Peter Drucker, the prolific business author, has repeatedly said that "the job of marketing is to create new customers." How does marketing help define and achieve large strategic goals?
I have always found success, be it in start-ups, turn-arounds or large multi-billion dollar conglomerates, with an oxymoronic formula: to be "flexibly mechanized."
That is to say, there are either numerous ideas on how to innovate and drive new growth, or, there exists great ambiguity and a scarcity of direction.
In either case, I have both a passion and a specific Strategy & Marketing Model for identifying new ideas to drive expansive growth. The formula involves systematizing formal-yet-nimble market research programs to elicit critical thinking from internal stakeholders, external customers, prospects, lost sales, analysts, media and "adjunctive audiences." These formal research programs include: creating new product/new market roadmaps, conducting one-to-one phone and/or in-person interviews, field observation, moderating focus groups and leading brainstorming sessions.
However, once this "flexibility" of creating numerous ideas has been accomplished, a major challenge for many organizations is how to mechanically test these ideas in a credible way?
My approach is to "mechanize" rapid prototyping, end-user scenario presentations, beta/test marketing, market sizing and demand quantification, pricing strategy, channel partnerships, competitive "moat" analysis, legal contract provisions, obsolescence planning and preserving commercial roll-out options. I have deployed this model many times, referred to frequently as "mass customization."
It is a model I used to help FLIR Systems (NASDAQ: FLIR), a multi-billion dollar corporation scale from a $26M loss to $230M in annual earnings over 10 years, helping FLIR to earn the Top 10 Performer of the Decade Award by CNBC.
It is the same marketing model used to help Genscape traverse from being a mid-tier brand to becoming "The Vanguard of their Industry" according to a front-page Wall Street Journal article; while scaling revenue growth from $38M to $100M over 5 years.
Finally, it is the same model used at W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE: GRA) to expand a mature global chemical business by customizing a country-by-country new product packaging, regulatory compliance and favored-distribution model that doubled revenue from $3M to $6M over 4 years, while opening up brand new markets for future penetration.
In my experience, each company has its own "hidden value" and it is marketing's job to figure out how to bring it forward, how to make it easy for all stakeholders to interact with a marketing team that delivers high quality results time and again.