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Strategy workshop ADPR

Client: Somerset Skills & Learning

Bespoke marketing strategy workshop

A two-day strategy workshop with Somerset Skills & Learning

The Challenge

SS&L works across Somerset to provide adult education, apprenticeships and traineeships. It also invests in community projects across Somerset.  The team needed a new marketing strategy to reflect its new five-year business plan and objectives. The in-house marketing team were looking for additional support to help facilitate the development of this marketing strategy.  
SS&L logo

Working with ADPR was an effortless process. They helped us focus our ideas and objectives into a comprehensive strategy and plan that fitted with not only the company objectives but also the size of the team and available budgets. The sessions were well run, inclusive and fun. They challenged some of our preconceived thinking and allowed us to explore new methods and opportunities. For anyone thinking they need some support in their marketing, even if like us they have an established team but need some time to focus on and explore ideas, then ADPR are highly recommended.

Andy Hobbs, Operations Manager at SS&L

The Solution

ADPR designed and hosted a two-day strategy session at the office. The SS&L team were in full control of ultimately setting the strategy and plans, with ADPR’s role to facilitate and offer expert guidance to achieve the desired outcomes.   

Day 1: 

Brand voice and VMP 

Through a series of activities, we spent time looking at the organisation’s vision, mission and purpose, and creating a unified brand voice for SS&L across its core audiences, all in line with the new business plan.  

Purpose is the “why” behind a brand and the real reason why a company exists. A clear purpose creates a fulfilled and engaged team and inspires trust among a target audience, in this case SS&L’s learners. Its vision statement needed to include what it was hoping to achieve and the mission statement(s) are the actions it will take to get there. 

 It is also important to create a brand voice that reflects the company and appeals to the target audience(s). We spent time discussing brand guidelines for written work, that can be applied across all channels, ensuring the messaging and ‘voice’ are consistent.  

Setting the strategy 

The marketing strategy helps you choose, prioritise, plan and execute projects to influence profitable customer action. Marketing is not just about producing content. Marketing is about producing content that produces results!  

Our afternoon session focused on targeting the right audience with the right content and the right level of effort, but also helped the team to understand the impact marketing projects have upon the growth of the organisation. We focussed on: 

  • A review of the business objectives and defining communications objectives that align with them. 
  • A deep dive into the brand’s core audiences, how they consume information and messaging, and where.  
  • Development of the overarching strategy to inform tactical activity over the next 5 years – how are we going to reach those goals?  
  • Measurement and KPIs – measurable targets for the strategy. 

 Day 2: 

After looking at the overarching strategy, for day two we looked at the tactics to deliver it. This is the bit people tend to enjoy the most – time for creative ideas! 

Our aim was to have the bones of a 12-month plan that the SS&L team could build upon. This session included: 

  • Marketing channels – prioritising and maximising each one. What will give SS&L the most bang for its buck? 
  • Campaign and content themes – these could be monthly or quarterly, to align with objectives and academic calendar.  
  • Creative brainstorming and storytelling – what is going to engage the audience? More importantly, what is going to make them take action? 

 ADPR also provided templates for the team to take away and use as needed, which included: 

  • Brand guidelines  
  • Marketing strategy  
  • 12-month tactical plan 
  • Content calendar templates   
  • Reporting examples and measures of success 

The Results

The SS&L team were able to utilise the skills and experience of the ADPR team to refine the purpose statements and tone of voice, develop a new marketing strategy, and create a tactical plan of content and outputs for the year. We also provided support after the session, for the team to bounce ideas off the ADPR team and discuss plans for moving forward and presenting the new plan to the management team. 

Results stats: 

  • 1: refined set of brand guidelines & tone of voice 
  • 5: year marketing strategy 
  • 1: year tactical plan 
  • 2: day marketing strategy workshop 

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