Want to be Big? Think Small

Today’s turbulent marketplace places a great deal of strain on most businesses, particularly those competing in a the business-to-business market. Fierce international competition coupled with stringent lending practices work together to create a tough place to successfully market.

Are you feeling the pinch in your business today? Is the current climate placing higher-than-ever demands on your strategic marketing?

If so, perhaps what’s needed are some tips to jumpstart your strategic planning. Well, here you go—two practical market cues (and one additional cue) that you can use to build a successful strategic growth program.

Cue #1 – Think Small

I don’t think there’s a better way to put this. Companies often make a significant strategic error in launching a new product or service with a national focus. This is fine for global brands, but not effective for a local or regional business.

Thinking small allows you to focus all of your resources on your most important asset—your customers. That always pays huge dividends. Obviously, without customers, you don’t have a business. Once you have dominated a small group of customers within your local area, you can branch out to larger geographies and/or markets and continue building market share relative to your resources and capabilities.

This approach may seem obvious, but over 25 years of strategic consultation has led me to see that many businesses do not follow this simple and effective strategy.

Cue #2 – Produce Strong Ideas

Every single successful business started with a compelling core “IDEA” that made customers and clients prefer that brand over the competition. Over time, the company’s products became the preferred choice because they performed at or above customers’ expectations. Differentiation of your brand, product, service and, ultimately, your company, comes from the fuel of being truly unique.

Consider any major leading brand and ask, “What is it about it that makes the product/service stand out?” Disney equals world-class theme parks. FedEx equals overnight delivery. Oracle equals enterprise-ready software integration. All of these companies’ marketing folks work their butts off to keep their brands top of mind, but they do so by sticking to the core benefit their brands bring.

Tom Marin is the president of MarketCues, a national consulting firm. Tom serves as a senior advisor and change-management consultant with 35 years of experience. He has worked for some of the world’s largest corporations, as well as middle-market firms. Tom's focus is to plan and drive strategy shifts and strategic growth programs in the printing industry and a diverse range of market areas.
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