“It’s Alive! It’s Alive!!” according to Dr. Frankenstein, in the movie Young Frankenstein when the monster came to life. Now it is time to feed the beast. Living organisms must eat to grow, thrive and mature. In many ways, a business acts like a living organism with expectations to mature and perform. It needs to be nourished and cultivated in its own way. However, instead of meats and veggies, businesses run on sales, profits and cash flow. Because these elements are quantified, they need to grow and thrive in a measurable way. Big, strong, healthy, vibrant, growing businesses in essence have one objective: Grow Big or Go Home!
Businesses have many tactics to drive success, yet they all basically focus on deploying resources to generate revenue. Growth in itself does not result in success. Fundamentally, any business who sells large quantities at a loss is not performing profitably. So, what tactics drive profitable activities? The answer is not in the good or service. It actually resides inside strategic marketing. Curiously, an emphasis on strategic marketing often does not exist outside of large organizations. The reason often seems to be the inability for scrappier businesses to unite the two functions. While strategy and marketing exists in profitable businesses, their operational separation often limits the growth capacity of many businesses.
Strategy and marketing are fairly common business terms for people who lead businesses. However, when the two concepts collide in the business environment, murkiness results. For this blog’s purpose, “Strategic Marketing” is defined as a process of business planning activity where “ultimately it is around creating a sustainable competitive advantage which enable future profitable growth for the business.” Consequently, the outcomes from these exercises create measurable and aspirational forecasting. Business decisions, and eventually performance, heavily rely on maximizing execution of superior ideas and plans. No enterprise will grow successfully, nor significantly large if the foundation is not established between superior internal collaboration and external delivery on communicated tactics! “Build it and they will come” only happens if the plan is great and the execution is better!
A cold hard fact about business is that the marketplace has options! If a customer cannot find satisfaction where they expect it, they will pursue other avenues to find their solution or a reasonable proxy. Furthermore, the strategically prepared business will already have insight into the market’s upcoming desires and demands. Knowing is part of their process. With regards to “Grow Big”, this means that resources and research need to be in place anticipating potential opportunities. While these operations may seem expensive to study and execute, the alternative is that the competitor who decides against this level of investigation will have their capital tied up in outdated inventory and underperforming headcount.
Approaching the marketplace with a “Grow Big” attitude means that resources are not just for performance, but also for projected success. For example, the auto industry introduces new models of cars annually. That type of innovation epitomizes the “Grow Big” mindset. Every new model will not be a hit. But, every old model eventually phases out! Creating an environment of constantly seeking growth in ideas, customers, and trends, is the best tactic to keep a business and its leadership from the “Go Home” option. Ultimately, market influences prioritize and reward innovation. Typically, premium products have better margins. A business that has the courage to embrace innovation, still needs the fortitude to iterate and to execute through assorted problems and secure profitable solutions. Use market data to understand. Execute marketing plans boldly to secure customers. That is the path to “Grow Big!”
In business growth is inevitable, but not universal. Hungry new competitors and alternatives consistently chomp at the heels of market leaders. Consider the expanding marketplace for organic produce. “What makes one set of fruits and vegetables so much more attractive than another?” is a huge question for this specific segment of the marketplace. However, another market segment cannot wait for their premium priced organic produce to be delivered. That customer even has a generous gratuity for the delivery person. Ultimately, recognizing marketable innovation across products and services continues to drive economies. Niche providers will continue to exist, but they are always looking around the corner for bigger competitors lurking to conquer their market share. Even in a niche, and especially among larger conglomerates, “Grow Big or Go Home” is not just a rallying cry. It is the oxygen that sustains life in businesses of all sizes. As for more modest competitors, niches can be dominated, too. Businesses of all industries and sizes that claim this mindset get to prepare to own their destiny.
Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC