Introducing the Balanced Marketing Strategy™
The term "marketing strategy" usually seems to imply complexity. But it can be very simple. At Envigna, we define a marketing strategy as merging your sales and revenue goals with a plan to use predetermined marketing tactics to work to achieve them. The plan needs to allow for experimentation and change because effective marketing is all about creativity and non-linear thinking. Being noticed and standing out in the sea of messages in the world requires being different.
What is a balanced marketing strategy?
It is not realistic to expect each part of a marketing effort be so novel that no one has ever seen anything like it before. Balance comes from making sure the basics are covered before putting too much effort into more risky techniques. Like sailors who all run to one side of the sailboat, we have seen too many companies chase fads and watch their boats list back and forth. A balanced approach prevents listing too far in any one direction. A balanced approach seeks to make each customer touchpoint into a strong support of the organizational brand — and it is achievable even on a small scale.
A good assessment of the state of customer touchpoints across all channels is the way to start. How do you answer the phone when customers call? What emails are sent by your internal systems? Where are your representatives and what are they doing and saying? If it isn't consistent, is it at least factual and compelling?
How to begin to achieve balance
While it would be great to think that hiring smart consultants will address all the challenges — we know it won't. Effective marketing strategy has good communication at its core. Good communication among the marketing teams. And perhaps even more importantly — good communication between the marketing team and your best customers. Understanding what makes your customers value your products and services is your fundamental building block. It is the reason your business exists. You will grow most quickly and most effectively by understanding these fundamentals, building upon them, and periodically checking to ensure broad alignment to them. The marketing mix you employ should always be measured back against these fundamental customer sentiments.
If you have not created a business plan for your company/group/division/product/startup in the past few years - or ever - we highly encourage you to start there. The basic framework of a business plan will force you to ask the basic questions and codify what you know, and don't know, in a very productive way. Most business require leaders to prepare plans and present them annually. Marketing is typically a major expense in most organizations - often 30% or more of revenue. As a leader, you must be able to justify that this money is being used in a way that provides both a strong outreach foundation - and some innovative experiments in futurethink and learning.
As a consultant, Envigna is always happy to help craft and refine the business plan, but we are most often brought in to execute specific portions of the marketing mix. It is still somewhat rare for clients to present us with a strong plan that shows where our portion fits and what it needs to achieve to "pull its weight". But it has happened enough times and produced such stellar results, that we would be remiss to not suggest it to all of our clients. With a clear path, everyone moves more quickly and with less friction. Friction is too expensive. Clear the way with us and travel lighter, faster, further. We look forward to hearing from you.
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