What Does A 30-60-90 Day Action Plan Look Like For A Marketing Leader?

30-60-90 Day Marketing PlanA 30-60-90 day action plan is a written outline of your strategy and plans you have for the first three months on the job.

It’s one of the most powerful tools you can bring to the final stages of the employment interview process. It can be a PowerPoint presentation or paper-based. During an employment interview, a hiring manager is looking for responses to the following basic questions:

  1. Do you understand what the job entails?
  2. Can you perform the job?
  3. Will you perform the job?

A good 30-60-90 Day Action Plan isn’t going to set you apart in the interviewing process — A great one will

30-60-90 Day Action Plan For MarketingA generic plan is a waste of time. Your plan should speak to the company’s needs, products, specific market, and values.

A fill-in-the-blanks template shouldn’t dictate what you include in your plan. Instead, use your knowledge of the industry and the specific company to craft a plan that speaks to its unique needs. The more details you can put into your plan, the better. Specifics matter so name the manager, the products, the customers as much as you can.

But when you are faced with a blank page for this critical document, having a few thought-starters doesn’t hurt. That’s when this 30-60-90 Day Action Plan for a senior marketing leader might come in handy. And it’s more specific than the original blog post I wrote a few years ago.

By taking the time to do a 30-60-90 plan right, you will communicate that you understand the job and that you’ll be able to hit the ground running.

30 days – Learning

Turn your product idea into an adOne common mistake of new hires is never taking the time to understand exactly what it is that the company is trying to achieve through their strategic plan. As a new hire, it is extremely important to put in the effort to study and learn the internal lay of the land.

People

  • Understand expectations of role and the department – written goals
  • Gain understanding of corporate goals and vision
  • Meet with peers and learn how marketing can help them be more successful
  • Meet with marketing team and schedule 1 on 1 meetings
  • Walk stores with manager and key team members – hear observations
  • Gain an overview of corporate, financial and team calendar/standing meetings

Product

  • Come up to speed on key new product initiatives – product, prototype, research, launch plan
  • Review depth & breadth of product lines including competition
  • Review category / brand / key account information and financials
  • Review online product presentation
  • Review existing sales tools and marketing programs
  • Review current pricing strategy/margin expectations

Sales

  • Reach out to key reps to introduce myself and learn about what they need to be more successful
  • Look at past Product Line Reviews (PLRs) and sales PowerPoint decks for key accounts – discuss outcomes
  • Visit key accounts and discuss the current sales proposition and effectiveness
  • Discuss any perceived gaps in the marketing strategy or product line
  • Develop understanding of opposing brands in space and why chosen

Marketing

  • Review current marketing strategy and gain understanding of current and planned projects, cost and expected results
  • Understand existing product/user research and related insights
  • Review budgets
  • Meet with key marcom suppliers, build rapport and understand current projects. Review if they are the correct supplier and determine how they can better add value
  • Learn corporate history and understand how that’s leveraged in current marketing
  • Review and understand current social media strategy and direction

Days 31 to 60 – Documenting and Building

Better way to budget marketingOnce you have taken time to fully assess the company, begin adding your strengths to the equation.

People

  • Continue to integrate with leadership team
  • Determine strengths and capacity of marketing team
  • Identify team gaps related to executing e-commerce growth and new branding
  • Refine, based on attendance/perceived value, standing marketing team meetings
  • Finalize budgets for 2016

Product

  • New Product Development process skeleton reviewed
  • Summarize wish list of new products
  • Begin refining commercialization plan for Tool Smart
  • Strengthen product slides for upcoming PLR

Sales

  • Travel with key reps on sales calls
  • Meet with customers of all sizes to see how the sales team positions and sells our products
  • Understand key customers customers for pull through opportunities
  • Gain further feedback from reps on how to be more successful with their customers
  • Develop understanding of how each account is priced/positioned against corporate objectives and against other competitive accounts

Marketing

  • Analyze sales trends at key customers for insights to share at PLRs (prioritize by meeting dates)
  • Initiate monthly business review meetings for top 3-5 accounts
  • Understand the ability to create in-store excitement or promotions and what’s been executed historically
  • Identify trade show opportunities and how to leverage new positioning and new products
  • Develop key points of difference between key competitors (product & marketing) with SWOT analysis
  • Position and promote launch of new website to sales & customers along with other marketing initiatives (branding, packaging, presentation templates, online initiatives, etc.) – to build excitement for the company’s future

Days 61 to 90 – Presenting and Prioritizing

Marketing Stats Can Tell A StoryBy this time, you should have a firm grasp of the role you play in the company. Your confidence is likely to have grown since your first day and leadership qualities are hopefully itching to be put to action.

People

  • Continue to integrate with corporate leadership team
  • Introduce future organization structure for marketing, e-commerce and product team
  • Share vision, goals and strategies for Marketing
  • Share with them their key job goals for 2016
  • Begin search for any new roles with written job descriptions defining the positions

Product

  • Review first pass of “current” product road map
  • Define process / research needed to uncover/refine next generation platforms

Sales

  • Share go-forward plan on e-commerce sales support/rep strategy
  • Share new sales deck with emphasis on leveraging brand story, new product innovation and new merchandising strategy
  • Feedback on product road map and launch commercialization strategies

Marketing

  • Create a road show for next key product launch
  • Refine and improve online presentation using all available tools
  • Begin execution of missing online tools, videos, secondary graphics, etc.
  • Leverage e-commerce programs to build partnership
  • Actively contribute and participate with marketing communications suppliers to execute current projects and scope new opportunities
  • Share feedback internally on any gaps in supplier capabilities or execution
  • Expand social media with automation and 3rd party content
  • Build out shelf strategy out using research/insights for compelling customer pitch
  • Refine pricing approval process, if needed

Your plan is a conversation tool, so when the hiring manager asks the first question that your plan addresses, that’s the perfect opportunity to discuss your 30-60-90 Day Action Plan with the hiring manager.

