This is an example of business growth. This document is useful for conducting business growth.
Shared by: MaryJeanMenintigar
MARKETING FOR BUSINESS GROWTH: A Pragmatic Approach for Smaller Businesses What IS Marketing? Marketing means many different things to business people. Often, to smaller businesses it means advertising, it means expense, it means not knowing if you are networking with the right people, or joining the best organizations for leads. But this doesn’t begin to convey marketing’s real significance. What is Marketing? What? Awareness Where? Targets Customer Brand Content Retention When? ? Relationships Timing Strategy How? Business Who To? Differentiation Development Competition What Price? How to Present? What marketing really means is understanding all there is to know about your business, your clients, your competitors, and the market, then working out how to present yourself to the right people, at the right time, with the right offer, at the right price, to get the business. Marketing is useful if it fuels business growth. Having people know you exist only adds value if they are ready to buy, understand your offer, and accept your value proposition. You need clear messages to convey what that is. 17 You must evolve a strategy to grow the business. Even if you want to remain the same size, you need to be ready when the market changes or your competitors will take business from you. Go To Market Strategy Development EVOLUTION OF STRATEGY Go to Market Approach Networking Word of Mouth & Referrals BUSINESS GROWTH At first, you may get the business going by word of mouth. Telling all your business contacts, friends, family, golf partners, and church members will provide a few clients. Then, if you deliver good results they may give you some referrals. You start to network and get some leads from that activity—maybe. But to achieve real growth you need to plan for it. You need a Go to Market strategy. This means deciding which direction the business needs to go by asking: Who are the target customers? What do they need? Why should they get it from you? Then it require knowing: What’s happening in the market? Is it changing? Is your business changing from what it was? What resources do you have? What is your pricing policy? 27 You need to review your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT), and create a way to deal with them. You need marketing action plans to make the most of the opportunities you have, and you need to develop key pieces of marketing collateral—the stuff— that supports your marketing activities. Once you have established what the future of the organization will look like, you can begin to work towards growth. First, identify your priorities, deciding which areas are all right as they are, and which need immediate attention. Your priorities will depend on a number of things—not just the stage of development your business has reached, its size, or its resources, but also whether there is an opportunity that is time-dependent. Maybe the competition has begun a campaign to target your clients, or a major event is coming up of which you can take advantage. Prioritization Size Awareness Resources Brand Development Targets Solutions Objectives Timing Competition Dollars The key thing is to have a clear set of objectives that are measurable, so that you can prioritize among those objectives, measuring your progress against them. 37 Like any plan, a Go to Market strategy needs to have target dates, actions, and responsibilities assigned. You need a review process to ensure that you are getting benefits and that things haven’t changed. Be pragmatic. Do the things that give your organization the biggest benefits first, but also do some things that position you for the longer term. There are some basic building blocks that any entity needs to have in place in order to attract customers. Collateral “Building Blocks” Business Logo Website Brochure Cards Company Elevator Biographies Pitch Pitch Customer Company Mailers Quotes Stories Overview KEY MESSAGES Know your key messages. They are the thread that ties all of the building blocks together, ensuring that there is no confusion within the team or among your clients. The actual building blocks you need to develop depend upon your priorities. They identify the critical areas for focus, the timelines for development, and the responsibilities for completion. Some businesses may only need a logo, business cards, and brochure, plus an elevator pitch. Everyone needs to know what to say in the event that they meet the lead of their dreams, but only have three floors to get across the message. Many other companies will need to go further and have things such as: 47 A set of PowerPoint slides describing your solution to clients needs. A website for easy deployment of information and awareness. Management bios for use on the website, in press releases, conference papers. Company overview for similar uses. Customer stories and quotes to support presentations to new prospects. So, why don’t all small businesses do these things? Barriers The barriers I most frequently hear of are lack of time, more important things to do, no resources, no money, or don’t see why it is essential. In a smaller business, everyone is ALWAYS busy. There is never a good time to sit back and think or plan. If you don’t do these things, however, one day you will raise your head above the parapet and see that the market has changed, your customers are defecting, and you have lost whatever advantage you may have had in your niche. If you don’t do these things you cannot hope to grow your business, or even maintain its current levels. If you cannot visualize the future and create real plans to get to where you want to be, you won’t get there. 57 Every business has to spend some time, money, and resources to let people know what they do, how they do it, and what it costs. If you don’t plan, but just do things as they come along, without assessing whether they add value, you are wasting those resources. That is the last thing a small business can afford to do. Doing something because it is low cost, or easy, or doesn’t take any time, is likely to also result in no growth to the business. You need to measure how the business is doing. You need to ask not simply whether you have money in the bank, or have not gone over your overdraft levels, etc., but consider other criteria as well. You need to measure your operational efficiency and also the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. Measuring Success • New Leads Sales • New Clients $ • Referrals • Partner Opportunities Time • Press Coverage • Web Site Hits Profit • Awareness $ • Customer Feedback • Network Feedback Time Depending on your priorities and the elements of your plan, select a small number of metrics and track them regularly. Keep it simple so you don’t have the excuse that it is too hard and time consuming to measure. Review regularly and change tactics if things don’t work out after they have had a decent chance to deliver results. 67 Realistically, you may need help—help from someone with an understanding of what you are trying to achieve and a pragmatic approach to ensuring fast, effective delivery. You may need a Virtual Marketing Department that can both help steer the strategy and deliver the collateral you need. iP2 consultants deploys a network of skilled consultants on behalf of our clients. We serve as their Virtual Marketing VP so they don’t have to hire and manage relationships with multiple service providers. Our services include marketing consulting, collateral and web development, business writing, PR consulting, advertising, and mentoring to help our clients stay on track. We do all this seamlessly and for a fixed price. Our services are tailored to clients’ business requirements, and are designed to meet their standards, deadlines, and budget. Visit our website at www.ipsquared.biz for more information. 77
Shared by: Mary Jean Menintigar