If you were getting a house built, it’s unlikely that you’d just say to the builder “get on with it and we’ll see what happens”. In all likelihood you’d have commissioned an architect who would have put together a plan, you’d have discussed that plan, made a few tweaks and when happy, given it to the builder as a template to ensure you end up with what you want.
So why do so many marketers and business managers seem content to run their business on an Ad hoc basis jumping from one presumed opportunity to the next with no game plan in sight?
Don’t get me wrong, I know that in the current climate it’s difficult to see too far ahead but marketing activities based on knee jerk reactions may appear to provide short term opportunities but it’s a risky approach.
The common thread that underpins all successful business is a vision and a plan. This is nothing new, business and marketing strategy is based on military doctrine honed over thousands of years.
Many of today’s business strategies are based on the teachings of military geniuses such as Seneca, Lao Tze, Miyamoto Musashi, Carl von Clausewitz and more recently, General George S Patton and Colin Powell. But perhaps the most well known military strategist is Sun Tze who was born around 400 B.C. His view on preparation and planning is quite clear:
Military success has almost always been based on a strategic intent, with enough flexibility to take account of tactical changes on the ground, as they happen. These principals should form the basis of your own marketing strategy. As a business you need to know:
- Where you are
- Where you want to get to
- How you intend to get there
Without a vision and a plan, how will you determine your progress or measure your success?
If you want to stop your competitors eating into your market share, if you want to grow faster than your competitors and you want to consolidate your business and increase your market reach, you need to have a good understanding of:
- What it is you want to achieve
- A clear understanding of how you are going to accomplish this
- The current market situation
- The competitive environment
- A clear understanding of your own value proposition
- The resources you need to succeed
- How you will judge success
In short, you need a plan that can help focus your activities and resource, help drive your business decisions, reduce risk and manage costs.
But note: It’s not just a matter of writing a marketing strategy and then forgetting about it, the plan is a living document that needs to be amended and tweaked as market dynamics change. Time needs to be spent researching each area to determine your strengths and weaknesses, the areas you need to shore up and the areas to exploit, there’s no quick fix just a mix of blood sweat and maybe a few tears.
If you want to know more about how Rame Marketing can help help your business move forward, visit our marketing services page.
NB: Rame marketing now offer a series of marketing workshops. If you want to find out more contact us today on 01803 413481 or email firstname.lastname@example.org