, that lays out what you're trying to accomplish and why, again sort of like a requirements doc if you're thinking about it. But you may may need to go through a full complete briefing process that say for example a large Fortune 500 companies might go through with their agency or agencies. When you're thinking about what exactly should you go make? You also want to keep a few things in mind. I think the first first to think about is, where is this creative? Or where's this messaging getting deployed in the context of your customer's path to purchase? Again, if you're introducing something that's going to be shown to someone who likely doesn't know your company or doesn't know your brand, you'd probably want to develop something differently than something you'd show to someone who's had a lot of interaction with your company and is really trying to decide at that moment whether or not they should buy. There's a couple rules or principles you should abide by here. The first is you want to make sure whether it's early stage or early-stage path to purchase advertising creative or content versus late-stage content, it needs to be consistent and it needs to reflect the brand, right? It should be recognizable as something that belongs to your company. It should have the same color schemes, the same fonts, the same logo, right? You want to make sure your communications are consistent across the board. The next is you can't really try too hard particularly an early-stage advertising for people that aren't familiar with your brand. It's very hard to communicate complex messages or get people to understand a lengthy story when typically they have only a short amount of time and you've only got a limited amount of tension you can get. So, in advertising and marketing in general, a lot of the times it's not so much what you say, it's really how you say it. So, you want to make sure that you're producing things that are visually interesting and engaging, right. You want bright colors, you want compelling imagery. You want to make sure that your message can stand out from all the other advertisers and all the other marketers who are also trying to get your audience's attention. You obviously want to think about how your message might be consumed, right? So, one one to think about is, do you think someone's likely to see your message on a phone? Will they experience it in a real-world when they're out and about? Will they experience it on there on your desktop or something like that? The way and the medium that people experience marketing is also really really important, and will also ultimately inform what you need to create and how you might want to think about the interaction that your audience will have with it. Another thing is that you should create stuff that actually delivers or provides value to the recipient or to your audience. On one hand it's easy to serve someone an impression, or a banner ad, or something like that. Where it's like click me, I'm great. But if you don't provide value to your customer, they can easily tune you out. Because if they're on TV or if they have a time-shifted TV they could skip the commercial. People's time and attention is very very precious, and very scarce, and it's really valuable. So, the more you can provide materials that are helpful, informative, the more likely that person will want to devote or contribute attention to your message, the more likely they'll interact with it, and that process will help them kind of again recognize you, understand your brand, and that will ultimately lead them to interact with you further. So, again you want to think about, when you're developing great marketing materials, you want to think about where's the message going to be consumed? What is the message? And how does that message tieback or reinforce your brand? And how does that message provide value or really do something that benefits the recipient? Because otherwise you're just broadcasting to them and they're very likely to tune you out. So, whether you market to consumers, and whether you're marketing to every household, or if you're marketing to business, the same kind of fundamental principles of marketing and advertising hold true. Which is you want to develop an emotional response in people with the creative that you produce, right? You want to make things that are compelling, engaging, distinct and salient. You want to deliver messages that very clearly reinforce your brand or clearly link back to your brand, right? They have to be recognizable as something that came from you and your marketing organization not potentially someone else. You want to deliver them over time consistently in new and engaging ways in order to have both the reach and the frequency to build brand memory over time. 9. Production: So, once you've defined your marketing goals and objectives in the brief, and then you've gotten a brief response which defines the solution to the problem or challenge or objective that you're looking for during the development phase, you're ready to move on to production. Production is quite simply the creation of all of the different marketing elements, assets, and creative that you need to go meet your objectives. So, there's a couple of things to think about when you enter into the production process and as you're going through it. The first is what are you making? Again, by the time that you get to the end of the development process, you should have a pretty itemized list of the things that you need to create. Using the film analogy, it's like after you write the script, after you cast all the actors, you should have a pretty clear set of what are the scenes that you need to film, and what are the materials and things you need to complete your final work. Once you have that, you then need to think about the team and the resources. Are you going to create your content or create your assets externally using a freelancer or an agency? Are you going to have individual team members create certain things? Are you going to create things yourself? What's the right mix of work and