Commercial Marketing Strategy Development
How is Your Business Going to Grow?
No matter how large or small your business, it is worth taking time to identify where your future growth is going to come from. Taking a step back from your day-to-day activities to think about this can be a really valuable exercise. Doing so can ensure that you take stock of the bigger picture, explore what might impact your future performance and make informed decisions that will drive profitable growth for your business.
Adopting a strategic approach to growth needn’t be complicated – indeed it can be quite simple – but you do need to understand the value of doing this and make time for it. Put simply, it means identifying where your business is going to play, thinking about which markets, channels and customers offer the best opportunities and how you can win in these markets. That is essentially what developing a commercial marketing strategy for your business is all about.
In this video, the Client Capability team explore the development of a Commercial Marketing Strategy, with input from client experience.
Exploring Where to Play
If you are taking the time to develop a commercial marketing strategy for your business, it is because you have opportunities to grow in front of you, but you need to determine which of these to prioritise and pursue. The first thing to consider when evaluating where any future growth is going to come from is where you want to be in future. Have you articulated what success looks like for your business?
Agree on a Shared Vision
Take time to identify a vision for the business. This is rarely one person’s decision. Why not ask others to articulate where they would like the business to be in 3-5 years’ time and then share these and discuss? Are you being ambitious enough? Your company’s vision should be an aspirational view that everyone feels motivated to work towards, but yet one that does push you to achieve more.
Define your Company Purpose
Why does your business exist? What gets you out of bed in the morning? What are the reasons that employees work for yours rather than another business? It’s important to have a sense of what sets you apart from other businesses; what values you hold and what is important about how you operate and the impact your business has on the world in which you operate. Increasingly, customers and consumers alike are seeking to support companies whose sense of purpose aligns with theirs.
Establish Clear and Measurable Business Objectives
Business Objectives are measurable, shorter-term goals (1-2 years at most) that are realistic for the business in this period but will help the business to gradually work towards achieving its longer-term vision.
Any objectives you set should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound), to ensure that you can track your progress against them and course-correct as necessary.
What is Going to Influence Your Ability to Deliver Your Business Objectives?
Some of the most successful companies are those who monitor what is happening in the market around them and anticipate how these may evolve into the future. Planning ahead to meet future trends can really help your business to stay ahead of the game.
To ensure you take a holistic approach, capturing everything that can impact your growth plans using a simple tool like Bord Bia’s 7Cs can be helpful. The 7Cs are essentially seven different lenses through which you can look at future developments and force yourself to tease out which ones will impact you most.
Having taken the time to really understand what is happening within your field of play and anticipate future developments, you should have identified at least one, and possibly several, key insight(s) which will underpin your strategy.
Making Decisions on Where to Focus
Once you have uncovered some key insights representing potential opportunities for your business, you should take the time to make some decisions around where to focus, carefully considering which of these your business is best-placed to capitalise on. This will involve deciding which market you are going to target and in which category you sit, bearing in mind that this may differ from the category elsewhere. You should seek to understand your consumers in that market and what their needs are. Evaluate the most appropriate channel to reach these and which customers within that channel you should be targeting. As you gain a better understanding of where to play, it should also become clear what product offering will give you the best opportunity.
As you go through this process, you need to ensure that your choices are being fuelled by as much information as you can get. It may be helpful to use some of the tools Bord Bia adopts to help reach sound well-informed decisions for your business.
How to Prioritise Your Opportunities
Rationally comparing and contrasting different opportunities that present themselves to your business using as much factual information as you can get can be a logical way to prioritise which to focus on first.
The whittle grid is a simple template that can really help you to do this.
Another helpful tool, the Opportunity Assessment tool, is a very simple matrix that is designed to help you identify what are the best opportunities to focus on by comparing the potential for growth versus the cost/complexity to grow.
Is the Size of Prize Right?
Before any strategy is developed it is important to have an understanding of the size of the opportunity presented to you. Gathering as much information about your ‘size of the prize’ can help focus your resources and strategy on the areas with the biggest return. Determine the total market size and growth rate and the market share of your target segment you would like to achieve. Also, start with the basic information about your products / SKU and estimate how large you can scale to capitalise on these opportunities. Given the size of the prize you have identified, will this opportunity help you to deliver on the business objectives you outlined?
Now that you've established Where to Play, it's time to consider How to Win! Click on the How to Win tab at the top of the page to learn more!
How to Win
When it comes to identifying How to Win, you need to ensure that what you have to offer is going to ‘land’ with your target customer and consumers. What is it that you want them to do and how are you going to influence them to change their actions, to bring them on a ‘customer journey’? Setting clear commercial marketing objectives will help to inform your specific actions when implementing your commercial marketing strategy. But it makes sense to start by considering your Value Proposition.
Do you have a strong Customer Value Proposition?
Your customer value proposition is the key reason why someone should purchase your product or service over the other options available to them. A weak value proposition also opens up the doors to competitors to create value for their business in your category.
How you portray yourself should show your clear reason for being (Purposeful) and should clearly address the needs of your target (Relevant). You need to ensure that you set yourself apart from your competitors (Differentiated) and that you have a unique and unmistakable identity (Distinctive). These 4 components of a strong value proposition can give your customer a compelling reason to buy from you rather than your competitors so it is worth spending time to get this right.
Setting Clear Commercial Marketing Objectives
Commercial Marketing objectives identify what customer and consumer behaviours you want to change and are framed as measurable goals that you need to achieve in order to deliver on your overall business objectives. Articulating SMART commercial marketing objectives will give direction for your overall Commercial Marketing Strategy implementation, helping you to develop detailed marketing plans and also provide a benchmark for measuring success.
Think about all the potential levers (or elements of the marketing mix) you could use to create stronger experiences and deliver upon your objectives.
Summarising your Commercial Marketing Strategy
The Commercial Marketing Strategy on a page is a template used to collate and summarise the key points of the decisions you have made. This is a helpful way to capture all the thinking you have done in developing your Commercial Marketing Strategy. As such, it can be a handy way to review these at a glance on an ongoing basis. Consumers and customers will switch from brands that are no longer aligned to their needs so it’s important to evaluate your strategy regularly, ensuring it is still fit for purpose in the world you operate in, and the needs of your target audience, evolve. Commercial Marketing Strategy development is an iterative process which requires constant measurement and constant updating for businesses.
The next step in the process will be to understand how to implement your strategy. To learn more, click the button below.