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ImNotHere's avatar

Marketing Professionals: How do I draft an innovative marketing strategy without having access to much of a company's information?

Asked by ImNotHere (444points) March 31st, 2011

Hey Everyone,
I’m a college student who’s currently competing for a somewhat coveted marketing internship for a small but well-known company in NYC. The owner/CEO is a young business woman who’s gotten some media attention lately but marketing isn’t her expertise. I’ve had two interviews with her that went really well but she still hasn’t made a final decision as to who she’s going to hire for the summer.

Of course I really want her to choose me for the position so I decided to do something to make me stand out as an enthusiastic and hard-working candidate. After our last interview, I emailed her saying that I have a lot of great ideas for some innovative marketing tactics and would love to present a strategy to her after I get back from spring break. She responded well to this and told me she would love to meet again to go over it when I come back.

I have some great ideas but I’m not really sure how to present them because I can’t seem to fit them into a standard “marketing strategy template”. I have no access to her annual revenues, customer demographics etc. and EVERY strategy example I’ve seen has been based around that model.

Does anyone have any ideas for how I can present a strategy based on sociological/psychological marketing perspectives that would look professional and convey my ideas effectively? I feel like given the circumstances I may need to think outside the box to make it work but I’d like the presentation to look and sound as put-together as possible.

Thank you! :)

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6 Answers

funkdaddy's avatar

It sounds basic, but you have to go with what you do know, and what you can deduce from the information you already have.

Small businesses rarely have the type of deep demographic information you’re talking about early on because they’re still finding their customers. But a lot of decisions have been made already that you can build on.

I’m assuming you’re marketing a product (in other words she’s not the product)... and if so you should already know

- the company name
– the product(s) name
– how the product is sold already (retailers, online, straight to the public, their own branded stores, etc)
– how they’re marketing the product currently (word of mouth, magazine, online, trade shows, door to door, whatever)

So with those, you can figure out a lot about their target demographic already

Company nameWrangler and Apple Bottoms both sell jeans, but it’s fairly obvious just from the name that they’re going after different customers, same goes for the product name
How the product is sold – if it’s sold through retailers, then you can make some educated guesses about their demographics based on location, advertising, etc… if they sell exclusively online, it’s a different crowd that’s comfortable buying online
How they’re marketing currently – a magazine ad in Dwell has a different target than Cosmo and both of those magazines probably do provide in depth demographic information you can use as a guide
You’ve met the decision maker – remember most people tend to sell to people like themselves and their friends… If she’s young, female, and lives in NYC, she’s probably not marketing farm tractors

So, hopefully you can use that as a base.

As far as the presentation, remember people get excited about the ideas, not the structure. Focus on the idea and showcase the possibilities it brings. Show how your ideas open new markets, elevate the brand as a whole, or make it easier for people to buy.

The details won’t get people excited and will change when you get hired anyway once everyone has their say. Think the execution through and acknowledge the challenges so you can discuss them intelligently. Beyond that, her worries would probably mostly be costs and manpower. The two questions I get asked on every project are “How much?” and “How long?”

Good luck with the job.

marinelife's avatar

@funkdaddy ‘s advice is all right on.

I would agree not to get hung up on the structure. Just present your ideas and what they will do for her business.

Go get ‘em!

john65pennington's avatar

Funkdaddy is on the right track. In your situation, you are going to have improvise. Let you mind wonder and record each idea on paper. Then, select your best thought and use it, based on who, what, when, where and why.

Hopefully, this should get you started in the right direction. jp

ImNotHere's avatar

Thank you so much those who have already answered! (hoping to get even more insights from more people)

Would any of you be willing to take a look at the finished product when it’s done? I want to have it reviewed before I present it to her. :)

marinelife's avatar

I would take a look and give you feedback if you like. I have 15 years as a marketing consultant.

santoshannamalai's avatar

Ideas aren’t structured anyways. It just pops up and it’s our responsibility to fit that idea in a structure.

If you hold a Management degree, you must be knowing about 6 Thinking Hats, BCG Matrix…etc.. There are lot of theoretic concepts that you can use to state your ideas. Be sure to take the concept idea and try applying it on your presentation. To be honest the theories you read in your classes just helps to enhance your presentations and most importantly gives you a direction.

If you are trying to propose any new marketing ideas / strategies, then you should have clear idea about the competitors, the company’s existing marketing practices and strategies(if necessary). If you don’t find those details in a proper document (generally you wont find them in real life situations), then don’t worry. Just start stating your ideas with proper definitions and examples.

New ideas, strategies are arrived using “CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING” method which is traditional and 6 THINKING HATS method by Edward deBono. U can read about these techniques and try listing out your arguments and inferences.

Here’s a link to find a 6 Thinking Hat presentation (it’s a PDF)

Hope this helps. Cheers!

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