resources that's going to get things done? How all those different resources or work streams be coordinated and how will people collaborate together if there's more than one marketer working on the project? Once you've actually created the work that you need to create, you're also going to want an approval and a review process. This is particularly important in marketing, because you want to make sure that the work that you've created delivers on what's been outlined in the brief. Does the work match the problem, and is it an elegant and effective solution to the problem that the briefs laid out? Also, does the work properly reflect the brand? Does it capture the spirit, the mission, and the values of the brand? Is it visually consistent? Does it match the brand's voice and tone if there's an editorial or a language or messaging element of it? You want to make sure that all of your creative matches not just the brief, but really matches and ties back to the brand as a whole. Once you've gone through that process, you're ready to then take your work and start distributing it out to maybe internal members of the company, as well as external marketing channels. So, I think one of the most interesting things to think about in terms of production is really mapping or breaking down work into finite tasks and steps. I think this is really important. For example, when I was working as a marketer at a very small or early-stage marketing department, it was very common that I would create, and really execute a campaign end-to-end myself. I would create my own landing page, write my own text, create my own emails. I might set things up on the back end. I might even do some of my own graphic design and layout, and that's going to lead to one objective. That only scale so far. I only have enough time in my day to do certain things. There are certain things that I'm better at, there are certain things that I'm less good at. So, obviously, you want to take that into account because as you grow your marketing organization or as you start to work with external partners, you just want to make sure that roles, responsibilities and tasks are very clear. You don't want two people creating the same thing, or you don't want someone to repeat something that someone else is already doing. You want to make sure that you have the most talented people who are the most qualified to perform a certain task doing it. You want to make sure that everyone also understands where work is at, and that the process of moving from one step to the next is very transparent. So, that people can track people's schedules, people's availability, and understand, "Okay. This element of the creative process will be finished at this time. I can then step in at this point, and then we can move to review and approvals." 10. Distribution: So, once you've created all your great marketing work, it's time to share it with the world and that brings us to distribution, which is really the next step in the marketing life cycle. Distribution is ultimately the discipline of taking a message and getting it out to your audience and you can think of distribution as sort of a synonym or meaning the same thing as like campaign execution. If you're actually rolling a marketing campaign out and finally getting your creative, and your ads, and your assets out into the world. There's a couple of different things that are important to think about when it comes to distribution. The first is just your channel mix, right? What you want to do as a brand, is you want to say, "Okay, here's the market or here's the audience or here's the group of buyers that I'm trying to reach, what's the most effective way that I can distribute and get a compelling message in front of those people, as many of those people as possible, as cost-effectively as possible." So, you want to evaluate a channel on the basis of reach, which is how many people you can reach. The potential impact, which is the type of media or creative that you can deliver through that channel. For example, delivering someone something only via text might not be as effective for you as a channel that you can distribute an image or even video through. Then finally, you want to think about the cost of working or distributing through that channel. For example, in most cases, email is a free channel. If you build an email list, if people subscribe to your email list, you don't have to pay money to email all of them, whereas on the other hand, in order to show or serve someone an ad and have them click through on it, that might be a paid channel. So, this brings up the concept through the distinction of organic versus paid channel. A paid media channel provides you with access to an audience, but you have to pay to reach that audience and the simplest form of paid media is almost any method or advertising channel. On the other hand, you might have something like organic distribution, right? Organic distribution could be blogging, it could be sending out an email to the email list that you built, it's forms of marketing, and forms of promotion that you can do that you don't have to pay for, but might only allow you to reach a smaller audience or a potentially a less specific audience. As you're thinking about your marketing channel mix, again one of the most important things to really understand is what's the optimal mix of paid versus organic that's going to allow you to reach as many of the relevant people that you can over time, again consistently with frequency in a manner that's cost-effective relative to the marketing or advertising budget that you have. One other important distinction to think about with distribution is also, what type of company you have and how content or how marketing messages should be distributed internally versus externally? When we think about a brand, we really think about the operating values of a company and what the company believes in and really the sum of all interactions with the company's people, with their product, and with their communications. So, given that very broad definition of a brand, you