If the menu of options you have to spur on business growth are overwhelming, consider going back to basics
As a marketing leader, you understand the need to drive business growth. After all, if you aren’t taking action and making smart decisions based on reliable data – you can be sure your competitors are.
But the list of initiatives you’re supposed to follow through on can be long and intimidating. How will you have time for it all? What should you prioritize?
Let’s start by revisiting a few of the basics.
Focus on your client's needs.
In a telling survey cited by Forbes, nine of the top 20 reasons that startups fail are related to customers. Sometimes founders become so enamored with their own idea that they don't worry about meeting customer needs. And in some cases, they even ignored what customers were telling them.
But helping your customers solve their problems is where most of your value proposition lies. In fact, the number one reason why startup businesses fail is because there is no market need.
Ultimately, there are two times when focusing on client needs is super critical:
- When forging your value proposition
- As long as you are in business after that
Strike a healthy balance between innovation and optimization
Most businesspeople would love to have been the ones who came up with innovative ideas that disrupted an industry and led to massive success.
Heck, I wouldn't say stop dreaming about it, as long as you do something about it.
But if you're managing a business, don't overlook the power of optimization. Remember, there are three main ways to foster business growth:
- Acquire more customers
- Increase average transaction value (or raise prices)
- Encourage those clients to spend more often
Advice: Continue acting to satisfy core requirements week to week, but look to trim the list of activities that don't ultimately bring much value. It's not unlike rebalancing an investment portfolio every so often. Cut your losers and add some more productive activities to your list.
In short, innovation is good. Obsessive improvement might be better. But it’s likely that making ample room for both gives you the best chance to succeed.
Build a highly capable team
A bad hire can cost your company at least 30% of that employee's first-year salary. So it certainly pays to select your talent wisely.
But once you have your team in place, how can you encourage them to accomplish more for your business?
Most of these ideas are fairly self-explanatory. But here’s a short list to reinforce some of them:
- Establish a clear plan with expectations
- Clearly define roles and responsibilities
- Foster a collaborative culture
- Offer support when needed
- Acknowledge and reward positive accomplishments
- Celebrate success
Boost company-wide productivity
The Pareto Principle asserts that 80% of your results come from 20% of your effort. You might argue with the specific percentages, as they probably aren’t that scientific. But if you're not applying the 80/20 rule to your business on a regular basis, you may be missing a trick.
A very lucrative one.
The idea speaks to optimization. If you can identify which tasks deliver outsize results, you can adjust your teams’ schedules to focus more on those tasks.
Get more value from your marketing initiatives.
Would you believe that a company methodically relying on data to make business decisions is generally more than six times more likely to be profitable?
Then why do so many companies just go with their gut when making important calls like these? The truth is, intuition can play a very important part in parsing data and making good business decisions.
Half the battle can be positioning your team to make better decisions in the first place. Have you implemented systems to comprehensively gather the data you need most? If you did, was it in order to tick an item off a checklist – or have you really shared access to that data and your marketing results with the people on your teams who can help you make a difference with it?
Reviewing data from your key metrics and socializing the results of marketing efforts among your key internal stakeholders can provide focus, a shared sense of mission, and motivation to rally your team to even better results.
Whilst the list of tactics and strategies you can use to improve your overall marketing results can certainly be long, these foundational ideas are worth revisiting every so often.
Ready for more marketing inspiration? Download: Putting Your Audience First: The New Rules of Content Marketing for 2020 and Beyond.