mfCEOs Blog Friday, May 5, 2017
Buyer’s Journey

How big is your pie?

Debbie Richardson
Debbie Richardson is the Founder of Marketing for CEOS. She unravels strategic marketing for CEOs of ambitious businesses looking for growth and applies her corporate experience to help businesses build strategic marketing capability that delivers revenue.

I had a great conversation with a colleague this week about MARKET strategy and MARKETING strategy. We had been engaged to help a CEO and his executive team develop a marketing strategy for the next financial year and we asked to see the business. We got that. We then asked how they had come to the decisions and objectives that were in the business plan - that wasn’t so clear.

We are on a continuous drive to help our clients unravel revenue acquisition strategies and have the best strategic marketing for their business growth. Talking about how we explained this to our CEO and we came up with this: MARKET STRATEGY comes before the business planning phase. To highlight this we asked our client a couple of questions:

How can you produce a business plan when you don’t know what’s happening in your market, you don’t know the size of the opportunity, and you don’t know where you sit amongst competitors for that market?

How can we develop a marketing plan if your business plan isn’t reflective of the market opportunity?

We often get asked, “Where does marketing sit in a business?” MARKET STRATEGY informs your business plan, and MARKETING STRATEGY.

As a CEO, your expectation is that you brief your marketing team on your business objectives for that period, and they respond with a marketing plan.

To highlight what I mean we have a couple of client examples:

First client proudly told us that he could deliver everything his clients asked for. We heard: "Jack of all trades, master of none.” He didn’t understand his clients’ needs, and what kept them awake at night.

The second client felt he was just about covering every base to protect his clients but doing nothing well at all. We heard “spray and pray.” He was reacting to his clients rather than being proactive.

We can only advise our clients on their market position if we have the market data.

So what should you expect from your market strategy? Here’s a quick list of the top five questions to ask:

Who are the buyers, and how do they behave or engage with your business?

What’s the size of the opportunity – the size of the market, or slice of the pie?

What is the stage of the business life cycle, and what’s next?

Who are the players/your competitors, and what’s their position in the market?

Is this an opportunity for YOUR business, and what should you expect from your investment?

Very simplistic, but a great starting point. So I go back to my first question: how can you produce a business plan if you don’t have this information?

Connect with Debbie at LinkedIn and see her profile.



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