In this article, you'll learn...
- Four elements needed to shift your company's marketing capabilities
- Five steps for capabilities development
- Pitfalls to avoid when shifting capabilities
Many business leaders are making important strides in transforming their marketing strategies to address changing competitive environments, emerging product and service categories, and evolving customer needs. They're thinking in terms of solutions rather than products, stakeholders rather than customers, and redefining rather than upgrading.
But, unfortunately, leaders often expect new marketing strategies to be successfully executed with old marketing capabilities. The fact is that great strategic plans have failed in the absence of capability shifts.
With the right building blocks, however, business leaders can advance their companies' marketing capabilities to give promising strategies the support needed to succeed.
The marketing capabilities required to support meaningful business shifts fall into four key categories:
- The first category is competencies—the right functional, technical, teaming, and leadership skills to build and activate differentiating customer solutions. Such skills can be introduced in many ways, including in-house development and external talent acquisition, but they must directly align with emerging business strategies.
- The second is processes. To ensure consistent execution as teams adapt, leadership must institute replicable approaches and frameworks for the range of value-creating activities that teams undertake to deliver customer solutions.
- The third category is tools, encompassing the systems, information, assistance, resources, and metrics that teams need to work effectively. The success of tool-based capability enhancements depends largely on leadership's insight into the evolving needs of its teams, and its ability to identify the tools that address those needs.
- The final category is organization. Without the structure, governance, roles and responsibilities, and mindset that enable accountability—as well as decisive action—a business shift will flounder.
How to Get There
Building out such capabilities on such a scale requires significant time, energy, focus, and resources on the part of leadership, as well as buy-in and dedication on the part of team members. Prophet, our company, has identified five foundational methods for capability development, each of which will contribute to an emerging business strategy's chances of success.
1. Launch pilots