Webster’s definition of marketing is “An aggregate of functions involved in moving goods from producer to consumer.” That definition encompasses a very broad set of operations. Marketing, and the process of growing your business, is multi-faceted. Within this complex process, are you aware of your knowledge gaps?
This short test will help you assess your marketing intelligence quotient. Objectively rating your company, from zero to 10, on each of the eight questions (0 is low, 10 is high). After you have rated all eight questions add up your total score.
1. Northstar: Have you developed and published a mission statement that guides your business and helps your team stay on course?
2. Business Analysis: Do you review your business’ strengths and weaknesses (internally) and opportunities and threats (externally) at least once a year?
3. Customer Research: Do you regularly survey customers to understand their preferences and perceptions regarding their experience with your organization?
4. Competitor Comparison: Do you study your key competitors to understand their strengths, weakness and market position relative to your own?
5. Market Niche: Have you developed a customer profile to better understand and target your most responsive and profitable market segment?
6. Market Position: Have you developed a competitive distinction that your target market segment values as a means of differentiating your brand?
7. Promotional Alignment: Do you have a marketing communications plan that aligns your promotional activities with your market position?
8. Optimal Results: Do you have and maintain a tracking system to evaluate the results of your marketing activities so you can make informed adjustments?
If your total score is over 70 (a perfect score is 80), you should stop reading this Blog post and start teaching a class. If your total score is below 40, take heart, you are among the majority of business leaders. The good news is that you have plenty of opportunities to improve the results of your marketing investments.
More important than your total score are the individual ratings for each question. Reviewing your individual ratings will help identify your best opportunities to improve. Focus on the areas you scored yourself four or less. You’ve heard the adage: a chain is only as strong as its weakest link…that same premise holds true for a business.
- What is your company’s greatest strength, and what can you do to leverage that asset?
- Based on your score, what are your company’s most significant weak points?
- Based on your customers’ experiences, which weaknesses should you focus your improvements?
You don’t have to be a “marketing genius” to grow your business; you just need to take stock of your current business situation, and then take action to strengthen your weak links.
Andrew Ballard is the president of Marketing Solutions, a Seattle area agency that developsresearch-based growth strategies for small to midsize businesses. He has over 30 years experience specializing in marketing research, strategic planning, brand development and revenue generation. Ballard has helped hundreds of organizations (from startups through Fortune 500 companies) realize significant growth.
Andrew is a graduate of the Ford Marketing Institute and Certified in Six Sigma. He is also a respected author and educator. His articles on marketing strategy have been published in business journals through all 50 States. His first book, entitled Your Opinion Doesn’t Matter, recently released to rave reviews in both corporate and academic circles. In addition, he is adjunct faculty at the University of Washington.
He can be reached at 425-337-1100 or www.mktg-solutions.com