6 Tips for Aligning your Marketing Strategy with Business Goals
The modern, dynamic business environment requires an integrative and holistic approach to your business activities. Whilst in the past business functions may have retained at least an element of inter-organisational independence, congruent business structures on both a domestic and multinational scale are critical to the alignment of organisational goals.
As such, your marketing strategy must align with your broader business strategy. If you are seeking to grow your business through development in existing markets or penetration of new markets, a marketing strategy based merely on brand awareness will only exhibit a disconnect between your business functions and overall goals and objectives will be compromised. The following six tips will seek to ensure that your marketing campaigns will become a growth catalyst for your organisation.
1. Analyse your past marketing campaigns
Marketing activities are an investment of time and money for your organisation. Whilst the objectives for each campaign may differ, it is critical to objectively evaluate whether your past campaigns achieved their objectives, and resulted in a positive return on investment. Identify trends that resulted in both the successful and unsuccessful activities and consider elements such as how refined your target market was, the communication channels engaged and the intellectual creative thought exercised.
2. Consider the end goal
Ask critically, what is the purpose of this marketing campaign and how will it achieve our goals? Without rehashing goal-setting theory, everyone understands that your objectives must be specific and measurable in order to be actionable. ‘To increase brand awareness’, for instance, is not an actionable objective. Predominantly, you need to consider two things. Firstly, what metric will be used to measure your goal. This will vary depending on the life stage of your business and may sales orientated - such as revenue or unit sales - or engagement orientated. Secondly, what level of the metric must be reached in order for the return on our marketing investment to be considered successful?
3. Refine your target market
The majority of business goals are achieved, or fail to be achieved, through one determining factor - how has the market responded to your business activities? Whilst your target market should already be defined and accounted for within the organisation’s overall business strategy and goal setting, it is up to the marketing team to further refine the target market. The reality is, that even within a well-defined market segment, further sub-segments exist that will exhibit different values, beliefs and desires and will ultimately respond differently to a particular communication or activity. Refine your target market(s) and know exactly what drives them.
4. Produce value
Differentiation is the cornerstone of business value, and this must be reflected in your marketing strategy. Ultimately, the next requirement is constructing a unique, creative idea that also effectively engages your audience to undertake the behaviour required to meet your organisational objectives. If you lack the creative spark outsource this task - or elements of it - to someone who can help. Whilst your brand must occupy a unique position within the market, it must also occupy a unique position within any communication channel in order to differentiate yourself from the over saturation in the modern, connected world.
5. A bottom-up approach
This is probably not something that you hear often with relation in marketing, but it is critical to the success of your marketing activities. Whilst the organisational objectives, values and brand ideals may have been communicated down, following the creation of a corporate campaign that has been evaluated as critical to achieving the business goals and objectives, your marketing strategy must be communicated back up. Going forward, your marketing strategy and any associated value propositions, changes in organisational persona or activities must be reflected in all business functions in order to achieve the holistic organisational branding required for goal and value alignment. All members of an organisational are reflective of the organisation itself, and the organisation itself must be reflective of its engagements in the public domain.
6. Dynamic management
The evolution of the internet and other social technologies has accelerated information assimilation on a global level. Shifts and trends in social and consumer behaviour extrapolate over a shortened time period - seemingly instant in some scenarios - exhibited through the rise of virality. As such, the success of marketing activities can vary over a matter of mere days, and emerging opportunities and threats relative to your goal attainment can arise. Flexibility and adaptation are required in the modern age in order to navigate your business to success. If something isn’t quite working, tweak it or change it and harvest the trends and insights that have been generated thus far.