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business plan Archives - Syneka Marketing

A Strategic Approach to Measuring Marketing Performance

By | Advice for Businesses, Resources | No Comments

What value does marketing deliver? This is the number one question any Chief Executive or Chief Financial Officer asks of marketing. Unfortunately, more often than not, the answer is not forthcoming.

This is why marketing is often the first department to be downsized during economic uncertainty, despite logic stating it should be one the of the last. Why is this? Ultimately, it is because marketing has failed to justify its own value.

This situation will not change while marketing follows an execution based approach, lurching between tactics; whether they be social media, content, events; or concepts, like the customer journey or customer experience, which have become so over utilised, they have been severed from any basis in marketing.

This situation is rife across all sizes of organisation; whether for-profit, not-for-profit or government, and yet the traditional approach is rinse and repeat, further eroding the credibility of marketing and its capacity to deliver value.

Since our formation in 2009 we have demonstrated the value that is created through a strategic approach, leading to recognition in the Australian Marketing Institute’s Awards for Marketing Excellence and our designation as Certified Practising Marketers.

Unfortunately, the word strategy has been hijacked by execution led agencies, who have tarnished the term for their own needs. This is despite the fact that the only strategy you will receive for example from a social media agency is social media. This does not provide a marketing strategy that integrates each element of marketing communications and the remaining marketing mix.

In 2016 we want to be able to stop saying we told you so, by preventing the litany of costly marketing mistakes that never should have occurred in the first place.

This is why we developed the Syneka Marketing Performance Methodology , which delivers an accountable and measurable marketing approach that is aligned with business goals. The Syneka Marketing Performance Methodology delivers continuous improvement within the marketing function and brings it back to its core definition of delivering value; the same way other business areas have been expected to strengthen outcomes and returns.

The Syneka Marketing Performance Methodology

The Syneka Marketing Performance Methodology commences with a Marketing Audit, which reviews existing activities through stakeholder consultation and internal analysis. The Marketing Audit defines the metrics required to measure marketing outcomes and establishes the foundations to deliver marketing performance.

The Marketing Forecast considers the external environment, identifying competitive pressures, customer demographics and market potential to achieve campaign or marketing goals. The result are outcomes that are optimised to deliver returns, supported through implementation schedules that identify metrics, outcomes and areas of responsibility.

The Marketing Audit and Marketing Forecast are designed to deliver results within the existing resource requirements. The Marketing Plan, the third component of the Syneka Marketing Performance Methodology , is designed to align business goals with marketing outcomes. The Marketing Plan considers both the short-term opportunities and the positioning that is required to achieve results into the future. The Marketing Plan defines the metrics that are required to measure marketing outcomes over the life of a business plan.

Marketing Execution is the last element of the Syneka Marketing Performance Methodology . This is because tactics and execution need to be guided through a strategic approach and not the other way around.

In the financial world the auditor never undertakes the day-to-day bookkeeping function due to the obvious conflict of interest. Marketing needs a separation between strategy and execution to ensure the delivery of accurate and measurable outcomes.

Our delivery of the Syneka Marketing Performance Methodology is undertaken through consulting services and training to build the capacity of marketing teams. Download our free guide of Syneka Marketing Performance Methodology to discover how we are re-defining marketing.

Aligning business goals and marketing outcomes

By | Advice for Businesses | No Comments

A business plan identifies what you want to achieve for your business, while a marketing plan will look at how to achieve these outcomes.

Unfortunately, it is far too common for businesses to view marketing as a series of tactics, where the ability to measure outcomes is diminished. The danger with this approach is that often the wrong questions are being asked. For example, a business may want to increase website visitations, but fails to ask the right question in terms how do I gain value from website visitors? Who is it needs to visit my website and why?

An execution or tactical led approach to marketing also fails to encapsulate the entire customer journey, as well as the role of others who may be influencing the purchase decision. While there may be an attempt to shoe-horn a strategy into a tactic, it will still fail to understand the overall marketing approach adopted across your business.

Execution led approaches fail to understand the real definition of marketing, and the alignment it should have with the strategic direction of a business.

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A strategy led marketing approach ensures there is an understanding of each of the touchpoints required for your business to interact with initial prospects right through to becoming a repeat customer. This approach provides the ability to define the overall experience that is required to achieve customer acquisition and retention, as well as the metrics required to measure tangible outcomes.

In addition, a strategy led approach understands how best to utilise marketing resources to achieve the direction identified in your business plan. This ensures that marketing outcomes are consistent with your value proposition to build the capacity of your business.

The end result is marketing that is measurable and enables you to evaluate outcomes and consider the overall return on investment.

Re-imagining Marketing – Our First Workshop for 2015

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Marketing is unfortunately one of the most misunderstood terms in business. For far too long, the term has become corrupted, due to a focus on execution, rather than strategy.

Marketing does not exist for the sake of itself, instead it is about providing the strategic direction and planning framework that enables you to expand the capacity of your business.

Alex guiding particpants through re-imaging Marketing

Alex guiding participants through re-imaging Marketing

To assist in re-defining what marketing is, we have launched our workshop series, ‘Reimagining Marketing – Make Marketing Work for You’. The first of these workshops was delivered this morning with our partners at the NABVillage.

Through this workshop we conveyed the true definition of marketing, being one that creates value and enables you to expand your capacity into the future. We explored our award winning strategic planning framework, built upon the solid foundation of capturing the right information, gaining insights that inform your strategic direction and delivering the actions that meet your goals.

