Social media, data analytics, marketing automation, return on investment, corporate branding, marketing mix and marketing promotion… Addressing these and many other marketing mandates can wreak havoc on even savvy, experienced marketers. To avoid the chaotic marketing madness, here are five marketing management strategies to put your marketing initiatives on an even footing and generate the results you seek.
- Evaluate the marketplace need for your product or service. Is there a meaningful problem or challenge that your product or service solves? How has this need changed over time? What modifications to your product or service will enhance its use now or in the future? What challenges are competitors not addressing, creating opportunities for your organization? Keep an eye on your marketplace and look for changes that can impact the relevance of your products and services.
- Understand your target markets. What is the profile of your potential buyers? What are their titles and/or positions? How do their roles fit into the organizational structures of their companies? What are their interests, pain points, and challenges? How can you best engage and connect with them? The information you collect will reveal critical buying patterns and help you develop a more targeted marketing message.
- Define your sales process. Many companies fall down when it comes to reaching their revenue goals because they lack a sales process. Rather, they think that good salespeople are born naturals, lucky, outgoing, back-slapping individuals who are just charismatic and people-oriented. While some of those assumptions might be true, the real issue in increasing sales success is understanding why people buy, how their decisions are made and what the goal of each step is during the sales process. Invest in good sales training. Evaluate your sales presentations and marketing materials for quality and impact. Always define and communicate a next step, including asking for the business.
- Build a marketing culture. The goal of sales is to generate revenue. The goal of marketing is to support the business development team by creating, communicating and reinforcing the need for your product(s) or service(s). This requires a focus on the customer, including developing opportunities to collaborate, seeking customer input, listening to customers, being proactive and always finding creative ways to say “yes” to customers. An effective marketing culture involves every department and reinforces and demonstrates trust, integrity, responsibility, professionalism, and doing the right thing.
- Create a written marketing plan. Without a written plan, there’s an environment of uncertainty and confusion that can cause marketing initiatives to fall through the cracks or be poorly implemented. A written plan, which does not need to be long, should include:
- your company’s vision and mission
- competitive differential
- quantifiable goals
- strategies for achieving your goals
- tactics and action steps
- a budget
- a schedule, and,
- a method or process for monitoring plan performance.
Regaining Control of Marketing Madness
With millions of pieces of information coming at us through a growing number of channels, marketing roles, responsibilities and expectations are becoming increasingly more demanding. To regain and retain control of the marketing madness, it’s essential to understand the full scope of marketing actions and how they impact overall business initiatives. Then share defined strategies and plans throughout the organization in order to capture and retain loyal customers.