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The important role of an Integrative Marketing Strategy

April 18, 2018

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Type: Advice for Businesses, Business Growth Week

‘Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department alone’ states David Packard of Hewlett-Packard. As a marketeer myself I agree that marketing is far too significant for it to be left to one person or department to undertake in isolation. Everyone in an organisation without exception should be making decisions based on the impact on the customer – it can be all too easy to lose sight of them through distractions such as cost savings, logistics or being too focused on the sale. I do find it peculiar that some companies will have a sales strategy yet no marketing strategy. As the two are inter-dependent how can one be effective without the other?

 

A well-considered, customer-centric, integrative strategy will be able to affect all key business functions within an organisation in order for it to achieve one shared goal. Working in silos, with different agendas for each department will consequently lead to a sporadic, confused experience for a customer.

 

The concept of marketing is fairly simplistic – business success through understanding and meeting customer needs and wants. So why then do we need a strategy and action plan at all?

 

Operating in the business arena means that you are carrying out activities against a backdrop of ever-changing market conditions, fierce competition, fast-paced tech and perpetually decreasing resource. Complement that with the occurrence of unexpected big events and you could find yourself on the back-foot unable to respond appropriately; becoming irrelevant; and falling short of serving your customers.

 

Strategy aims to understand the environment and how to differentiate and adopt a position of superior competitiveness, amongst many other attributes. Having a sound strategy driving all your actions can only strengthen the likelihood of sustainability and growth in your defined market.

 

So where do you even start in the formulation of an integrated strategy? I work with business owners and managers in lots of different sectors and we follow an effective framework, regardless of industry, to bring structure to what they are doing and direction to what they want to achieve.

 

A customer-orientated marketing plan does not have to be complex but as a guide it should lay out the following;

 

– Where are you now? What’s working/not working.

 

– Purpose and Values – what are you aiming to achieve and does the company culture fit the ambition? Having a set of values will unite and strengthen a business. Define your goals both short and long term. If you don’t know where you are going, how will know when you get there?

 

– Insight – what is happening around you? Are you prepared enough to react to market forces outside of your control? Also an opportunity to assess the internal influences and rituals that exist within your organisation and capture the risks and opportunities.

 

– Differentiation – how and why are you different? What is your value proposition and how does it give you the edge in your business arena?

 

– Segmentation – who are you working with and why, who do you want to work with? What are the gaps and how do we bridge them?

 

– Communication – how to stay on-brand and engage your markets, delivering the right messages powerfully and consistently.

 

Without doubt, a strategy must lead to practical outputs, a company needs to be doing things as well as planning things. A strategic approach to taking action will ensure that people are doing the right things that suit the circumstances.

 

Invest resource and time in a strategic marketing plan, giving you and your team the direction, drive and impetus to perform to its full potential.

 

If you would like to discuss this blog in more detail, please email Cheryl Jones who is the Managing Director of  – [email protected]

 

Cheryl Jones – Managing Director,

Cheryl is a CIM qualified marketer with over 25 years’ experience. A director of the marketing and branding consultancy arm of nxo, she works with owner managers of small businesses, advising on their internal and customer communications at a strategic level. You can

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