marketing strategy consulting

We as business people all know that we are living in a real world economic downturn which has lead to many corporations having to downsize their workforce in order to stay afloat. Some agree and many disagree with the various mergers and acquisitions that are taking place as

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companies look to get into new market and to improve their offerings to the marketplace. With all of the variable that take place with running a business most agree that it is the Sales and Marketing function that is probably the most important part of the operation of the business unit in question. There are an abundance of examples that we can see in the business world where – the best product has not dominated the market place or; where the product and/or service that everyone acknowledges is not the market leader rises to command maximum market share.

In getting an organisation to deliver excellence when it comes to getting their message out to the world at large we are seeing an increasing trend where where marketing strategy consulting [the service I provide] is being employed more and more. Part of the benefit of using external consultants is that they do not have the baggage or history and political connection with the organisation they are working with. And as a consequence are able to look at the data objectively, develop the right strategy and put in the relevant execution steps.

Is the organisation that you are working in stuck ? or stagnant ? are your management team doing the same thing this year that was being done last year ? Is is time for some external marketing strategy consulting to get your business unit kick started ? Whatever the case, you are encourage to approach your markets as if you are going into it anew – by that I mean considering the questions :-

  • Are we targetting the right customers
  • Are we using the correct communication channels
  • Are we using the most appropriate marketing channels to deliver the product/service
  • Do we know what our end user clients think about us [have we asked]
  • Is the internet being fully utilised as a marketing channel ?

These are some of the key questions that get buried, and lost in the day to day activities or any organisation and why using an external business strategy consultant may well be the thing that you should be strongly considering employing in your business.

Let me know if you have any comments.

-Stephen C Campbell

This is part III of the post on this exciting subject as; living in Japan certainly has changed my life and points of view even though it’s some seven years since I returned to the U.K. I relish the opportunity to live and work there again someday soon.

As things related to this move very slowly in Japan, I worked closely the Human Resources team to give them the benefit of my experience in workplace diversity training and to assist them in raising the awareness of Diversity amongst the management team and the employees. Of course we had to couple the implementation with the tightly integrated customer base of the other Japanese companies who were more traditional than the company for which I was working at the time and who had the traditional management structures of men, men and more men. This lead into the long some unnecessary meetings, drinking sessions and related activities which; were all part of the business structure and; had to be respected as we dealt with interpreting Diversity from the western perspective into the Japanese company culture and the necessary impact of the management, employees and also the customer base.

It has been a few years since I left the great country of Japan which will also have a special place in my heart. The lesson here for us all is that the implementation of Diversity must be coupled with and interpreted for local cultures and practices as we management folks seek to create inclusive workforces in today’s multi location organizations. This leaves open the challenge to us global managers and consultants who manage in cultures which are largely alien to ours.

Thaks for reading, get in touch if I can be of assitance to your or your organisation.

As I made the comparison between the differences between the workplace diversity landscape in Europe versus that in the United States and then began to draw the comparison between the picture of Diversity which I was looking at in Japan in comparison to anything I had ever experienced. Indeed, as I saw a time lag between implementation within Europe when compared to the United States and I saw time lag in Japan. However I could not even begin to focus on implementation but more on awareness and the path to implementation had not even been laid as yet.

With the management teams and decision makers being dominated by men largely set in their ways I saw many challenges up ahead. The first challenge was in educating the management team and workforce about Diversity, about the fact that their were different ways of doing things and also that men didn’t always have all the answers.

I was frequently surprised as I moved around the company I was working for at the time and; also in meeting other women from some of the other traditional Japanese companies professionally and socially how much talent was being laid to waste. I would meet women with degrees from universities here in the United Kingdom and also in the United States with excellent command of the English language who were working as secretaries. Even more surprising to me at the time was the fact that this was accepted and that they assumed and thought that that was they way that things were.

I will be ending this particular post with a couple more paragraphs in a few days time – thanks for reading and as always, let me know how I can be of assistance to you.
-Stephen C

This is the final post on this topic on this critical topic of Diversity with the workplace.

The results of fully incorporating Diversity into the fabric of the organization’s decision making process by the management team (ably assisted by the Human Resources department) will result in products and services which are more targeted to the desired end user customers and delivered to those customers via appropriate marketing channels.

It is therefore the responsibility of the management team to keep the diverse target end user customer base in mind (where appropriate) and doing so ensure that the teams in place to develop and deliver the company’s products and services and best placed to do so. i.e. those teams should ideally have the balance of product development and marketing strategy skills coupled with an understanding of the end user customers of which they are selling to.

For various products and services the input into the product development process may well be seen to benefit greatly with the input of those within the organization who are most closely aligned to the target market customers. Getting these individuals involved in the appropriate decisions making junctures may well provide cherished career development opportunities as well as providing management with valuable interaction with those within the organization from the various dimensions of Diversity.

As always, feel free to post your comments or drop me an email.

Stephen C Campbell

It is indeed beneficial to all involved to view Diversity in this unemotional fashion i.e. having the best people in the best positions to make the best decisions for the company. This is indeed one of the many challenges facing management today when faced with developing, marketing and delivering products and services to a diverse target end user customer base.

Much of the questions that arise in say developing skincare products to dark skinned women when the majority of skincare products are developed for Caucasian skin may we be more readily answered by individuals who have faced the specific issues all their lives. Skincare is just one of the many examples that could be cited – food is another one wish springs readily to mind where the benefit of the point of view of individuals from specific backgrounds and cultures may well enhance the strategy development process.

The results of fully incorporating Diversity into the fabric of the organization’s decision making process by the management team (ably assisted by the Human Resources department) will result in products and services which are more targeted to the desired end user customers and delivered to those customers via appropriate marketing channels.

Will be finishing this off in the next place.

Stephen C Campbell