We had a great conversation with our team this week about MARKETING STRATEGY and a past client experience. We had been engaged to help the owner and management team develop a marketing strategy for the upcoming year and we asked where the business plan was. We were told they have definitely got that. And then, we asked them about how they had come to the decisions and objectives that were in the business plan but that wasn’t so clear.
We are on a continuous drive to help our clients unravel revenue acquisition strategies and have the best strategic marketing for their business growth. We were talking about how we explained this to our business owner and we came up with this:
MARKET STRATEGY comes before the business planning phase. To focus on this we tend to ask our client a few of these questions:
- How can you produce a business plan when you don’t know what’s happening in your market, you don’t know the size of the opportunity, and you don’t know where you sit amongst competitors for that market?
- How can we develop a marketing plan if your business plan isn’t reflective of the market opportunity?
Where does marketing sit in a business?
We are often asked, “Where does marketing sit in your business? The MARKETING STRATEGY informs your business plan, and MARKETING PLANNING is the operational response to the business vision, goals and plan.
Therefore as the Owner and Leader of your business, you should brief your marketing team as to your business objectives for that period, and they respond with a marketing plan.
To understand more on what we mean, we have two client examples below:
Client A: Jack of all trades, master of none.
Client A proudly said that he could deliver everything his clients asked for. However, Client A didn’t understand his clients’ needs, and what kept them awake all night.
Client B: Spray and pray
Client B felt that she was just about covering every base to secure her clients yet doing nothing good at all. She was reacting to her clients instead of being proactive.
What should you expect from your market strategy?
Here’s a shortlist of the critical five questions to ask.
- Who are the buyers? How do they act or engage with your business?
- How big is the opportunity? – the size of the market, or your slice of the pie?
- In what stage of its life cycle is it, and what’s next?
- Who are your competitors, and what’s their market position?
- Is this an opportunity for your business? If yes, what should you expect from your investment?
This seems simple but the “devil is in the detail”- I refer back to the original questions put to that business owner: how can you produce a business plan if you don’t have this critical information?