Three Steps to Mastering Marketing


Three Steps to Mastering Marketing

James Black shares an evergreen article on brand positioning, developing marketing ideas, and choosing a marketing plan.

This fall I had the opportunity to teach Marketing Campaigns: Strategy and Execution in a Masters in Integrated Marketing Program at NYU. It was a unique opportunity to step into the classroom and teach and, in so doing, relearn a lot of core marketing fundamentals. I thought I would share a few key takeaways for me from this class:

  1. Developing and Sustaining a Meaningful Positioning Is the Most Critical Work a Brand Can Do

A brand positioning (the: Who is the target? What is the frame of reference for our brand? What is the benefit? And What are the reasons to believe that support the benefit?) is not a simple task for a brand team to develop. It takes a lot of thought, research and crafting. And then critical analysis to confirm it is robust. Further, expanding it to different categories, as Dove has, or across countries, as various global brands have, requires a rich understand of which elements are flexible and which are not. Once developed, it’s not “done.” Rather, all marketing must be developed , and too often designing marketing with the positioning in mind and evaluating it against the positioning does not occur. Tip: It feels like it goes without saying, but it’s critical for marketers to ensure that their marketing reflects their positioning, and that creative is actually evaluated against the positioning. 

  1. It’s Hard to Develop Strong Marketing Ideas But Why Aren’t We Harder On Ourselves in the Process?

The “ideas” behind communications need to be distinctive, about the benefit  and work across platforms. However in place of distinctive ideas, too many ideas look like “wallpaper.” Instead of being about the benefit, marketing is too often off strategy or “about the drama.” Tip: Challenge yourself to ask if your communications are distinctive and drive the benefit home. If the old adage is “half of advertising doesn’t work…” push yourself to ask “is this really distinctive?,” “Is it about the benefit?,” etc.

Key points include:

  • Brand positioning
  • Distinctive benefits
  • Setting key objectives

Read the full article, 3 Things I (Re)Learned Teaching Integrated Marketing at NYU, on LinkedIn.