“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” – Richard Branson Anyone who’s ever caught a Virgin train might baulk at the suggestion, but there’s a lot of truth in Branson’s statement. Employees’ determine the success of a business day to day. They also contribute hugely to the value of a business when it comes to selling it.
Brexit promises to shake up the way businesses operate, in the UK, the EU and beyond. To say there’s an amount of uncertainty is an understatement: nobody knows exactly what’s going to happen. The markets are headed for turbulence whatever happens: as the Italians say, siamo incasinati. The smart money’s on preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. In this series, we’ll be exploring the key areas to think about in the build up to Brexit - actions and principles that will hold you in best stead no matter what.
If you don’t have effective marketing, do you have a business? How will you ensure growth? Secure leads? Build brand awareness? How will you hold on to your existing customers, or bring new ones through the door? Without a full and joined-up marketing strategy, businesses struggle to make sales – and eventually, to exist altogether.
“I regard [rebranding] as the most asymmetrical corporate strategy of them all. There is literally no upside...there is only pain if you get it wrong. And inevitably it goes wrong a lot of the time.” So said columnist and marketing professor Mark Ritson in a recent article for Marketing Week.
What exactly is marketing? A lot of people think of it as the visible stuff: the posters, the adverts, the social media campaigns, the email newsletters. And while these are certainly elements of marketing, they are simply tactics and strategies to reach a specific goal. With no clearly defined goal or purpose, all this activity is meaningless. For any organisation, of any size, the key goal of any marketing activity should be working towards - or directly impacting - the bottom line. Marketing is a combination of planning and budgeting - but to be successful, there needs to be a measure of what success actually looks like: your return on investment.