Next week is The Business Show at Excel and if you’re attending then you have a vision for your business growth. Through my career as either Marketing Director or Consultant, I’ve often found myself becoming the bridge between the Senior Leadership and Marketing Teams. Essentially, I teach the marketing team more about the business and the business more about marketing – which leads to an aligned value proposition and better orchestrated marketing activities.
CEOs I’ve worked with who are at that critical business growth stage – shifting from SME to scaling – and especially in service businesses, feel that their organisation is starting to lack clarity. They say “no one can describe what we do”. They also lack marketing capability or confidence, saying “we’re not good at marketing” or “our marketing isn’t working”. And they seem to spend all their time chasing people and money “we don’t have a clear pipeline” or “I don’t know what marketing contributes or how it connects with our business strategy”.
If any of those phrases resonate then your business is probably at the right stage to build a Brand Symphony marketing strategy.
I’d now ask you to spend a minute looking at what I’ve just said from your marketer’s perspective (or if you don’t have one, from the perspective of all the people who have a bit of the marketing puzzle bolted onto their role – an approach in itself that’s an inhibitor to growth). To have a chance at doing marketing well, they need to be able to do five things:
1. Identify what problem you solve and who needs it solved – who should really be in the audience?
2. Craft a clear distinctive story about what you do and why people should choose you – what’s your No. 1 hit song?
3. Understand how all the parts of the organisation fit into that story (the evidence of your story, particularly for a service business) – write a score so all the players know when to come in.
4. Make sure that all the people in the organisation can tell and contribute to that story (things like sales aids, employee on-boarding and recognition can help your employees live the brand) – rehearse the performance.
5. Execute campaigns that build awareness and drive leads that connect to your sales pipeline and activity – conduct your players to perform.
If you or your marketer are constantly sending out ad-hoc emails for different products; or you post lots of different and even conflicting stories on social media then you’re focused only on step 5. If steps 1-3 aren’t clear first, and you’re not giving your team time to rehearse, they will fail and you will all feel like it’s not working.
Marketers I meet in many service businesses tell me they lack clarity on what it is they’re trying to market, saying “I don’t know what we really do”. They fear they lack marketing capability “I can’t get anything done” or “I never get to finish anything because the strategy changes so frequently”. And they’re disillusioned because what they’re doing isn’t working and they tell me that “nothing works” or “sales don’t follow up on anything”
Sound familiar? If you recall what the CEOs told me, you’ll see that they’re the same three problems: lack clarity, lack capability and lack connected pipeline. You face the same problems but you need to play different roles in fixing them, together. And the fact you’re at that stage means you’re ripe for business growth.
In this situation big businesses hire an experienced Marketing Director. Smaller scaling businesses hire a consultant like me. What you need is someone who can bridge the gap.
Either way, as the leader of the business, and the person who knows the answers to many of the questions marketing will ask, you need to tune in to the real music of marketing for your business.
Jill Pringle is speaking at The Business Show, at 2pm on Thursday 25th November at London’s ExCeL. You will also find Jill on stand B1586.
Make 2022 the year that your #BrandSymphony gets a standing ovation. We can help you via workshops, coaching or consultancy.