Does past success predict your future success?
Is your company or product in rapid growth? Rewarding times can feel like chaos, running from one urgent thing to another.
Perhaps this sort of scenario is what we’re all hoping for – rather than things becoming dull or repetitive with flat or declining sales and the need for turnaround. However, you might feel like there’s never enough time to think or talk about the bigger picture.
Success isn’t easy to control and it comes with many challenges, so how do you make it manageable to enjoy your rewards?
Developing a strategy
When things are getting busy, it’s wise to pause and prioritise some time to develop a clear strategy to ensure growth momentum.
Dealing with the important actions on your list is often critical and it can add more strategic value to your future planning. This can easily fit into your day-to-day schedule by using short and snappy to do list to make the time for reflection.
Daily prioritising can be rewarding, as it feels like we’re ‘getting things done’. If you’re a leader, you need to combine this with spending time on the big directional decisions.
Using your time effectively
For leaders, time is crucial. It’s a fixed quantity and we can’t create it, but we can choose how to use it.
Despite the chaos that’s happening around you, displaying your leadership skills around prioritising your strategy will add value directly to your business and set an example for the others in your team to follow.
Things can change
For companies who start out with a strategy developed by their leaders, they usually have a single-minded focus on an opportunity, and have a product or service that can access the opportunity. They spot an unmet need and can better serve it than the available alternatives and at the right price.
However, things can change…
The company can get more complicated in terms of staff, systems and processes, as does the external market with a changing competitor landscape and consumer behaviours. This increasing complexity can creep up on you if you are focusing your attention purely on the day-to-day.
Having a marketing strategy development process embedded in your business can help to make sure that you and your team take the necessary time to review the market dynamics and look for relevant changes and insights.
Use this information to develop marketing strategies that manage external issues that could negatively impact your business and explore future growth opportunities.
In a world of scarce resources, these decisions are key. They will define your ongoing success and growth momentum, and also separate you from the crowd.
Keeping ahead of the game
Great companies have a strong strategy, but they also have the processes in place to develop it. They are prepared to innovate and experiment in order to stay ahead of the curve.
They’re strong when it comes to continually developing market insight. By learning about customer needs and unmet needs, competition, and suppliers, they ensure their strategy is well-informed.
Successful businesses also segment the market according to unmet customer needs and they prioritise which opportunities for growth they’ll invest in. Their positioning and message is clear and their tactical marketing activities are all consistent with these big decisions.
They re-look at this picture year on year and they aren’t naive. Things are likely to change, so they ensure they keep ahead of the game.
Staying on track
Leaders should think of their efforts as two converging tracks.
The ‘reality track’ is the here and now, the execution of the current plan, dealing with sales and customers. The other is the strategy development track, defining your vision and the strategic imperatives that will drive mid to long term success.
If you are a leader or one of the leadership team, there isn’t a choice. In a growth company, you need to do both. When the former is becoming too much for you, be disciplined to delegate appropriately with your team.
It’s time to lead by example. Don’t sweat the small stuff too much. Your past success will not necessarily predict future success, but your strategic marketing discipline will.
Picture yourself in the future looking back. Did you make the right decisions when it mattered? Or were you too distracted by the day-to-day?