Skip to content

Diary of a CPSM Candidate: Executing your Marketing Plan through Promotional Activities

May 16, 2013

Diary of a CPSM Candidate is written by Valerie Conyngham, Marketing Manager at The Cecil Group, an urban design and planning firm in Boston. The opinions expressed below are hers and hers alone. She can be reached through LinkedIn or Twitter @valconyngham.

Thoughts for my CPSM Diary

SMPS CPSMI finished Domain 5 (promotional activity) and I’m not going to lie, I’m running out of steam. I’ve heard the words of caution at each study group – if you think this material is dense, just wait until you get to Domain 5. I don’t agree with the comments on denseness. It may be a few pages longer than previous domains, but the reading material is lighter. I think at the heart of the problem is that by time you get to Domain 5 the style of the text becomes your enemy and you’re simply exhausted trying to build your own themes. If I thought I was alone in my fading spirits, my study group proved that a lot of us are feeling a little ragged after reviewing this section.

My biggest complaint about Marketing Handbook is that it’s essentially a collection of different articles by different authors categorized by domains. It’s akin to reading a 599 page magazine, without the relief of images, cover to cover. Unlike a traditional book, there’s no fluidity of information. Instead, it places the responsibility of coordinating the material into a logical strategy, approach and action plan on the reader. I’m not trying to diminish the value of this book. It’s an incredibly useful book in that if you have a specific marketing question, for example how to develop a photography program, there’s going to be a chapter somewhere in Marketing Handbook for you to turn to for advice. I would go so far as to say that every professional services marketer should have this book at their desk and reference it often. I just think as a “textbook” to use to prepare for the CPSM exam it fails in teaching us industry best practices, which is what the exam is testing on.

Not interested in CPSM, start reading here.

While I still have some steam left, let me tie together a central theme for you to think about when approaching your promotional activity. Like most marketing activities, your promotional activities should support your firm’s strategic plan and help to carry out your marketing plan. Think of promotional activities as the menu you have at your disposal to meet the objectives of your plan, they can include print advertising, social media, banner ads, newsletters, events, public relations, tradeshows, etc. Your job is to weave together the promotional tactics to best meet the objectives stated in the marketing plan all within your assigned budget.

Going back to your marketing plan, think about your objectives and goals. Let’s pretend they include positioning your firm as a subject matter expert in the higher ed marketplace with a goal of obtaining three new higher ed clients in 2013. Next, think about promotional tactics you could use to make that vision a reality.

Your promotional activities could include speaking at a SCUP event, advertising in a trade journal (ask your existing higher ed clients what magazines they read), launching or contributing to a blog that discusses design issues for higher ed buildings, working with a PR agency to obtain article placements in a variety of relevant media and hosting a roundtable discussion at your firm about the topics most important to higher ed clients today.

Next, think about how you can integrate your core message across all your tactics. This is going to give your entire “higher ed campaign” a cohesiveness and repetitiveness that will help people remember your firm and your core message, earning your firm a spot in their consideration set. You’ll also want to set objectives for each tactic. When setting them think ahead to how you can later measure whether or not the tactic met your goals. If you need a framework to work within take a look at the questions posed on the clarification form for the SMPS Boston ROC Awards submittal package, specifically:

  • Who is the target audience?
  • What is your marketing objective?
  • How will you measure results?
  • What research should you be conducting?
  • What is the production and delivery method?
  • What is the budget?
  • Do you need any outside consultants?

The more pre-planning you do for each tactic, the more successful they will be.

Catch up on past diary entries here, here, here and here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: