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Powerhouse Marketing Plans
by Winslow “Bud” Johnson
AMACOM © 2004, 352 pages, $29.95 (ISBN 0-8144-7219-2).
How to Supercharge Your Marketing Campaigns
When marketing consultant Winslow “Bud” Johnson describes the most effective ways companies can build successful marketing plans, he does more than merely lay out ideas organizations can follow. In Powerhouse Marketing Plans, he illustrates each of his strategies with real-world examples of plans companies have used to create great successes. By venturing out into the tumultuous trenches of real-world marketing to explain what was done right and which details made a difference, Johnson turns another “how-to” book about marketing into a valuable guidebook that has vast business applications.
Powerhouse Marketing Plans presents marketing from two angles. The first provides an in-depth view of marketing plan success stories, each describing what a company did to build a popular brand or product and how that experience applies to a fundamental principle of marketing. For example, in Johnson’s chapter about the critical nature of consumer and retailer convenience, he describes how L’eggs Hosiery was able to become a dominant player in the pantyhose industry. With a marketing plan written in 1969, L’eggs became the largest brand of pantyhose in the world in 2003, with over 50 percent market share even though its market base dropped over the years by 30 percent.
When Johnson offers the idea that benefits must be perceived by customers, he presents Philips Long-Life Lightbulbs as an example of how one company embodied this principle. Philips’ incredibly successful marketing plan provides a clear example of how a company was able to find out what benefits customers wanted and wrap an entire marketing program around how it provided those benefits.
By offering a series of new long-life lightbulbs and working to take away customer confusion, Philips became the only company whose whole consumer line is long life. This long-life strategy has made Philips the long-life company, an outcropping of its worldwide marketing vision statement: “Philips is the brand of lightbulb that helps to enhance the quality of your life. Philips delivers a full line of long-lasting lightbulbs that satisfy your lighting needs and are guaranteed to perform.” By taking the reader through the genesis of Philips’ marketing plan, Johnson offers other organizations ideas about how they can emulate Philips’ success.
Other marketing plans that epitomize Johnson’s marketing principles are those for Energizer EZ Change Hearing Aid Batteries; Jumbo-Koter by Wooster Brush; Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel; and Treo Mobile Phone, Web/E-Mail Device and Organizer.
Sample Marketing Plans
The other perspective Johnson offers in Powerhouse Marketing Plans is contained within a second part that provides eight highly detailed sample marketing plans from companies that used them successfully. These marketing plans are intended to serve as guides for new marketing plans companies can create for similar circumstances. Although he has changed many of the names, numbers and facts in the marketing plans due to the confidential nature of the information, that fact does not diminish their usefulness to organizations hoping to get their own plans right.
When Johnson explains that focus groups can be the key to understanding the consumer, he presents Craftmaster Hardware Products from Santos International Corp. as an example of how consumer group input helped to launch a line of hardware products. After describing the ways focus groups can be used to identify consumer prices, attitudes, problems, needs and reaction to ideas regarding a business venture, Johnson offers the full marketing plan that was used to launch the products. This plan includes the strategy for distribution and display, as well as the advertising and promotion programs that were used to get the word out. Consumer and trade research results show organizations how that type of information can be incorporated into marketing objectives and financial forecasts.
From Plans to Profits
This part of Powerhouse Marketing Plans also presents plans that demonstrate how telephone surveys can be used to complete market reviews, how online consumer qualitative research can be performed, and how ethnographic research can be used to understand customers better. By showing how trade research can be conducted and put into a strategy, and how all research can be tied together into an effective marketing plan, Johnson offers organizations a complete look at how successful companies have turned solid marketing plans into solid profits. ~
Why We Like This Book
Powerhouse Marketing Plans moves beyond theoretical advice by providing real examples of plans that made the ideas behind them come alive. From an introduction that defines important marketing terms to examples of estimated income statements from real companies, Johnson’s ability to identify the traits of market winners and distill them into a usable framework on which organizations can build their own marketing plans makes his book a valuable resource. ~