Paths to success through outstanding marketing.

If you’re like most companies your marketing plan is under frequent revision and scrutiny. While the wildly changing world of media keeps your marketing in constant motion, one thing remains the same: You aren’t planning to be successful. You are successful because you plan.

You Like A Plan That Works And So Do We

When we become your creative partner we use a formula for success that ensures good planning is at the center of everything we do. It looks something like this:

  1. LISTEN Does everyone understand and agree on the goal?  
  2. PLAN Create initial deadlines and deliverables for the project.
  3. RESEARCH Determine what you know and don’t know, and find the answers.
  4. BRAINSTORM Collect ideas for creative concepts from various interested parties.
  5. MORE PLANNING With your creative direction decided, plan how you would implement two or three concepts.
  6. PRESENT IDEAS Get buy-in from the client on one or more concepts to proceed. 
  7. LOGISTICS A fancy word for pre-production. Get everything in place to produce.
  8. CREATE Hit Go!

Let’s dig into those a little more.

The Lost Art of Listening The Manley Films process starts with listening to our client. Whether we’re creating videos for social media or creating a campaign that combines digital and traditional marketing, we start out asking questions and learning all about your organization, goals, values and people. We learn about your industry and audience. What’s important to you becomes important to us because it will drive the stories we’re telling about you.

Plan Early, Plan Often You’ll notice that planning isn’t the first step. It’s step number two. And, because more information and growth of ideas help the plan evolve, planning is also step number five. Researching can mean anything from sizing up the competition to studying the market and trends.

Know What You Don’t Know If you don’t thoroughly study your audience and what is important to them, you’ll miss the opportunity to connect with them. Take the time and make the effort to dive deep into the psychographics of your audience so you can tap into needs and wants that your competition is missing.

Brainstorming starts your team working toward agreement on a direction. Create two or three statements that sum up what your concept needs to be conveyed by the creative. Ideas become like branches on a tree. As each idea solidifies, it needs its own plan in order for the creative team to pull it off and stay within budget. Determine your top two or three and how the success of each will be measured.

Planning Part Two gets you ready to defend your creative concepts to your client, supervisor, CMO, or whoever is going to make the decision. You should know exactly what resources, costs, deadlines and time frame is needed to deliver the concept that is chosen.

Presenting the ideas to our client is always an exciting moment, because we get to see reactions and immediately gauge how well we did our job. When we have the go ahead to start, an entirely new planning process — logistics — begins.

Logistics is a fancy word for what we call pre-production. We get everything in place to begin working on all aspects of the project. We present a production schedule to the client for approval.

Create your project! Be sure to hold periodic (weekly or daily) check ins with everyone on the team to ensure deadlines are being met and approvals are obtained.

A Planning Case Study – Cochise Construction

Cochise Construction is a highly successful Arizona-based construction company that serves the fuel industry. In the process of planning their next phase of growth, Cochise President Brent Erekson decided it might be time to start showcasing his company’s competitive strengths through video marketing.

We walked Brent through each step of creating his first video, using our success formula. Through a series of conversations and looking at the competitive landscape faced by Cochise, we recommended beginning with what we call a “culture” video.  A culture video portrays the company’s personal values, highlighting the important aspects of their corporate culture. For Cochise, it involved the tag line “Built to Last”, getting the job done right the first time, and their 30 year rise to becoming the biggest petroleum services company in the Southwest.

The first video Manley created for Cochise was such a hit, they couldn’t wait to do another. While at first, Brent was doubtful there would be reason to do more than one video, he soon began to see many ways he could use and monetize video.

Now, he has an entire year’s worth of video content (as we’re heading into year two), including compelling client testimonials, dynamic culture videos for various branches of his business, and other video marketing assets he uses as sales tools.

Here’s the first video that got Brent really excited about his marketing potential.


Getting Real

It’s especially important that, even if your project is small, you choose a creative team with the ability to create a full scale marketing manifesto and an army of ideas to back it up. Even better? Choose a creative team that understands your company isn’t looking to be overtaken by nonsense ideas and concepts that don’t speak to your target audience. Manley Films and Media understands that you have a real business with financial goals. Great marketing doesn’t just happen, but it looks that way when it’s done well. It’s seamless, rich and powerful all because of good planning.

Ask Us for Help!

Susan is VP Marketing & Client Relations for MF&M. Previously a client of Manley Films, Susan is a writer/editor and marketer with 20+ years’ experience working with nonprofits, municipalities, economic development, startups, small businesses, political campaigns, environment, technology, higher education and the arts.

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