“Our efficiency is unparalleled, our ROI is fantastic, and we’ll be out of business in five years.” That was the feedback that Les Binet, Head of Effectiveness at advertising agency Adam & Eve DDB, got from one member of the management team when he walked into the UK’s largest breakdown firm, The AA. It might seem like a contradictory statement - surely an efficient business with great ROI is onto a winner? Well, in the short-term, perhaps. The problem with The AA was that they diverted 100% of their brand marketing budget into short-term, performance marketing efforts for eight years.
Introduction The world is full of myths, from fake news to faux facts. Mount Everest is not the world’s tallest mountain, The Great Wall of China can’t be seen from space, and the word “sushi” does not mean “raw fish”. (It’s the vinegared rice on which the fish was traditionally served, and it’s spread to mean the sour taste of the rice - so it describes the flavour of the dishes, not the dishes themselves.)
In business, it’s not just what you sell that matters, but how and where you sell it. This is your route to market. Yours could be selling direct; via Amazon, online, or over the phone – whatever works for your customer. The right route to market is the one that makes it easy for new customers to find you, and therefore buy from you. Get it wrong and they’ll go to your competitors instead. Today, selling via one channel or sticking to what you’ve always known leaves you in danger of being left behind, missing opportunities and losing market share.
For business owners, “Brexit means Brexit” means one thing: uncertainty. With all economic indicators pointing towards a recession, the question isn’t so much ‘if’ the downturn will hit, or even ‘when’. It’s ‘how’ businesses will manage to survive it. Responsible business owners should now be busy making plans to weather the storm.
To sell anything effectively, it pays to understand the people who are likely to purchase it. If you’re trying to sell fish, for instance, the way you sell it to a Michelin-starred restaurant will be vastly different to the sales pitch to a zoo looking to feed their penguins. One is concerned with quality, the other is all about price (unless they have a particularly fussy Emperor in their enclosures). Building a business to sell is no different. To get maximum value, you need to know what a buyer wants and is willing to pay for it. The answer is multi-faceted: from positioning via industry benchmarks and perfecting your brand to attracting and retaining talent through your employer brand. In this series, we’ve previously discussed these areas and how marketing can help you build value, but one key element remains.