Ever wonder how market leading companies got that way? Ever wonder who lead the way and how they knew to veer in the direction they did? Based on our analysis of hundreds of business cases, we’ve determined that there are some key decisions that top marketing executives make in common with market leadership, the result of which is moving that company to the next level of market penetration.
5) Select Partners Carefully. Ask yourself this question: Would i want to do business with this company regardless if I made a profit or not? If the answer is no, then it’s probably not a good fit. For a partnership to work, both sides have to support the mission equally and enthusiastically. If you don’t enjoy your interactions with the partner and they’re not tremendously fruitful, cut your losses and dissolve it before things get bad.
4) Know When To Call it A Day. Ask yourself: Is this effort as effective as it was the week it started? If the answer is no, is it fatiguing and lagging due to lack of support, saturation, market shift or getting stale? It may be you’ve reached the point of diminishing returns, and the ROI of continuing it is no longer viable. If that’s the case, you’re throwing money away, just pull the plug and initiate another effort. Clinging to a failing program costs you more than you imagine in lost opportunity, time, and it’s negative effect on your audience, staff and company morale has a measurable value.
3) Have a Purpose. Ask yourself: Why exactly are we doing this again? If the answer resembles something like “we did it last year”, or “our competitors tried it,” or “The Boss wants it that way” than it might be time to rethink the effort from the beginning. Legacy programs whose rationale have changed due to altered circumstances can be doing damage to your brand, losing you money, and wasting time. If the purpose no longer exists, don’t do it!
2) Are We Winning, and If Not, Why Not? One thing most market leading companies use as a mantra is that they have to be in the top 1-2 positions in each market they compete in or changes need made. They feel a need to lead, and they do everything in their power to lead their particular category for every product or service they offer. A quick analysis of the leader will tell you what you’re doing wrong, and you have to make a decision whether to fix it or bail out. The Cost/Benefit analysis should be performed regularly, and a market scan produced quarterly with ruthless honesty.
1) Where Do We Go From Here? Market leaders don’t often have to ask this question, because they think 8-9 moves ahead and plan strategically each move and have three contingencies based on research and market intelligence. They ask “where do we go” long before they get there! Draw the roadmap before you leave the barn, leave room to be flexible to respond to unforeseen challenges, and stay the course, and you’ll be surprised how far you’ll go. The control and discipline it requires to do this is what separates the men from the boys, but you can bet that market leading companies spend more time planning than executing, and spend significant time asking “What if?”
If your company wants to be a leader in their market, it comes down to asking the right questions, and probing until you get an answer that satisfies your needs. Keep digging . . .
For more great questions you should be asking, pick up a copy of “The Marketing Doctor’s Survival Notes”