Planning your business growth strategically

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I’m still essentially old school when it comes to information gathering and processing.

I like to take my time with the process, assess the sources, and drill down on leads.  But my process seems to be at odds with the speed, multiplicity of expert opinions, and the vast amount of information transmitted daily in the various social media.  It is like a race constantly gearing up momentum.

Books are different.  I like books.

You don’t have to chase constantly after the latest and the best because a good book represents an authoritative and consolidated information source.  It is a focal point.  You can take your time to absorb the information and selectively assess and acquire the knowledge therein.

My current subject of interest is how to develop effective strategies for marketing in the B2B arena.  I am looking for proven and adaptable plans that have solid long-term perspectives.  I am looking  for practical tips, which I can put to good use as I grow my business.

The good news is that there are several reputable authors, who have first hand, time tested wisdom to impact on seekers like me.  In this article, I would like to recommend Sun Tzu: Strategies for Marketing – 12 Essential Principles for Winning the War for Customers by Gerald Michaelson and Steven Michaelson.

This book is gold.  It is intelligent without being arrogant.  The authors clearly understand that in marketing, we deal in “probabilities rather than certainties”.  This point seems to be lost in most of the popular declarations we read about in social media these days.  The truth is nothing is really as certain as some “experts” will have us believe.

Based on ancient military wisdom crystallized in Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, Michaelson & Michaelson lay out 12 vital principles of marketing, which have solid basis in fact and experience.  Here are three of my favorite principles:

  1. Honor the customer:   This should come as no surprise to successful sellers.  The operative mantra is that selling is not about you, it is about the customer.  Focus on the customer’s needs.  Here’s how the authors put it:

You grow your margins over time by finding a group of customers whom you want to serve, and who want to be served by you.  If you are loyal in serving their needs, they will be loyal to you.  And you will be able to charge a fair price in any economic climate.  The act of buying starts with a customer need.  The customer is the force that drives your business

 

2.  Organize intelligence:  Good information drives good business decisions.  There is no substitute for thorough and ongoing market research.  Cohesive knowledge is developed through understanding trends and projections.  To quote the authors:

 The antidote for uncertainty is relevant information.  The problem is sifting through the data prior to an incident to determine which information is critical for taking the correct preventive course of action.

 

 3.  Concentration of resources:  As any economist will tell you, productive resources are scarce.  Consequently, they should be allocated with the best outcome in mind.  This applies to tangible resources (like people, tools, and credit) and intangibles like time, strategies, and reputation.  Specialization is economical – in the best possible way.  According to the authors:

 Two simple rules govern concentration of resources: 1) it is an error to attempt to concentrate everywhere; the result is no concentration.  2) the more tightly focused your concentration, the more sure you are to have winning superiority.

 Read all about these time-tested principles in this well-written book.  You’ll be glad you did.

 

© Copyright Rachel Agheyisi and Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2009.

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8 Responses

  1. Rachel,

    Great post.

    I think the following are two adaptable strategies for long term, sustainable results in the business to business environment.

    The first is good Pipeline Management. This focuses on the prospects that you know exist. A good pipeline management strategy will identify these prospects, place compelling messaging in front of them, and then, most importantly, nurture that prospect until they enter they buying cycle. Thus, your company will remain top of mind until the time is right for the prospect to buy.

    The second strategy, Integrated Web Marketing (utilizing Social Media), is focused on prospects that you don’t know exist. Prospects, in the early stage of the buying cycle, are more inclined to visit blogs and forums to collect information on an issue. This is because peer-to-peer input is seen as more credible than a corporate website. A good web marketing strategy will first identify where, online, your prospective buyers are discussing their issues. Next, it should focus on placing relevant, useful information in front of them. The goal is to attract prospects that are very early in the buying cycle, merely navigating the internet for useful information regarding their situation, by providing them with peer-to-peer input, such as the “state of the industry” from your in-house expert.

    Thank you.

    -Jason

  2. Thanks, Jason.
    For some reason, your comment went into my spam folder.
    But I do think you make some valid points that my readers may find useful.
    So here it is!

    Best regards

  3. […] Read the rest of this great post here […]

  4. Thanks for the link. Please pass it on.

  5. This site rocks!

  6. Great site…keep up the good work. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,

  7. I don’t know If I said it already but …Great site…keep up the good work. 🙂 I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..

    -Bill-Bartmann

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