LEVER 1: ‘A BEGINNERS MINDSET AND
A CUSTOMER FIRST ORIENTATION ‘
“Generating growth in business and from marketing starts and ends with leadership self-reflection , awareness of one’s confirmation bias , a beginners mind to see things differently, the humility to consider alternate and diverse possibilities and a market orientation centred on customer first”
If you’re struggling to achieve growth , it could well be down to the fact that your leadership’s marketing practices , strategies and tactics are entrenched in the past and confined to playing safe and operating within the norms of your catgeory.
In today’s competitive and ever changing markets meaningful growth from marketing and business in general is increasingly dependent upon leaders adopting a more open focus towards alternate thinking and genuinely striving to seek out and drive changes , building and supporting innovative cultures and most importantly a leadership and team market orientation that is clearly centred a customer first focus.
At Marketing Search we believe that any good marketing strategy will start and end from the customers perspective and starting at the customer will deliver the best outcomes.
Understanding what the customer wants is the key before any marketing gets created or any tactics can be considered.
With the aforementioned in place the ideal starting point is to review of one or more of your current marketing practices. Through the discipline of auditing or workshopping issues you can cost effectively spot both opportunities and identify the roadblocks and then apply open and critical thinking to finding the right solutions to driving business growth and improvement in your marketing and business.
1. DO A QUICK SELF ASSESSMENT
Try answering the questions below yourself to get a quick general sense of what may be missing or adrift from your business’s current leadership market orientation and mindset in realising marketing opportunities for improvement and growth.
2. BENCHMARK TO OUR BETTER PRACTICE STANDARD
In collaboration with our partner network we are continually developing better practice standard frameworks across multiple marketing disciplines from which our business members can benchmark their current practices against and more readily identify opportunities for improvement and growth.
Beginner’s mind is actually a concept from Zen Buddhism called Shoshin: “having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would.”
As Shunryu Suzuki says in Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind:
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”
There’s significant value of approaching problems as a novice, even if you already know a lot about them. It makes you more willing to experiment, to ask ‘why’ and question the status quo.
It’s an extremely simple technique to use – give it a try!
The greatest inhibitor towards realising improvements and identifying new opportunities comes from business owners and leaders believing that all is well with the status quo and that they truely understand their markets, competitors and customers perceptions and buying behaviours better than anyone else.
Without the right leadership and market orientation (especially towards placing customers first) to begin with you wont do the your research right and end up wasting monies and energies perpetuating old strategies and tactics that are increasingly mis-aligned to what the market needs and lessen your ability to sustain your competitive advantage.
That said within many businesses there are often other competing leadership perspectives and orientations which can limit progress be they having well intentioned alternate first focuses on sales, or product or advertising, without having first identified who they are selling to and why.
Realising a shift to a customer first market orentiation is also further held back due to difficulties some leaders have in putting their own biases to one side and truly see things from the view of the customer.An honest reassessment of research into your target market and an independent objective audit of one or more of your marketing practices will reveal where your opportunities for improvement and growth are.
To develop a successful marketing strategy , an organization must take into consideration the cultural influences of the society where a new product is being introduced. People make decisions about consumption of a product based on these cultural influences. Cultural Factors
are some of the strongest influences of consumer buyer behavior. Cultural Factors are the set of basic values, perceptions, wants and behaviors that are “learned” by a consumer from their families and other important social institutions.
Critical thinking is a methodology to map a new course of effective marketing strategy and practice.
Avoid the temptation to rush to blindly invest in plans and strategies expecting to learn as you go along .
Whilst after many trials you will eventually get there, however through applying some critical thinking you will get there with fewer trials, save time and cost and make better decisions.
To adopt the practice of critical thinking keep in mind the following;
1.Be open minded , let go of your inhibitions and stereotypes these are baggages that can prevent you finding the answers you are looking for.
2.Recognise the flawed nature of human thinking including your own and reduce biases.
3.Avoid being simplistic about complicated issues and strive to achieve reasonable understanding.
4. Be honest , socially and culturally conscious and empathetic of the positions of others.
5. Be inquisitive – unaccepting of the status quo and general accepted norms.
Conducting periodic reviews of your marketing practices is an essential low-cost way to spot opportunities and identify the roadblocks that relate to driving business improvement for any business.
Instill the discipline to undertake periodic reviews of key marketing practices every 3 to 6 months. Dont be complacent about market trends and needs and its rate of change.
Engage an external independent auditor to ensure objectivity and remove bias on performance evaluation. Marketing Search can arrange for audits to be undertaken freey for many aspects on your marketing or at very low cost.
Start by identifying the low hanging fruit , prioritise problematic marketing practices and bank and place a measure on outcomes and early wins.
Provide a reward incentive for recommendations and iniatives put forward by employees that lead to improvements in marketing and customer experiences.
3. GROWTH CONTENT : LEADERSHIP MARKET ORIENTATION AND DIAGNOSIS
In collaboration with our independent specialist provider partner & expert community we share strategic growth specific content centred on better leadership market orientation and objective independent analysis and auditing of practices in marketing.
4. GET SUPPORT AND TAKE ACTION
Need some expert advice before you dive into the diagnosis of your marketing practices?
Get in touch with us at Marketing Search and get answers to all your questions.
We’ll explore your current marketing approach and recommend ways you can improve your market orientation and auditing processes and outcomes.
5. CHECK OUT OUR 6 ADDITIONAL MARKETING GROWTH LEVERS
If you need support then get in touch, email or send us your needs brief and we will revert back to shortly.