Align your marketing strategy with your business strategy
Traditionally business and marketing strategies were seen as separate documents with some common features such as business goals and values. The business plan was organised around what products and services a company could offer its customers.
The strategic question that should drive business today is “What else can we do for our customers?” not “what else can we offer or make?” This shift at the centre of gravity demands a rethink of all strategy pillars within the business and especially how marketing plays a role.
Who are your customers? What are their needs and desires? Companies where everyone has a clear understanding of their customers always perform better and act in a more joined up way. It’s vital that marketing personal look at other departments and try to see how they can complement them.
Whether you are a sole trader, medium sized business or a larger organisation, it’s important that marketing is seen as an integral part of the team. If you are thinking strategic, you need to ensure that you have marketing represented in the meeting or the thought process.
So why is cross company like a rugby scrum? Unless you all push in the same direction to deliver what your customer wants, you will never win against your competition!
Here are some Dos and Don’ts to think about along the way:
- Do identify the vocabulary used by different departments and ensure you are speaking the appropriate language.
- Do work closely with the sales department – marketing is a service provision to the business it needs to help sales! Get them involved from the start and work as a team; and remember they are at the front line – they can get you vital market knowledge!
- Do have ROI that you report back to the business so marketing is seen as an investment not as a expense.
- Do be straight talking – don’t fall in the trap of being fluffy
- Don’t forget – You can’t have a strong brand if you don’t have a strong business!