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Young Business Leaders Committee of the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce Panel Discussion a Big Success

The DavidHenry Agency

Earlier this week David Fink, President of The DavidHenry Agency joinedFrank Ableson, Owner, MSI Services, Inc.; Jim Furgeson, Vice President of Marketing Business Development, North Jersey Healthcare Corporation and Rich Zeoli, President of RZC Impact to speak on a panel hosted by the Young Business Leaders Committee of the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce regarding communications and media in today’s marketplace. It was the first in a series of seven events, both social and programmed offered by the Chamber and the event was a huge success with great insights on current industry trends coming from all panelists.

For a full writeup on the event visit the New Jersey Herald here.


Systems Development and Strategic Marketing – Same Approach, Superior Results by David Fink, President, CCO, The DavidHenry Agency

Tech News Magazine

Westfield, NJ – May 15, 2007As a technologist, you are trained to think about “process” – your mind understands systems and how they are built so that they address the needs of customers, provide scalability, and can adapt to customers’ changing needs. Your process-orientation enables you to systematically plan, develop, implement and track the success of your systems and solutions, and how they relate to the customer’s internal and external operations. You are essentially establishing a solid platform from which additional modules or services can be added or manipulated without affecting the integrity of your initial design.

Now that you have mastered this process and approach to systems development, you can apply the same techniques to get your product or service to market. How?

When you approach the marketing communications planning process, it is very similar to the way a technology solutions provider develops an application or system.

Consider This Six-Phase Planning Process:

Step 1 – Understand The Vision: If you are a technology solutions provider, chances are that your project team conducts an initial kick-off session with your customer when beginning a new project. This forum is used to clearly define the vision of the project, understand the goals and milestones, and evaluate the resources that will drive the project to completion. Similarly, as a marketer, you must understand and define your vision, business and marketing objectives, and how the resources and operations of an organization may enhance or impede its marketing initiatives.

Additionally, at this stage of development it is important to identify the unique selling proposition (USP) of your products and/or services, analyze the competition, and begin to conduct a thorough market opportunity assessment. The planning team has then effectively obtained the necessary data to make informed recommendations for the marketing program. Use this fact-finding mission to further develop target audience profiles, review market trends, and outline the ways in which the program can best leverage the communication and distribution channels available to your organization. Typically you can create a “Project Brief” that summarizes the findings to ensure that all parties involved are “on the same page.”  Is this sounding familiar?  It should.

Step 2 – Complete The Discovery Phase: In this phase of systems development, technology professionals often evaluate the specific resources, environmental conditions and other variables that can impact decisions related to the project. From a marketing standpoint, this includes a detailed review of the resources required to execute the plan and systems in place to track results and analyze the return on investment.  This guides the planning team in determining the best use of budgeted funds, personnel, partner relationships, communications tools and other key resources to achieve goals and objectives detailed during Step 1.

A detailed analysis and review of the resources required for future planning and their associated costs are integrated into your program recommendations and a “Menu of Opportunity” is built. Outline the costs to develop materials that support the communications platform, organize the marketing and media plan and budget, and clearly outline how each initiative will impact the business and marketing objectives.

Step 3 – Design Your Playbook: For most technology solutions providers, this is the phase in which they deliver a “Requirements Planning” document – essentially a project game plan. Similarly, you can put on your marketing hat and create a playbook that includes the program overview, goals and objectives, program milestones, resources required, pricing and promotions, media plan, team utilization, and other implementation requirements.  The marketing program, or playbook, also should include a timeline and complete budget.

Step 4 – Make Critical Decisions: At this stage, key decision makers discuss and review the recommendation and work together to finalize the plan that will be executed, its timeframe and budget.  This finalized plan should be organized in a binder which then serves as a blueprint for the program.

Step 5 – Manage Your Development: During this phase, programmers create the tools needed to implement a system. For your marketing, this is the stage where you need to design and produce all of the relevant communications material that will drive your marketing program.  This may include collateral material, web site development, advertising, public relations, sales materials, video production, events or tradeshow graphics, promotions, direct marketing, and ancillary interactive marketing solutions.  Make sure you have ample time for internal reviews and revisions throughout this process.

Step 6 – Ensure Effective Deployment: This is the beginning of the execution phase which includes the selection of team members at each level to support the implementation, management and reporting for the plan.  This ensures that each team member is working from the plan and using common tracking and reporting tools.

Remember, your products and services and can not be a “Field of Dreams” approach – “Build It and They Will Come.” To get your company’s offerings to market, leverage your process-orientation and the planning process described above to develop a strategic marketing plan that is in line with your business goals.