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Brand Marketing Blog

Orchestrate Method
29 Nov 2019

2020 Marketing Plan: write the musical score for your team.

A musical score makes sure that every instrument in the orchestra is playing their part in tune, and in time.  It is also the tool by which the composer makes sure that each section or instrument is being used correctly and plays to its strengths.

A marketing strategy and plan is, in effect, your musical score.  It’s not just about what you promote or advertise, but about how the whole organisation conveys your value proposition – your song – to your current and future clients.  This should be the focus of your 2020 Marketing Plan.

Everything you do needs to relate back to the main melody of your song.  It’s used and reinforced throughout.  In music involving more than one part or voice, there are three main methods of combining them. 

a) Unison – everyone singing the same notes at the same time. 

b) Harmony – this everyone singing in time with each other but on different, complementary notes; often the melody sits in one part and the other parts enhance the sound around it. 

c) Counterpoint – the art of combining two independent musical lines, a bit like getting half  your team to sing ‘Swing Low sweet chariot’ and the other half to sing ‘When the saints go marching in’ at the same time.  They fit together well, but they are significantly different. 

Counterpoint is used to create momentum – the tension between the two lines weaving around each other drives the sound forward. They are essentially crafted to work together and they do periodically and eventually resolve and harmonise.  

Occasionally a composer will go further and create dissonance – where the notes clash and it’s hard to listen to for a sustained time. Again, this is a device that creates momentum.  Organisationally speaking, this might be competition between teams – which can be useful providing it isn’t at the expense of your proposition, or importantly, your customer.

It’s your job to work with the marketing person or team, to define how all this happens in your organisation. Right now, you probably step in to try and keep things together or provide momentum to specific areas yourself.  Nothing wrong with that from time to time but it’s much better if people can do that for themselves.  That they know where they’re supposed to harmonise, who is supposed to lead at what point, and how the handoffs work.  Your 2020 Marketing Plan needs to do this.

Imagine you go to a classical concert to hear Mozart’s most famous Horn Concerto.  Suddenly a flautist comes out on stage and plays the part of the Horn instead.  They play the same melody but it just doesn’t sound the same.  It’s also not the expectation that had been created. 

In Start With Why, Simon Sinek calls this the ‘Celery Test’ – don’t say you’re a health freak and then only be seen eating chocolate biscuits!  In her book What Great Brands Do Denise Lee Yohn has a whole chapter about sweating the small stuff.  It’s important that the detail of what happens matches the promises that you make.  

If your employees don’t realise where they fit in the whole, they can make decisions that fix their own problem but create much larger ones through the organisation.  For example, a bottleneck is just moved to another team.

It’s easy to think that your marketing plan should simply cover your key messages and where you’re going to promote them. Actually a marketing strategy not only defines the positioning for your organisation – based on a well-constructed value proposition – but also your products, their pricing, where you’re seen, the physical evidence of your service, how and where each team contributes to your brand performance – as well as the promotional channels you will use and what you will say.

The Orchestrate Method I outline in my book The Brand Symphony takes you through five key steps you need to write, orchestrate and conduct your 2020 marketing plan – with 35 different exercises you can use with your marketer and your wider team to build it.

Make 2020 the year that your #BrandSymphony gets a standing ovation. 

I can help you via workshops, coached programmes or 121 consultancy.  I’m booking now for December/January/February so get in touch via my website or on LinkedIn.