I’ve always been interested in the psychology of consumer behaviour. This started in my teenage years spent weekend working in restaurants – understanding which dishes were popular and why,  how to sell the specials, upsell dessert and most importantly how to deliver a fantastic experience so our customers would come back again as well as tell their friends.

Fast forward 20 years and I’ve spent my career in Marketing. I was lucky to spend the first years of my career with world class Marketing brains on the graduate scheme at Unilever and then continued to work with some of the best-loved global brands as Marketing Director and latterly a Consultant.

It’s a dream working as a Marketer in a Marketing-led business, however Marketing isn’t always at the fore.

I’ve joined organisations where the Marketing Department are a support function- fulfilling delivery right at the end of the decision making process, or completing stand-alone projects that people weren’t sure what to do with.

The means that the link to the customer is lost; their needs and motivations aren’t driving decisions and the team are either replicating previous activities or responding to Sales/Operational requests.

In structures like this, the Marketing team are often very busy but don’t have a tangible return on investment attached to their productivity. This can make team members feel both overworked and undervalued as well as potentially vulnerable in a cost cutting scenario.

If the Marketing team are focusing on tactics and purely reacting to the trading environment in that moment, the business is not getting value from Marketing. It also creates a plethora of additional promotions or activity as teams desperately try to gain traction.

This creates a confused brand positioning and lots of noise for customers.

Developing a clear marketing strategy aligned to annual business targets with measurable KPIs is key to ensuring a joined up activity plan.  

There will always be an element of firefighting, but if Marketing are focusing solely on the now, and not planning ahead, there isn’t an opportunity to become strategic with longer term goals.

Taking a step back to evaluate your data and performance against your objectives is key.

Some useful questions are: 

  • What is driving current performance? 
  • Is the activity plan driving the business? i.e. is this resonating with customers? Are we attracting new customers and what is the repeat rate for existing customers? 
  • Is the insight still relevant? 
  • How does this impact the brand positioning? 
  • Do we have a differentiated proposition? 
  • Are our products and services set up for the next 1-3 years? 
  • Where will our source of volume come from?  

In organisations where Marketing are already stretched, bringing in additional support to develop your strategy and work with the leadership team can be a game changer. We’re not suggesting a whole host of new agencies or permanent hires, more an experienced marketing leader who can help you fulfil the potential of your brand while understanding the value of the current output. Working on a project or part-time basis, this is a cost effective way for you to bring in expertise to supercharge your growth and set clear objectives.

 It will also 

  • develop a stronger and more consistent brand positioning as all your activity will ladder up to something bigger rather than smaller tactical initiatives
  • help current team members to triage and prioritise activity, understanding which will have the biggest impact to contribute to the delivery of the annual plan
  • foster a consumer focused culture, being curious about customer behaviours, looking at competitor activity as well as innovations and trends from parallel sectors or other markets
  • keep the team engaged and fulfilled, becoming the voice of the customer and guardians of the brand

If you’d like a chat about how you can use Marketing to grow your brand, do get in touch. 

Liz Forte

07971 154348