Good Selling!

Greg Bonsib is an author of the new Mighty Guides Ebook Data Disruption.

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Four Steps To Better Data-Driven Marketing

Data Disruption By Greg BonsibCheck out the newly published Mighty Guides eBook Data Disruption and my chapter on data-driven marketing.

Data has always played an important role in marketing. What has changed in recent years is the sheer volume of data now available from so many different sources.

If we were once challenged to see the forest through the trees, we’re now challenged to see the forest through the leaves.

“I look at data strategically, with the essential premise that the customer is the ultimate focus of interest.”

Here at Zenith, we primary sell our products through our network of retail partners. We do have a product website, but it is not a major source of our sales. In my role at Zenith Products Corp., I look at data strategically, with the essential premise that the customer is the ultimate focus of interest. With that in mind, I have a four-step approach to using data in customer marketing:

  1. Start small. For example, we often use Amazon Services (AMS) ads to test the effectiveness of promotional strategies. We will focus on a product or a phrase or an idea and watch how it performs. By doing so, we can create a test with a focused objective, and we can keep the cost of our tests very low. Amazon Webstore provides an excellent data environment in which to try something small at low cost and capture meaningful performance data around it.
  2. Test and learn. By keeping the test small and the cost low, we can try many different variations. For instance, I used AMS to test category ads, product ads, brand ads, ads based on search words, ads based on competitors, even ad placement that AMS recommended. The good thing about this method is that Amazon provides data that allow us to track ad performance directly to Amazon Webstore sales. In this way, we can identify ad strategies that perform well and those that are total duds. Failures are as important as successes. The best-performing ads returned $5 in sales for every $1 spent on marketing—a 500 percent return on investment (ROI) on marketing spend.

“In this way we can identify ad strategies that perform well and those that are total duds. Failures are as important as successes.”

  1. Build on success. Using the proof point of a 500 percent marketing ROI, I can then build that ad concept into a larger marketing strategy that involves product packaging, in-store promotions, and many other things. Then, I start looking at other kinds of performance data. For instance, if a store is running a promotion on a product, I pay close attention to the halo effect of that product on the sales of other products.
  2. Document your knowledge. It is incredibly important to document what you do. Documentation enables you to build a body of knowledge about what works and also to share that knowledge through your organization.

The power of this kind of data-driven marketing is that when you have data that prove your strategy, you can gain credibility and resources to do it again.

Key Lessons for Better Data-Driven Marketing

  1. When testing ideas, it is important to create a test that has a focused objective and to keep the cost of tests low.
  2. The power of data-driven marketing is that when you have data that prove your strategy, you can gain credibility and resources to do it again.

Good Selling!

Greg Bonsib is an author of the new Mighty Guides Ebook Data Disruption.

3 Ways You Control To Rank Higher On Amazon

How to maximize your chances of shoppers finding your products on AmazonYou can’t grow your sales on Amazon (or any ecommerce site) if you can’t be found.

The giant in online retail, Amazon is a great source for generating profits, whether as a supplement to other channels or as your main sales channel. But with intense competition and multiple sellers, it takes some creativity to stand out and grow sales.

It turns out the secret to ranking higher in Amazon’s search function isn’t what you think it would be.

Luckily, you can definitely apply certain strategies on Amazon to rank better. Here are tips to help set you up on the right path to success.

How to maximize your chance of shoppers finding your products on Amazon

3 key elements that go inHow Amazon ranks your product in a searchThere are 3 key elements that go into how Amazon ranks your product in a search:

  1. Product title
  2. Product description and bullets
  3. Hidden key words

Amazon’s product title is the most important search factor. While you would expect the product title to be a key contributor to the search ranking algorithm, would you guess that it’s weighted at 60%?

This suggests that you carefully craft your product title. Amazon suggests incorporating the following attributes in product titles.

  • Brand and description
  • Product line
  • Material or key ingredient
  • Color
  • Size
  • Quantity

Another way to think about this is: Brand Name, Model Number, Detailed Product Description, Color. You have to write really detailed titles and include relevant keywords.

Surprisingly Bullet Points and Product Descriptions don’t carry a lot of weight with Amazon’s search function

Are Your Getting Found on AmazonThe bullet points appear underneath the title. Because of the proximity to the title, image, price and add to cart button, you might think it should be treated as an important field for keywords.

Product descriptions are hidden deep on the page but are the one place where you can really provide a lot of detail on the product. Because the descriptions can be so rich, you would think that Amazon would mine this section for keywords to improve search results.

Surprisingly, bullets points and product descriptions are not critical to ranking better in search. Together the bullet points and product descriptions only carry a 10% rank in the Amazon search algorithm.

The optional Amazon hidden keywords carry more weight than you would guess in ranking well in an Amazon search

3 key elements that go into how Amazon ranks your product in a searchIf for any reason you could not use a keyword in the other fields, by all means add it to the keyword field. Amazon will use it in determining rankings. In fact, these keywords will account for 30% of your ranking factors.

This is a great opportunity to add additional information that is relevant, but would somehow clutter the other fields

I use this field to add richness around a product’s use or category. For example, we have a nautical home décor line that we can make more relevant in search results by using hidden keywords like coastal, beach, cottage, seaside, lake, etc.

Selling success on Amazon starts with being found but it doesn’t end there. Nor are these the only components that go into Amazon’s search function. But they are the critical few factors that you can directly control in ranking higher in any Amazon search.

Good Selling!

Active Search Results (ASR) is an independent Internet Search Engine using a proprietary page ranking technology with Millions of popular Web sites indexed.