have the external communication of a brand which is really things like marketing, but you also have the internal communication of a brand, which is things like culture building. So if you for example, have a large sales organization and you need your sales organization to sell your product and understand certain things about it. When you create marketing messages externally, you probably also want to make sure that you create and share those internally and give your sales team the right resources, the right materials, and the right sort of positioning and storytelling guidance so that they know how to talk about it. So, when you're thinking about distribution overall in the channel mix that you're using, again a lot of the research actually shows that you really truly do want to optimize your distribution and really focus on as much reach as possible within the broad audience of people who can buy your product or service. So, don't narrowly target and particularly don't narrowly target only existing customers with the hope of getting them to buy your product. You really want to target as broadly as possible. That's the advertising strategy that's going to drive the most sales growth for your business. Obviously, distribution is also evolving and again, I think technology has had a pretty significant impact on how we distribute communications, right? Again, not only can you reach so many people now on the internet with a lot of specificity around demographics and interests and behavioral data, you can also use technology itself as a distribution mechanism, right? The other thing that you want to think about with distribution is where and why your brand should be distributed where it is. For example, if you distributed a bunch of marketing messages, but you put them in a subway or a garage, but the audience that you're trying to reach doesn't use the subway or doesn't park their car or go through that garage, you didn't really distribute a message to the right place and so, you want to think about placements that not only provide reach to the right audience, but also position and put your brand in a place that you'd want it to be. Distribution also has a lot of connections or relations with your planning process. When you create a plan, a marketing campaign, you would typically have a distribution or a media plan that's a part of that overall plan. What that distribution or media plan will do is it's going to break out the different channels that your messaging is going to appear on, it's going to map out what different pieces of creative or creative executions will go on those channels, and it'll also talk about things like, how much budget is being spent on that channel, how long is the creative going to run or appear there, when would new creative be added, right? So, it's important to segment or map out your distribution in terms of channel, in terms of time, in terms of budget, and also in terms of the creative or assets or marketing messages that you produced. 11. Monitoring and Analysis: So, in the marketing lifecycle, we typically would actually break out monitoring and listening versus analysis. But we're grouping them together for the purposes of this lesson, primarily because both of them are practices that involve data gathering and data intelligence. Monitoring and listening is ultimately listening to what's going on in your market, what customers are saying and doing it in a quantified way. Then analysis is taking that information and the other data and inputs that you're capturing and all of your analytics tools, and then putting it together in a way that helps kind of understand, how is your marketing performing? Ultimately, this should provide you some degree of insights on, what can you improve? what can you do better? What are opportunities that maybe you're missing? Or what are your best channels and where should you prioritize and maybe where you're less good performing channels and what should you take budget away from? So, when you're doing monitoring or listening, don't try to quantify things like audience, sentiment or how like overall happy or interested or engaged the market is. That's really just something that you're not going to be able to benchmark effectively. What you do really want to understand and try to analyze, is your share of voice in the market relative to competitors and particularly actually a measure of relative share of voice. What share of voice means is really it's your market share of the conversation. So, in terms of the total number of social media discussions, blog post, news articles published about your industry or about your space, what percentage are you showing up in those conversations or are you leading in those conversations? So, it's really hard to say in general what the right cadence or frequency should be for monitoring and analytics. If you're a brand that's active on social media and as a lot of social conversation going and you can staff a community manager, you have the resources to have someone to act upon social, you may want to be monitoring or engaging or at least having one person listening to that conversation at all times and you want them not only doing reactive marketing which is responding to customer inquiries, but you also want them to be doing proactive marketing. It's actually more valuable for them to spend their time marketing to your followers and marketing to the people who don't follow you rather than responding to individual customer complaints. Now, of course it's very very important to respond to those complaints in a timely manner and to deal with them in very empathetic personal ways. But on the other hand, you can only establish customer relationships with people who've already bought your product. If 90 percent of people haven't bought your product, you'll never be able to establish a relationship with that 90 percent whereas you may only have a relationship with the existing 10. Then, in terms of actually tracking overall metrics and what that means for your business, typically I would look at things on potentially a