It never ceases to surprise us when business leaders reveal that they do not have stellar expectations of what strategic marketing can do for their business. “Sure, it can make a difference”, they say, “A smart website and some nice newsletters”.
All too seldom, we meet a CEO who tells us that they look forward to their strategic marketing delivering truly transformational, high-impact strategic outcomes.
Many have a preconceived, purely tactical view of marketing. “We got last week’s receptionist to make a few changes to the website”. They do not know what strategic marketing is and therefore they are unable to set the strategic tone for how they want their business strategy (for those who have one!) to be reinforced.
Many of the CEOs disown responsibility for marketing strategy and are unable to set high expectations for their marketing plan, or fail to put in place measurement criteria by which the marketing activity can be calculated.
One of the things Growthology really enjoys is helping CEOs connect a marketing strategy to their business strategy.
It is important for CEO’s to go through these four-stage strategic process
- Market Strategy – It is the sector landscape and should include intelligence such as status of market business cycle, size of market opportunity, key players, stakeholder insights, etc.
- Business Plan – this should be their approach to achieving their business goals and revenues in response to the market situation
- Marketing Strategy – is the marketing plan that helps them deliver their business revenues and goals.
- Tactical Implementation – is the activity that is executed within the operational businesses to deliver their revenues.
As part of a process Growthology uses to help business leaders to see that they must set the strategic tone to take their business forward, our team asks them to rate themselves on their marketing strategy. During this activity, one business leader said: “I didn’t realise I had to answer all of these questions and make these decisions to enable my marketing function! I think as a management team we didn’t understand that marketing could be strategic. We have always seen it as advertising and brochures”.
If only more business leaders had high expectations of what marketing is – a Market Strategy, which advises a Business Plan, from which a Marketing Strategy is developed, that only then leads to Tactical Implementation – and what it can do for them!
Even when it typically takes a marketing strategy between three and five years to fully mature, there will be a lot of wins along the way. If Business leaders always demand the best from their marketing capability, it will change their business and results forever.