Strategic marketing thinking

It is all too easy to spend your time fighting the day to day battle, isn’t it? If you are running a business or a marketing department, finding the time to think can be a challenge. From time to time, it is a good idea to take a step back and think about your marketing strategy.

Do you have a written marketing plan? This should be separate from your business plan. Key topics include your marketing objectives, customer segments, key messages and points of differentiation. Going through the process of writing a marketing plan makes you think about the time, money and effort that you are spending on marketing and how you could improve results in this area.

Strategic marketing thinking is not urgent. Which is why it can slip to the bottom of your todo list. Gradually, the business environment changes around you; new competitors emerge; prices change; and new technology is launched. What is your response to these changes? A marketing plan can help you to think it all through.

My services include a Marketing plan training course during which I provide feedback on marketing strategy, digital marketing and the big picture.

Positioning your brand

You may be a one woman or one man business. Or you may have staff, multiple offices and operate in one country or all of them. Regardless of the size of your organisation and whether it is B2C to B2B: every enterprise has a brand.

A key element of branding is market positioning. How do your customers perceive your brand? What do they think you do? What do they think of your business? How do they feel about your brand? If I rang some of your customers and asked them these questions, what would they say to me?

How should you position your brand?

For example, should you go upmarket or travel downmarket? Should you be seen as reasurringly expensive or as cheap as chips?

Are you focused on customer service, product excellence, price or something else? These are strategic business and marketing decisions. Every decision that you make affects your market positioning.

Your actions speak louder than words, when it comes market positioning. Every time that your customers engage with your brand, their perception of your market postioning is either affirmed or  challenged.

Besides products and services, a key issue is human interaction.

You can buy a great product and feel let down by the way that you have been treated.

It is of no use to simply do what your competition does, positioning wise. The majority of businesses in any given sector appear to be clones of each other.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” ~ Albert Einstein

It order to decide on your postioning, you need to think deeply about your business and what it stands for. You need to consider the space in the market that your brand operates within.

It is a worthwhile exercise to produce a strategic plan and I offer a marketing plan in a day service.

How to choose a brand name

7 ways to build your brand

Brand strategy

What is branding?

The Marketing Mindset – 7 keys to success

Does your organisation have a ‘Marketing Mindset’? Ask yourself and your colleagues this question: “Are we sales driven or customer focused?” There is nothing wrong with selling. However, sales will come more easily if you have a marketing orientated culture. Below the Mind Map, you will find 7 keys to success…

marketing-mindset-ver2

 

The Marketing Mindset – 7 keys to success

1. Create a concise, written marketing plan. This should be separate from your business plan. “Strategy first, action second.”

2. Put the customer at the heart of your business. See your business from your customers’ perspective. Revolve around customers and their needs.

3. Think about how you can best spend your ‘marketing time’. Having worked with over 3,000 enterprises, I can tell you that this is the key to standing out from the crowd. Don’t just do what everyone else in your industry does. Be imaginative. Stretch yourself. Be creative.

4. In increasingly competitive marketplaces, people are a significant differentiator. On this basis, get your customers involved in your marketing. For example, request testimonials, ask for customer feedback, write case studies and conduct audio interviews. Film customer interviews and post them within your YouTube channel.

5. Get management and staff involved, particularly customer facing staff (they know what the customers are saying and what they like / don’t like). Your colleagues can help you to power your marketing campaign with ideas, stories and customer engagement. With encouragement and feedback, social media training can create positive brand awareness and new business relationships.

6. Your brand = your future. Think about your reputation capital and how you can continually improve this.

7.  In an increasingly digital economy, there is plenty of scope for improving an enterprises’ digital marketing strategy. For example, by using the Digital Marketing Circle.

If you feel that you would like some help with your marketing strategy and plan, either email me or call +44(0)1628 773128. I will listen without interrupting and give you ideas, feedback and options.

Create a marketing plan in a day with Nigel Temple.

Looking for a marketing consultant? Click here.

Need a marketing speaker? Click here.

Need help with creative thinking for marketers – click here.

 

7 reasons why your marketing is failing

Here are seven reasons why your marketing is failing (or not working like a well oiled machine):

STRATEGY  In the midst of confusion, do you have a clear strategy? Does it include a clear offer to a defined marketplace?

PLANNING  Do you have an easy to understand written plan that you refer to regularly?

CUSTOMER  Is the customer at the heart of your business? Do you have enough customers? If not, why not?

COMMUNICATION  Are you a natural creative communicator? Do you enjoy writing?

PROMOTION  Do you have an effective promotional mix? How many ways are you ‘getting the word out’?

INTERNET  Have you embraced digital marketing? We now live in a digital economy: are you part of it?

SELLING  Do you dislike selling to people? Have you been a quota bearing sales professional? What is your conversion rate? Are you recording the sales pipeline numbers? Are you generating enough sales leads?

There is an 8th reason: YOU. Are you getting in the way of your own success? This could be because of lack of clarity, not having a mentor, feeling overwhelmed, being drawn to the same old (ineffective) processes or listening to your peer group / family who: A. love you and B. tell you all the reasons why you won’t succeed.

Written by marketing consultant, trainer, speaker and author Nigel Temple.
3,000+ clients over a 30 year period.
Join the marketing conversation within The Marketing Compass community.
Attend a marketing strategy meeting for free: click here.
Talk to Nigel 1-2-1 about your marketing for £97 +VAT: www.navigatorplus.co.uk

Marketing Critical Success Factors

What are your Marketing Critical Success Factors? I have developed a list of 100 of them, based on 25 years’ of marketing consultancy / 2,500+ clients. What is working and what isn’t when it comes to your marketing activities? It is all too easy to keep doing things which are not working, out of habit, isn’t it? You will also be drawn to activities which you feel comfortable with.

Take some time out of your busy schedule to take stock. Write down all of your sales and marketing activities. Cross reference them with sales enquiries and sales. A pattern will emerge. Re-engineer what you are doing in order to create a more successful future.

Marketing Critical Success Factors are on my mind as I about to launch a new service for business owners. It includes a checklist of 100 marketing CSFs which make a difference (as opposed to all those interesting / fashionable things which are a complete waste of time). If this is of interest to you – get in touch with me and I will send you a special offer for this new programme.

Email: nigel@nigeltemple.com / Tel: 01628 773128