daily, weekly, monthly, and then quarterly time frame and that'll add up to your annuals. What you typically want to look at is things like your recurring KPIs on a daily basis. You might want to look at a website traffic, potentially inbound leads, sign-ups maybe you even want to take it as far as looking at revenue and sales on a daily basis. On a weekly basis, you definitely want to think about and track particularly if you have a digital component to your business. How many website visitors are you getting? What are conversion rates? How are people advancing through your sales cycle or your path to purchase? And what does that mean for your business? Then that can drive further decision-making on how to increase marketing spend or potentially optimize or change your channel mix. As you're thinking about your marketing, it's also really important up front to think about how you're going to measure it. What are the KPIs or key performance indicators that you actually do want to track? Marketing throws off or generate so much data. You get data about files, website clicks, site traffic and so, as a company you typically want high level KPIs or key metrics that really speak to the overall results that marketing is driving for your business. Specifically, how marketing is growing your brand? And how marketing is increasing your sales? Then, at the campaign or execution level, you probably either want the same metrics and you'd want to apply the same tracking or maybe you want to apply a slightly separate or different related set of metrics at the brief or at the campaign level and that's going to be based on what you track for those specific marketing activities which should link back to the broader whole. You can definitely have campaign or activation or creative specific metrics but those should always link back or in some way be connected to these two broader objectives of how is marketing growing your brand? And how is marketing driving and increasing sales? So, to show monitoring and enterprise listening in action, let's take a look at the monitoring and listening dashboard in percolate. What you can see here, as I mentioned previously in the planning and development section, is we're currently running an active campaign on social where we've asked members of our audience, our employees, clients and members of the broader marketing community to answer the question on how is technology major world better and tag it with the hashtag for our conference transition and mentioned percolate. So, if you look at our monitoring dashboard here, you can see various answers or responses that people have submitted. So, we've got one example, it says technology and social media have helped an animal rescue in Brooklyn save thousands of lives or another person is talking about or posting about how technology has helped them communicate with their younger siblings in different parts of the country. There's lots of great examples where you can use and really kind of filter and manage and track different conversations, different audience interests, and different topics that you can then ultimately use to track the performance of your marketing but also to potentially inform the type of content or work that you create. So, if we go back into percolate, what you can see here is we've created different streams to track different trending topics and specific news items that audiences are talking about. So, we have a stream for CMO Thought Leaders, we have a stream for aggregating trending topics and advertising and we could even within percolate go and create a post and use that inspiration as the basis for something that our team could then collaborate on and start to create content around. Listening is really important in general because, it gives you a sense of what's happening in your industry, what's trending and what's going on with the market. It can give you a sense for whether or not your marketing message is resonating with customers and audience members and how. Finally, it can really give you good creative inspiration and help you generate new ideas to make even more successful marketing content. 12. Final Thoughts: My overall goal for this class and hopefully by now you've started to learn what marketing is, why it's important, and how you can think about practising it for yourself and at your business, and then how you can start to think about going from a small marketing operations or doing and covering the basics of marketing to really building out and growing a true marketing team. If you want to learn more about marketing and how to become a better marketer, you're welcome to check out our other course on An Introduction to Branding and Brand Management. I'd highly recommend you checking out and subscribing to the Percolate blog. We publish new marketing ideas and information, and resources on an almost daily basis. Another thing that I really recommend checking out is the book, How Brands Grow. It's written by Professor Byron Sharp and it's one of the most quantitative and research backed introductions to marketing out there. It's just really great overall book that gives you a good introduction to how marketing really works, what makes advertising effective and it also dispels a lot of common marketing myths. So now, it's your turn. We'd love for you and I'd love for you to share examples of marketing or advertising that you really find effective or that inspire you or you respond well to in the project gallery at Skillshare. So, it can be an example of something that you, or your team, or your business created, or it can be just a great ad that someone else created that you really thought worked and that really caught your eye and attention and then you would like to talk more about. So again, feel free to post these in the project gallery. Feel free to use other members of this class or your peers as resources, ask questions. I think again, as much as we can make this an open and collaborative dialogue and share great examples of marketing and advertising out there, the more we can all learn from one another.