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Developing A Marketing Plan

Introducing design thinking to an engineering firm

An engineering firm had an offering that should have been flying off the shelf. But it wasn’t. The leadership team tapped one of their employees, a talented marketing professional at the start of her career, to step forward as the Interim VP of Marketing and develop a marketing plan – which would help solve the problem. She wasn’t sure where to begin so she reached out to Chrome Canyon for coaching support.

Design thinking

Design thinking is a discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to understand problems potential customers are dealing with. We introduced this intuitive/cognitive process to our client. Since the target market is a challenging group of profit-driven real estate moguls, we suggested she start by interviewing members of the sales team to find out:

  • Where they were getting sales leads and how they were qualifying them
  • What was special about their approach
  • What challenges they were experiencing
  • Where they could use support

We worked with her to identify patterns in what was/wasn’t working and recommend improvements to the sales process. This helped her unify the sales team within a single approach and was followed by a customer survey and competitor analysis.

Customer experience mapping

We then coached our client to create a survey that mapped the customer experience and enabled her to:

  • Understand the “ah-ha” moments in their decision making – what they heard that turned them on or off
  • Understand the most difficult hurdles to becoming a client
  • Identify the best marketing tools to get their attention
  • Learn more about their needs and interests

Competitor analysis

We also developed a process for assessing competitor websites and sales materials to better understand:

  • Their branding and how they are positioned
  • What media outlets they are using
  • What their materials look like and what information they include
  • How they are establishing credibility in the marketplace

Action steps

We coached the VP of Marketing in using one of our marketing models to outline high impact action steps. We created a list of goals and a list of marketing activities. Then for each activity we determined which goals could be achieved, how long it was likely to take, how it would be measured, and the necessary next steps. This enabled the senior team to prioritize the highest value activities according to their resource constraints.

Measurable results

The senior team now understands what a brand is and the importance of having a strong one. The relationship between Sales and Marketing is much stronger. The organization’s brand awareness is visibly increasing and they are starting to receive inbound sales calls.

But among the greatest results of this project was radical growth in the confidence and strategic mindset of the client, a young executive in a stretch assignment. She got a direct experience of how to navigate a challenging senior team, get funding for projects, and advocate for the value of her ideas. Plus, they now have all the tools and data they need to rework their value proposition, tailor their messaging, and develop the collateral they need.

Working with Erin had a direct impact on my ability to deliver results for the organization. She helped me develop a strategic and manageable approach to a high-stakes project which became a turning point in my career. Her insights and counsel have been crucial.

Interim VP of Marketing
Leading Engineering Consulting Firm