A company without a strategy is similar to the blind leading the blind and without purpose. You may not be interested in strategy, but strategy is interested in you. And though we can all agree that no one likes wanton destruction, more and more we see tactics without culture and strategy in many of the potential clients that we consult with on a regular basis.
Often businesses are afraid of the word strategy and focus solely on activity – just doing something, anything. However, this hardly ever yields desired results without focused goals and attainable objectives that effect performance. Enter the marketing workshop: a hands-on approach to marketing and a sure-fire way to give your tactics a real boost and gain real value from your efforts!
Not all marketing people work in a team of marketers, with many in-house marketers working individually or in a team of solely Marketing Director and Marketing Executive. Therefore, there is not a lot of room for advice and discussion between marketing minds. Marketing Executives are at a point in their career where the need support in knowing what and how to do their best marketing work; a time where they need to broaden their knowledge and strengthen what they already know.
Here are some basic discussion points when reviewing a new strategic marketing plan.
Clarify the Company Vision
We often fail to acknowledge the information gap that exists between the leadership team of any given company and the rest of the employees. This gap is often the source of misunderstandings and sometimes results in people pulling strings at different directions rather than working simultaneously to accomplish a goal. Through the marketing workshop, many goals, visions and core values are crystalize that afford an explanation on why things are being done the way that they are and what are the things that are truly priorities for the company.
This discovery and crystallization of company vision and goals often results in a more focused team that works well together based on a shared set of goals.
Define Your Target Market
Through the workshop one of the most valuable insights you gain is how to successfully define your target market. Spending time and energy in understanding how to best provide your target information that can attract them to choose you, is an important cornerstone of a good marketing strategy.
The marketing workshop is an environment where all members present interact with serious questions of the business. Often times, work to push the business forward falls second to more pressing client work (in B2B) or pushing the product out (B2C).
The marketing workshop allows you to set all other matters aside and focus on answering the tough questions that will help move your business forward. The time committed to understanding the challenges of communication and understanding the goals can help a team function more productively.
Lay Out a Comprehensive Plan/100 day revolving plan of objectives
One of the things that make a marketing workshop useful is the actionable items and plans that come from the workshop. The activities throughout the year, the aspects of your business that you will keep a pulse on, and the calendar that will go a long with it, help to structure your marketing. Though there is some built in flexibility, after the marketing workshop you will have a clear picture of the tactics and how they support the strategy. More importantly, you will often leave with a good idea of who is responsible for what, which means a lot less falls through the cracks.
Discover Your Purpose
One of the most powerful words in the dictionary is the word “because.” People often respond well to the understanding of why they are doing something. The marketing workshop does a great job at clarifying the reasons why your business operates the way that it does. At a high level what are the incentives and goals for the business. “Why do You Do What You Do?” – The act of just answering of this question often result in more engagement employees that are able to live the culture of the businesses more accurately.
It is worth remembering as Ryan Holmes once said:
‘As an entrepreneur, one of the biggest challenges you will face will be building your brand. The ultimate goal is to set your company and your brand apart from the crowd. If you form a strategy without doing the research, your brand will barely float – and at the speed industries move at today, brands sink fast’.