Grow Your Business: Implement A High-Growth Marketing Strategy

/Grow Your Business: Implement A High-Growth Marketing Strategy
Grow Your Business: Implement A High-Growth Marketing Strategy 2017-06-18T18:30:01+00:00

The Problem

Your business is primed for growth. Sales are solid, profits are good and you have a talented and motivated workforce at your disposal. But market share has stalled. Your company is well-down the market-share league table in your industry. You need to increase your market share, position the business as a disruptive and ambitious player in the market, and generally propel it into a new phase of accelerated growth.

It is easy for a business to become complacent, especially if revenues and profits continue to be “satisfactory”, and increase from one year to another, roughly in line with inflation. But complacency needs to be avoided at all costs. You rarely know what the competition are planning to do in the years ahead, and you never know when an aggressive new player might enter the market and disrupt your own plans. In order to stay ahead of the competition you need a plan to grow your business.

The SWOT analysis

Any well-run business will undertake a SWOT analysis as it goes through its annual planning process, and a marketing department may even do it more regularly, perhaps on a quarterly basis, when it creates or refreshes its marketing plan. Focusing on strengths, weaknesses and threats is an important part of that process, in order to ensure that the business continues to operate on a stable and profitable footing. But when it comes to preparing for growth, a big shift in focus is required, and the process of identifying new opportunities comes to the fore.

Identifying new opportunities

Some businesses are fixated on acquiring a certain type of customer, and they focus all of their energy and investment on doing just that. It can be a successful strategy in the formative years of a company, but at some point the law of diminishing returns will eventually kick in. Once you’ve saturated that space, you’ll need to look for new types of customer in order to continue to grow your business. Dell’s whole business model was built upon customers who wanted to configure and buy PC’s directly from the manufacturer. Within a short space of time Dell dominated this market – there was barely another player in town. But when growth slowed, Dell needed to explore new opportunities. Turns out, 80% of people prefer to buy their computer equipment from a trusted reseller or retailer, and not from a vendor or manufacturer who has a vested interest in one, and only one, brand. So Dell launched a program which enabled thousands of resellers, across the world, to resell Dell computer equipment to their loyal customer base. Overnight Dell had begun to address a huge, previously untapped, market of potential new customers. Today, more than 50% of Dell’s customers are “indirect” i.e. they buy Dell products through these trusted 3rd parties – and the company continues to enjoy healthy, profitable growth. The ability to identify, and build a strategy around, new opportunities is crucial to the growth potential of any serious business.

Your marketing team – organizational structure

Going for growth often means re-organising your resources, in particular your marketing team. Maybe you only had 50% of one individual (normally a sales person) dedicated to marketing? Maybe you have a small marketing team which is running around like crazy, spinning lots of plates, struggling to stand still. Truth is, if you want to grow your business quickly and effectively, then you are going to have to develop a killer marketing plan. And to execute that plan flawlessly, you’ll need a high-calibre marketing team. Whether or not you choose to hire that team as full-time, permanent staff, or  you go down the outsourcing route, the important thing is to get those superstars fully on board, and bought into the strategy, prior to embarking on the journey.

Creating a meaningful marketing budget

According to Gartner*, the average business allocates 12% of its revenues to marketing. TWELVE PERCENT! Wow. We think that figure is too high, and is reflective of just how much marketing money is wasted on expensive, glossy advertising campaigns with questionable ROI. You should be able to get a lot of high-impact marketing done by creating a quarterly marketing budget that amounts to 5% of your revenue. If your profit margins are higher, and you can afford to stretch to 10%, then so much the better. You should be able to cast your net that much wider, generate a whole load more leads and grow your business accordingly. Going beyond 10% is fine if you are a well-funded business that is looking to create a huge amount of brand awareness, or if you are shooting for turbo-charged growth. But is shouldn’t be the average figure. At least, not if you are focusing your marketing efforts in the right places.

*Gartner 2016-2017 CMO Spend Survey

The Solution

Grow your business, by implementing an aggressive new marketing strategy and establish your business as a progressive, disruptive force in your market.
  • Understand your marketing funnel
  • Identify the weaknesses in your marketing funnel
  • Decide on your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

 

  • Deep-dive on strengths and opportunities
  • Identify the opportunities which will fuel future growth
  • Formulate SMART goals designed to exploit those opportunities
  • Become a digital marketing powerhouse
  • Align resources to your marketing funnel
  • Invest in content creation and development
  • Provide training on content marketing, inbound marketing & marketing automation
  • Re-define marketing goals and objectives
  • Make them SMART
  • Focus on the funnel
  • Be laser-focused on awareness: aim to build trust and credibility
  • Focus on primary KPIs
  • Ensure employees’ performance goals are properly mapped
  • Create a rolling 13-week planning cycle
  • Have someone own the planning methodology
  • Map all activities to business goals
  • Focus investments on maximising ROI
  • Do NOT underinvest in content development
  • Conduct a website audit
  • Optimise core pages for search engines
  • Create content with a purpose
  • Amplify content with social media
  • Become an authority in your industry
  • Build landing pages with enticing calls-to-action
  • Develop lead capture mechanisms
  • Embrace marketing automation techniques
  • Install a marketing automation platform e.g. Hubspot or Marketo
  • Get everyone fully trained
  • Run every marketing activity through the platform
  • Feed every marketing lead into the platform
  • Measure, review, analyse and interpret
  • Undertake a content audit
  • Identify gaps and plan to fill them
  • Create a content planning worksheet
  • Build a content creation framework
  • Transpose content to your marketing calendar
  • Check progress on action items in a weekly team meeting
  • Invite external stakeholders as appropriate
  • Present quarterly updates to wider audience
  • Measure web traffic, leads and conversion rates
  • Measure social engagements with prospects and customers
  • Calculate cost per lead for every “source”
  • Calculate cost per acquisition (i.e. for every new customer) for every source
  • Calculate Return On Investment (ROI) for each marketing activity
  • Compare results to goals
  • Review and interpret.
  • Feed conclusions into next planning cycle

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