Anyone who follows these blogs, (thank you if you do!) knows that I am not a marking expert. However, this blog post may help you to see your marketing efforts in a different way. Your marketing team may be larger than you think. This is because, marketing is not an isolated function of any one department or organization and the CEO and the leadership team play an integral role in marketing. For example, can your leadership team answer these two questions?
- Which products or services provide our largest margins?
- Why or how are we better than our competition?
There are three important ideas that help you be better than your competition.
Three Ideas to Help Marketing Efforts
- It is essential to establish a culture of innovation and to reward employees for being innovative.
- Establish a process of continuous customer reconnaissance. This means visiting with the top 20% of your customer base that is making you successful. This may mean getting on a plane, but the idea is it’s all about that important face-to-face contact.
- Conduct a SWOT exercise that examines the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to your organization. Typically most organizations limit this to a once a year event (or less) and only include the top executives. Rather a SWOT should be conducted more often and include input from employees in every corner of the company. Each department should conduct its own SWOT. This allows those on the front line to provide critical input. Then the department head or an elected employee should present the findings and participate in an organizational wide SWOT analysis. The leaders should then share the findings and next steps with the entire organization so the employee can see that they had a direct impact on the marketing and other company initiatives.
- What is the company’s growth strategy? This is critical because as a company grows and adds layers of hierarchy and bureaucracy, it is more difficult to stay agile in order to respond quickly to new opportunities. Decision-making becomes slower and leadership may feel an overwhelming desire to play it safe.
- How do your products/services solve your customer’s problems? Isn’t this what you went into business for in the first place? This may mean getting back to your core business.
- How do marketing, sales and product development integrate and effectively work together? A lack of collaboration and cooperation from these can be the cause of slow product development and delivery ultimately leading to poor customer service.
Look at your “marketing team” from this new prospective. Then establish the culture and customer reconnaissance outlined in this blog. That will keep the company’s products and services differentiated in the marketplace, your marketing efforts on the cutting edge, your customer service second to none and your entire marketing team fully engaged.
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