By: Scott Wright and Jack Bowen
In an era characterized by rapid technological shifts, changing consumer behavior, and a volatile global economic landscape, successful businesses are those that look ahead, anticipate challenges, and seize opportunities. But when it comes to developing your own business growth strategy, are you prepared for all that 2024 will throw at your company? Or are you content on a “lather, rinse, repeat” approach to strategic business development?
When working with CEOs, we’ve seen too many companies take the shortcut of copying and pasting the existing year’s approach -- an easy way out, but one destined to drag down growth and profits. We think of strong, strategic, competitive businesses like world-class sports teams. Rather than tossing the same playbook at each opponent, they study the film of their competitors’ activities between each game and strategize how to change their own approach to impact their performance.
But a surprising number of companies are bad sports when it comes to strategic business planning. According to a study by technology company Cascade, only about 68 percent of corporate leaders believe their company assembles a good annual strategic plan. Digging deeper, Cascade discovered that more than half of corporate leaders don’t even bother to spend a full day each month reviewing the progress of their annual strategies. As a result, only 10 percent of organizations surveyed felt they met at least two-thirds of their strategy objectives by year’s end.
To support your objectives, the task of calculating your marketing budget should take paramount importance. This becomes especially critical in uncertain economic times when companies are looking to cut expenses. The marketing budget you allocate for your marketing strategy should be built from the bottom up to drive the required growth for 2024. If done effectively, you’ll be able to justify and retain your marketing spend for next year.
Now, more than ever, CEOs and CMOs need to take a new look at their approach to planning and developing a custom growth strategy for 2024. Are you ready to do what it takes to truly be prepared for the year to come? Today, we will guide you on constructing a robust 2024 growth plan and how to calculate and justify your marketing budget to support your strategic endeavors.
Setting next year’s outcomes requires a long-term view of the road ahead. When undertaking your business growth strategy, begin by envisioning where you want your business to be in the next three years. What are your revenue and profit targets? How do you imagine your operations evolving, and how do you anticipate the landscape of your customer base shifting?
Here are three measures to project on a 36-month cycle:
“Companies that have clarity in their future vision are more likely to realize their objectives. They set clearer goals, make better decisions, and are better equipped to navigate the complexities of today's marketplace.” - Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot.
Once you've sketched your broader three-year vision, it's essential to dissect it year by year. Treat it like rungs on a ladder that starts next year and leads you to an apex in 2026. For this journey to the top to be successful, you need to define your goals for 2024 and beyond. For most B2B sales organizations, it looks something like this:
Now, with an understanding of the leads required, it’s time to make sure your marketing machine is calibrated to derive marketing ROI from the proper channels. You’ll want to allocate your resources based on the three-step test we’ve outlined here:
Now that you have your numbers and channels outlined, you’ll want to switch the levers on those channels that deliver the best marketing ROI for each dollar invested. Here’s how we recommend you keenly focus on efficiency:
A well-thought-out growth strategy for 2024, coupled with a justified marketing budget, can be your North Star, guiding you through the unpredictable waters of the business world. As you navigate your way, ensure that every dollar spent in marketing is an investment in future growth, and every strategic decision inches you closer to your envisioned future.
Stay tuned for our next article in the series, where we delve deeper into the intricacies of Key Performance Indicators and their pivotal role in growth strategies.
About Chief Outsiders:
Jack Bowen and Scott Wright are Fractional Chief Marketing Officers with Chief Outsiders, a national fractional CMO and CSO consulting firm. Bowen is an engaging, roll-up your sleeves leader who draws on 20+ years of C-level marketing leadership and growth experience with significant expertise in data-based, direct-to-customer (B or C) performance-marketing, driving both topline and profitability throughout – acquisition, conversion and sales operations. Wright has decades of executive leadership experience leading B2B and B2C businesses to accelerated growth across numerous industries. He works with CEOs and leadership teams to develop customer-centric strategies for brand differentiation and awareness, effective targeting, lead generation, customer experience, and the repeatable processes and core capabilities that create a foundation for sustainable growth.
Together, they are part of a team of more than 120 seasoned and battle-tested Chief Marketing Officers and Chief Sales Officers who have guided over 1,850 B2B and B2C companies across more than 70 industry verticals.
Chief Outsiders executives have the experience to help businesses quickly figure out how to accelerate growth. They work alongside CEOs as members of the leadership team to develop strategies, build organizational and technical capabilities, and execute marketing and sales initiatives that create growth engines. Contact us today to accelerate your growth. Learn more about Scott Wright here and Jack Bowen here.
Up Next: Dive deeper into the world of strategic growth planning, ensuring your business isn't just reacting to the market but leading it. Stay tuned for Article 4 of our seven-part strategic business planning series: “Seven KPIs that Should be in Your 2024 Growth Plan”.
Full series on strategic business planning:
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