Article - "Strategic Marketing is Cruical for Your Success"

 

Strategic Marketing is Crucial for Your Success

By Kevin W. Brown, M.B.A.

It is very common for a new client to say to me at an initial meeting “We’ve been trying several things in marketing but nothing seems to work.  First, we tried it on our own but that was a disaster.  Then, we hired this PR guy who really couldn’t do what we wanted, and then an advertising agency, but again, we didn’t really get any results.  We then heard of your firm and your expertise in overall marketing and strategy.  What are we doing wrong?”

This scenario points out the importance of strategic marketing to any firm.  Without a strategy, you essentially are wandering aimlessly in your search for revenue and profitability.

The Big Picture
In business management, strategic planning is essential to success.  Just ask the 9 out of 10 businesses that fail in their first 5 years!  The reasons for their failure are many but typically boil down to a lack of effective planning and business management knowledge, combined with insufficient or poor use of resources.  Too many business owners launch and run a company without these basics – and most of those who fail lack an education in business management.  To the contrary, every good undergraduate and graduate-level business program places a strong emphasis on strategic planning.

Without a strategy it is highly unlikely that your practice will achieve your goals.  Establishing a strategic plan gives you the foundation that is needed to guide your decisions.  It provides a “big picture” perspective of how all the individual activities are coordinated to achieve the desired result.  Combined with your drive, desire and core competencies, you will now be in a much stronger position for success.

As Applied to Marketing …
Strategy is equally in important in marketing, which is the most diverse business discipline.  I often point out in my speeches Brown’s Rule for Marketing Strategy: “It’s very easy to be busy in marketing but difficult to design and implement programs that actually work. Know what you are doing, why you are doing it, and how it will be done before you start your marketing efforts.™”  That is because there are innumerable ways to market your practice, each consuming resources of time and money.  Therefore, it is critical to have a strategy to guide and direct your efforts.

Some firms errantly think they don’t do much of any marketing. Au contraire!  Whether you realize it or not, marketing is the “life-blood” of your firm.  If you don’t think that you do any marketing, think again – marketing is defined as “Everything your organization does to identify and satisfy the needs of its market (clients and prospects).”  So, if you are performing excellent client service, you are marketing.  If you are pricing and delivering your services in a cost-effective manner for your clients, you are marketing.  If you are selling your services, you are marketing.  And, of course, if you are engaged in advertising, promoting and publicizing your firm, you are marketing.  All of this takes strategy in order to be optimally effective.

Results of Poor Planning
As attorneys, CPAs, financial advisors and other professionals have become more dedicated to marketing, they sometimes think they don’t have the time to plan for their marketing activities.  Their typical mistake is to jump right into the process, wasting time and money.  Instead of designing an effective program, they try one method and then another, experiencing failure after failure.  The results of these efforts are predictable:

1. Fragmented
2. Unfocused
3. Inconsistent
4. Expensive

The Key to Success
These firms are missing a critical element: strategic marketing planning.  Strategic marketing planning is the single most important factor to long-term marketing success.  It is the process of analyzing your market and internal capabilities, identifying marketing goals and objectives, and creating strategies and action steps to achieve them.  Qualified marketing professionals are an imperative to the success of this process.

Strategic marketing planning combines the unique effectiveness of different marketing tools.  The entire marketing process should be considered before determining the appropriate combination of methods to utilize.  Each firm will likely use different approaches, depending upon your firm’s culture, service capabilities, target market and other factors.

These methods might include professional management of advertising programs, effectively designed publicity programs, business development training, a wide range of web-based programs, corporate image materials, and a variety of other marketing tools.  It is important to realize that there is no such thing as an effective “canned program”; a successful firm will have a strategic marketing plan written specifically for its unique parameters.

Putting It All Together: Strategic Marketing Plans
A professionally-designed marketing program is founded upon a systematic approach to short and long-term strategy.  At Kevin Brown Marketing & Consulting, we assist clients through strategic consultations and formal Strategic Marketing Plans.  In both cases, we apply proprietary marketing management techniques to improve the results of your programs. Our emphasis is to maximize your investment in marketing programs, producing greater results at reduced expenditures.  Through engaging our firm, you can enjoy these benefits:

1. Minimizing costs, from the outset
2.
Keys to selecting your most profitable markets
3. Selecting the best marketing tools for your particular marketing program

If you need assistance in targeting markets, selecting the right marketing methods, and developing productive strategies, call us for further information on our marketing strategy services.

About the author:
Kevin W. Brown, M.B.A. has worked with professional services firms for over 20 years.  His firm, Kevin Brown Marketing & Consulting, is a full-service marketing and management consulting firm that  specializes in serving lawyers, CPAs and other professional services firms. The firm is also a qualified advertising agency and public relations firm. Phone: (714) 965-1556. Website: www.KevinBrownMarketing.com .

Copyright 2011