Marketing Strategy - How To Determine Your Purposes
"Begin with the end in mind" is a well-known saying in business popularized by Stephen Covey in his famous 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Many other consultants and authors have pointed out the great importance of having a clear purpose. Human beings are naturally goal oriented, and without stated purposes the people in any organization can pursue their own personal interests - whatever feels right to them, thus dispersing the resources of the company and not accomplishing very much as a team.
In actuality most of us have multiple purposes where our business or organization is concerned. So it is helpful to gather together the owners and managers of the firm, perhaps with the help of a professional facilitator, and discuss the purposes of the organization as a whole and of marketing in particular. (Actually it's really helpful to involve the entire company in small groups, but this is not cheap.)
A healthy discussion of purposes, desired end results, what we hope to accomplish, aims, goals and objectives can fill a flip-chart page fairly quickly with many items, usually not competing but complementary to one another. Then it's helpful to step back, look at the list, consider what it means as a whole, and try to state a core purpose that sums up what most of the leaders or people in the organization want to accomplish.
In developing a marketing strategy, it is most realistic to accept that marketing cannot be adequately developed or practiced by itself - that can risk dispersing the energies and resources of the organization too much. In many organizations people in the marketing department or with marketing responsibilities tend to do what their predecessors have done in that job, what they want to do, or what top management tells them to do. But the most effective marketing purposes are defined within the context of the primary purposes of the organization as a whole, a system. This way marketing staff knows what it has to do, while the other departments or leaders know what they have to do, and everyone is pulling in the same direction, not with duplicated effort but with complementary effort. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
The purposes of your marketing strategy could include some or all of the following: - Increasing sales and income - Expanding into new markets - Enhancing brand awareness - Improving the company's image, how it is perceived by the marketplace - Better understanding the needs of your customers and prospects - Gaining an advantage over your competitors - Identifying and responding to new trends in the marketplace - Promoting new products which are ready for launch - Producing new marketing materials - Strengthening Internet marketing and attracting new customers via the company website
The more the purposes of the marketing strategy are understood and shared within the organization, the more likely it is that those purposes will be accomplished! And the more they can be defined with measurable factors such as increased sales, improvement in brand awareness survey ratings, or the production of specific new marketing materials before year end, the more likely everyone involved will be pleased with the process and the results.
You can choose any purpose you want for your marketing strategy, but it is important to be realistic. For example, increasing sales by 10 percent over the next 12 months is probably realistic for most businesses. Being the world market leader in your business category is something very difficult to achieve. In between are many levels of achievement you can aim for. One way to do a good "reality check" is to see if all the members of your management team or group agree that your marketing purposes are realistic. Or ask a close customer or friend for their take on your objectives.
If you think of marketing strategy as an arrow, then the purpose would be center of the target or bull's eye you hope to strike with your marketing program. The more focused your aim, and the more experience and skill you have as an "archer," the more likely you will hit the center of the target. But many factors both within your organization and the external marketplace can impact your arrow on its path, and you may end up hitting the target but not the bull's eye as a result.
The fact is, there is only one thing you can control: you. You cannot control your people - they have to control themselves - with your guidance hopefully, but they are not robots that you can program precisely. You cannot control what your customers or competitors will do. You cannot control all the marketplace dynamics, from the weather to changes in the economy or technology, which can impact your business and marketing at any moment. So be realistic. Choose your target carefully. But be very focused. All too many marketing programs are like the old saying,
"I shot an arrow into the air. It fell to earth I know not where."
Write your marketing purpose down on paper. Stick it on your computer or desk. Focus, focus, focus. Success begins with a clearly defined purpose.
Related Tags: marketing, internet, business, search engine, strategy, small, purpose, ebook
Our next article will explain how to begin developing an effective marketing strategy for your business or organization. The entire series is available in a concise 30-page, 14,500-word ebook, "Marketing Strategy: The Key To Business Success From Your Community To The Worldwide Web," at http://www.lciweb.com/marketing-strategy.htm
Buck Lawrimore is President of Lawrimore Inc., a full-service marketing firm in Charlotte NC, with more than 27 years experience serving business, government and nonprofit organizations of all sizes. Learn more about marketing and strategy at http://www.lciweb.com/marketing-strategy.htmYour Article Search Directory : Find in Articles
Recent articles in this category:
- Is SEO Optimisation Important Today?
Those who have tried setting up their own websites know just how competitive the online market reall
- How to Shop Fearlessly, Look For Bargains, And Save Time and Money on the Web?
With the advent of online shopping, going to outlets and discount shopping centers may become an act
- Roll Up Stand Changing Vendor Booths
Most people have been to trade shows, home shows, state and county fairs and other places where ther
- Achieving Your Advertising Goals With a Roll Up Stand
Advertising is a common function of a business. However, it requires creativity and hard work to ens
- Trade Show Displays and Expos
Trade Shows and community business Expos provide a captive audience for your business, to get the wo
- How to Make Sure Your Newsletters Are Sent Out on Time
There are three key elements to making sure your newsletter is delivered on time: People, planning,
- Portable Displays - Trade Show Displays
Portable Displays are the best option for exhibitors when it comes to Trade Shows. Portable Displays
- Banner Displays - a Great Portable Display
Banner Displays are considered one of the most portable displays when used for trade shows. They com
- Small Business Reputation Management - Your Small Business Information Could be Wrong
Bad information could be out there circulating on the Internet this very minute about your business
- Eight Guidelines For Writing Newsletters That Engage Your Readers and Build Your Business
Want to write newsletters that engage your readers and help to build community? Whether you are a sm
Most viewed articles in this category:
- Adsense Is Making Me Rich
I want to talk to you about the power of Google AdSense and how you can use it to generate not hundr
- How to Increase Your Business Using the Esoteric Science of Radionics
As a small business owner, there are an amazing number of difficult skills I need to master so my bu
- 14 Top Lead Generation Tips
According to former Harvard Business School professor David Maister, typical marketing practices are
- More Marketing Dope
Direct marketing can make you very successful, but you’ve got to understand the basics. Here a
- The State Of Paid-To-Surf Programs Today
What a difference a year can make. 12 months ago, auto surf programs were at their peak. More an
- Should You Open Up An Ebay Store?
Ebay has provided some amazing opportunities for many people to earn online. This widely popular au
- Is Adsense A Good Idea?
For many webmasters, Google AdSense has become a great revenue generator. Since the program pays th
- The "Coat Of Arms" Revisited
Recently I listened to a interview with Mark Joyner and Gary Halbert about Gary's famous "Coat of Ar
- Brand Loyalty
It's a challenge getting consumers to remain loyal to a particular brand. Unlike the good old days w
- The Hottest Affiliate Ebooks Out in the Market Today!
Affiliate Project X is a great affiliate marketing ebook. Totaling only 50 pages you could have your