The starter-block

Many who had studied business and marketing, and implemented marketing programs still struggle with creating marketing plans.


Plethora of marketing concepts and jargons can intimidate and convolute the thinking process. I have encountered start-ups who have tried every marketing tactics under the sun. Eventually, they ran out of budget with little results to show. There are also companies with large teams across multiple functions, who find themselves paralyzed by over analyzing different marketing ideas.

It’s all about focus

The various marketing concepts are useful for when you want to refine your marketing efforts.

In my masterclass for marketing and branding, I make it a point to simplify.  Focus is very important, especially when you have finite resources.

It’s important not to get sucked in on marketing jargons. Marketing leaders need to keep their team and management, focused.

Start with the objectives

1. Align with the business objectives

For example, it could be “To grow sales by X%”. This forms the shared goal across sales, operations and marketing functions, etc.

2. Where would the sales growth come from?

Think in terms of target segments – existing customers or new customers?

3. How does your sales process work?

Do your customers buy direct, buy in store, account-based sales, automatic re-order, etc?

This will inform the role that each function will play to deliver overall goals.

Marketing alone cannot solve operations and customer experience issues; appeal of the products and inventory also play a part in delivering the sales.

There should be shared accountabilities across functions.

Build the plan

Once the role of marketing is clear, your marketing plan would simply be built on these:

  • How to reach these target segments
  • Offers and incentives to get them to act
  • Desired actions – clear, simple and ease.

I call this the TAO 道 of marketing. (“T” for Target, “A” for Action and “O” for Offer)

Once you have this simple framework in mind, you can start layering on all the fancy tools, MARTECH, marketing concepts, etc.


CMO’s Notes is a series of short reflections, inspirations and lessons from my career in marketing, comms and branding, more generally framed as “Marketing”.  M in CMO really refers to “many” as there are many roles the CMOs of today need to live up to

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