Is Your Business Missing Out On The Untapped Potential Of Marketing?
Could it be that:
- Management do not see Marketing as a key driver for business strategy?
- Perhaps they still do not understand why Marketing is so crucial to the delivery of their business plans?
- Maybe they do not know how to leverage this function effectively?
- And so, they place a low value on using Marketing to drive business strategy?
The Marketing function:
- Shapes the business’ brand and reputation
- Creates messaging and tools to underpin sales
- Energizes employees
- Builds credibility around the business’ products and services
- Protects the business in times of crisis
- Shapes the profiles of the leadership team, so that stakeholders have faith in their decisions, and see them as credible stewards of the business.
If Marketing falls down in any of the above areas, including its role to energize and excite an entire workforce to believe in the business, the result is highly likely to be a failed business strategy.
In general, B2C businesses have embraced Marketing as a core pillar of their operations. But there are still many B2B businesses lagging behind. As a result, they regularly miss opportunities to leverage Marketing’s true power.
The reasons for this vary from organization to organization, and sector to sector. But there’s one clear cause that appears to stand out across the board – Marketing is fundamentally misunderstood and undervalued.
The inability to trust in Marketing’s ability to assist in guiding the direction of the business, has led to a dumbing down of its voice. As a result, Marketing teams do not have enough faith that the business will be brave enough to take a risk-taking approach with creative options.
How to reverse this situation?
First and foremost, it is essential that management understands what Marketing can do for the business. Secondly, that it trusts that the Marketing team knows what it is doing, having honed its skills over many years.
The next step is remove any divisions between the various skills and disciplines, so that brand, digital, marketing, content, government and investor relations, PR and social teams can be joined together. It is vital today that marketers have a good grasp of social media and digital practices. And, vice versa, digital experts need to understand and work closely with Marketing. This removal of divisions creates a unified force to accelerate the business with one cause and one ambition – to deliver a cohesive strategy that drives and underpins the company’s business objectives.
Then, it’s important for Marketing to communicate the big, bold and simple messages that reach their key target audience. At the right time, clearly stating the benefits to that audience and it’s revenues.
This is because most audiences—with very few exceptions—primarily care about:
- the problem that a product or service will solve for them,
- how that product or service will deliver on their strategies,
- and whether it will provide economic value for their business.
This is particularly so with B2B companies. In comparison with B2C, B2B organizations need to do more Marketing because their audiences are more cautious and discerning when it comes to purchasing decisions. Add to this the fact that the buying cycle is often much longer in B2B sales, and you can see why B2B Marketing needs to take a longer-term, customer- and competitor-focused approach.
A good Marketing strategy should:
- Be well-planned and timed,
- Be fully integrated using all available skills and channels,
- Have clear objectives combined with key milestones, and
- Be based on a well-developed understanding of both customers and competitors.
This customer- and competitor-led approach to Marketing not only differentiates many businesses, but also enables Marketing to fully support their long-term business strategy.
When properly managed, Marketing really can be a core organizational pillar capable of delivering powerful results which drive business strategies. The time to do so is now.