You cannot build something great on a weak foundation.
We have all heard it before. Marketing is no different.
While they may seem like common sense and beyond obvious, they must still be addressed to develop a strong approach for any organisation.
Principle 1: Focus on The Customer
Seems simple right? Without a customer focus, it is easy to not have any customers which would lead to no business for any organisation.
The focus here must be to identify what your organisation does well and how it can best serve potential customers. This could also mean adjusting the organisation’s practices to better suit the demands of customers.
Principle 2: Only Compete in Markets Where You Can Establish a Competitive Advantage
Very few organisations have been able to beat an industry powerhouse at their own game. We saw it with Masters’ attempt to take on Bunnings.
Planning is a must. First, find an attractive market with potential. Then assess what skills the organisation has to serve that market and compete against the strategic group. Planning and evaluation can save organisations millions, or in the case of Masters, it could have saved Woolworths and Lowe’s billions.
Principle 3: Customers do Not Buy Products
They buy solutions.
When someone buys a car, it is a solution to the problem of requiring personal transport. Very few customers buy a car for the sake of buying a car.
This can be utilised in marketing attempts as the focus should be placed on what the product can do for the customer and the specific problems it can solve.
Principle 4: Marketing is Too Important to Leave to The Marketing Department
It is a team effort.
The importance of marketing is the reason it has to be contributed to by many parts of the organisation, this can be more effective with a flatter organisational structure.
Principle 5: Markets are Heterogenous
More, now than ever, there is the trend for markets to be made up of more individuals or market segments instead of the traditional one approach fits all approach.
The decision to be made here is to go with an undifferentiated approach and hope to cater to a large enough portion of the market. Differentiate if the organisation can create various products to cater to all of the market segments. Or finally, concentrate on a niche or one segment, particularly useful if the organisation has limited resources.
Principle 6: Markets and Customers are Constantly Changing
Technology has outdated products at an increasing rate.
The life-spans of a product is reducing due to the next big thing being introduced so quickly and providing a better solution to the customers’ problem.
Organisations must be constantly improving products or coming up with innovative new solutions to adapt to the ever-changing market.
Hooley, G, Piercy, N, Nicoulaud, B & Rudd, J 2017, Marketing Strategy & Competitive Positioning, 6th Ed., Pearson, Harlow, UK.