One of the most important business leadership responsibilities is making “the new” happen in the marketing of our companies.
As in, the company’s brand – often reflected in its website – has become dated or is no longer in sync with what the business is and aspires to be.
Or the company’s products and services no longer excite prospects and customers and need to be revamped and refreshed.
Or the usual marketing channels – email, telemarketing, trade shows, traditional sales teams, etc. – no longer work well enough and new ones (social media, international, etc.) need to be explored.
Or my favorite — the “high class” problem in which so much market opportunity exists that outside capital is needed to fund its accelerated pursuit.
Solving marketing problems like these are where, so very often, the business leadership “wheat” is separated from the chaff.
Luckily, no matter how badly a company and its leaders have performed in the past in this critical function, today is always a new business day.
And with just some small shifts in perspective and approach, almost anyone can become a better “marketing change” leader.
#1. Outsource it. Especially for older companies and executives, whether we like it or not, effecting marketing change gets more difficult as the years pile on.
So accept this reality and outsource the needed work to talented contractors from the “gig economy” that are probably…younger.
For branding and website design, high quality talent and providers are easy to find on sites like Upwork, 99 Designs, Fiverr, Freelancer.com, Elance, and Guru.
A bit harder but still readily available are firms and individuals who can “soup to nuts” assist with new product definition, design, build, and deployment.
And of course, there are talented investment bankers who will assess the valuation of, assign likelihood of success to, and then assist with capital raising and partnering efforts of all types.
The core idea to internalize is that modern business is too competitive – and the clutter and distraction of modern life too distracting – to expect that long form analog and pro-active projects (which new marketing initiatives almost always are) will get done right and fast just by ourselves and on our own.
#2. Look Out Three Years. I discussed in a previous post how three years is a great horizon on which to forecast out revenue, profit, and value building goals.
And to then “work backwards” to identify the most important things that need to be done differently or better now to accomplish them.
There is probably no domain of business where this is a more effective exercise than in marketing.
By looking out three years, not only can we be very “inspirational and aspirational” as to our brand and market awareness…
…but also feel the daily, urgent need to get working on those most important projects, to dos, and action items that turn our big visions into concrete realities.
#3. Keep Talking About It. It might seem obvious, but let’s not under-estimate the value of regularly scheduled company meeting time to discuss and brainstorm key marketing challenges, opportunities, and projects.
Especially for marketing, and especially for company teams that have worked together for a long time, as we do so there might be that feeling of “we have heard it all before.”
But so often the only way to arrive at those key “aha moments” about phrasings, organizational shifts, and spurs to action is to just exhaustively talk through and then discard everything that isn’t!
These kinds of internal strategic sessions are best done in person, but when this is not possible or efficient, video conferencing (which is now essentially free) can be an excellent substitute, and cool group chat platforms like Slack can (especially with emojis!) foster the kind of collaborative intimacy and warm emotion from which awesome new business ideas are naturally born.
So when a business needs a healthy injection of new marketing – and don’t they always – outsource it, look and dream out three years, and just keep on talking.
And you very well may surprise yourself by how fast and well the marketing of your business improves.
Need to Focus More on Opportunities in Your Business?
Feel like you are just “treading water,” and focused too much on the costs and expenses of your business and not its opportunities?
Need a burst of energy, ideas, and vision to get your business unstuck?
If so, we should talk.
To learn more about our business planning, innovation, and execution services, click here.
And we’ll reach out with our thoughts to help you.