Developing a Marketing Action Plan (MAP) is a fundamental step in planning and managing cohesive marketing efforts. We have written about the importance of this topic often and provided resources for clients to develop their own MAPs. Now in this vlog, you can follow along as David Allred, Stamp’s Strategy Director, walks an actual client through the introductory process we typically begin with as we start the MAP development process.
David: The exercise I like to take folks through is doing a MAP for starting a T-Ball team. So, let’s say you’re a parent and you want to have a team for your kids to play on and there’s not one available and you want to start this team. We just want you guys to call out the top six target audiences you would need to identify in order to start a team. And this is very basic and I’ll hint at it if we’re not getting there but it sort of warms you up for participation and understanding what we’re trying to do. So from y’all, who would be one of the Target Audiences out of the six we would need?
Christin: Okay so Parents.
David: Perfect. Parents. Who else?
David: Kids. Perfect. How about Coaches?
David: A Coach.
David: Perfect. Sponsors. Now when you’re trying to keep order in the game, what do you need?
David: Referees. And then lastly, this can go on forever, but lastly a lot of times it’s Parks and Rec. So, jumping over to the Role column, Parents, what’s the first thing they need to do in order to have their children participate in something like this?
Paul: Register them.
Christin: Sign up.
David: Sign up. Register. Perfect. So the Kids, what’s their role in this whole thing?
David: Play. Perfect. Sometimes we’ll say all right well that’s their main goal, but first we’re going to say that they need to recruit teammates. And we’re going to talk about that a little bit. Now is that realistic? Maybe. Is that too aspirational? I don’t think it’s quite too aspirational if we gave them a tool. And so we’re gonna put recruit teammates and then play. Because they have to recruit their team before they can play. So the Coach, that role is generally to lead the team, would you guys agree with that?
David: Lead team. Sponsors is to sponsor, right. So Refs is to officiate. And then Parks and Rec is to provide field. So when we get to this point, it’s not required in mapping that every single target audience has a different role but, if you just scan down your sheet, you can very quickly see that Parents are to sign up; Kids are to play; Coaches are to lead; Sponsors are to sponsor; and Refs are to officiate; and Parks and Rec are to provide field. So in order to succeed, even in something very basic, you’ve got six different target audiences with pretty different roles. So, if you go over to the Belief. And this is really where, you know, we do a lot of listening because we we want to create what we call a belief statement that kind of crosses multiple target audiences. And that’s how you develop effective communications. So you write to multiple audiences so everybody sees what they need to see and you don’t have to have like six different websites for six different audiences and so on. So, when you start talking about your belief, your Parents, in order to sign their kids up or be willing to sign them up, what’s a belief that they might want to have?
Paul: Well that there’s some benefit.
David: Yeah the benefit would be builds character is what we like to use a lot. So that’s another example of how we like to work when we facilitate, is we want you guys just to say whatever’s coming to your mind just like Paul just did. So some benefit, so as we listen, we might say: would that be “builds character”? And then you guys would say yeah, or no I don’t agree with that. Or yes, I think that that’s true. So in this case, I’ve done this so many times, that’s one that everybody agrees with. Now, do Kids have to believe that this is a character-building exercise?
Paul: No, that’s the last thing on their mind.
David: Exactly. So what’s the first thing on their mind?
Paul: Having fun.
David: Fun. Perfect. And so Coaches lead the team, but I think they have to believe it’s worth the investment in time to help build character in kids. Would anybody have any other thoughts on Coaches?
Christin: I would say because they love the game, love the kids.
David: That’s awesome. That’s right, love of game. That’s very common, love of game. And a really good Belief. Okay, Sponsors, so what does a Sponsor have to believe?
Christin: That it’s worth sponsoring. They get something out of it. Advertising value. Goodwill in the community.
David: All right, you guys are perfect. So here’s something I want to say. Everything we do in mapping needs to be realistic and aspirational. So worth sponsoring, goodwill in the community, that’s really the right answer. The idea that they’re going to get some advertising value out of it, I would argue is too aspirational to be on here. The reality of having your little insurance company on the back of it you know a t-shirt that kids only wear to play the game and maybe wear a few times in the future, is really going to impact an extremely limited number of people. And for the value that you’re getting I think you’re doing more of a community service or goodwill. Now, you might say that there’s some things we could do to get exposure, but in the end, I think that’s too aspirational. So on the Refs, they’ve got to officiate. What is it that they have to believe?
Paul: That’s a tougher one. They’re certainly not motivated by the money, because they make next to nothing if they’re paid at all.
Christin: Yeah, I’d say they love it.
David: Love of game. Love of game always boils to the top because why else would you do it? Why else would you go out on an evening, you know multiple evenings you have don’t control of, and to Paul’s point, you don’t hardly make anything, so it’s got to be love of game. And then lastly, Parks and Rec is to provide facilities. What is it they have to believe?
David: So people struggle with this sometimes because they what they want to say out loud is it’s their job. And yeah, it’s their job, but let’s think for a minute about people who are in Parks and Rec. They’re not in it for the money. In the end it’s that it builds character. So you start to boil this down and I really think that a Ref, you could say love of game, but I also think a Ref is going to believe that it builds character. Right? Because that Ref has to make calls for and against different players and that’s how you help build character, that’s part of the love of the game. Um, you know Sponsors, maybe builds character. So you can start looking at that “Applies to All” at the top of the sheet, and that’s what that “Applies to All” is for. So you want to write builds character up there. Now, to Paul’s point, that’s the last thing on kids’ minds. But he didn’t say that’s not on kids’ minds completely. So it’s a stretch a little that it’s that applies to Kids, but it could apply a little bit and if something’s going to be in the same cell all the way down, we put it at the top for “Applies to All.”
And then the last thing is the Processes, and that’s how we’re going to influence all of this. And sometimes, you get to this point and we’ll say okay, a flyer might be great. You know that they can pass around, or take to school, or take to a coach and you know it says, “Coach needed”. And we can put “your name here” Sponsor needed – we can put your name here. And that would be a tool that virtually everybody could use. For the Parents it might be a flyer, it might be networking or asking others. For the Kids, it might be a flyer that they take to school. Parents are going to be approaching the Coach probably. So the process of getting a Coach is going to be to ask. The Refs, they’re going to be hired by Parks and Rec, so you’ve got to go ask the Parks and Rec and sign up with them.
That just gives you a quick down and dirty overview but I use this illustration because you can start to see how the belief statement can be formed but then lots of these Target Audiences have various beliefs. And we need to make sure we make it look fun. You know, because everybody wants it to look fun. We didn’t put that underneath the belief of anybody else. We only put that under the belief of the Kids. But I would argue that that’s probably going to need to be on across the board on this because, in order for parents to transport their kids three times a week to this, they gotta believe their kids are going to have fun. And it’s going to build character. So that’s how you, in a very generic sense, basically build a map.