There is no doubt that the pandemic has challenged every business on the planet but as we emerge from the devastating effects of Covid19 now is the perfect time to create clarity and a sense of purpose in your business and use the proven techniques of strategic marketing to help develop and empower your business with a laser guided focus.
Suzie invited Marketing specialist, Business Coach and NED Paul Bury for his insights on how to Bounce Back with Purpose.
Paul also made a short video which will be available on the Brooks Business Hub soon and here are the keynotes from the session:
Before I move onto some of the practical points it’s useful to just review what marketing is. According to the Chartered Institute
“Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.”
The definition is widely known and an accepted part of the modern business. There are 7 Ps of marketing and these are
1 Product or service
5 People – it’s important to remember that everyone who is in contact with customers will make an impression, positive or negative. It’s also important to remember that many customers are also not able to separate the product or service from the person who provides it. So that interface can be crucial to your reputation.
6 Process – Many customers no longer simply buy a product or service but instead invest in an experience which starts from the moment ‘touch’ your company or brand and this experience lasts through to purchase and beyond.
7 Physical Evidence – Buying an unfamiliar product or service can be risky for customers so reducing this uncertainty by helping customers ‘see’ what they are buying will be beneficial. This includes everything from signage to livery, to a tidy and aesthetic reception area right through to testimonials, case studies and reviews.
Whilst marketing is a management process the use of the word ’management’ can be misleading and it suggests marketing is only a function of the senior management of the business. But marketing is everyone’s responsibility – the more this is embraced in your business the more likely you are to be successful in maximising marketing’s potential.
Moving on to some of the practical points:
Put Marketing front and Centre of the business – make it strategicandpractical so that it is relevant to your business and what you are intending to achieve.
Make it Process Driven whilst fostering creativity. Think with an open mind and be creative.
It is also very important that you work with marketing as core and fundamental part of your business – so what I mean by that is don’t just pay it lip service. Make a part of every meeting and conversation.
The essential elements that I feel should be part of your marketing and communications plan include:
Core values and propositions
It is widely accepted that defining your core values and propositions is an essential step for today’s modern business. Some pointers on that are
Authentic and relevant to you and your business.
Develop a set of USP’s which your product or service offers your customer focussing on added value
3 USP’s – the combination is important and provides the uniqueness.
I am a fan of developing and defining 3 strong propositions and the combination is what makes it powerful.
You may find that your USP’s are on quite a granular level – the detail could be the thing that sets your product or service apart from competitors and in a saturated market the detail can make the difference.
We also need to remember that it’s not your agenda that matters, it’s your customer’s agenda that is important and this should always be borne in mind. I often see businesses forget this crucial point or perhaps it becomes distorted over time.
Decide on your goals
Develop clarity around the mission and define:
I am a huge fan of short term 90 day goals linked to the wider aims – shorter accountable sprints – also the things you can do every day are key to long term success.
Understand your audience
Get as close to your customers as you can and work hard to understand them – there are several techniques you could use here
Developing personas or customer types
Standing in your customers’ shoes
I am a big fan of this approach as it is a very simple and practical approach and I use this technique quite often.
One amusing example of getting to know your customers
Customer A and Customer B
Both born in 1948
Grew up in England
Have 2 children
Are both very wealthy
Both like dogs
You would be excused for thinking this is a good understanding of customer A and B until I tell you Customer A is Prince Charles and Customer B is Ozzy Osborne.
Where are your customers
Where are your customers? What media do they consume? Where do they hang out?
What is needed to communicate with them?What material is needed?
Develop the plan and build a budget
Cost out the elements you are going to need and the way in which you intend to deliver the message so that you can build a campaign budget.
Implement the plan
Link it to your wider mission and work to 90 day objectives.
Break it down into 2 main facets – the collateraland the campaigning
Collateral – development and production of the assets you’ll need which includes Branding, Website, Digital presence, Literature, Video, Advertising, Social Channels and so on
Campaigning – execution of the message, channels and delivery. Create the campaign, Define the outcomes, Review outcomes – objectives achieved, analytics and data
Management – create a structure around monthly marketing meetings and make marketing part of your management meetings.