Strategy & Planning

The most basic definition of a strategy is a roadmap

It’s a roadmap that takes you from where you are now to where you want to be. While our process for developing a strategy is consistent, each strategy is unique, because each client has a unique starting point and destination. Protecting and expanding a market leader’s dominance requires a very different strategy than helping a number three manufacturer gain additional distribution in the marketplace. Our experts have the experience and industry knowledge to craft a strategy that propels you forward and gets you results.


Where are you now?

Every strategy must begin with an honest assessment of your starting point based on three key pieces of information:

  1. How your product goes to market and the key audiences along each step
  2. How your target audiences view and value your product category
  3. How your target audiences perceive your brand and products compared to the competitors

Where do you want to be?

The destination is all about what success looks like for your business. Theoretically, this can be anything. Any goal is attainable, given enough time and resources. Practically speaking, your chances for success are higher when you set realistic goals that take timing and budget into consideration.

Brand strategy, content strategy and more

Stoner Bunting’s strategic and planning capabilities extend from the micro level of a single product launch or creative campaign strategy to the macro level of a full strategic marketing plan. Our expertise and experience includes:

  • Annual marketing planning
  • Strategic planning workshop facilitation
  • Brand strategy and architecture
  • Product launch strategy
  • PR & social media strategy
  • Content strategy

Strategic Planning

Give us a goal and we’ll run with it

It starts with an objective and a ballpark budget. It ends up as a roadmap to get you from where you are now to where you want to be. And like everything else we do, our familiarity with the specification process and the key players involved in it makes our plans more effective from the start.

Stoner Bunting is structured to fit in wherever our clients need us to support their marketing teams, but the clients who value us most and get the most benefit from the relationship are those who partner with us from the beginning, starting with strategic planning.

That can mean developing a complete marketing communication plan for the entire year – determining the balance of paid, earned and owned media throughout the entire sales funnel and structuring integrated campaigns over the course of the year to meet the overall goals they’ve set. Or it can be on a smaller scale for a single initiative – a product launch, a seasonal campaign, or a plan for extending into a new vertical market and reaching a new audience.


Strategic marketing plans include:

  • Strategic integration of paid, earned and owned media from top-of-funnel lead generation to closing-focused sales support materials 
  • Comprehensive strategies, tactics and KPIs built around the established goal 
  • Budget allocation and timeline for development and implementation of tactics

We’ve developed annual strategic marketing communication plans for CertainTeed ceilings and gypsum business units, FrogTape, INSTALL International Training and Standards Alliance for commercial flooring, New Leaf performance veneers (a Wilsonart company) and more product launch plans than we can count.

Research & Messaging Strategy

The right story makes all the difference

Manufacturers a lot they want to say – about their products, their programs, their service. Architects, designers, builders and other target audiences all have things they need to hear. The trick is finding where those perspectives align so that clients are the telling the right story to the right audience. That’s where Stoner Bunting’s research and messaging strategy expertise come in.


Uncover the right story with research

The term “marketing research” covers a wide variety of methods and services, from market assessments to product development, and there is no shortage of specialists offering such services. Stoner Bunting’s research expertise is focused on primary qualitative research in the service of developing messaging strategies. We specialize in conducting focus groups and interviews that get to deeper insights faster, thanks to our in-depth knowledge of the design and construction industry. We are also experts at analyzing and applying research conducted by others, identifying the nuggets of insight that can inspire a great story.

The value of research lies in the ability to get actionable insights, not just data. A Stoner Bunting research study starts with understanding how an audience thinks and feels about the category, the product, and the brand. It ends with identifying opportunities to leverage and grow their relationship to the brand by telling a better story. 


The power of stories

Audience insights provide the seeds of strategic messaging. The next step is transforming insights and messaging into stories. Messaging is dry and logical. Stories have emotion and power. As much as we like to believe we are rational beings, people buy and sell with their hearts more than their minds. Members of the architecture and design community know this better than anyone. In numerous focus groups and interviews, we have heard them talk specifically about the importance of “story” – the story of their design concept, and the story of brands and products. According them, stories create an emotional connection, make brands human, and help them sell their ideas and your products through to their clients.

In essence, a powerful story will not only capture your target audience – it will resonate through the channel and captivate the end user, building affinity with your product and your brand.