DRI/McGraw-Hill was turning 25. As a senior marketing leader for the company, I developed our annual marketing plan, turning this anniversary into a year-long awareness campaign.
The plan included targeted programs by market and covered a full-range of tactics from traditional advertising to sales presentations. Before we moved ahead, I needed to sell the plan to management and secure the budget. I wanted to push home the need to strengthen our overall market image as a way to promote our in-depth experience and consultative services.
I began my presentation to executive management with an ad from our parent company, McGraw-Hill. The ad showed a grumpy old-fashioned businessman. The copy read:
I don’t know who you are.
I don’t know your company.
I don’t know your company’s products.
I don’t know what your company stands for.
I don’t know your company’s customers.
I don’t know your company’s record.
I don’t know your company’s reputation.
Now—what was it you wanted to sell me?
With one page, I had their attention and had developed a strong case to ratify a plan built on brand awareness and focused market programs.
This plan was one of my first full strategic marketing plans; planning has now been a significant part of my career for over 15 years.