It sometimes seems as if the terms ‘marketing’ and ‘strategy’ are dirty words in the SME environment! Our history is littered with examples of failed marketing initiatives and most of us are much too busy to concern ourselves with alien corporate concepts such as ‘strategy.’
But, this is a critical subject for all of us. We all need to win customers; we all need to adapt to changing market conditions; and we all need to ensure that our methods and processes evolve to meet the developing needs of our growing businesses.
This is our practical guide to developing solutions to problems related to winning customers - after all, that is what a ‘marketing strategy’ is. Based on many years experience in the field, it offers a straightforward approach to identifying and solving the marketing problems we all face.
An effective ‘marketing strategy’ is a plan to solve clearly identified problems with winning customers. So, the first step in the process is to make sure you have a detailed, objective understanding of the actual problem you face - not what you think the problem is or its symptoms, but the actual problem itself.
Once you have done that you can start to frame and prioritise possible solutions. Deciding which one to go for will involve balancing costs and complexity with the likely positive impact.
You can now start to apply lean and agile methods to building, testing and refining prototype solutions before applying them to your business.
Putting in place effective marketing strategies is simply about taking a rational approach to problem identification and solution - not the application of esoteric management concepts or the next marketing silver bullet!