Our Marketing Plan Framework

The 4Q Marketing Framework

Four fundamental questions every marketing plan should answer

Marketing is the larger framework into which a B2B company’s brand fits. There are countless ways to define marketing; here at 5MetaCom, we developed our own framework that condenses the discipline of marketing into a new model that involves answering four simple questions. We call this approach the “4Q Marketing Framework.”

Answering the 4Qs

Working through the four fundamental questions in the 4Q Marketing Framework will carry your brand from strategy to implementation.

The 4Qs:

What to do? Strategy

This question speaks to all the choices on how to go to market. Think of strategy simply as “where and how to compete.” Strategy also includes positioning. To paraphrase advertising icon David Ogilvy¹, think of positioning as “what you do and who you are for?” (you being “the company”).

What to say? Messaging

These are the ideas, values and words that communicate what’s desirable and unique about your company or product. This is also often referred to as the value proposition. Messaging also includes the “proof points” that back up and support what is said. This can be addressed through a process of crafting a 3-30 message that aligns with your brand.

How to say it? Communications

In this step, messaging is made tangible. Ad agencies have traditionally owned this space with their creativity and “big ideas” that give life and expression to brands. Answering this question also involves devising the tactical plan to carry the big ideas to audiences in all forms. Words, pictures and media—in all types: owned, earned and paid—come into play here.

How to get it heard? Implementation

Implementation sets branding into motion. Creative work is produced and deployed through the tactics from the marketing plan. Implementation also includes aligning employees to the brand through the process of enrollment. Many companies do the first part of implementation (deploying the creative), but miss the critical step of people alignment. To truly succeed in the marketplace, your company must align the behaviors of your people to the brand.

Want help answering the 4Qs? Click here to start a discussion.

¹Ogilvy, D. Ogilvy on Advertising. Crown, 1983.