Often CEOs or senior executives get caught up in the business and don’t get a chance to properly assess their current operational capabilities to see where they need to add bench strength. When it comes to marketing capability, the key driver of customer acquisition, it helps to ask yourself a few penetrating questions.
If these questions are answered honestly and in a timely fashion they can help you uncover where your weaknesses are. Lets start with the basics.
1. Do you have a marketing plan? If the answer is no, then stop right here. Throwing tactics and programs at the market without a clear sense of direction is wasted effort. Remember…….strategy without tactics is a slow route to victory but tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat!
Having a plan in place is the first sign of an organized and disciplined marketing team. It provides the yardstick for everything that is developed and executed for the business.
2. Has the CEO articulated a clear set of business goals or priorities for the next 3 to 5 years? If the answer is no, then it’s time for some strategic planning not marketing planning. Without a clear sense of what the business goals are it’s impossible for marketing to prepare a plan that is strategic. The one thing to keep in mind is that marketing planning supports the business plan or goals not the other way around.
3. Does the CEO or management team meet on a regular/frequent basis to review business performance? Most companies do but they don’t review key performance metrics that look deep enough in to the business to highlight areas that need to be changed. Having the right metrics to review each and every week/month/quarter is a critical step in the management process.
Which leads to the next question…….
4. Does your company have a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) or metrics to measure marketing success against? You’d be surprised to learn how many (undisciplined) companies operated without them. It’s the old adage…what gets measured gets managed!
5. Is there someone with the clear accountability for marketing activity/programs? Someone (ideally an experienced marketing person) in the company needs to have responsibility for marketing with a clear set of objectives. If not, you aren’t doing marketing you’re doing sales administration.
Asking and answering these simple questions will help identify gaps in your organization that can easily be fixed with a little attention. Once the gaps have been addressed you should see a marked improvement in customer activity.