The “Big Rethink” is more than just a catchy phrase. Business has entered a new era, and rethinking is a critical step to recovery and future growth. Take sufficient time now to pause, reflect across all aspects of your company. In this new era, expectations for businesses are high and the importance of marketing is rising.
In meetings over the last few months with a cross-section of executives, We are hearing that marketers are feeling fatigued and tired. Many want a prescription of what they can do now to set themselves up for success. Below are some suggestions to get you started now...
1) Clarify Vision. Touch base with your CEO and make sure you both understand the role of marketing in your organization. What are the expectations, deliverables and scorecard? A fun exercise is to write a description of your ideal month across your marketing team. Rather than the hamster wheel chaos of execution, what does the ideal state look and feel like 5 years from now?
2) Re-establish New Objectives. Markets, customers and economics have all changed. Now is the time to re-examine your business model and the levers. Set your new goals and KPIs accordingly. Some companies are so anxious to catch the rebound they are rushing and scaling marketing without proper preparation. But what are the realistic targets?
3) Know Your Customers (KYC). Truly understanding your customer fundamentals is probably the most important aspect of marketing. If your assumptions about your customers are not accurate, this will seriously impact your ability to connect. Lots of business people think they really know their customers, but don’t actually have the level of detail or segmentation correct. Companies need to get deep into market research (and their own data), to identify detailed behavioural patterns and trends. What are their needs? Values and behaviours have shifted dramatically since COVID-19. Understanding these shifts are critical for positioning & planning for the future.
4) Identify New Opportunities. Amidst all the change, marketers need to think about new opportunities. Have new markets or needs emerged? How can you better leverage digital? Are getting the most out of your owned marketing (website, email, content)? Where is the “Low Hanging Fruit”? To find the opportunities, survey your current customers for their pain points and how you can help them grow. Create conversations and track the dialogue.
Also think about if your business has a higher purpose.
5) Be Open, Honest & Focused. The “Stop-Start-Continue” mantra is a useful discipline to help teams focus on big rock & high impact items. Resist the temptation to execute too many initiatives. Your C-Suite will appreciate that you are better allocating capital (budgets and people) to the highest impact areas. Stop-Start-Continue reallocates resources. So, take a moment to re-evaluate what you should Stop (what’s not working well), what you should Start (aligned with key capabilities you need to build) and what you should Continue (core components that create value and are key).
An important area to start is to examine your company’s MarTech stack. Do you have redundant tech and licences? Is there 20% of your tech that isn’t serving you anymore? Are there emerging opportunities in tech that you need to start getting involved in? What are the core tech platforms that are mission critical to your current operations? How much time are your teams really spending on keeping legacy tech running?
The above steps are meant to guide you in your “Big Rethink”, but it’s important to acknowledge that change is not simple. It’s likely you’ll need support to activate real change. Consider resources you can tap into to take you to the next level including mentors, coaches, and agencies. Have a question? Drop us a line and let's start the conversation.