Expert Panel

Focus on these things to succeed in Marketing & Communications

Marketing 101 With A Twist…Making It Effective


{#/pub/images/Marketing101.jpg}There are so many options when it comes to marketing these days; knowing where to focus can be overwhelming.  Create the Strategy…Choose the Tools…Implement the Plan is no longer going to cut it in today’s competitive environment.  Today’s expertise is more centered on the ability to connect over a longer period of time, mine data and convert it into revenue.  But from my perspective, no matter what type of marketing you use, there are some fundamentals that make your efforts effective.  Effective Means…spend the least amount of money to convert the greatest amount of sustainable revenue in the shortest amount of time.  That’s the twist on Marketing 101…Making It Effective.  You can do this by creating a cross-functional, integrated approach within your company.


Here are 6 benchmarks every Marketer & Every Company Must Achieve to Make Their Marketing Efforts Effective.


1: Know Your Company & Have Them Know You

Have a deep and documented understanding of your organization, the full breath of products or services, your process flows, your customer’s full cycle buying experience, your product’s cost/profit structure and your current capabilities.  Also have an in-depth understanding of your financials & your R&D capabilities & Pipeline.  You can’t promote something you don’t understand, nor can you see practical growth potential without knowing your current reality.  Most importantly, share your knowledge throughout all levels of your organization on a continuous basis to ensure they too understand the company’s reality.


2: Know Your Current and Target Customer Groups

Talk to & visit customers, survey customers, understand their buying patterns, both what they buy from you and what they buy from others instead of you.  Know what they like and dislike about your company and your competitors.  Understand their full buying experience and ask them what your company can do better from a service and new product perspective.  Find out their future product and service needs.  Utilize your sales group when conducting your ongoing studies, work with them and have them help you.  Document & analyze your results, then share your analysis throughout your organization.


3: Know Your Competitors

Research & document their products and services, understand why customers buy from them and why they don’t buy from them. Try to determine your prices compared to theirs.  Understand their target markets, their strengths and weaknesses.  Document their process flows & customer experience (you can do this by buying from them, or talking with their customers).  Your sales team can and should help you with this.  Put your objectives together and establish a tactical plan together with sales.


4: Know & Plan Your Marketing Tools.

Whether it be PR, advertising, websites, presentations, literature, DVD’s, direct marketing, trade shows, sales tools, packaging, product launches, social media, etc...you don’t have to do them all. Your importance is not based on your marketing budget, it is based on the growth you bring to the company by effectively spending as little as possible to achieve your business & strategic plans.


5: Proactively Lead Your Internal and External Strategy

By doing the market and internal research, and by understanding your company’s internal organization, you can create a comprehensive strategy and implementation plan that your entire company can embrace. Analyze your data points, find your strengths and weakness, opportunities and threats, define where you are today in the competitive mix and where your company can move to in the marketplace. Define the changes internally and with your products and services that need to be made in order to reach your strategic opportunities. Most importantly, get buy-in from all levels and areas of your organization. Your information, analysis and proposal are paramount for your executive leadership to set the course and fund the execution. The integration and collaboration of all business functions will ensure sustainable success. Be proactive.


6: Track Your Results

You are spending a lot of money, document where it goes, how much is spent, the objective you are trying to achieve and the sales result. Your results should be tracked monthly, quarterly and annually. If your actions are not showing the result you need, change them....you have a lot of tools to pick from. Link your spending to your strategy and this will lead you to success. 


Don’t forget to share your results.  You have included your entire organization in your efforts; the result belongs to everyone.  That is the twist of marketing.  It is not about the glamour, the money or the fame.  It is about collaboration, gaining knowledge and increasing the bottom line through collective, fully integrated efforts.  As a Marketing Professional, if you can drive these six benchmarks of effective marketing, your company will be successful, and so will your career.



Written by Lisa WoodsPresident ManagingAmericans.com

Lisa is a successful entrepreneur, world-class marketing strategist, and dynamic business leader with more than 20 years experience leading, managing and driving growth. Throughout her career, Lisa has been influential in integration techniques, organizational and cultural overhauls, financial turnarounds and developing employees into exceptional leaders, results driven managers and passionate team contributors.


Do you have a question for Lisa?  Post it in our Executive Leadership Community, she will be happy to help: Ask an Expert


Did you find this story informative?  We would like the opportunity to keep you up to date on all of our training articles.  Please register for our newsletter so we can do just that.  


Do you have a formal process in place to track ROI for your marketing programs?