By definition, strategic marketing planning results in . . . a plan. No real surprise there. And it’s typically built around some level of research that defines the way in which the theme will be woven into your marketing approach.

At Red House, our model has an important—if occasionally painful—twist.

We start with a question: “What if we’re wrong?” To ensure success, you must embrace the possibility that what you believe to be true may, indeed, not be.

By developing several strategic hypotheses, you discover more possibilities. Then, you have to go about proving (or disproving) them one way or another. In this example, we used a 75-cell test grid to trial three key message themes across five verticals using three different functional decision-making titles.

Not gonna lie: that’s supposed to sound mildly complex. Why? Because it’s 2015, “Know before you go” is the new baseline, and we no longer use a hunch; we crunch. Data. Lots of target-revealing data. In this case, we were able to determine which message used with which theme resonated with which audience, and in which vertical—all without an asset.

The tests were simple copy-based emails with a link to the site to learn more. The results now lay the foundation for a well-informed tactical plan with a high probability of reaching the right audiences and making significant impact. But I’ll have more on that in my next post.

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Dan Hansen

Dan Hansen

Senior Partner

Dan Hansen is a Senior Partner with Red House and a 30-year veteran of the marketing industry. In addition to holding a master’s degree in advertising from Syracuse University, he works in a marketing consulting capacity with Red House clients such as McKesson, Elsevier, Equifax, and AT&T.