As a business grows in size and complexity, the executive management comes to understand that to continue their growth curve they need to make certain that their strategic market planning is operating at its optimum effectiveness and efficiency, particularly given today’s difficult business climate.

The question becomes how you can be certain that your strategic plan will produce the outstanding results you need in this environment? Based upon our field research and customer interviews performed with both for profit and non-profit organizations, you need to focus your efforts on “three must-do’s that will drive your organization to its next level.”

These three essentials are:

Know Your Client’s Needs. In today’s toughest economy, knowing exactly what your client needs is the number one essential best practice you can employ. This means that you understand your client’s needs as well as or better than they do so you can offer them real-world practical advice on how to solve their toughest challenges. Here’s an example of that in action:

  • Your company meets monthly to identify the top trends in your client’s market and brings them specific recommendations on how they can implement solutions that will solve to their stated challenge.

Know Your Competition Well. When the economy gets tight outbound sales representations are multiplied. This means there are more people and companies competing for a finite number of projects. So instead of simply plowing ahead with what makes sense to you how about examining what your competition is saying and doing in your marketplace to determine the optimum positioning and strategic messaging possible. Example:

  • A digital printing house found more commercial printers offering digital printing in their geography as before so they needed to amplify their marketing efforts through the use of Open Houses, Digital Print Webinars, and offering Digital Marketing Services to stay ahead of the traditional printers in their area.

Know Your Core Strengths. Companies in a panic often stretch their services offerings to keep current with their competition. This is rarely a good idea as it pushes the company out of their knowledge zone. It’s almost always preferable to find new services that augment your current offerings that could be added without having to retrain your staff to provide them. Example:

  • A scientific company wanted to expand its drilling equipment to keep up with its largest competitors. Rather than invent new equipment it offered to new customers the ability to customize their existing equipment to the new customer’s exacting specifications. Although more costly than selling them their off-the-shelf product, it saved them the substantial amount it would have taken to create an all-new product and brought it to market.

Summing Up: Once you know what your baseline strategy is you can see far more clearly and act far more quickly! The best practices of strategic market planning are universal. What they need to work at optimum strength is the customization to your particular client’s needs. So go ahead and get creative!