Ever tried to manage a team, lead a meeting or train a staff member through mime? I can now say that I have. 

This week has been plagued by a new challenge – not being able to speak. I woke up on Monday with a sore throat and a cough. Throughout the week I have been getting progressively worse, to the point where the Doctor prescribed “no talking” (much to my family’s amusement.) Today I had 6 meetings scheduled and 1-2-1 training with my new recruit. I’m sure you can imagine why losing my voice today was bad timing! However, no challenge is insurmountable! Instead on relying on my usual mode of communication, I turned to mime. My skills are not yet comparable to those of Charlie Chaplin or Laurel & Hardy, but after several hand gestures and the odd keyword written on paper, I made myself understood.

Marketers must be able to adapt to different customers, to changing customer behaviour, to the latest trend…the list goes on. Marketing is not one size fits all and no project is the same. Its vital to tailor the strategy to the needs of the customer as well as understand the systems and resources at your disposal.

I recently took on a new project, BioPharma Mexico 2015. Although I am really looking forward to this opportunity, this is a new project for me so there is a lot to learn. This is a new market with a new target audience who speak Spanish (a language that to my shame, I don’t speak.) I can’t rely on the promotional tools I favour for my other projects. Of course no two projects are the same, but marketing into another country or market presents unique challenges. The main challenge is overcoming the language barrier. Even the simplest of tasks, such as sending out an event listing via a 3d party is made more complicated. Although mime probably won’t be my first choice of communication or promotion, it’s important that I adapt to this new project.

When faced with a challenge such as this, it is even more important to take the time to plan. So, what do you need to produce a great marketing plan? You need the building blocks – the what, the who, the when, the where and the how!

Step 1: Who is your target? Spend time understanding the target customer. In the case of BioPharma Mexico, this will largely be achieved through talking to the rest of the event team, in particular those customer-facing members and those who have conducted in depth industry research. Understanding how our target audience communicates will enable me to identify the most effective promotional tools.

Step 2: The 7 P’s. I start all my projects the same way – by examining the 7 P’s of each event: Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process and Physical Evidence. I find that examining each P helps me to focus on the USP of each event I look after.

Planning carefully will enable me to overcome the unique challenges of BioPharma Mexico. Although I would be willing to bet that the most effective promotional tool is unlikely to be mime, it would set us apart from the competition!

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