A long-distance race

You know what you want to achieve but you don't know where to begin. Start with strategy.

Companies today are operating in an uncertain and changing environment and facing extremely rapid changes in market dynamics, technology and culture. Flexibility has always been an important factor in success – but the faster the environment changes, the more important it becomes.

Only those companies that are the first to spot new opportunities and are able to react more quickly than their competitors will be successful.

Strategy plays a key role in ensuring the success of a company. The traditional strategic approach will not help companies survive in this dynamic business environment because it is rapidly becoming obsolete, is (too) slow to respond to changes and is dependent on uncertainty. Instead of this, decision-makers within companies must use a flexible strategy approach.

Recalculate investments according to your expectations and set a marketing strategy.

According to the Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2017–2018, nearly half (47%) of CMOs still depend on traditional budgeting methods that roll last year’s budget into the next financial period and increase or decrease it according to different series of current decisions and adjustments made by individual com-panies.

This formula, however, has become obsolete because today’s marketing landscape has changed. Mar-keting departments are therefore compelled to create and deliver innovative strategies to increase in-vestment in digital solutions, and there is more investment in analytics, e-commerce and social net-works.

Many companies set their marketing budgets by allocating 1% to 10% of their revenue to marketing resources. It is important to know, however, what phase of the marketing strategy you are in and what you want to achieve with it. This will give you a basic idea of the return on your investment. Investment in brand promotion, for example, requires significant funds, although this is a medium- and long-term investment.

If your strategy is aimed at generating leads, i.e. potential customers, via registration forms, transfer of content (such as e-books, videos, etc.) and other services with added value, think about how many of these leads you succeed in converting into actual customers. Once you have defined your expectations, it will be easier for you to come up with an idea of how to exceed them.

Long-term loyal customers or short-term sales targets? The digital environment is rapidly changing the natural laws that were still operating in the marketing world a year or two ago. The boundary between performance advertising and brand advertising is increasingly blurred. Digital sales channels are rapidly becoming the first choice.

A good sales strategy is customer-focused.

1. Choosing the target market

This step is the most important one. You need to accurately define your target customers. When thinking about your product, don’t look at it only from your own point of view. Think about how your customers see it. The following three questions will help you do this:

  • Why would someone buy your product or service?
  • Why would they buy your product or service and not your competitor’s?
  • Why would they decide to buy it now?

2. Designing a sales strategy

In order to meet the demands of a defined market segment, a company must develop a suitable sales strategy, the purpose of which is to actively influence demand for its products or services. The sales strategy consists of product, price and place (i.e. sales channels).

The questions we need to ask ourselves in the sales process are:

  • How will customers find out that we exist?
  • What are we doing and what can we do to convert leads into customers?

3. Communication

Market communication is a set of activities for communicating with existing and potential customers. To achieve greater effectiveness, we use a mix of communication tools.

Organise your marketing and sales teams.

It is important that your organisation has a uniform team structure and clearly defined goals. Marketing and sales departments must work together towards clearly expressed common goals.

The marketing department must endeavour to generate good leads for the sales department.

If your sales and marketing teams are coordinated, your chances of converting leads into customers are much greater than if each department worked separately.

You have a strategy: now use it.

Once you have defined your marketing and sales strategy, provided the necessary funds and coordinated teams, it is essential to verify processes or the progress of work. Monitoring this part of activities includes organising tasks in specific time frames, which we monitor in accordance with specific metrics.