Even in our enlightened times, industrial manufacturing CEOs still struggle to define the appropriate role for marketing in the go-to-market paradigm.
Many industrial manufacturers, spanning start-ups to Fortune 500 manufacturers, still make the mistake today of marginalizing marketers into a role of pretty pictures, parties, and promotions.
A recent conversation I had with a newly hired CMO of a $3B industrial manufacturing company validated this premise – he was surprised to discover that the marketing function in 2021, decentralized across the global business units, had the primary focus of marketing communications, or MarCom.
While MarCom is an important function, it’s not the key accountability that will make the difference between profits and deficits. It’s a tactical role that requires a significant amount of strategic pre-work to foster success.
Indeed, when the full organization aligns around a market-based strategy, a different level of performance – and profitable growth -- is achievable.
Industrials of all sizes have a great opportunity today to compound the value marketing delivers by aligning behind a marketing ideal that leverages a framework encompassing all 4 Ps of the marketing mix (Product-Place-Price-Promotion).
At Chief Outsiders, we refer to this simple effective framework as the Growth Gears™ – three co-dependent cogs that interlock to produce go-to-market success. As you can see in the graphic, the three gears are: INSIGHT – STRATEGY – EXECUTION
Learning how to use these gears to drive go-to-market plans can be a difference-maker. Let’s take a closer look at each gear, and the questions you need to ask to effectively implement each gear:
This gear encompasses strategic relevance – focusing on customers, competitors and company.
CEOs need to challenge Marketing to answer these critical questions related to INSIGHTS:
Once Insights have been assessed, the Strategy gear can effectively be developed. Here, our goal is to specifically articulate how the business will drive organic growth, encompassing target market segments, target customers, product and service roadmaps, value proposition positioning, strategic pricing, brand-channel, go-to-market, content, and digital technology.
CEOs needs to challenge their marketing leadership to answer these critical questions related to strategy:
Now that insights have been gathered and strategy has been honed, the execution gear can be efficiently developed. Specifically, at this stage, you’ll define which tactical activities will be funded, staffed, and implemented to drive profitable, sustainable organic growth. Typical activities at this stage include content marketing, digital marketing, social media, literature, POP displays, events, tradeshows, advertising, public relations, and KPIs.
CEOs should challenge their marketing leadership to answer these critical questions related to execution:
Though the road to marketing respect is fraught with pre-conceived notions, this framework should help you to gain momentum on your growth-centric aspirations – while better defining the role that marketing has in bringing it to life.
If I or any of my fellow Chief Outsiders can be of any assistance to you in turning your own Growth Gears™, please reach out.