- Marketing is a powerful success lever. Competitive advantage, long-lasting relationships, sustainable sales and customer loyalty are the rewards for those who market effectively.
- Marketing is essentially about building relationships with people, by creating, communicating and delivering value. The aim is to connect with people and influence their behaviour and decisions.
- Marketing drives business strategy. Know what you want to achieve, who you are targeting, and your point-of-difference.
- The proliferation of digital technology has created new ways of marketing and opportunities for those who can create synergy across the various strategies, tools and touchpoints.
- A holistic marketing plan is a must. Combine the talents of marketing generalists with deep-dive specialists to achieve the best results.
- A ‘set-and-forget’ approach is not effective. Marketing outcomes need to be monitored regularly and refined to maximise ROI.
Marketing is an essential business function and powerful success lever. However, misperceptions about marketing often prevent businesses from utilising its full potential. As such a broad and dynamic field, with a myriad of strategies, tools, touchpoints and influences out there, it can be confusing to know where to start and what’s right for your business.
With a focus on helping ‘good’ businesses succeed, we created Objective to break down these barriers and shift the perception of what marketing is, its purpose and what it can achieve.
Our vision is to unleash the power of marketing as a catalyst for positive change.
We work towards this vision everyday – by marketing our clients’ businesses effectively, utilising the entire marketing suite, and delivering tangible results.
The key is to help people understand the true value it can provide.
What is marketing?
In simple terms, it’s about building relationships with people you want to target by creating, communicating and delivering value. The aim is to connect with people and influence their behaviour and decisions.
Marketing operates within our macroenvironment, with different external forces at play (socio-cultural, economic, environmental etc.). Technological advancements have created more of a marketing ‘ecosystem’ where activities are interconnected and influence each other. It is complex and ever-changing, though definable.
Physically, we like to think of marketing as a toolbox. Within it are various strategies and tools that you can use to get a desired outcome.
We chart our course with strategy and move forward via tactical actions; responding and adapting to forces along the way. It is a symbiotic process.
Marketing is both an art and a science. Science provides data and frameworks to reach people and en pointe creativity triggers a response. One without the other doesn’t do it justice.
Importantly, marketing is not just selling or advertising, nor branding or social media.
An ad-hoc tactical approach misses the opportunity to leverage the collective power of marketing to create competitive advantage and drive your business strategy.
The purpose of marketing is to drive business strategy
For marketing to be effective, you need to be clear on what you want to achieve. Otherwise, what’s the point? Is it brand awareness, leads, sales, raising funds, public relations, establishing a community prior to launch, carving out a new niche, or disrupting? All marketing activity should have a defined purpose and be aligned with your overarching business strategy and objectives.
At a minimum, a strategy needs to cover a business’ purpose, vision, mission, and direction for the marketing period. We deem this so important we don’t start work without it.
Knowing ‘who’ you are connecting with via target market segments is another strategic imperative. It’s expensive and wasteful to try and market to everyone, i.e. a rifle vs. shotgun approach.
Your brand determines your business’ unique position in the market, thus creating competitive advantage and intangible asset value. It’s not about polishing the logo!
Making sense of all the tools in your toolbox
The proliferation of digital technology has created new ways of marketing, more channels to reach people, and interrelationships between marketing tools. Simply put, the toolbox has gotten bigger.
This has presented both challenges and opportunities. Challenges in terms of the complexity and unprecedented immediacy it creates, and the need to stay across everything. Opportunities for those who master this evolution.
There are so many touchpoints that lead to the overall perception of your business. Opportunities exist for those who can create synergy.
A holistic, well-executed marketing plan is a must
A marketing plan summaries how you use marketing strategies and tools in a tactical way. With such a plethora of options, determining ‘how’ to market is crucial. It’s important to create a plan holistically vs. jumping to tactics. Determining what not to do is equally important to avoid wastage of marketing investment.
Plans need to be actioned, in our view, by expert marketers. It’s impossible to know everything about marketing. Therefore, we advocate combining the talents of marketing generalists with deep-dive specialists.
You wouldn’t allow someone who has an ‘interest’ in heart surgery to operate on you. Neither should you let them loose on your marketing! Skilled execution is what delivers results.
An on-going, long-term process
There are plenty of unknowns in the macro-environment. Hence, a ‘set-and-forget’ approach is not effective.
Marketing outcomes need to be monitored regularly and refined to maximise ROI.
As well as having massive ups, marketing can also go very wrong, which is why it needs a professional at the helm.
It makes sense to regularly check that your marketing still aligns with your business strategy. Ideally, marketing has a direct line to the CEO, and if applicable, governance. Yes, it is that important! If business strategy changes, the marketing approach should be reviewed.
A powerful success lever for business
Utilising marketing properly is an opportunity. Too often, marketing is judged on a misaligned tactical play, without understanding the breadth of its ability and influence. Competitive advantage, long-lasting relationships, sustainable sales and customer loyalty are the rewards for those who market effectively.
For us, the reward is making the world a better place. #marketingforgood