The marketing gap…

After experiencing early organic or entrepreneurial success, brands and businesses often reach a plateau. As teams grow, replicating the keys to past success is imperative to get to the next level- but how?

The key to marketing growth is the know-HOW to build brands by growing consumer or customer demand for your brands into the future. Knowing how to differentiate, re-position and revitalize brands to maximize brand impact on the target market is a skill often lacking, not taught at universities or business schools and not formalized in companies.

Why us?

This is for companies wanting to build or re-build their business brand(s), Scale Up, with a proven system to inspire and align teams, replicate success and operate like a Tier 1 Global blue chip multinational player.

  • Marketing Re-Positioning and Re-invention: Training Courses, Activation & Systems that Deliver Results.
  • Get the clarity. Get moving. Get results. Expect 20-40% sales revenue growth in 2 years. We de-mystify brand growth strategy with thorough brand performance analytics, customer research and white space gap analysis. We workshop, step-by- step the growth actions that return exponential ROI on focused targets and offers.
  • Re-usable planning system: obtain and embed a world-class system of planning and critical thinking. Frameworks and templates will last the company and individual forever.

Success Stories

Marketing Expansion Plan: Services client quadrupled growth rate, grew 40% within 1 year, got finance via tailored plan from Total Potential.

A client’s business had been growing at various UNPREDICTABLE rates until it hit stagnation in growth rate. They needed a plan to gain funding to expand: Within a year of putting a tailor-made Total Potential Plan in place, the business grew 40%, along with secured funding.


The Full Story


Client Issue: This client was having difficulty with Lack of Control over Growth- which had been haphazard.

2 main reasons:

  1. They were not sure what the growth drivers/levers were (what was working, what was not) so it was hard to predict further expansion/staffing /cash flow needs. This also made securing necessary growth funding almost impossible
  2. Having been founded by an entrepreneur, most of the know-how lay with that 1 person. There was also no clear delineation of tasksbetween roles and no clear path forward for staff – so performance was sub optimal.


IMPLICATIONS: Growth had slowed dramatically

  1. They did not, or indeed could not, know how or where  to get the best return on effort, or spend (ROI)
  2. Lack of a clear Strategic Plan meant difficulty in raising capital for further expansion; or assessing value for sale

A systematic marketing growth plan with a future view was needed


What We Did

We worked with them in a series of face to face workshops and behind the scenes research. The result was a clear written strategic plan right down to the action item level, so the business was clear what needed to be done (marketing, sales, service, structures, goals and actions with KPI’s) each month for the following year ( demo available)


The Client`s Result

This plan was used to gain bank approval for finance to to expand and grew 40% in the year following the plan, by following the actions agreed. They were able to fund the activities identified in the plan with the additional investment they had managed to secure.

Marketing Growth Plan Capability Coaching: Grow To Next Level - An Industrial Business Growth Strategy


The market dynamics had changed over the last few years and our successful family business was under threat from a shrinking market and more competitors (some manufacturers) entering the market with cheaper alternatives, thus eroding our market share. We needed to think out the box and do something different as the current manufacturer/distributor model was starting to not work. We needed some innovative ways to accelerate sales and customer demand and were looking to bring skills into the business which were lacking, such as marketing. We needed someone who could look at the issues from another viewpoint as we were too close to the coal-face.



With the above challenges in mind, Tessa Plen has introduced thinking frameworks that have helped us look at our business in an entirely new way and have allowed us to analyse market size, share and structure to ascertain where our relative strengths lie, where we can add margin and differentiate, and what are essential bread and butter products to stay viable. She is also helping us to forge closer ties and cooperation with key suppliers and to best meet end customer needs collaboratively via a bottom-up approach. Tessa is showing us how to best rationalise our range to concentrate on a profitable basket of goods, while ensuring we cater to key customer needs. The research she conducted with our customers has also provided good insight as to how to strengthen ties with customers and we have gone back to basics to cement and renew our customer relationships.


Results & Benefits

Two months into the project and the work with Tessa has leapfrogged my learning of a new area: marketing and understanding the market in more detail. Key to this fast-tracked learning with the way she quickly and practically downloaded her years of know how into my head that was relevant to me, and I quickly learned new critical thinking and evaluation systems and frameworks to make better business and commercial decisions. Were it not for Tessa’s assistance, I might never have been exposed to this way of thinking or, like her, would have taken years to learn on my own. In addition, she has set up some important meetings with key suppliers, and we are on the road to regaining lost clients, finding new clients and entrenching and cementing our current client relationships. Most importantly the client research reassured us of our technical and service strengths and pointed to the gaps that we need to fill. The market and pricing analysis will help us generate profitable sales. All in all, it has given us renewed confidence and a sense of renewal with a clear roadmap as to how to grow. We will continue to work with Tessa on an ongoing basis as a hands on coach, strategist and marketing/sales partner. Neil Ismay, Managing Director Quick Tint (Pty) Ltd Cape Town, South Africa

Marketing Capability Coaching Program: Healthcare Client Growth

This program has taught me how to change my mindset and literally grow the sales of my practice as business and not to prioritize my assumptions about patient’s finances over the their healthcare needs.”


