Corporate Marketing Best Practise For Small Business
Professionally, I’ve spent the majority of my past 25 years sitting in glass-walled boardrooms at the pointy end of the table developing and directing corporate marketing strategy for large scale, global business.
In the last 18 months, I have had the privilege to work one-to-one with owners of established and entrepreneurial smaller business across Australia. Nearly every time I sit down with these entrepreneur's, the initial conversations turns to complicated and broadly targeted approaches that aren't aligned to their best natural strengths and lack a focus on driving profitability versus revenue. With that said, I always bring it back to several key principles that I learned from past corporate success.
1. SIMPLE and FOCUSED STRATEGY built on your own innate strengths compared to your competitive set by targeting your ideal customer and positioning your business as an authority or specialist in your field.
2. It’s all about IMPLEMENTATION: a strong, integrated action plan with clear goals, accountability and workflows to deliver the sought after results
3. MEASURABILITY: Setting achievable stretch targets, maintaining regular reviews and pivoting as required to reach the business goals.
Here’s an example to put this into context. I have a client who sells fast moving consumer products. When we started working together, they initially thought that their products were nothing but a “thing” which needed to be packaged and then sold market price. What they hadn’t realised, was that they were selling an item which had multi-dimensional value to their existing and potential customers. This ACTUAL customer value superseded the one thing that THEY believed it fulfilled. It wasn’t just a product; it was a SOLUTION to a string of problems; it created strong EMOTIONAL bonds between the user and its affected community. Yes, it satisfied the user at-a-glance, but its long-term effects on its environment, well-being and community were long-term. So when it came to packaging this “thing”, and understanding the language and images which built its value, we had to look into the DEPTH-OF-VALUE which this product provided. The client perhaps had been too close to the product to see all of the TRUE value of this brand ASSETT which we have been able to unlock and deliver double digit NET PROFIT increases each month ever since.
So how does this translate to the top 3 things which I had mentioned above?
1. Simple and Focused
We went back to their vision and values; then we went back to the fundamental long-term goal which was to accelerate their profitable expansion.
We broke the strategy down into an action plan to be delivered each month and each week.
We identified who is accountable for completing each step and by when.
Coached the right leadership skills required by the team to deliver the growth plan
Identified key indicators to monitor performance focused on Revenue and Profit.
Review these measures each month, and adjust the strategies accordingly