There is something magical about the marketing planning process. Seeing it through all the stages from beginning to end is a truly miraculous experience because it is a perfect combination of art and science that serves as a GPS to get you where you need to go, even if it may not be where you think you want to go.
The usefulness of the marketing planning process is quite universal and can be applied to many other types of work, especially those revolving around people. That’s because it has been honed by practitioners to figure out what the problem is and what is needed for the situation and the
One company saw the success of marketing planning and decided to apply it to diversity. The pharmaceutical giant, Eli Lily & Company knows a thing or two about how to get things done. They have developed some of the most ubiquitous drugs over their more than 140-year history. But when it came to diversity, the company realized it wasn’t having much success. So they turned to the marketing process.
What they had been applying to the “Patient Journey” to develop and bring meaningful drugs to the marketplace, they started applying to the “Employee Journey.”
Why was the marketing process so helpful to them? It helped them discovered two important things. First, looking at the data and hearing the voices of the people involved isn’t the same thing. One of the great things about the marketing process done right is that numbers are critical for good decisionmaking, but the voices of the customer are equally important. That’s why most marketing research will be both qualitative and quantitative. The voices of the people gained through focus groups, personal interviews, journals
Second, they realized they had been focusing on women in senior leadership roles and were overlooking the experiences of the much larger group of women, particularly women of color, throughout the rest of the organization. One of the strengths of the marketing process is defining who your audience is and what is important to them.
That’s the value of the marketing planning process. It helps us think through the situation or problem and understand the human implications for the correct target market and then, and only then, we can find the right solutions.