So the annual marketing offsite has drawn to a close and the newly minted 2013 marketing strategy is being given its final polish before being released to an expectant management team back at HQ.
…and yet you have a growing sense of deja vu; you have been here before. You have a nasty feeling that when the team get back to the office after the holidays to the tsunami of emails, meetings and deadlines, that despite your best intentions, the alignment of your tactics to your strategy seems sadly absent. It’s just more of the same tactics executed the same way as last quarter.
How do you break the cycle?
Don’t be too hard on yourself, translating strategy to action is hard and a frequent point of failure for B2B marketers.
Clearly good marketing strategy should be intimately related to the objectives of the business. Is the business seeking to enter new markets? Protect an existing installed base? Drive up margins by fiercely controlling costs? Heavily investing to drive top line growth? Marketing strategy decisions must be born to support the business goals of the organisation.
In its elemental form marketing strategy comprises four elements:
- To whom do you sell
- What do you sell
- Through whom do you sell (channel)
- Against whom do you sell
But we suggest thinking a little differently
. Think about the buyer (or buyers) you are targeting and the specific problems those buyers are experiencing. What is the most severe of those problems? Perhaps take some colleagues from the sales team or a friendly partner (or better still conduct a short customer and prospect survey). Brainstorm these problems and decide which problem is worst. Pick just one.
Then think about how well you solve those problems, be honest! Which single problem do you solve better than anyone else? What are you genuinely “world class” at?
Now ask yourself:
- Who most has that problem?
- What product or service fully solves that problem?
- Who best uncovers that problem
- Who else solves that problem?
It is hard to let go of product-centricity in favour of buyer-centricity
. But this has never been more important, as the rapid rise of the internet and social channels are enabling buyers to research their options freely and have put the buyer firmly back in the driving seat.
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Chris Fell is the Managing Director of g2m Solutions, and an accredited align.me Funnel Coach. To read more of his insights, go to the g2M Solutions blog.