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Are you ready for 2015? SBI’s research shows an alarming 71% of companies had the wrong Marketing Strategy in 2014. You only have one shot to start the year right. How does it stack up against the best? This article will help you answer the question.

 

First, let’s discuss the problem with Marketing Strategy. SBI discovered that there was a lot of confusion around the term Marketing Strategy. Marketing leaders provided varying answers to the definition of marketing strategy. In many cases, they confused marketing tactics and campaigns with marketing strategy. In contrast, marketing leaders who were highly successful in 2014 described a strategic view. Here’s how best-in-class marketing leaders defined marketing strategy:

 

“A Marketing Strategy is an operating plan for a company’s marketing department.”

 

Marketing leaders defined what it does as this: A Marketing Strategy allocates resources efficiently to drive revenue. Using a Marketing Strategy means the marketing department contributes to the revenue growth.   This is done by focusing on the top priorities that include:

 

  • Corporate strategy
  • Product Strategy
  • Sales strategy

 

To get more details into this research, download the report here. It’s called, “How to Increase Marketing’s Contribution to 2015 Revenue“. The outline contains 6 major steps to building a comprehensive marketing strategy.

 

You do not have the right Marketing Strategy if it falls into one of these:

 

  1. Marketing tactics masquerading as a Marketing Strategy
  2. Same Marketing Strategy as your competition
  3. Same Marketing Strategy as last year (rinse and repeat)
  4. Marketing Strategy not aligned with your buyer
  5. Marketing Strategy not aligned with your corporate strategy
  6. Marketing Strategy not aligned with product strategy

 

Maximize your success by fast following the best in class. This research report will help you do that. What were common in the best class marketing strategies were 6 steps. They are all detailed in the report to help you define your Marketing Strategy. Below is a high overview:

 

Step 1 – Segmentation – Segmentation is where you gain an in-depth understanding of the market, accounts and buyers. This will help you differentiate your marketing strategy from your competition. You will know which accounts to prioritize. You will be able to align your marketing strategy with buyer needs. As a result, your marketing strategy will be aligned with the external market. Make sure it is also aligned with internal strategies from corporate, product, and sales.

 

Step 2 – PlanningMarketing Planning is where you develop revenue, budget, product/solution, campaign, content and data plans. They need to broadly define how the number is going to be met. They serve as an outline for the processes that get built next.

 

Step 3 – Engagement – The processes of how your marketing team interacts with prospects and customers. There are two parts. First, drive demand for your product or service. Second, nurture prospects into sales ready leads.

 

Step 4 – Org – It’s the optimal marketing department structure and necessary headcount to execute the marketing strategy. Org is about getting the right people in the right roles to execute the processes. This step illustrates how to deploy the resources you secured in the planning phase. These resources must execute the processes defined in the Engagement process.

 

Step 5 – Execution – With everything defined, it is time to focus on doing the work. This is the actual execution of the strategy.  Do everything right but fail to execute and you’ve wasted great work.

 

Step 6 – Support – Helps the marketing team be effective by supporting them. It is comprised of Marketing Operations and Systems.

 

Key Takeaway:

Take action now if you do not have a real marketing strategy for 2015. Download SBI’s Marketing Research Report to get the complete world-class Marketing Strategy. After reading the report you’re ready to develop or update your marketing strategy. Furthermore, sign-up for the associated marketing workshop to access a comprehensive checklist. An SBI marketing strategist will help you objectively evaluate your marketing strategy against it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Koehler

Helps clients adopt emerging best practices so they can make their number.
Learn more about John Koehler >

John has been with SBI since 2011. He has worked with executives in Executive Education, Media, Telco, IT Services, and others. Under his leadership, organizations have successfully grown revenue and improved sales and marketing effectiveness. With a focus on aligning strategies across functions, John has delivered strategic solutions that are actionable and executable. Prior to SBI, John earned his MBA from the University of Notre Dame.

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