The Blame Game: Have YOU Dropped the Marketing Ball?

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9 Strategic Marketing

Is it strategic marketing that is failing your business, or are you kicking some ‘own goals’ by failing to lead your team? All too often we find it is the latter.  As CEO, you’re the captain of your business and it is your job to guide the strategy and its execution.

Marketing is often mistaken for a grab-bag of tactical tricks and tasks: websites, brochures, advertisements, direct mail, etc. Adopting these without a strategy is like taking a free kick blindfolded. How do you know who you are talking to? How are you going to reach them? What makes them buy? And why would they buy from you and not your competitors?

Linking your business plan (assuming you’re not one of the 17% of Australian companies operating without one) to your marketing strategy turns tactical tasks into a game plan. If the two are not aligned, you are simply not giving your strategic marketing a sporting chance.

Lift your game

When a professional golfer has a bad day (and even Tiger Woods has posted a score of 77 or higher fourteen times in his pro career in PGA Tour events) the coach will take them back to the basics – posture, stance and grip.

Similarly, to ensure your strategic marketing activity reaches its mark you need to take it back to the basics-  Position, Capability, Channel.

CEO and CMO: A Powerful Partnership

As part of their Leadership series, McKinsey’s recently interviewed Dorkas Koenen, the CMO for Dutch energy company Essent, about his relationship with his CEO.  The interview explored how this close working relationship had built a business focused on the customer.

Koenen explains, “The first thing my CEO did when we began our transformation was to say, “Marketing has a cross-functional ambition and it also has a cross-functional task, and the CMO is manager of the marketing skill pool.”  In other words, everyone whose job description has the word “marketing” in it will be managed by the CMO. That immediately gave me a strong base for acting in the organization.

Working so closely with my CEO helped set the context for the success of the marketing transformation, in large part because he was so familiar with the company’s internal organisation. He could read the company like a book.” He goes on to say that “Marketing is too often a little bit of a black box. You should bring people in across the organization and make them owner of the total program.”

So instead of proclaiming that marketing simply doesn’t work, CEOs should instead take the responsibility for getting their STRATEGIC marketing game on and making it work. The ball is in their hands.

You might also enjoy reading:

5 Biggest Marketing Mistakes that (might) Kill Your Business

Understanding Data is Understanding the Opportunity 

Marketing Doesn’t Work

Walking the Tightrope: Balancing Legal Obligations with Business Cycles