Marketing Strategy

"It may not always be profitable at first for businesses to be online, but it is certainly going to be unprofitable not to be online." (Esther Dyson, * 1951)
We are advisors to C-level managers and their teams providing analyses of strategic positions and facilitating the design and implementation of (digital) marketing strategies. Our Marketing Strategy services are offered to companies aiming for competitive advantage by rethinking their business and market positioning. The topics we address are:

Multichannel Marketing

Internet and mobile technology changed the way how customers get in contact with companies, organizations, and brands. Furthermore, at different stages of their buying decisions processes, people use various sources to meet their needs, whether they are information seeking, price comparisons, or buying. Also firms without online shopping possibilities recognize that "research online, purchase offline" has become a common behavior for almost everybody.

Because of the
media usage behavior of the target audience during the acquisition, buying, and service process, almost any firm should consider multichannel marketing. This is also true for firms with a multilayer channel system. If they don´t, they do not control information flow to their target audience and risk that potential buyers end up with competitors. Multichannel marketing enables interactions with customers across different channels and makes sure, that every channel has the necessary information to serve the customers´needs.

Interestingly enough, many firms serve different customer segments through different channels, however this is not the aim of multichannel marketing. Instead, multichannel marketing relies on a
linkage of online and offline operations.
Our
customer-centric marketing strategy service is geared to designing, developing, and implementing multichannel marketing strategies. We do this by applying the subsequent actions:

  • Analyze AS IS distribution channels, channel requirements, customer touchpoints and customer behavior in the channel-mix
  • Develop strategic options for multichannel management and evaluate potential channel conflicts
  • Design a multichannel marketing strategy and governance structure for effective coordination of sales channels
  • Determine deployment of resources for multichannel systems
  • Align information flow across channels

Business Model Design

In a globalized economy with business cycles becoming shorter, competition fiercer, and customers more challenging, no company can afford to rest on its laurels. Not even industry leaders. Challenging existing businesses models and coming up with new ones is a virtue of high performing organizations.

Technology has had a major impact on the rise of new business models during the last ten years, many business model concepts are using the internet. However, as important
technology is as a critical enabler of implementing business models, it is not a part of the building blocks that characterize a business model . Following the groundbreaking work of Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur and co-created by an amazing crowd of 470 practitioners from 45 countries, the 9 building blocks of business model design are:

  • Customer Segments, Value Propositions, Channels, Customer Relationships, in our marketing framework aggregated to the value driver "customers"
  • Revenue Streams, Resources, Activities, Partnerships, Cost Structure, which together make up the value driver "value chain".
In order to stay ahead of the competition, marketing-driven management takes the responsibility to drive business model design and implementation through marketing strategies.
We are consultants for top management making strategic marketing change happen.

eCommerce

Entrepreneurial decisions to invest in eCommerce are top management decisions. Since eCommerce initiatives usually have a high impact on revenues and costs, these projects are of high strategic priority. Furthermore, implementing eCommerce business models and strategies affect almost every function in a firm. This applies not only for pure online players (e.g. etailers), but also for multichannel and brick-and-mortar businesses.

As a consequence,
complexity, time and cost pressure are high. This multiplies in the case of international eCommerce strategies which involve many countries, cultures, and languages. The involvement of many people requires very experienced project managers and professional competence, which in many firms is not available along the complete range of required skills. Finally, as the success of any eCommerce strategy will be decided on the market, the availability of external knowledge acquainted with competencies in online marketing, communication, and advertising is a critical success factor for any eCommerce project.

The services, we are supplying with regard to eCommerce are manyfold. Of course, we are implementing eCommerce through digital
communication and advertising. Moreover, as part of our Marketing approach we

  • advise firms with identification, briefing, selection, and implementation of eCommerce platforms
  • give advice and support for internationalization and country-specific adaptation of online stores
  • support in project planning, management, and control of eCommerce projects
  • realize feasibility and market entry studies for eCommerce
  • provide consulting to brick-and-mortar business in identifying, selecting, and managing online sales partners
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The 4 M´s

Strategy

We design and implement digital strategies for sustainable growth. more

Web

We develop creative web sites and applications, portals, and online shops. more

Branding

We build brand reputation and communicate brand messages online. more

Sales

We acquire leads and customers and maximize online sales at target ROI. more

In order to turn visions into reality, every company and organization needs - and at least bigger firms already have - some kind of a strategy process. Contrary to performance improvement, which takes place in the context of existing strategies and operations, strategic change is about designing and implementing a new corporate strategy.

Of course, the aim of strategic change is also to improve performance, however initiated change is
transformational and longterm. Purpose of strategic change at a corporate level is about
  • positioning the company and its products and services in attractive markets,
  • gaining competitve advantage,
  • using corporate resources efficiently and effectively in order to maximise shareholder value.

Marketings task is to
align marketing strategy with corporate strategy and to execute marketing strategy in the marketing mix. By doing so, companies that use a "strategic marketing approach" apply a marketing mix of 4 M´s: Motives, Margins, Multichannel, Media.
  • They do not just sell products, but want to meet the motives of their target customers, in other words they have brand strategies and management in place.
  • They make price decisions by focussing on margins.
  • They discover the power of eBusiness as a medium for generating sales growth and/or cost reduction and make use of multichannel marketing.
  • They do not just promote their brands, but have in place a sophisticated range of media (traditional, online, mobile)