Quick n Dirty Marketing Plan Series Part 1: Elements of Design

2010 is coming whether you like it or not—is your marketing plan ready? Are you ready to make all the changes you need in order to unleash a full-scale marketing attack on your unsuspecting prospects? Are you ready to bring your website, blog, print marketing materials, local branding and social networking together into a total marketing plan? Have you thought about how to tie your branding in all these areas together? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our 4-post Quick ‘n Dirty Marketing Plan series.

This week we’ll talk about all of the elements you need to decide on BEFORE you start developing your marketing items so that everything is tied together and sends the same message while establishing and strengthening your brand. Next week we’ll cover getting all your print stuff ready for 2010. On the 24th, we’ll talk about your online presence and in our final post on the 31st we’ll talk about other ideas to create brand awareness.

The Key to Effective Marketing

In order for all three points of your marketing attack to be completely effective, they must have a unified message, theme and style. Your goal is to cement the qualities of your brand into the minds of your prospective clients and referrers and to be seen as a trusted, consistent authority.

In order to maintain this consistency in all your marketing efforts there are some preliminary steps you must take:

1. Develop a tagline or slogan that will be used on all your marketing and networking items. Your tagline doesn’t have to be long or complicated, but it must sum up what your agency and service is all about. Some examples of taglines include:

“You’re in good hands with Allstate.” –Allstate

“Don’t leave home without it.” –American Express

“Reach out and touch someone.” –AT&T

“What’s in your wallet?” –Capital One

Chances are you knew the companies behind most of those taglines before we told you. That’s because their taglines work, they say something about the companies they represent and they are used on every single print, television, internet and radio marketing effort the companies make. And yours must do the same.

2. Create a logo for use on your online and offline marketing. A logo makes your company or agency instantly recognizable. Think about the Prudential rock, the Hartford stag and the Budweiser crown. Just like your tagline, the logo you create should be simple, representative, meaningful and present on all your visual marketing materials.

3. Decide on a style and color scheme for all your online and offline marketing. Not only do you need to make sure that all your marketing materials have the same color scheme [think Coors (blue and gold), Kodak (gold and red) and Prudential (blue and white)] but they also need to have a consistent style. You can’t choose an ultra-contemporary design for one marketing piece and then switch to a flirty, flowery design on the next. Think of your marketing materials as a form of nesting doll—each one must fit into the other and create a continuous flow that strengthens your brand.