The Three Foundational Elements of Marketing

Strategic Plan, Messaging & Positioning, and Brand Architecture

Whether VC-backed start-up or Fortune 50, great marketing begins with the right foundation. We see this again, and again, and again….clients are running so fast that they often don’t have the key elements of marketing completely in place before they try to market. As a result, they have inconsistent communications, branding, and execution. There are three foundational elements of marketing that every company, division, and/or program should have in place. These are:

1. Strategic Plan
2. Messaging & Positioning
3. Brand Architecture

There are few things worse than when a company exec goes “off message” forcing the rest of the troops into reaction mode. Or when the product marketing team has sales training materials that look amateurish with bad graphics and the wrong fonts and colors. Or even worse, when marketing effort and spending is done without a clear ROI and strategic understanding.

  • The Strategic Plan aligns the corporate and marketing objectives to the resources, tactics and budget execution.
  • The Messaging & Positioning tightens up the company/division/product messaging into pillars. The challenge of this document is to make it a one-pager. It requires tremendous focus, interviews, research and introspection on the objectives and messaging of the business.
  • The Brand Architecture broadly covers everything ranging from colors and fonts to the vision, mission and brand identity components.

Each of these critical marketing elements are required to execute at a high-level. Alignment to corporate strategy, sales strategy, product strategy, and cultural strategy will result in a marketing program that will have the appropriate seat at the table, driving impact and results ultimately to the bottom line.

Peter Van Deventer, Chief Gecko
Muddy Gecko Marketing