One of the most common questions that I get asked by those who are starting out in business; also by those who have been involved in business maybe for some time who maybe running a functioning business and making a decent living is : ‘just how to I actually go about developing a marketing strategy’ ??
At a recent networking event when speaking a business owner who by his own admission if well versed in the technology of his business (but not in the marketing) I spoke of the three pillars that I use when thinking about, explaining and developing a marketing or business strategy. They are :-
Channels To Market
… that is to say, we work on defining the category of the market that the Product or Service fits into, we then work on the marketing Channels. When it comes to channels we consider the channel that we use to deliver the product or service to the marketplace and secondly the channels that we use to push the message to the marker place through. And finally, we have to ensure that our preferred market segments are at the end of the channels that we use. That is the essence of the framework that I work through when refining and developing a marketing strategy.
Now, let’s assume we are you are selling massage therapy services [as one of my previous clients were]. For sure the channel for delivering the service would be in the therapist’s salon but they business owner will have many options in terms of channel marketing for delivering the branding message and services of the business to the market place at large. They can use direct mail, blogging, mobile, articles, newspapers, radio and more to deliver their message to the target market.
Next, we need to ensure that our product/service is positioned appropriately in terms of location, offering and pricing – a particular segment of the market may wish to pay say $15/hour for a massage but other high end clients may be perfectly happy to pay $100/hour if they see the value in what it is that you have to offer. The question is – which market segment is it that you will choose to target ? If this discussion we have covered the market segments and the category of the market that we wish to be positioned in.
So there you have it – an insight into my methodology for developing marketing strategies whether working with $multi billion clients in China [Swatch Group] or with a wedding reception services business such as http://www.lowcostchaircovers.co.uk/ that I consulted for last year.
In summary we want to be thinking of Channels, Market Segments and Product/Service categories.
To your marketing strategy development success,
Let me know if you wish to engage with myself and the team to assist you in your business.
One of the programs that I run in companies and in public seminars is that of Business To Business Branding [Marketing & OEM Development]. Why is this topic so much in demand ? Because in the interconnected world and economy that we live in, more and more business are dependant on selling their Products and Services to other businesses. That is to say, the bulk of the marketing activities are focusses on individual customers within other companies as opposed to final end user individual consumers.
The point to be highlighted is that there are specific differences and complexities when it comes to the branding and marketing process as related to selling to other companies. Most marketing material and branding specifics are based on targetting end user consumers.
Let’s briefly explore this further in terms of the sale of television sets.
Business To Consumer : The electrical outlet store is focussed on selling A TV to the couple, student or individual – they may focus on how they television will look in their home, how easy it is to use and how they can maybe spread the cost over a period of time.
Business To Business : Or OEM [Original Equipment Manufacturer] situations where a TV manufacturer is selling its TV sets to other businesses, they may rebrand and sell to the end user or sell as is to the end user on a distribution basis. The focus of the branding and marketing efforts are on the needs of the BUSINESS that is performing the rebranding or that will be distributing the televisions regionally, nationally or globally. The sale quantities will be in the 1000s or 10000s, focus will be on supply chain, on time delivery and of the quality of the Tvs. The decision whether or not to purchase will depend on group decisions within the purchasing company – as opposed to the individual who purchased the television for their living room.
These basis distinctions above is fed into the Brand Equity equation and we work through this throughout the training based around Business To Business Marketing And Branding.
Hope you found this useful, feel free to get in touch if you have any comments or if you would like to take on some Business to Business Consulting or Training within your organisation.
To your business to business marketing and branding success,
Often within organizations the question is asked (by varying sections of the workforce) “why are we bothering with Diversity”? The point being, “things have not been so bad up until this point so why divert time, energy and money into this thing called Diversity which only seems to be in existence to help certain sections of the workforce” and often can be interpreted as acting as a career progression disadvantage to the employees who come from the dominant sections of the workforce.
Today more that ever there is a need to establish the business case for Diversity and to ensure that the message is passed down throughout al levels of the organization.
Above is a snippet of an interview between myself and Nadia Saba
Head Of Diversity for Avon & Somerset Police
It is fair to say that Diversity is often greeted with a certain amount of skepticism and doubt, is normally ‘owned’ by the Human Resources department whose task it is to ensure that Diversity is implemented throughout the organization.
In some cases the individuals with the Human Resources who are tasked with rolling out the program may not be fully up to speed with Diversity themselves and with the root cause as to why it is essential in today business landscape to have a coherent Diversity program which is understood by all within the organization.
This is where establishing the business case for Diversity comes into play, it moves the emotional aspect out of focus and gives employees the ‘real reason why it is so important for their organization to have a coherent Diversity strategy in place i.e. it is down to the effect on the bottom line business results as the company continually strives to establish its competitive advantage over and against the other companies operating in the same market space.