Good marketing relies on a good strategy. And a good strategy looks beyond the current quarter to the next six months, the next year, the next five years and beyond. But while most, if not all, business owners and executives would agree that it is important to have a long-term marketing strategy, actually creating one involves overcoming three mental hurdles.
Preference for operational thinking over strategic thinking
Strategic planning is about what your company should, or should not, be doing to achieve its vision. Operational planning is about what your company will, or will not, be doing day to day. Obviously, each should depend on the other; however, business owners and executives often let the current state of day-to-day operations limit the scope and ambition of the company’s strategy. For marketing, this means dismissing ideas as too ambitious based solely on current sales figures.
Confusion about what constitutes a strategic priority for the company
Naturally, each person will have a bias towards his or her own area, but this does not mean that every strategic priority is a strategic priority for the company. Since the company’s marketing strategy is only a part of the larger corporate strategy, the marketing team needs to be able to prioritize its strategic goals based on the strategic needs of the company.
Lack of concrete action and targets
Sometimes strategic planning can become too disconnected from the day-to-day operational reality of the company. When this happens, it not only wastes the time of those involved, it sets the company up for poor performance in the future. Ideas and ambitions must be tethered to concrete action and metrics. In the case of marketing strategy, this includes identifying sales channels for development, calculating expected return on marketing investment and establishing sales targets.
One of the best ways to ensure your company strikes the right balance between ambition and realism in its long-term marketing strategy is by utilizing a marketing director. The members of your marketing team have their own specific priorities, which may or may not be priorities for the entire company, but their closeness to the situation make it hard for them to be unbiased. At the same time, managers and executives in other areas do not have a thorough enough knowledge of the company’s marketing situation to make a decision either. A marketing director’s role is to straddle this divide, to make sure the marketing strategy reflects the company’s priorities while ensuring that the company makes marketing a priority.
If you would like to know more about how a marketing director can benefit your business, the Marketing Director Centre is available for consultations. Let us show you how a marketing director can work with your marketing team – if even for just one day a week or month – to develop a grounded-yet-ambitious marketing strategy.
Ph: 1300 384 733