All successful businesses – even ones who traditionally grow through B2B referrals – will inevitably arrive at a point where they know they need to review their marketing.
Either the enterprise has evolved and the way they’ve been presenting themselves no longer reflects who they are and what they do for their clients, or the business has been so busy ‘doing the work’ for such a long time that – now management has come up for air – the brand is out of sync with its target audiences. There are myriad reasons a company may eventually come to understand a marketing review is essential. At this time, the first question most have is, ‘where do we start? and ‘who do we turn to for help?’
Oftentimes, not knowing what else to do, businesses jump straight into tactical marketing and, immediately, the focus moves on to the creative execution and rollout of a marketing campaign. Or the company directly hires a social media, writer or SEO specialist, but isn’t sure how to powerfully brief these creatives to get results. Frequently, these pathways lead to frustration down the track, when the business comes to see it overlooked the vital process of positioning, and that it spent good money marketing itself in a way that doesn’t accurately represent it.
To make a marketing spend pay dividends, it’s crucial a company first takes the time to unpack:
- who it is in the marketplace
- how the business operates & how it makes its money
- its key audiences (staff, customers, suppliers, potential talent, etc) and how they view the business
- how its current marketing process works
- where it sits in the marketplace relative to its competitors
- what key talent it needs to attract
- what marketing spend makes sense for them
By beginning with gathering insights and data and then synthesising those important insights to ensure a business is correctly positioning itself before moving into the marketing phase, success is far more likely. In essence, it’s essential to find someone who can help your business carefully think about what you should or could do, before jumping in with activities that don’t align with who the organisation is (but is more focused on who the marketer thinks you should be).
There’s a process to this journey and that process is the most critical piece of the puzzle; from there, everything else will flow. Having completed this, the next phase involves carefully planning the execution of how the refreshed brand positioning can be communicated to key stakeholders.
This is where having an exceptional marketing mind on your side is a must. When working in a large organisation, these people normally have the title of Marketing Director. As business development consultants, we’ve been fortunate to have worked with some of the finest minds in this space and know just how vital they are.
First and foremost, these important players in the business landscape are incredibly smart and conceptually creative. Usually, they will have a marketing, communications or arts degree, typically with honours and more often than not, post graduate studies in marketing as well. They’re not forceful people and are generally a bit more introverted than extroverted.
Their strength is being able to consider all the variables of a business and the landscape it’s in and think through how best to present it to its target audiences in a way that’s simple and makes sense.
Their core skill is bringing a company’s narrative and positioning to life – and this includes finding, briefing, and managing the different suppliers and consultants (writers, videographers, designers, photographers, web developers etc) needed to achieve this. Pulling all these creatives together and directing them is one of their most crucial tasks. They’re also good at putting budgets together and working to it.
These people are not usually self promoters; there’s no fanfare with them and this can mean they’re quite hard to find. They love working closely with people who understand and value them, but often need some support to truly understand SMEs and how they work and function.
Having an exceptional and passionate Marketing Director on board – and knowing how to get the best out of them – is essential for a business to position themselves properly. They thrive on collaboration and if you learn how to listen to them, and let them direct and manage what they need to, it’s an investment that will pay dividends over time because, as your business continues to evolve, they will help keep your positioning on track.
The key takeaway? Like anything, collaborating with the right people with the right expertise significantly increases the likelihood you’ll get the results you want.