Marketing Matters is a regular column in Windows Industries written by
MRA on behalf of Network Veka. The latest article in the series is reproduced
below and previous articles can be downloaded using the links at the bottom of
What’s your marketing doing for you?
Some see marketing as an add-on for the sales team, the ‘colouring-in’ department, producing useful sales aids but little more. Others pay lip service to the idea as a last resort, to use when you can afford it or when all else fails: ‘nothing else has worked, let’s try some marketing’. When difficult economic times arrive, these companies target the marketing department for the first cuts (often the deepest!).
If you’re serious about growth and better margins you shouldn’t be thinking of marketing as an extra or an option. Or something you delegate. It’s the job of the Managing Director or CEO: integral to the success of the business, and directly driving it. It’s not something to simply add sparkle to what you’ve decided to do – successful businesses use marketing to make those decisions. You can spot the companies in our industry who’ve put a priority on marketing a mile away: they’re the ones who’ve got into bi-folds, vertical sliders and triple glazing before everyone else arrives. They’re the companies that are growing fast, taking share from rivals and making money.
Identifying potential growth markets and making the most of them before the margin and excitement leaks out is an essential part of marketing strategy. The fastest, easiest and most profitable way to grow is to grow with expanding markets.
Of course you can grow in static or declining markets but it’s harder: ideally you want to be there as the tide comes in, rising with the growth markets rather than when getting there when they’ve reached its peak and start ebbing away.
Effective marketing isn’t a passenger: it should be the driving force; shaping the direction a company takes and helping the company as a whole achieve its objective.
One of the first things to address is what you want to achieve, and whose responsibility it is to decide on the goals. Strategy, once agreed, can be co-ordinated and driven by the marketing department. Good marketing should be like the engine of a car, ensuring all components are working together to the same agreed objective. So take a good look under the bonnet – how well is your marketing working for you?
Are you selling the right products, to the right people? Are the margins you’re making worth the effort? Selling at the tightest margins is a risky business – there’s no leeway, no safety margin if demand drops.
Marketing isn’t – or shouldn’t be – a follower or an attractive extra that costs the company. Sound marketing is a leader, driving the business towards the growth and margins that will fund its future.
Marketing should be the driving force behind your business, according to John Ogilvie,
To view and download previous Marketing Matters, click here.