Imagine this, if a high end services company is growing at a an above average rate year on year with little to no marketing efforts, does it mean that this company does not require marketing? What can marketing do that will assist you in achieving your objectives when all your expectations are surpassed?
An interesting place to be, most certainly. A company that has built a reputation based on quality and relationships may not need marketing to acquire new customers. However, marketing is not only client acquisition. What other facets are affected by marketing:
- Human Resource – A challenge of epic proportion is to acquire quality human resource that is both intellectual as well as compatible with the team. Moreover, being a dog eat dog world, keeping your resource safe and ensuring the highest employee retention ratio is vital. Marketing offers game shifting impacts in this field as it not only creates a sense of belonging and unity to the existing team members, but also clearly highlights to the pool of candidates what type of individual is a “one of us”
- Client Referral – SME’s rely heavily on referrals as it is easily measured. “Three new contacts came in this week. Phil, from ABC Ltd is singing our praise!” Referrals are excellent way of developing new business and creating further awareness, however it only measures the effective referrals. This means that referral performance can only be measured in a trend pattern, rather than a conversion method. Think about it, how many referrals were affected that did not reach you to to lack of exposure, lack of accessibility, wrong first impressions, etc? Measurable marketing efforts are required for planned sustainable growth.
- Maturing relationships – SME’s rely heavily on relationships to build business, and quite frankly this is the way to go. However, relationships need to be developed between individuals and matured to company level. Having a situation whereby your customers are requesting John and Jake, because they are your best guys, is not the ideal. Marketing and branding, supported by positive processes and KPI’s, will help to deliver consistent relationship building initiatives and in turn have your customers’ requesting your brand.
- Transferability – Any market will get diluted after a certain amount of growth. Look at SAP, after winning the majority of Fortune 500 companies and major players across the globe, they had no choice but to cater for the SME to achieve growth. SAP used the reputation they had to develop, acquire and win the SME business because their reputation and brand where transferable from the corporates to the SME market.
- Capturing IP- Delivering services is continuously building intellectual property for your team and your company. This intangible intellectual property is continuing to add increasing value to your employees, customers, and company. Marketing and branding is a way of capturing the marketing initiatives and building upon its previous successes. This results in creating brand equity, which in turn increases the value of your company.
- Sustainability – Growth, no matter its size, is always the objective. However, once growth is being realised, sustainability needs to own the cross-hair. Marketing will contribute to growth that can be planned and measured and therefore sustainability can be questioned appropriately. This will therefore give the strategist good insight whether growth will fuel or drown their aspirations.
Truth is that the above does not cover all affects felt from marketing, however they are certainly the ones that come to mind first. Are there any other facets that offer huge impacts?