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M&C presents strategic marketing webinar

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Manning & Co’s MD, Gemma Manning conducted a webinar on strategic marketing for the Australian Business Women’s Network on Wednesday 25 March 2010.

Key takeaways from the webinar include:

Marketing is a strategic function however unfortunately in the business world it is largely defined by tactical activities such as advertising, logo and design, trade show give-aways etc

Strategic marketing however is about defining a way forward for a business – a future direction – where you want to go from here

Strategic marketing defines a businesses position in the market place, the product/services mix, its competition and how it is different, the target market, customers buying behaviour and trends

Strategic marketing is not a sales and marketing plan. It drives a sales and marketing plan which acts as a road map to where you want to go. A marketing strategy drives the goals and measurable objectives of your marketing plan.

Strategic marketing is about being insightful – not reactionary. When there is no strategy in place, marketing functions mainly as an after-thought and becomes a reactionary function – i.e. our pipeline is looking a bit slim – we should do an email campaign. When marketing is strategic, your business will already have something in place to ensure that there is a plan in place to encourage sales when times are not so great.

Strategic marketing adds value to your business by bringing clarity to your businesses overall market position and will save you time and money on tactics that otherwise are adhoc and don’t add value

The four key building blocks to creating a marketng strategy are:

  1. External analysis and assessment
  2. Internal analysis and assessment
  3. Customers
  4. Products/Services

(We will blog about these building blocks in more detail in a future post.)

Secrets for a killer strategy:
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  • regularly review assumptions on which strategy is built
  • take note of what is happening around you
  • listen to your customers, and their customers
  • consider all areas of marketing mix
  • link strategy to people and operations
  • learn the art of execution

Pitfalls to avoid:
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  •  making assumptions about what customers want
  • ignoring or understanding the competition
  • looking only internally rather than externally
  • trying to compete on price alone
  • relying on too few customers
  • becoming complacent about what you offer and failing to innovate

We will explore these points in more detail in future posts…so watch this space!

 Gemma Manning