Internal politics are often the bane of any Marketing Manager’s existence. There is always a strong undercurrent at most marketing conferences where Marketing Managers try to figure out how to get a “seat at the table”. If you are in that category — you need to read Nirmalya Kumar’s book, Marketing as Strategy. It attacks the marketing framework from a CEO’s perspective and will help in framing larger questions to ask that will help you to level up and start to see the larger business picture. (Helping you to earn your seat at the table.)
In particular, three questions posed by Kumar can help any marketer to begin to think more broadly, which should reveal potential strategies for success — and this is the time for it with Strategic Marketing Plans due shortly.
- Are there customers who are either unhappy with all of the industry’s offerings or are not being served at all?
- Can we offer a value proposition that delivers dramatically higher benefits or lower prices, compared with others in the industry?
- Can we radically redefine the value network for the industry with much lower costs?
I recommend starting with question number one and working your way systematically through each question. But, if you can answer these three questions, you’ll find the soft spot in your marketing landscape which will allow you to arrange your Strategic Marketing Plan to leverage that opportunity for success.
The soft spot in the marketing landscape should reveal the next big opportunity to expand into by a business operating in your space — if it’s not you, it may well be a competitor or a new entrant to the marketplace. And while it may feel like there haven’t been many new entrants to the marketplace in your industry in the last few years, never fear, the economy will eventually turn around and there will be entrants who are willing and able to exploit these opportunities as the economy improves — it might as well be you.
Get going — make a plan and work moving your business actively into the future.