Have you ever worked on a marketing project for a client whose business strategy was either incomplete, outdated or lacked direction?
You are expected to deliver great marketing programs, but you don’t have much to work with.
What are we, as marketers, to do?
There are three options.
Option 1: Just do the best marketing programs you can do with what you are given.
Option 2: Decline to work with the client and use your talents elsewhere.
Option 3: Talk with the client about their business strategy and see if you can help them.
In many cases, I prefer the third option.
For many of these companies that are struggling with their strategy, it often comes down to not understanding the target market. That is a place where marketing can often offer support that can guide the business strategy.
One thing that I have found helpful is to ask for the most recent business strategy plan.
This gives you an opportunity to see if the marketing aligns with where the company wants to go. Maybe it is that the company has a great plan, but they are just not using it.
If the plan is outdated, incomplete or does not exist, there is a bigger problem that has to be dealt with.
We as marketers can help.
We can get involved at the business-decision level and offer whatever support we are able. We may be able to help with a target market analysis or a key messaging exercise to gain clarity. Perhaps we can bring in some outside support, such as introducing the client to a business strategy coach.
We as marketers have the privilege of deep inside knowledge about our client’s target market, their products and services, as well as their business strategy. We are often in the unique position to provide extensive value to our clients at a business strategy-level.
Challenge: If you have a client who is struggling with their business strategy, get involved at the business-decision level and offer whatever support you are able.