  1. Found & set up a better /the right location: discovered and commenced a new practice facility with medical colleagues in a medical centre
  2. Identified and built action plan around 3 new target markets
  3. Booked 3 large institutions hearing screening: potential for tens of thousands and to become preferred service provider
  4. Set up my social media facbook marketing direct to patients, which is getting traction
  5. Secured  a new retirement home as client (20 patients)
  6. Established a professional network with 18 gp’s and ent’s, 15 of whom set me up as a preferred supplier!
  7. Set myself up as a community speaker: secured two top rotary speaker events where i am guest of honour (perfect target market)
  8. Last but not least, this has changed my mindset : given me the confidence to keep going,  to stick my neck out and try new things

Capability Offers


Our Customer and Competitor research helps you find your Unique Point of Difference


Most businesses have only a vague idea what their competitors are doing and where or how they could improve. Without this knowledge, growth is severely stagnated. There is an extra 20% out there just by finding this out. And an extra 40% by planning and structuring well.

Customers are comparing you all the time to your competitors.

So if you don’t know your areas of strength or working on areas of weakness how do sell or reassure?

Total Potential Diagnoses and Researches the competitive strengths, weaknesses of :

  • Your business operations, financials, products, services
  • Your brand
  • Your customers
  • Your competitors

Then we map the gaps to find a unique point of differentiation


We Reasearch Competitors, Customers, Brands and Staff

  • Stakeholder Interviews- Internal (Company/Brand image)
  • BenchmarkCustomer Research (Brand Image, Customer Satisfaction)
  • CompetitorResearch
  • Lost CustomerResearch
  • New Products/ Service Research- concept, usage
  •  MonitoringResearch to measure progress

We Use A Variety of Methods

  • Depth 1:1 interviews
  • Experiential research
  • Focus groups
  • Set & Measure KPI’s

So You Can Discover

  • What is really going oninside your business
  • The starting point from which to improve in customers’ eyes
  • How to be better and different vs ‘me too’
  • Where and how to improve in customer attraction
  • Which New products and services to develop vs ditch
  • Your Customer & Consumer Buying & Usage Habits and Attitudes 
    • To better target and cater to your market
  • Their Needs – Unmet Needs are  opportunities for growth


This is what our clients had to say about us…

Rex SheehyMarketing Director Sanitarium Health Foods (sister co. to Pioneer Foods Australia)

“We used Tessa’s services for innovation capability projects, marketing coaching and training extensively over a 3 year period. She enabled our team (30 people) to really leapfrog our learning and capabilities in the areas of Marketing and Innovation. She has a global know-how that would have taken us many years to establish on our own. Tess is direct, structured and brings clarity to an otherwise complex and difficult area. In short, she makes strategy easy to implement and as a result we were able to think out the box, launching a veggie burger with McDonalds and numerous successful extensions which revitalised our Weetbix and So Good Health Food brands.”

Mike FisherCEO Brita Water Filters, Sydney Australia

“Tessa gets to the nub of complex problems incredibly fast. She did an excellent job of detailed, clearly laid out action step by action step-marketing planning with a templated system that we have used for planning each year since. The Results speak for themselves: by following the plan, our sales grew 48% over 2 years.”

Adam RamshawCEO GENROE Customer Experience and Research Consultancy - Sydney, Australia

“We’ve been working with Tessa for 12 months now. Tessa brings a deep understanding of marketing strategy and implementation to every project. Her ability to see things through a different lens provides an excellent counterpoint to existing management thinking and creates new growth options for the business.”

Kim FisherMD of CT Recruitment & IT Consultancy

“Out of all the capability coaches at the Successness Fest in Cape Town that were there that day Tessa went the extra mile. Her workshops were practical, interactive, and down to earth. Tessa created a space of trust, which enabled everyone in the group to feel comfortable sharing our "stuckness". I walked away feeling heartened that we are not alone in feeling stuck at times.”

Varsha SewpersadAudiologist, South Africa 2017

“LETTER TO SEED ACADEMY ENTREPRENEURIAL PROGRAM “I would like to take this opportunity to inform you of how grateful I am for all the wonderful and insightful business teachings I have learned from Tessa Plen through the Seed Academy thus far. It has been extremely valuable for me to learn about running a private practice as a business. In the healthcare industry, we are not taught the basics of managing finances, how to do sales and marketing and reach the greater community with our services. This program has taught me how to change my mindset and literally grow the sales of my practice as business and not to prioritize my assumptions about patient’s finances over the their healthcare needs.””