It’s one of those awkward questions posed to me at gatherings with extended family, or whenever I meet new people. More often than not, when people ask me what I do for my bread and butter and I answer, “I’m a strategic marketing consultant”, I’m almost always left with a blank stare. This is usually quickly followed by a, “Okay… so, what do you actually do?”
No doubt, I’m used to it at this point. I’ve had this question more times than I can count. The classic, “Oh, you’re in sales!” is met with a laugh and a casual, “nope!” Then there are those who think I work in advertising (which is pretty much like comparing an apple to a Snickers bar… Not. Even. Close). So, what is it then? And how do you even begin to explain something that clearly has no beginning or end?
Strategic marketing is really; everything done before you can advertise or sell a product, and then after, over and over again. Sounds a bit confusing, right?
Let me break this down a little more:
I do Trend Forecasting
Imagine going on a road trip with no map (okay, I’m new school… let’s make that no Google Maps). Sure, if you’re lucky, you’d get to where you were going… eventually. But you’d definitely encounter a few bumps and detours along the way. Strategic marketing is like a roadmap, using top-level thinking and continuous research to forecast the future of business i.e. the direction you need to go in to arrive at your desired destination on time aka BUSINESS SUCCESS!
Strategic marketing is the very the reason for your business’ existence. Think about it this way: You identified a need or so-called gap in the market and as a result, you now offer a product or service to meet that need and make a profit.
If you didn’t start your business based on market research and don’t keep evaluating its need, you may find your business in hot water. The world is changing more rapidly than ever, and this means there’s increased pressure for businesses to remain relevant.
For me, trend forecasting comes almost naturally. I’m an INTJ Myers-Briggs personality type – a rare breed amongst women (INTJs make up less than 1% of the female population). It’s the reason why I’m so misunderstood, but also why I’m considered an expert at what I do. INTJ’s are strategic thinkers and highly analytical. As an architect of strategy, I see the bigger picture that others often miss. I pick up patterns and possibilities, using reason and logic to create structure and order amongst clutter. I join elements through universal principles, relationships, and interconnections using various levels of data, piecing them together in a way that generates a complete and consistent puzzle. With all the necessary pieces in place, a solid marketing strategy can solve even the most complex of marketing problems.
I do Marketing Strategy
I suppose strategic marketing in its very essence, could be reduced to marketing strategy.
It’s a lot like a game of chess. You need to predict what the future holds (be steps ahead) and adapt your strategy (choose the right path) to ensure success (win the game). Or else, it’s checkmate…
Why hire a Strategic Marketing Consultant?
When you’re the captain of your business, there’s no way you want to be the next Titanic. So, you hire me and I steer your ship to keep it afloat in stormy seas, adapting to ever changing market conditions.
I do what I do simply because:
If you can’t adapt, you die. (I know, it seems rather dramatic but it’s the honest truth, really).
If you’re not constantly predicting trends, you’re missing opportunities.
If you’re not implementing a strategy, you’re wasting valuable time and budget.
So, should you find yourself unperturbed by any of the above, you probably shouldn’t be in business or you won’t be, soon enough.
The next time you meet a strategic marketing consultant, don’t make it awkward. You know exactly what’s potting. Sure, our breed’s a little crazy, but we’re the ones bold enough to think beyond the box!