Oct 23, 2018 Improving Company Profitability in 5 Steps – Strategy
With this post, I am beginning a series of five articles outlining a set of five actions to take to identify and rectify issues standing in the way of improved profitability. This first post begins with a review of a company’s business and marketing strategies.
Step 1 – Reviewing Your Business Strategy and Marketing Strategy
The first place to start figuring out how to improve profitability is to verify that you have a focused business strategy and a focused marketing strategy. I write about this frequently because they are fundamental to success.
Your business strategy is what you are going to do to fill a need in the marketplace. Ask yourself, what specific customer need you have identified that is not already being met. If you can’t describe it, you need to take time to think about it. If you can’t come up with anything, you are lacking the focus to succeed as a small company. You cannot be all things to all people. You need a narrow focus. Figure out how to adjust what your are planning to do or are already doing so that your are aiming at a viable target unmet need. Then you need to structure your sales efforts, delivery, etc. around this target market.
Your marketing strategy clearly defines your target customer(s), and what points of differentiation you are going to use to convert your prospective customers to paying customers. It involves segmenting your target customers into groups with identifiable, common characteristics such as income, age, gender, having certain needs or preferences (e.g. convenience) or whatever will make a difference to that group. This includes pain points, benefits, etc. Then for each group, identifying messaging, selling points, etc. I also involves branding, the brand promise, etc. It may also include identifying key influencers that you might be able to sign up to be a brand ambassador. This all has to fit together. If you can’t settle on a marketing strategy that works, go back and refine your business strategy because one depends on the other and they need to mesh.
Once you have these things worked out, you will be ready to continue to the next step – Getting more customers and developing or refining a marketing plan. Those are the topics for the next post. As usual, if you can’t seem to get the business strategy or the marketing strategy right by yourself, get some help.
Bryan B Mason
Apollo Consulting Group, Providence, RI