The dependence between marketing and business age

The company is like a living organism – it appears, grows up and goes through changes… Many companies manage to withstand crises and difficulties, changes in market demands, in customer behaviour, in technology. The life of others ends naturally – they disappear, are bought or close their operations.

The companies, peers of the economic changes in the country, are already 30 years old. For 30 years, those who survived and established themselves, have gone through the children’s and teenagers’ stages of their lives and are already entering into their early adulthood. During this time their marketing practices were also constantly changing.

In this article I am trying to find out what is the role of marketing for the successful management of change and growth in the business? Is there a relationship between the degree of maturity of business and how marketing is done?

From 0 to 5 years – for both people and companies, it’s not easy to be so small.

Everything is new, everything happens for the first time, with great joy and great tension at the same time... People in the company are few, there is still no strict division of responsibilities, in most cases from 0 to 5 the owner is personally engaged in marketing and sells.

The main tasks of the marketers from 0 to 5 are to make the company popular and to attract the first good clients. 

At the beginning of the democratic changes in Bulgaria, in the 1990s it was easier to popularise a company as it was not many enthusiasts for private business. But it was much harder to gain the first contracts because there was neither money nor confidence in the private sector. Today, its difficult in a different way. Since the number of the businesses in the country continuously grows from year to year, much more ingenuity and patience are needed to popularise a new company on the market.

The good news is that today there are marketing approaches with proven and fast effect such as corporate blogging, SEO, sales over the Internet, mailing campaigns…

From 5 to 10 – at this age children go to school, businesses too.

It becomes clear that businesses need to expand their knowledge. It becomes necessary to implement standards and best practices in the industry where the business operates. The shadow of the competition is visible – both you and your potential customers are constantly making comparisons. At this stage, you have already many things to lose, and you get more cautious. Your expenses are growing, the staff – too. The owner has no time to deal alone with marketing and sales.

At this age you should start implement marketing in a professional way. Apply the most powerful approaches in your industry. Make an affiliate network, build your distribution channels. Join industry associations to share information with colleagues and get useful information for your business.

Implement what you are learning about the markets into the company. Make a connection between the market and the way you create your products. Explore new production technologies that will not only save you money but also give you competitive advantages. will help you obtain a bigger market share. Try to understand what exactly  your customers expect and whether your products meet their expectations.

Enter a CRM system – you will be able to know and analyze your customers and to assess the value of each client.

Be very active in marketing – Internet marketing can be of help, but direct marketing is also a powerful tool. Make seminars, meet potential customers, participate in conferences and exhibitions…

From 10 to 15 – companies teenagers.

Things seem more mature at a first glance, but there are so many challenges! Companies just like people become teenagers – they become confident and anything seems easy and possible. But in the teenage period, it is most important to master the knowledge and the company to continue developing wisely.

In terms of marketing – this means deepening the relationship with the best customers by offering them new services and products. Stop working for customers who don’t bring you enough profit. Practice your marketing more carefully – plan your target group and study the potential to make a profitable business with future customers. Continue working only with customers that could bring your enough value in a long term.

In general, in this phase, companies need to learn planning, and planning means knowing how to make business based on your previous experience and using the experience of others. Scan your market and study your competition periodically (every six months would be ideal as a beginning). Any change you have noticed should be taken into account, and your marketing plan should adapt accordingly. The marketing plan should be integrated with the other plans in the company – financial, for development of technology and products, the human resources plan (knowledge, training).

At this stage, the companies move towards more complex organisational structures – strictly hierarchical, project-oriented or mixed. Marketing is also influenced by this – the marketing and sales department is growing. It is now very important what people you have in the marketing department, and who will become their leader. The head of marketing department becomes a key position in your company – if he (or she!) is a competent, courageous and motivated professional, the team will be motivated for high achievements and will attract the right customers. It’s good to know that it is very important not only to work hard, but to be able to organise the work in a smart manner.

The division of duties in the marketing department is critical to its success. If your company has a wide portfolio, it may be a good idea to specialize the work into in the team by product/service groups. If your company has a wide customer base then by industries and sectors. If you work with large and influential customers, appoint an account manager.

Remember, wise development is smart.

From 15 to 20 – we strive to become leaders, or to unite with the leaders.

This is a critical phase in the life of each company – the phase of maturity. Usually the company has reached in its growth the critical point when either it is very strong and dominates, or understands that it is necessary to become part of a strong group. Maybe the same in the business as in life…

The role of marketing in this phase?

  • Strong PR needed.
  • Expanding the presence of the market. or entering new markets.
  • If the company will continue its development as an independent business, and has a huge portfolio – usually organisational restructuring is not enough, a legal restructuring would be necessary diving the business into several legally connected firms focused on the different components of the portfolio.
  • If the company decides to become part of a business group, it is connected with due diligence, in which often the marketing team actively participates .

The changes are huge. It is also a huge responsibility of marketing for positioning the new company structure on the market.

This article was initially published in Bulgarian on 11 January 2009 here.

 



Коментари

Все още няма коментари.

Твоето мнение

  • Аватар

    ТИ


Comment Arrow




За автора

Pavlina D. Kozarova

Pavlina has worked for 20+ years as marketing specialist and business development manager in several Bulgarian and international IT and consulting firms. Her expertise is in the fields of project planning and management, business development, marketing & sales, innovation development and commercialization. Pavlina runs consultancy business with www.primavera88.com