Small Business Marketing Strategy & Process Development

Posts Tagged "strategic marketing"

Leadership vs. Management: Why It Matters to Marketing

on December 4 in Authentic Culture, Strategy, The Office | 0 comments

For some reason, I woke up this morning with an awful memory of the most negative, hard to please, fast-paced-without-logic-or-specialized-marketing-knowledge-or-metrics boss I’ve ever had. My pervasive thought was: “You, sir, are the antithesis of a leader.” The internal dialogue continued. “Although you may be deemed by some as a good manager, mostly from the ability to be hard-driving and cost-conscious (aka cheap), to me that’s not management at the level of leadership.” With that said, I brushed off the negative feeling and got on with my day. Next up: the cursory morning email check. I usually stick to opening the emails that will most impact my schedule but today’s SmartBrief on Leadership caught my eye. Oddly enough, two posts’ headlines, “Generosity is the real marker of a good boss” and “Sometimes slowing down is the best way to reach your goals,” seemed to summarize to my beef with the former boss perfectly. Essentially, when you care about connecting with people (a requirement for generosity and extraordinary leadership according to Dan Rockwell, The Leadership Freak) and are mindful about your speed and the unnecessary pressure you create as a result (especially when you’re operating with the “Ready-Fire-Aim” approach Allan Milham advises against), you can lead more effectively. Why does a marketing person like me care about leadership? Why am I even writing this post? I’m a strategist first, marketing person second. You can’t have effective strategy execution without the kind of capable leaders defined in these articles. Drilling down, all the marketing effectiveness and external brand strength in the world won’t help (it will actually be a waste of money) if the culture (as defined by leadership) does not support it. Finally, a culture can retain competitive advantages–one of which can be leadership!–by being generous with people and calculating about its efforts (thanks to the power of that pause). This is why I look holistically at businesses, to help them maximize their marketing efforts via alignment. And why I advocate having executive teams that are committed to building brand and culture at...

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Why Hire a Strategic Marketing Consultant?

on January 25 in B-to-B | 0 comments

Business owners, internal marketing stakeholders, and entrepreneurs might benefit from hiring a strategic marketing consultant, but often aren’t aware of the circumstances that would prompt such a decision. Also, there is a lack of understanding about the problems a marketing strategist and consultant can solve, resulting in leaders asking “Why hire a strategic marketing consultant?” To answer this question, consider the following with respect to your organization: Are you creating enough demand for your offering? Are you attracting the right clientele and prospects? Are you confident you are investing (both time and money) in the right marketing activities? Do you have the appropriate levels of marketing expertise on board to succeed? (Do you have both strategic marketing and tactical execution covered?) Are you able to measure and respond to market changes and/or trends in your client and prospect bases? Is your marketing activity providing the results you expect? Does your culture mirror your brand so that no matter who interacts with your company or staff they have a consistent experience? Are your online and off-line marketing activities coordinated and well-designed to work in tandem to achieve your sales goals? Do you have clearly defined, compelling differentiators that result in prospects choosing your services over the competition? If you answered “No” to any of these questions, you might consider making strategic marketing a priority in your organization.  If you are an action- and growth-oriented leader who recognizes that turning those “No’s” into “Yeses” will make a big difference in your marketing effectiveness, let’s discuss the plan of attack.  Unfortunately, too many leaders believe they must “go it alone,” when it comes to marketing strategy and feel isolated in their roles, but when they hire a consultant, they reap the benefits of collaboration and innovation. Want more? Sign up for our...

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Start with a Goal

on October 2 in Small Business | 0 comments

It sounds so simple. And it’s a message that’s so pervasive. Yet putting goal-setting into action can range from being an exercise that begins with positive momentum but becomes difficult to maintain to virtually non-existent due to day-to-day demands.  Nevermind full-on strategic planning, which can be too daunting, misguided, or cumbersome for some business leaders! So, what can you do?  Especially if you aren’t prepared to start setting goals by yourself today? The first step: Eliminate the barriers. I’ve noticed a lot of the resistance is really just lack of motivation. I’ll bet if we asked small business owners, executives, practice directors, and managers the majority would say that they want to set goals.  The trouble is . . . it’s not a necessity because it’s not urgent, it’s not (yet) associated to a tangible desired outcome, and perhaps there is greater fear associated with doing the mental work.  Fears such as:  What if I don’t know what I need to do?  What if I find out what I need to do but can’t afford it?  What if it’s a waste of time and energy?  What if I miss opportunities because I’ve neglected my “regular” tasks? One way to eliminate the barriers is to actually talk to a marketing person (surprise, surprise!).  You can’t know what to focus on in terms of marketing activity without strategic goals, and these often escape even the most intelligent business leaders because they are simply lacking outside perspective. To eliminate the barriers and start building momentum for a strategic marketing approach today, download our free strategic planning...

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Someone Has to Be the CMO

on July 26 in Small Business, Soapbox, The Office | 1 comment

Many small businesses or even mid-to-large-sized businesses with geographic dispersion have marketing people in-house or at least marketing-minded employees, whether at the top or within the company’s ranks.  But oftentimes, there’s not a dedicated, experienced resource at the C-level.  The lack of a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) or equivalent leadership role often results in a task-based approach to marketing, which means energy and resources can get expended based on assumptions, whims, and good sales pitches vs. data, analysis, and strategic goals.  The result?  Unknown value and potential waste of profits. For every company, it may not be feasible to bring in a marketer at this level and caliber; the costs of an executive search alone could be more than what is usually allocated in a market budget!  Bringing in an outside firm is also not always a smart economic investment.  So what is the internal champion of strategic marketing to do? My advice is find an ally–someone you trust who knows what questions to ask to put the potential for a marketing strategy into perspective, can help that get traction within the organization, and will assist with implementation at a cost in line with expected outcomes.  Large companies know that, for effective marketing results, there has to be a CMO at the helm; in small business, someone has to be the CMO (even if acting or undercover) so it might as well be you. Ready for your new role?  Let’s talk.  ...

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