Natalia and I co-presented the workshop, and it was fantastic to see the insightful discussion and willingness of participants to share their perceptions and experiences with marketing. We worked through several real-life case studies to explore how a strategic approach to marketing facilitates business growth.

Natalia discussing the foundations of a marketing plan

Natalia discussing the foundations of a marketing plan

We explored the key elements of a marketing plan, exploring current and future trends, as well as how to respond to competitive pressures and a changing context. Once your plan is confirmed, it is then a matter of executing the elements and providing a measurable approach that lets you evaluate results.

Marketing creates value for a business by aligning your business plan with marketing outcomes. We will be delivering several workshops over the course of 2015 so we can re-imagine marketing to ensure it delivers value and a positive impact.

For a further discussion on marketing0, please download our complementary eBook, ‘What is Marketing?’ This eBook includes worksheets to assist you in articulating your value proposition and the strategic direction of your business.

Business over Breakfast

Business over Breakfast – Re-defining Marketing

By | Advice for Businesses | No Comments

Business over Breakfast is a business networking club that meets each fortnight at the NAB Village. The aim of the group is to exchange knowledge to promote a collegial business atmosphere.

Each session involves a formalised presentation, and this morning I was invited to provide a presentation on marketing and the approach undertaken by Syneka Marketing. Ultimately marketing needs to be redefined. The term has become known for tactics, rather than the strategies that lead to ongoing business success. As a result, many businesses spend money on activities that generate little or no return.

Success starts with strategy, through a marketing plan that considers how to achieve the goals that were identified in a business plan. Understanding the market context, enables you to make informed decisions on how to respond to customer needs, competitive pressures and industry trends. Importantly, this enables you to have a value proposition that connects your strengths with the needs of your target markets.

Having this context and planning strategies based on these insights lets you allocate marketing resources effectively, providing financial savings while delivering outcomes that create a positive impact on your business.

Inside a Marketing Plan – Begin by capturing the Information you need

By | Advice, Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, News | No Comments

Last month we explored our framework, which provides a holistic approach to developing marketing and business strategies.

Over the next few weeks we’re going to delve into a marketing plan, exploring the methodology we utilise to develop and execute a marketing plan.

Capture Business Plan NFP 1000px

Know what you need to Research

The first step is to understand the information you need for a marketing plan. Consider details of your customers, the composition of your products and services, as well as the competitors and industry trends.

Each of these elements should be researched in sufficient depth so that you do not need to make unfounded assumptions.

Identify competitors

Pay particular attention to your competitors, consider not just those that offer similar products or services, but indirect competition as well. What other alternatives exist to purchasing your products or services? These alternatives are all a form of competition and should be considered. For example, a restaurant would not only consider other similar competitors, but also take-away and delivery options.

Furthermore, given that restaurant spending is often used as a form of enjoyment, there is a need to consider alternatives as a form of indirect competition, including movies, theatres and other forms of entertainment.

Know Your Customers

Understand your customers, including what motivates them to make a purchase, as well as key demographic information. Knowing your existing customers will assist in extending your reach within your target markets. If you are a new business or want to consider new markets, then you should assess the customer segments that are being served by competitors and whether you will serve similar demographics or identify alternative targets.

Understand your entire business

Marketing involves your entire business operations. Understand your sales process, how do staff greet customers, do they encourage interaction and the confidence for someone to make a purchase? How could staff encourage purchases or strengthen engagement with customers?

Similarly consider the process for delivering services or products. How could these be improved to strengthen the customer’s experience? It is important these aspects are considered, so that bottlenecks do not emerge if sales are increased.

Research Underpins Your Entire Plan

The Capture Phase sets the foundations for your entire marketing plan. The latter phases of a marketing plan are based on the information that is uncovered during the capture phase. The Capture Phase relies on current and historical information to inform the future direction of your marketing plan.

A Marketing Plan Informs Your Strategy

By | Advice, Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities | 2 Comments

A Marketing Audit is the first stage in being able to plan for the year ahead. As we discussed, the audit enables you to review your activities to identify what worked and what needs to be refined.

The second stage is Planning, so you can gain insights into the your market and the actions that are required to achieve your goals. This stage incorporates the development of a Marketing Plan that provides both a short-term and longer-term vision to position your business in the marketplace.

A Marketing Plan is a high level strategic document that should support the direction identified in your Business or Strategic Plan. The Marketing Plan explores how you can achieve the outcomes you have identified in the Business Plan, as well as the resources that are required.

You need to start with strategic marketing planning, as the right strategy will ensure that your tactics or actions will deliver results. Begin by understanding your current market position, competitive pressures and the value that is provided by your products and services.

You should also gain insights into your target customers and key demographics. Understand who your ideal customer is and the value that they receive from your products or services. Also consider other potential customer segments that may receive similar benefits. Identifying new markets can provide further opportunities for growth and enables you to discover segments that may have less competitive pressures.

A Marketing Plan identifies how you can achieve your goals

A Marketing Plan identifies how you can achieve your goals

Research is an essential element of any successful marketing plan. Undertaking the right research will enable you to make informed decisions so you can understand how best to allocate marketing resources.

This research will enable you to consider strategies that will enable you to achieve your business objectives. For example, if you want to develop new growth opportunities, then potential strategies could explore the development of new markets or encourage repeat purchasing. Research into customer trends and demographics will enable you to identify what markets may be suitable or how best to encourage additional purchases.

The strategic marketing planning approach validates your direction, ensuring that resources allocated toward strategies will deliver positive results. This in turn will influence the actions and tactics that will be undertaken as you implement your marketing plan.