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  • Writer's pictureNat Sharp

Helping a packaging business develop a new approach to their marketing

Updated: Jul 4, 2022

Using a blend of marketing consultancy and coaching to establish new marketing practices

A well-established family-run Kent-based packaging manufacturer, Actionpoint contacted Sharp Thinking to ask for expert advice and coaching to assist them in building a marketing strategy and future plan. This would help grow the business over the next five years.

With little marketing experience and personnel in place, the senior management team were keen to expand their own marketing knowledge and create a strategy that would support new investment in marketing, together with hiring marketing personnel to implement the new plan.

The Approach:

As with all my clients, I started by spending time understanding the business and their customers. This was done via a comprehensive marketing review and using all internal data at our disposal to spot trends. This included examining their CRM system, reviewing their sales strategy, and a thorough analysis of customer sentiment. As the business was well established, they had built up hundreds of reviews from customers and many insights could be gleaned from analysing these.

In addition, a competitor audit was undertaken to identify key learnings. As part of the marketing review, eight key learnings were identified and these formed the insights to develop the strategy.

From here we could build a marketing strategy. This was very much a collaborative approach, ensuring the team acquired the knowledge and understanding needed on the 'what' and 'why' of marketing planning to set them up to build a strategy they understood, could own and refine internally.

The Result: New positioning, focus, and personnel to take the business forward

Sharp Thinking set out a new positioning, messaging, and four key marketing objectives. This culminated in the support to hire the right marketing personnel to work full time in the business and implement the strategy.

· More confidence in business marketing and planning

By collaborating with the senior management team and guiding them through the process of marketing planning, they were able to build their marketing knowledge to grow the business with confidence.

· A focused, robust marketing strategy to support business development

By following the process of business diagnosis, strategy, and execution in that order, Actionpoint was able to gain a better understanding of business performance and where marketing should focus investment for the long-term benefit of the business. This was an aligned approach with marketing and business development.

· Four key objectives to drive a 12-month marketing plan with marketing metrics

With limited resources, a small but targeted set of key objectives helped focus the business ensuring that all activities would drive future growth. Marketing can be overwhelming and be difficult to measure the return. Sharp Thinking set marketing metrics for the year which aligned with the business objectives. These were both realistic, practical and simple to measure so the business could start to understand the return on investment of marketing assisting with budgeting and resourcing.

· Recruit the right marketing roles for the company

With the strategy in place and a plan for the year, the management team were able to look at the operations and internal resourcing requirements for marketing personnel. Sharp Thinking helped to advise on the job specification and the skills required that was based on implementing the new marketing plan.

"Natalie has brought a lot of drive, strategy and clarity to our marketing strategy. She has a good balance between being thorough enough to get the results required, but also realistic enough so as to focus on what really matters.
We found that once Natalie had a good understanding of our business and what we wanted to achieve, she was later focused on the key elements to the strategy that we knew would make the most difference going forwards. The last 12 months in our marketing department have been the most successful ever. " Luke Pollard, Actionpoint

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