As my partner, Art Saxby, is fond of saying, “The best marketing takes no marketing dollars.” What he means is that the stuff that makes marketing work—and work most efficiently—is done before a dollar is spent. After working with nearly 1,000 mid-market CEOs to capture or recover growth, here’s what we’ve learned:
CEOs all want growth, or more pertinently, we all want recovery. But how do we do it most effectively? Or, to the point of this article, how do we do it most cost-efficiently? The way to get the most efficient execution requires a sound strategy so that when we are ready to execute marketing programs, we don’t waste our money on things that aren’t strategic. We also want to be able to answer these questions:
(But wait, I said the best marketing takes no marketing dollars! Wait for it…)
So, if we’re following, in order to make the 1st Way above viable, we’ll need a killer recovery strategy. Our focused game plan is everything. And we’ll want to answer these questions:
(These are the decisions to be made that are most impactful to our recovery strategy – and they may not require us to spend a nickel! But to make them most effective, we’ll need to be fully informed and current on how our market dynamics have shifted.)
Everything has changed. We know it. We read about it. We see the sky falling on one horizon while rays of hope and opportunity shine from another. This is NOT the time to trust our gut, but to quickly assemble a knowledge base of data from which to make our strategic decisions above in the 2nd Way.
Okay, you’ve made it this far, and likely recognize that these three “ways” are in reverse order. While most businesses begin and end with a focus on execution tactics, the road to having the greatest impact with the least investment requires that the “execution” be aligned with the recovery “strategy,” which is informed by the latest market “insights.” Following this 3-part set of cascading questions will result in more powerful, better informed, and thorough preparation for developing and executing your recovery plans for greatest impact, with the least investment. We’ve built our business on it. Perhaps this same process will be useful for you.
For more information, please see our 12-step Pre-Recovery Checklist here.