Preparing a marketing strategy workshop outline is not a difficult task. But it can be overwhelming because no one knows how to start. This template will help you put together your marketing strategy with greater ease and confidence.

I’ve created some spreadsheets that are helpful to have at your marketing strategy workshop. These will make it easier for you to set goals and align your team on what it is that we’re trying to accomplish through the workshop. I’ve included an executive summary template, a strategy execution plan template, and a competitive analysis template in case you need any of them.

What Is a Marketing Strategy Workshop? And What Outcomes Can You Expect?

It is important that a marketing strategy workshop is a collaborative environment. It is here that workshop ideas can be generated or critical analysis and decision making will be required from team members as part of the workshop.

With the help of this group environment, we can be able to harness the power of collective wisdom and transform it into something better than we could have ever achieved on our own. A better alignment between marketing and sales could lead to better product development, better customer understanding, better branding, or a better execution of marketing and sales strategies.

The purpose of marketing strategy workshops is to uncover new ideas for:

  • Content strategy mapping
  • Customer persona story mapping
  • Brainstorming key content strategies
  • Brand positioning strategy
  • Copy or creative communications strategy

Doesn’t that sound great, doesn’t it? The goal of this blog, however, is to provide you with the best opportunity to lead and achieve these collaborative outcomes when leading a marketing strategy workshop, which is why running a marketing strategy workshop is about leadership.

Useful Tips on How to Run a Successful Marketing Strategy Workshop:

Good Marketing Strategy Workshop Template
source: intrafocus

First Thing’s First: What is It?

As part of a marketing strategy workshop, you will have the opportunity to look at past marketing efforts and develop a new strategy based on what you have learned. As part of this process, you need to get various members of your marketing team together in order to analyze your marketing data and come up with new goals, ideas, and marketing activities to be carried out as a result.

It is necessary to go through this process from time to time since it is a necessary one. In what way? The reason why you must have a marketing strategy is that if you don’t have one, you’re marketing in the dark. It will never be as effective as a strategy that is tailored specifically to the people you want to sell to and their unique problems as a random untargeted approach to marketing.

Determine Marketing Strategy Workshop Goal

It’s going to take you a while to gather your team and work on your strategy, so make sure it’s worth the time and effort you spend. Your strategy workshop will quickly devolve into a series of unrelated and unproductive conversations if expectations are not properly set and the goal of the session is not clearly defined at the beginning.

Having said that, what is your goal? Are you in the process of developing a new quarterly strategy? Do you have a yearly strategy? Do you simply want to launch a new product or service, and in order to do so, you need to create a marketing strategy specific to launching that product or service? No matter what your goal is for the session, make sure that you let the team know when you invite them to the session – and throughout it as well.

Furthermore, your goal is also valuable because it will help you to decide who should attend your strategy session and who should not. Who will be able to provide you with valuable input that will be relevant to your goal? As a result of the session, who will be responsible for implementing the marketing strategy that is developed as a result of the discussion? In order to come up with a list of attendees, you will need to answer these questions early on in the process.

Take Inventory

It is important that you take the time to assess your current marketing assets. Is there a buyer persona and a customer journey that you have created for your customers? Are you blogging, creating videos, or engaging with your prospects on social media in order to attract them to your business? In order to be able to look to the future more easily, you need to know what marketing efforts have been made in the past.

Persona Research

In some cases, you may already have personas built out, but now is the time to evaluate them and do more research on them. In terms of your new marketing strategy, you may have to target a new persona, or you may find that in the past you did not have a complete understanding of your target market, so you need to start over.

It would be beneficial to think about who your best customers are, and if possible, interview them. It is important to realize that they might not be your ideal audience. Who are they? Is there anything that they struggle with? In what ways do your unique solutions help your unique buyer? This information can be used to map out the buyer’s journey, flesh out existing buyer personas or create new ones based on the buyer’s journey. The most important thing to remember is that you cannot develop a marketing strategy if you don’t know who your target audience is.

Competitor Research

The question now is, who is your competition, now that you know who your buyers are? If you take some time to evaluate your competitors, you may find that they are more successful than you in reaching your target demographic. In your opinion, what are they doing right? In your opinion, what are they doing wrong? Ensure that their content, social media presence, website, and any other relevant marketing tactics are up-to-date. By doing this, you will be able to determine what areas need to be strengthened and what areas do not.

Create an Agenda

Now that you have done the research you will need to proceed forward, it’s time to create an agenda based on what you have learned. Don’t forget, your strategy workshop is important; your team should be aware of what to expect, and they should keep the discussion on topic. Your workshop may take more than one session, depending on the extent to which you wish to achieve your goals. The agenda for each session should be developed in advance. Can you tell me who needs to attend, and what they need to do to prepare for the event? Make sure your team members are aware of these expectations when you invite them to join your team.

