Speed, simplicity and focus are key ingredients to successful marketing activity by small/medium companies.
- Speed - get it done; make it happen - don't procrastinate. Perfection is the enemy!
- Simplicity - if you can't explain it in a few PowerPoint slides (with large font), you are on the wrong track. Too much detail is the enemy!
- Focus - if you have one dollar of marketing budget, how will you spend it in terms of the single message you promote, the one customer audience you target and specific objective you hope to achieve. Refusing to sacrifice is the enemy.
The reality is that "marketing" deals with the interaction between "a company" and "its market" and this dynamic is complex.
The best way to approach the collective that is "the market" is to attack it. It is the enemy, even though it is largely made up of your best friends - the customers. The market is the hard shell of the coconut that needs to be penetrated to get to the soft juices inside - the customers. The best way to break through this hard shell is through speed, simplicity and focus.
But if the approach is so straight forward, why is it so difficult to do? The answer lies in the so-called "fog of war", or in this case, "the fog of running a business". It is nearly impossible for those inside the business to formulate a simple strategy to target those on the outside, given how invested they are in the business. When inside the business, you are tempted to promote everything, to everyone, with the loudest noise.
Many business owners don't know what the role of a senior marketer should be, but the simple answer is that it is their job to be part-outsider with their one foot in the market. The senior marketer, whether full time employed as a Marketing Director or "CMO" or temporary as a consultant, should help the business formulate a razor-sharp approach to effectively communicate with the outside.
An effective investment in marketing requires a back to basics approach which in turn requires you to step away from the business and view it from the perspective of the customer who sees many alternatives and reluctantly parts with their money. The only way to break through this hard shell is to take pinpoint aim.
Too many SMEs spend on marketing like someone trying to squash a coconut with their bare hands—no wonder the rate of failure and frustration is so high!