Marketing Strategy Services
Marketing is a department, a business function, a budget, a set of activities and a job title. But none of these descriptions really captures the impact that marketing has on your business. Decisions made in Marketing can have far-reaching impact that reverberates throughout your company, often determining the success (or failure) of the entire enterprise. Marketing often determines the face you present to the market, how your sales people interact with customers and the features you will include in your next product release.
And yet, in many companies, Marketing is not seen as central to the business. The sales people believe the sole purpose of marketing is to deliver leads. Ask the engineers and they’ll say marketing makes pretty brochures and updates the web site. Many marketing professionals feel like second-class citizens, and behave as such: creating plans in isolation, speaking a language only they understand and measuring success in their own terms.
The Elastic Approach to Marketing Strategy
At Elastic Brands we see marketing as a process of creating and communicating value that is constantly evolving based on the needs of the business, customer demands and market realities. Marketing is a collaborative activity that should inform all phases of your business. And the marketing plan is where it all starts.
The marketing plan is not an end in itself, but rather a starting point for discussion. It’s a living document that’s never “done.” It’s “owned” by marketing but reflects a shared view of the world in language that is understood by all key stakeholders. It’s a blueprint for marketing execution and an agreement on what is important and how we will measure it.
A good marketing plan starts with the basics of understanding your business and customers:
- What are the overall business goals? Are you a start-up looking to make a splash or a mature company in need of a change? Your marketing plan should be a direct outgrowth of your overall business goals and challenges. This is the basis for discussion and deeper understanding.
- Who are your target customers? What are their problems? The more you know about your prospects and customers the more effective your marketing programs will be. This is more than knowing job titles and vertical industries. Effective marketing is the outgrowth of an intimate understanding of your target, including their personal motivations, career aspirations, business challenges and technical environments.
- Who are your competitors? Why is your product or company different? The heart of a brand is a unique promise of enduring value. But differentiating can be tough in crowded markets. Mapping your place in the overall market is an important step to understanding where there is opportunity and where there is potentially wasted effort.
- What is your sales process? At the end of the day, it’s all about revenue. It’s vitally important that marketing and sales teams are on the same page, with common language and a shared understanding of goals.
With a thorough understanding of your business we’re ready to get work on the business of marketing:
- Creating an online presence that attracts and engages prospects with Web sites, social media channels, search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM)
- Building authority with your target market through consistent messaging and thought-leadership initiatives that express your passion and expertise
- Establishing the marketing systems and metrics, processes and skills to support demand generation, measurement and shared accountability
- Supporting the sales team with tools and intelligence that enables them to have the right conversations at the right time based on understanding of customers’ needs and readiness to buy
If this approach makes sense to you, contact us. We’d love to learn more about your challenges and offer some ideas on your marketing planning process.