Good Marketing Strategy Workshop Template
source: slideshare

Decide Who to Invite

There may not be a need for everyone on your team to attend the strategy meeting, but you should make sure that anyone who will be involved in the execution of the marketing strategy is invited to participate. Be careful: this does not mean that only members of your marketing team should be present at this meeting. Can you think of anyone else who has good contacts with your customers and can make good use of your marketing assets?

Bringing your sales team into the marketing conversation is one of the most important things you can do if you haven’t already. Having your sales and marketing teams work together to come up with a strong marketing strategy will help your team be better able to support one another and your customers in the long run. Don’t leave your team out of the marketing conversation, as they know what your prospects struggle with and what their common objections are to your product and service, so don’t leave them out of the conversation!

Plan for success with plan B and C

There is a lot of work that goes into organizing a successful workshop, and a lot of time and effort must be put into planning a successful workshop. To begin with, you should think about why you want to hold a workshop and establish what you want to accomplish as a result of this workshop.

Does the scope of the project need to be limited in any way? Would it be better to schedule it for the morning or the afternoon? Who should attend this event? Is there a particular location that would be ideal? Is there a catering service available? Could you please let me know what the agenda should be? What are the speakers’ names and when will they be speaking? When it comes to planning a wedding, there are so many factors that need to be considered and taken into account.

In order to force yourself to consider the alternatives to what you have chosen, you need to have a plan in place. There’s no doubt that things will occasionally go awry in the workshop, but you’ll have a plan B or C at the ready to cope with most scenarios that are likely to occur during the course of the workshop.

Communicate clearly housekeeping issues

When you are organizing the marketing strategy workshop agenda, then you have been designated as its leader, so it is essential that you take charge from the very beginning. You will most likely find that it is the little things that are going to derail your marketing strategy workshop, and the root cause of these little things will most likely be poor communication. The importance of this is particularly evident in light of the fact that virtual marketing strategy workshops are becoming increasingly common.

As long as you communicate housekeeping issues right up front, everyone will behave the way you intend them to.

The following are some housekeeping issues that need to be clarified:

– Time allocated to agenda items
– Lunch and tea breaks
– Mobile phone and computer usage
– Toilet locations
– Participation requirements
– Who the casting voter will be
– Follow up plans

Understanding the importance of attendee roles

It is important to note that a marketing strategy workshop is not the same as a focus group nor is it the same as an employee brainstorming session. There is no doubt that it is a strategic meeting aimed at achieving great results.

Therefore, the roles that people will play in the future are very important. In order to break deadlocks, there also needs to be a decision-maker who can provide leadership and vision, as well as break deadlocks. I would recommend that you invite some experts in the subject matter, as well as cross-functional representatives, to attend the meeting. It is useful to engage external stakeholders such as creative writers, market researchers, or even suppliers and customers in order to gain additional insight and challenge normative thinking.

This is an important step to ensure smooth operation of the strategy workshop and will reduce the emphasis on the facilitator being the main contributor to the success of the workshop. It is important to map out these roles as a facilitator and leader. The structure of the group can be manipulated to achieve outstanding results in collaboration and creative thinking by manipulating the structure of the group.

This is your chance to be creative and build confidence

In order for a workshop to be successful, it should inspire new and bigger thinking. It should be a tool that helps the business unlock ‘nuggets’ that can be leveraged strategically by the organization. In order to achieve this, it is important to make the attendees feel relaxed, welcome, and important. In order to build up the confidence of attendees, make sure that you use carefully selected words that will inspire and build up their confidence by checking in with them on how they are doing.

In order to start off with, warm-up exercises or icebreakers are a great place to start, and these do not have to be related to the business at all.

It is crucial that a workshop facilitator as well as a key business decision-maker bring their charming and challenging personalities to the workshop. In addition to inspiring attendees, the workshop facilitator will also hold them accountable and seek clarity around their contribution – always using interactive methods of getting participation going.

The final step would be to research and present case studies from other industries that have experienced similar challenges and this will stimulate thinking and enable us to set new goals and aspire to a new vision for the future.

Good Marketing Strategy Workshop Template
source: miro

Select a strategy framework that works best in a workshop environment

The SWOT analysis is one of the most common planning tools we are all familiar with. However, is it likely that they will stimulate new ways of thinking? Are they going to work well in a workshop as well? There is a good chance that it won’t.

As we live in a customer-centric world, it is important to start any strategy session with the end customer in mind.

For B2B businesses, this type of thinking takes attendees away from the self-interest of their company, which is likely to be the biggest barrier to the generation of new ideas and concepts that you will be able to generate. It may be a good idea to try to run a design thinking-based ‘shark tank’ of your own. In order to get attendees involved in the process of design thinking, you can ask them to draw and start prototyping ideas and potential strategic options as part of the process.

Often, it is only when you visualize a marketing strategy as an execution that you can see how powerful or how weak it is.

