An effective marketing plan is one that's a catalyst for business development. Unfortunately, many marketing plans are created for organizational convenience, not strategic messaging. 

With a commitment to proven innovation methodology, teams can vet their best ideas, bring the most promising ones to market and tell stories that serve customers while sharing the company's merits.

Below the Fold's user-centered engagement strategy improves a business or organization's communications and marketing plan while building team capacity to innovate at the pace, scale and rigor required to meet ambitious goals. The approach takes the best lessons from a career guiding newsroom and media content efforts and melds them with business innovation best practices. 

Agendas and timelines are custom designed to address the needs of the client environment and their communications assets.

Sample Engagement

Work session: Assets, opportunities, stakeholders

Objective - Deliver high-level introduction to Design Thinking philosophies and methods, and complete several hands-on exercises to orient team to existing and goal states for marketing engagement plan.

  • Define marketing and communications challenge

  • Principles of Design Thinking

  • Crosswalking assets and opportunities

  • Best practices and analogous inspiration

  • Identification of key stakeholders 

  • Empathy interview instruction and practice

Field work and work session: Stakeholder interviews and prep for persona creation

Objective -Guide team to consensus about a “North Star” user and uncover meaningful user-driven insights for next steps.

  • Pairs interview potential “North Star users,” identified using supplied demographics

  • Unpack interviews as team, uncovering user insights

  • Below the Fold creates user personas, incorporating additional research

Work session: Stakeholder journey mapping

Objective - Thoroughly explore how stakeholders experience client, from initial contact to long-term engagement. Identify areas to improve user experience.

  • Demonstration and discussion of created user personas

  • Creation of timelines with key steps in users’ interactions

  • Identification of pain points, happy points, questions and opportunities

  • Selection of pivotal moment

  • Empathy mapping

  • Revisit challenge definition

  • Preparation for ideation

Work session: Ideation, prototyping

Objective - Generate many ideas to share the merits of client with our user.  Build light weight prototypes and plan for next steps.

  • Revisit challenge definition

  • Brainstorming

  • Selection of promising ideas

  • Prototyping

  • Determine methods to test, measure success against establish goals and identify tasks/activities to be eliminated

Ongoing support: Project wrap-up and next steps

Objective - Document emerging communications and marketing strategy in a design report with recommendations for timeline of project piloting.  Assist in implementation. Project wrap-up may include, for example:

  • Idea refinement

  • Interim content plan for all channels

  • Connection with tools and content creators

  • Community/board engagement around plan

  • Advanced team training