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Marketing Governance: Mitigating reputational and financial risks

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

Good governance needs to underpin all aspects of a business or organisation and this holds true for marketing. Unfortunately, marketing governance tends to be substantially underdeveloped, with blurred responsibilities and a lack of sufficient oversight.

The most evident examples are seen in social media, where a lack of oversight and a failure to link execution with strategic direction, has resulted in significant public mistakes by businesses (including large businesses like Woolworths and McDonalds), as well as not-for-profit organisations (as evidenced through the failed YourTaxis campaign).

Marketing Governance defines the roles and responsibilities of the marketing function, by considering three core elements:

2016-02-29 Levels

  1. Level 1: Executive – Leadership and Direction – Marketing leadership and strategic direction needs to be established at an executive level. This is often the Chief Marketing Officer and the Executive Team, or a combination of the board and Executive Officer within not-for-profit organisations. The strategic marketing direction needs to be consistent with the organisation’s vision.  In particular, the entire marketing mix needs to be considered, to ensure that marketing has visibility and suitable influence across the organisation. Suitable structures should be developed to support the need for marketing to be integrated into other business areas.
  1. Level 2: Management – Accountability and Oversight – Management is accountable for delivering the strategies that will achieve the goals established through the marketing plan. Management should determine the appropriate activities and tactics (within budget and resource parameters) that will collectively achieve the identified direction. Management is responsible for oversight across these activities to ensure consistency and to evaluate results. Management should be empowered to not only measure marketing performance, but to adjust these activities if the expected outcomes are not being realised. As a result, management must be able to measure marketing performance and be fully aware of the customer journey and sequencing that is required to motivate action.
  1. Level 3: Implementation – Execution – Execution is where relevant marketing tactics are undertaken based on the decisions made by management. The execution layer can involve internal teams, external partners or a combined approach, but should always have a clear understanding of the outcomes required. It is imperative that execution activities are briefed correctly and that inputs and outputs are not mistaken for marketing outcomes. Management needs oversight over execution to ensure that outcomes are consistent and delivering anticipated results. Measuring marketing performance enables adjustments and to ensure that all execution elements are working as intended.

Marketing Governance is an area that is far too often overlooked, but is required to ensure the evaluation of marketing performance and to reduce reputational and financial risk.

Marketing, as a function, and organisations overall, need to develop capabilities in marketing governance so we can finally see an end to mistakes that never should have occurred in the first place, had oversight and direction been suitably established.

BCG Growth Share Matrix

Use Metrics to Grow

By Advice for Businesses No Comments

Peter Ducker, is considered as one of the founders of modern management. One of his often quoted insights states:

“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”

And yet for too many businesses marketing is often the area to face scrutiny when there are costs pressures.  This is largely due to marketing not being correctly understood and perceived to be difficult to measure.

The definition of marketing, as we have said on a number of occasions, needs to be strengthened. Marketing is about creating value and through this you are able to expand your capacity to deliver on your strategic goals.

Last week we explored metrics relating to customer insights, particularly in regard to purchase frequency and recency.

Metrics also exist to measure market share and awareness, both of which can assist in understanding overall positioning.

BCG Growth Share Matrix, Source: Elquens

BCG Growth Share Matrix, Source: Elquens

Relative market share has been popularised through the Boston Consulting Group’s market growth matrix.  This matrix divides products or services into four quadrants based on market share (strength) and market growth (potential):

  • Stars, which have both high market growth and market potential. Stars need ongoing investment to maintain their edge in a competitive market.
  • Cash cows, which have high market share, but low growth potential. Cash cows are stable income generators and should enable investment in other areas.
  • Question Marks, which have high market potential, but a low relative market share. Question Marks may need significant investment before they become immediately profitable.
  • Dogs, which have low market potential and low market share. Dogs may be breaking even in terms of profitability.

Awareness is often the first step that is required for a purchase decision. A potential customer needs to be aware of your existence, before they can even consider a purchase. Awareness can be prompted, where someone is asked whether they have specifically heard about your brand, or unprompted where they are asked to suggest the first name in a brand category.

In both cases, the level of prompted and unprompted awareness is determined through research into your target markets. Both of these metrics are useful in determining your presence in your relevant marketplace.

Metrics validate the role of marketing and its ability to create positive outcomes for your business. Identifying the metrics you should use will enable you to make informed decisions for your business.

A marketing plan lets you receive a positive return from marketing.

Marketing is an Investment – Make sure it delivers results

By Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities One Comment

For many businesses and organisations, marketing is more often than not, regarded as an expense, rather than being viewed as an investment. Marketing should be measurable so you can track your return on investment. It is critical not to haphazardly spend on marketing, but to be guided through a plan that identifies opportunities and mitigates risks.

A marketing plan is the guide that identifies how you can achieve outcomes, such as increased sales, growth in market share and ways to improve the design and distribution of your product or service. A marketing plan will also provide you with metrics so you know how to measure your success and outcomes.

Unfortunately, far too many businesses and organisations ignore the need for a marketing plan. Instead these organisations implement individual marketing and communications tools, such as advertising, websites and social media without considering how best to reach and motivate target audiences. Outcomes are always going to be diminished when there is no cohesive strategy. Furthermore, this approach fails to take into account potential constraints, such as the need to collect relevant market intelligence, or sales training, to better service customers and to demonstrate responsiveness.

A marketing plan lets you receive a positive return from marketing.

A marketing plan lets you receive a positive return from marketing.

Most businesses and organisations are not in the business of marketing, yet marketing is fundamental in developing capacity to achieve ongoing growth. A plan, like any other investment, lets you develop a full picture of what is required and how to allocate resources accordingly.

Existing marketing plans need to be reviewed to ensure they are relevant. A marketing audit involves a healthcheck on marketing activities, enabling an assessment against the identified strategies. A marketing audit does not replace the need for a plan, but can identify when strategies may need to be revised, or if actions are not generating the required results.

Before you embark on marketing expenditure, consider the need for a marketing plan to deliver a positive return from marketing, saving you time and money.