Planning

About Us

Anderson Marketing Services, Inc. was formed in 1986 with a single client and a dream of providing meaningful, actionable marketing programs to the business-to-business market. Today, we continue to focus on increasing sales and profitability for firms such as yours.

Simply put, we help you identify and focus on your internal and external customers needs, wants, fears and desires. Combined with team building techniques and an in-depth analysis of your service capabilities, you can use this information to penetrate both new and existing markets more profitably.

Philosophically, AMSI believes in “short-term” solutions that evolve into long-term processes. We recognize that successful evolution is more important and more impactful than revolution. While many espouse the need for 5 year plans and complex mission statements, we believe in short term programs which, when successful, become long-term processes. The planning process is one that should stay within a 6 to eighteen month time frame. Why? In your business, a technological “generation” is 18 months at best and this cycle is continuing to shorten. Thus, a five-year marketing plan is simply no longer a viable working tool. Please note that we do embrace five year and ten year financial plans, recognizing the need to continually adapt the short-term marketing processes to achieve the long-term financial goals.

Our Process

Since 1986, we’ve accepted the fact that the process is the key to business success. While the role of the individual is key to success, it’s the process, which assures the proper outcome. Therefore, we have a simple outline that has proven successful for many of our clients. Step 1: Planning To Plan - Assessment & Recommendations As paradoxical as it may seem, the first step to creating a successful plan is to create a planning framework. At this juncture, we are relatively uninformed regarding the detailed needs your company. Therefore, if we are elected to help with overall marketing consultation, we would begin the process by visiting your company and meeting with your key executives. During the site visit, we would conduct informal interviews with selected executives. We also recommend a round table discussion with your management staff to gain their insights and opinions as well. We will also need to see an historical financial review of your company, in order to better understand profitability ratios per product class and class of trade as well as to gain insight as to the life cycle of the company. In addition, any existing market research or corporate workflow documentation you may have would be helpful for us to review at that point. Step 2: Creating The Framework Based on the information gained during the initial site visit, we will create a planning outline and budget for your review and approval. Using the little information we have to date, the outline would include or result in some, if not all, of the following components: Strategic Planning Prior to beginning any specific, tactical operations, we would both review and help modify your existing plan or help you develop a new one. This process is rooted in focusing on core competencies and includes:

  • Defining the market and the industry, as it applies to the Company
  • Refining the Company’s business objectives, as they relate to the marketplace
  • Analyzing the Business or Market in terms of size, scope, possible product offerings, key success factors and trends
  • Determining the strategic path (particularly for new product offerings)
  • Identifying the factors which will be critical to the success of the Companies, and
  • Determining the financial impact
Research Both internal and external research are required to truly quantify the needs of most companies. For example, we may recommend both an internal competencies audit combined with a survey of customer / prospect demand potential for each proposed product. Using the resulting information, we would assist the Company in developing a pro-forma for each product or line extension. The resulting information can then be utilized to make an informed decision about the viability of each proposed product offering. Creating The Product Plan(s) Depending on the evolution of the process, a separate business plan and marketing plan may be required for each of your products. The typical SBU plan would include:
  • Goal development (market penetration, share, sales, profits)
  • Situational reviews of the service mix, product mix, customer base, market needs, etc
  • Identification of specific opportunities and problems
  • Evaluation of individual strategies and tactics
  • Development of the implementation and measurement process
Developing Individual Marketing Plans Each specific product or service offering also needs a marketing plan. In addition, Key Accounts or Primary Prospect Groups must be identified and must have an individual Action Plan and Stewardship Program in order to ensure success. In this, the last phase of the planning process, product specific plans may be developed as offshoots of the larger, omnibus programs and processes. These individual marketing plans include:
  • Specific objectives for each product, service or account
  • SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)
  • Sales penetration analysis (by product, client or marketing area)
  • A communications plan
  • Account Stewardship Program
  • Action plans with measurable objectives and timelines
  • Financial forecasts
The best-laid plans, however, will only work if both management and staff completely integrate the concepts into daily routines and make the plan a permanent part of the daily culture. Therefore, some method or manner of training, education or discovery is needed to facilitate the all-important process of shifting the environment and the very culture of the company. Shifting The Paradigm Through Motivation & Training Simultaneously with the rest of the planning process AMSI may recommend conducting training and educational workshops in order to achieve true success. From “internal selling” and “celebrating our differences” to “developing effective listening skills” and “creating leaders from followers” we have proven workshops which will facilitate the transformation of the culture from one which is inwardly focused to one which is externally focused. As a valuable bi-product of these training sessions, communications skills are improved, resulting in better internal and external communicaiton, fewer quality problems and less scrap. Staff and management motivation also will improve as internal walls of conflict are broken down. And, implementation of the process is easier, as both staff and management gain equity in the process through the workshops. AMSI uses proven materials from Carlson Learning Systems to facilitate the workshops. In addition, we have a Licensed Clinical Counselor on staff who can assist with any difficult or unusual interpersonal situations as they arise. Management Synergy As training is conducted, it often is desirable to provide detailed management profiles for selected individuals, including managers and key shift leaders. These profiles, which often encompass 50 pages or more, provide behavioral patterns and personalized strategies for success in the following areas:
  • Creating positive relationships with people
  • Relating to people and the working environment
  • How to manage or work with the individual
  • The individual’s approach to management
  • Strategies for sales management (as job appropriate) and
  • Defining your approach to selling
We also can provide detailed comparisons of individuals to their specific job classifications, uncovering areas of required improvement as well as hidden strengths.
The materials we use to create these profiles have been proven nationally with a base of more than 20 million users and have been implemented by companies such as IBM, Coca Cola, Kodak, AT&T, Chevrolet, GE, 3M, Hallmark Cards, Boeing and Prudential to name just a few. The Next Step In order to start the process of “planning to plan” we need to visit your site and interview your key executives and managers. As previously outlined, we will conduct the first site visit to your facility at no charge. All we ask is that you provide transportation and lodging. Following the first site visit, we will have enough information to prepare a detailed proposal for your review and approval. Call Us. Let us refresh your plan or create a new plan for you.