Use constraints to drive better, more critical thinking

There are times when things are all blue sky, and it can become all care and no responsibility when you are all blue sky. Furthermore, it can also lead to lazy thinking, and it does not always lead to practical outcomes. In order to make the brain work harder, we need to set up constraints.

There is no need to limit yourself by practical considerations like budgets or time constraints. You can even come up with constraints such as “imagine if our major customer were to delete our product range tomorrow.”. Another example would be if a competitor doubled its marketing budget and actively targeted our customers.”.

This type of constraint can be used to generate a variety of ideas for a broad range of possible scenarios by using these constraints.

Consider using games to generate new thinking with strategic outcomes

As an adventurous individual, you might think it would be interesting to apply some of your favorite strategy planning tools to make them more gamified. Among the best tools for gamifying a training session are those that allow attendees to choose between a variety of input options. Depending on the situation, this could be anything from the selection of alternative marketplace scenarios, investment options, or even selecting words that best represent the characteristics and benefits of a brand in terms of its benefits and attributes.

The use of dice, cards and spinning devices to play games ensures that there is plenty of fun and engagement for everyone. Aside from that, they also prevent any overt dominance on the part of any individual member of the group. In addition to this, strategic games are also better suited for larger groups since there is a tendency for some members of the audience to be left out of the conversation.

The most important thing to remember about games is that they are supposed to be fun, so make sure the games you choose are enjoyable.

Document everything, especially the magic

In workshops, participants are given the freedom of thought that is rarely available to them on a regular basis on a day-to-day basis. There is no doubt that it is easy to get carried away at the moment. However, if you fail to keep a record of what is being said and written, you may well miss out on the magic that is taking place.

In fact, often the magic does not reveal itself until after the workshop has ended, which is why keeping a record of everything said and written during the workshop is so important. Facilitators must focus on their primary role, which is to facilitate the meeting.

By using a video or audio recording, it is possible to ensure that every word is captured word for word during the meeting. Alternatively, you can have a dedicated note taker attend the meeting in order to take notes.

You can document group exercises by using large sheets of Butchers paper, handouts that attendees can fill in or write on, and post-it notes to indicate preferences and notes, all of which create valuable, documented resources that you will be able to use again and again.

Utilise individual exercises to avoid Group-think

There is no doubt that workshops can be dominated by large and influential personalities – especially by those who have positional power, such as leaders.  As a result, I think it’s a great idea to break up the group work with individual exercises to give the students a break. 

It is recommended to begin with individual exercises after the initial warm-ups and icebreakers have been completed. In this way, everyone has the opportunity and commitment to participate in the generation of ideas, insights, and feedback, regardless of how brilliant or foolish they may think they are.

In order to extend the thought of silent voting and fast five exercises, we often use them as an extension of this process, with the creator of an idea given the chance to explain their thinking before any opinion or feedback is provided. As a result, this creates a safe environment for individuals who are conflict averse and restrain dominant personalities so that everyone can be heard.

It is then possible to evaluate the feedback in light of the voting and the creator’s rationale for the decision.

Sum up with clarity and develop a follow up plan

Are you feeling exhausted right now? As I am sure you will be, however, despite your exhaustion, it is really important to leave the group with clarity around what the next steps are and with the inspiration to execute the direction that was agreed.

Check in with the group to see how things are going. What was the outcome of the meeting? Can you tell me what became clearer as a result? How are they feeling at the moment? Afterwards, the facilitator and or the decision maker should be able to summarize the proceedings with clarity and inspired insight. There should be an agreed upon follow-up plan that is documented and responsibilities assigned as part of the plan.  

Top Tips for Running a Successful Virtual Marketing Strategy Workshop

Good Marketing Strategy Workshop Template
source: smartsheet

As a final note, during times of crisis such as Covid-19, it is worthwhile to have a backup plan to run a virtual marketing strategy workshop as a backup plan. As a matter of fact, you may find that you can facilitate collaboration and independent thinking at the same time.

  • There is still a lot of value in the tips above! Make sure you don’t let the technology dictate what you do. In spite of this, your facilitator should be properly trained and should have a thorough understanding of the technology – both its strengths and weaknesses.
  • It is a good idea to use breakout rooms for smaller group activities. Make sure a leader is appointed and a time limit is set.
  • Be careful not to over-rely on presenting material – if you need to present material, keep it short and conversational, and ensure that you allow people to participate in the screen share as much as possible.
  • You should not think that sketching and physical activities are not important at all – in fact, they take on an even greater importance as you grow older. In order to encourage collaboration, it is useful to use the virtual whiteboards provided by many platforms in order to use these types of activities.
  • Last but not least, you will need to choose a video conferencing platform. There are plenty of options to choose from. Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Google Meets should be sufficient for most businesses, especially those on a budget, particularly if they are on a limited budget.

Conclusion

The Marketing Workshop provides a platform for a hands-on approach to developing your business’ marketing strategy. The workshop aims to gain a deep understanding of what goes into successful marketing, and how to apply these methods to meet your business goals.

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