Question

Topic: Strategy

Marketing Strategy For My Company

Posted by kamakshi.pandya on 500 Points
Hi,

I am developing a marketing strategy for a professional services firm which has never had a strategy in place before. The company has been around for 11 years now and but only recently, marketing is identified as a functionary department ( still significantly less relevant in contrast to the revenue generating teams). At present, there is no advance budget allocated to the marketing activities, and campaigns go through an approval process only when a campaign need is identified. I am on a task to change this and keen to have a well-defined strategy, marketing budget and a plan in place. Though I have some experience in digital marketing, I have never developed a marketing strategy for an established business which with no clear brand values/ attributes or objectives. This is a significant project in improving the markeitng of our business and to begin with I want to refer to templates/ sample strategy/ tips/ how-to guides to get on with the task effectively. In particular - what structure to follow, critical data points to look at, frameworks etc. Any suggestions/help appreciated.

Best Regards,
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RESPONSES

  • Posted by mgoodman on Moderator
    I have been involved in several projects like yours in my years as a consultant, and no two of them were similar enough to be well served by any template, sample strategy, tips or how-to guides. Each case needed to consider the people involved, the competitive climate, local laws, regulations and practices, resources, etc.

    My suggestion is to start with a business plan template and draw on the sections that seem to make sense to you and apply to your situation. If nothing else, this will ensure that you (and others at your firm) view the marketing function NOT as a staff/expense center, but a profit center for the business longer-term.

    Several years ago MarketingProfs asked me to develop a seminar with a sample plan for small businesses, and it is still relevant, though not specific to an established professional services business. You can find it at https://www.marketingprofs.com/marketing/online-seminars/110

    Also a lightly edited version of the hand-out from that seminar here: http://bit.ly/SstLq2 . Title is "3 Pitfalls ..."




  • Posted by dubois on Accepted
    Sometimes it's best to engage a consultant (ideally local) for the meaning, strategy and high level planning. You'll learn a lot in the process. Then you can use your expertise to add detail and execute the plan.
  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Member
    Start talking with your sales teams. What target markets are they having trouble reaching? What is their strategy for keeping their sales leads engaged?

    Look at your competition. What are they doing/communicating that your company isn't?

    Talk to your leadership. What data would they need to approve/fund any of your initiatives.

    With all of this information, you'll have the great raw materials for developing a marketing plan that's targeted to your company's needs/vision.
  • Posted by kamakshi.pandya on Author
    Thanks for the comments, all very helpful.
  • Posted by telemoxie on Accepted
    If I were in your situation, I would try to get any information I could on the marketing budgets and marketing activities of competitors. You could develop the greatest marketing strategy in the history of marketing, using the best and most wonderful templates and techniques, but at the company isn't going to spend any money, it can largely be a waste of time.

    Some companies have a track record of investing in marketing. Some don't. And, in my experience, it is very difficult if not impossible to convince people who have never spent money on marketing that they should take some great giant leap into it.

    If I were in your situation, I would try to get a clear understanding of exactly what others are expecting of me. I would schedule time to meet with other departments, to try to identify specific ways in which marketing can be a service to them. I might consider a tactical rather than a strategic approach, working to solve immediate problems and build credibility over time rather than presenting some brand vision.

    And appearances are important. You want to look busy and productive. We all know that there is a lot of good information that can be found on the Internet. But if a senior partner is of the opinion that "we've been in business for 11 years and never needed any of this marketing stuff" and also feels "all that marketing guy does is spend time on the Internet" - this might not be good for you.

    Maybe your biggest challenges will not be to despise the ultimate marketing strategy. Maybe your biggest challenge will be to negotiate the politics, to build credibility over time, slowly and incrementally build a case that marketing is strategic and important and valuable, and that you are the right person for the job.

    If you want to talk confidentially, click on my link and send me an email.

    Good luck, and take care.
  • Posted by telemoxie on Member
    Sorry, I meant to say, "grand strategy" (although brand strategy works as well) and I meant to say "devise the ultimate marketing strategy" rather than "despise the ultimate marketing strategy."
  • Posted by Mike Steffes on Member
    It would be good to look at this as a "lean startup" model. There is a lot of info out there on the concept. The major tenets are validation (validate your ideas at small scale) and focus on an initial niche (your target market is not everyone). And be ready to "pivot" when you have-to, but not before (yes, it's judgement). It is the opposite approach to the too common go-big-or-go-home slogan.
  • Posted by Peter (henna gaijin) on Member
    One thing you may want to do is look back on the marketing projects this company has done. What was the budget, what was done, what results, etc. It is possible that if they did these with some regularity, you can show that the company HAS had a marketing budget in the past which you could use as a floor baseline in setting the new budget.
  • Posted by kamakshi.pandya on Author
    Thanks again everyone for your support. All very useful advice.

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