mfCEOs Blog Thursday, March 26, 2015
Position

VALUE vs value

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 was meeting with a CEO this week to talk about what marketing means in his business. He ’thinks’ it should be doing more and knows it’s crucial to his business – he just doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. He had attended one of our benchmarking sessions and was alarmed to find he had a role in marketing beyond his current contribution!

He was right, he should expect more – his business is mid-tier in size and should be getting more from strategic marketing. He had brought with him to the meeting a marketing report. It was well done and populated with relevant information that outlined the successes his business had had with its tactical marketing spend. He waved it about, referred to it, and pointed at it; however, it didn’t really answer the questions we should have been seeking answers to.

We then started down a different track. We took it up a notch and started discussing different aspects of his marketing activity; I asked him some questions around the value of different outcomes. Start each question with ‘What would the value be for your business if…?’

  1. Each staff member truly understood the direction your business was heading in
  2. Your marketing strategy was actually connected to your business strategy
  3. You knew which channels to market were working, and which ones were a complete waste of time
  4. You knew, in detail, how your clients buy from you
  5. All of your communications worked together
  6. Marketing and sales were aligned and got actual results
  7. Your clients bought multiple products and/or services from your business
  8. You knew, and I mean really knew, who your best customers are
  9. Your clients were so happy they were referring your work

Let’s pick #8, as it’s one of my favourites. My CEO had told me, in the course of our conversation, that his business was really clear about their target market. He then went on to describe an exciting opportunity that was not at all relevant to the target market he had just detailed. He may have known who his best customer was but he certainly wasn’t focused on that customer!

There’s an interesting report from PWC that you can download here called ‘Customers are changing – is your strategy and organisation keeping pace?’ It claims that ‘Growing and knowing your customer base’ is on top of the C-suite agenda.

So what’s my real point? If you asked the 9 questions of your business, making your marketing activity strategic rather than tactical, would you be creating VALUE rather than value.

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