STEP 1. BUSINESS GOALS
There are few senior business people that I think actually want to do marketing. That might be because they have a perception that compared to, for example manufacturing and even sales, it’s pretty squishy. But in fairness, before it became so measurable, with the advent of the digital age, it was pretty squishy. The famous quip from John Wanamaker sums it up, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” That day has gone, thank goodness, and marketing has become as measurable and accountable as most other business activities.
Today, the reality is that companies that need to win and keep customers must invest in marketing. And because it’s a now measurable investment, it should be subject to the accountability of all business investments. That means having specified goals, key performance indicators and measurable ROI. Marketing goals can be growing share, revenue, entering new markets, introducing new products; whatever is strategically important to the company, as long as it aligns with the greater business goals. Setting business goals is not the job of marketing except to the degree that the planning work marketing does can help reveal business opportunities or challenges.
IT IS THE BUSINESS OF MARKETING TO ENSURE THAT THEIR STRATEGIES AND TACTICS ALIGN TO BUSINESS GOALS.
After watching the growth of Tesla and the evolution of Google and Apple in the car space, Toyota has begun to shift their business goals to compete with self-driving cars. This change in business goals has profound implications for their marketing because they have to balance customer expectations of enjoying driving with the new experience of having the car drive for you. The result is a new two pronged business strategy with the long-term goal of fully autonomous cars and the near-term development of semi-autonomous technology. This will now have to translate to the way the company presents itself to its consumers.
Whatever your business goals, you need to make sure it is very clear what marketing can and should do to help achieve them. This may require a senior level conversation or two, and sign-off in order to have the required buy-in. Goals have to be detailed, time-specific, and measurable enough so that you can evaluate both the ability of strategies and tactics to achieve them, and their subsequent performance.