One of the most common marketing mistakes we witness almost daily, is companies who expend valuable marketing dollars on marketing ‘tactics’ before they have a clearly defined and understood marketing strategy.
That is, they move straight to the ‘doing’ stage, before they have developed the ‘thinking’ stage; the Marketing and Brand Strategy. Or as is attributed to Sun Zu over 2500 years ago: “Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”
We liken that to building a house without having architectural plans to guide you, or similar to hopping on a bus without knowing your destination or worse still, where the bus is going.
Without a thoroughly developed guiding brand and marketing strategy to underpin your marketing tactics, you are marketing by guesswork and without doubt, wasting hard earned and precious money.
Five simple questions that every CEO and Marketer must know the answers to:
Simple as they may outwardly appear, the answers will unlock the potential for your company or organisation to achieve your desired growth objectives through the application of a considered brand and marketing strategy.
- Where do you want to be?
- What do you need to say (to get there)?
- How should you say it?
- How you do what you say?
- When should you say it?
You will notice a couple of things about these questions:
- You will notice that these five questions do not have any marketing jargon. Or in other words; they are not teaching marketers how to market, rather they are there to guide everyone in the organisation.
- When carried out in order they form a replicable process to building a brand and marketing strategy.
A brand strategy connects your business to your market
Your brand strategy is like a ‘light bulb’ that links the mind of your customer with your company’s product or service.
A brand strategy provides the metaphoric wiring and necessary switches that are required to turn your target customers ‘lights on’ when they are actively in the market.
Are the marketing tactics aligned and consistent?
Your strategy needs to provide clarity, direction and most importantly, your management team or executive team needs to ensure that they are aligned when it comes to strategy.
A brand strategy provides all the necessary hard wiring required for sales success. A brand strategy is so much more than simply advertising.
So firstly, ask yourself can you answer the 5 questions?
Then, more importantly can your leadership team and your staff also answer the same questions exactly the same? If the answer is no, then you need a Brand and Marketing Strategy.
Jason Eisner is a principal of BrandQuest, a strategy, culture and brand management company that builds enduring and valuable brands.
Since co-founding BrandQuest in 2007, Jason has worked on over 100 local and international organisations from start-ups to ASX listed as well as not-for-profits.
Prior to establishing BrandQuest, Jason had 15 years of strategic marketing and operations experience in senior management and consulting roles including: The Cambridge Group (New York and Chicago) Nuvisio (New York venture backed start-up), Accenture and Tip Top Bakeries (Sydney).
Jason has a Bachelor of Commerce from UNSW and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management in Chicago. He has also co-authored ‘Fast Marketing for Fast Growth’ published by New Holland and has Lectured in Marketing at the AGSM (Australian Graduate School of Management) UNSW MBA (Executive).