When it comes to product development it is now widely accepted that ongoing innovation is required to ‘stay in the game’. Product development as a formal function or in response to market changes/customer feedback is embedded in the culture of most companies.
But what about Sales and Marketing ? What innovations have you brought to your sales and marketing approach over the last 5 years?
During this period the quantity/quality of information available to your customers on competing products, through the internet and social media has vastly expanded.
You might think that you have a differentiated product offering and a loyal customer base, but is this the case?
There are threats, but you may also be missing out on new market opportunities.
Maybe it is time review your sales and marketing approach and consider :
1. Checking alignment with your business vision. If you have changed your business strategy and not reviewed your sales and marketing approach it is possible that they have become misaligned.
2. Validate your assumptions of how your existing customers reach their buying decisions. Do you need to change how you position your product offering?
3. Exploring new online routes to market for existing customers and new customer segments in existing and new geographies.
4. Developing your in-house competencies in using the internet and social media for sales and marketing purposes.
5. Hiring a different kind of sales and marketing professional, more tuned into todays challenges and opportunities.
The newspaper industry is a good example of an industry exploring new routes to market. The same or similar ‘content’ is being packaged and priced differently for online channels. While the winning business model has yet to emerge very few in the news business would now suggest that paper only publishers of news content will survive in the long term.
Sitting on the sidelines waiting for the future to be become clear is a high risk strategy – you risk being left behind. It may be that the ‘safe’ option is to experiment with new online and offline strategies until you find the mix that works best for you.