The bigger picture
Posted on 01/06/2012
Andrew Scott, managing director of business and marketing consultants Purplex, discusses the bigger picture when it comes to growing a business.
At Purplex we are often asked what the best marketing strategies are to grow a business. Is it advertising or PR? Direct marketing or digital? Or the so called 'marketing mix'?
We see these simply as the 'tools' to carry out certain activities. When it comes to marketing, many companies - and marketing agencies - miss the bigger picture and can spend a great deal of time and money on marketing activities that generate very little return.
Purplex has developed a unique business model that has been proven over many years to create cost-effective, sustainable and profitable growth, even in recession. The 'Growth Matrix' balances the needs of short term wins with long term growth, external marketing with internal customer relationships.
Tactival v Strategic
Some business plans focus on immediate gain (tactical wins). But without a longer term plan this can be a risky approach - we've all seen companies who enjoyed spectacularly growth and then disastrously fall over. But conversely, there is no point developing a 'big picture' strategic plan that focuses on the long-term, while cashflow dries up from lack of short term sales.
Developing a growth plan needs to incorporate both longer-term strategy planning ('Where do we want to be in three or five years') with tactical, short-term activity operating in tandem with each other.
External v Internal
All too often, business growth plans focus exclusively on external marketing activity. This can be tactical 'push marketing' where you promote your business directly to potential customers using a myriad of marketing tools such as advertising, PR, direct marketing, telesales, online activity or events/exhibitions.
Or it could also be more strategic activity using 'pull through marketing' where demand is created through brand loyalty and reputation, or where trade and commercial suppliers create down-stream demand for their products using, for example, trade dealer networks, consumer literature or specification selling.
External marketing activity is essential in the window and conservatory industry, which has seen a 20% drop in volume over the last couple of years. But what is the point of investing in external marketing if you can't keep the customers once you have them?
A key element of the Purplex Growth Matrix is focusing on customer relationships. Tactically this is obvious - keep your customers. Yet very few companies have a comprehensive, documented customer retention strategy that focuses on or monitors customer service, loyalty, satisfaction and value.
At a strategic level, customer relationships are about growing revenue from your existing customers. Are you their sole supplier or do they dual-source? Are they aware of all the products you offer, and do they sell them? How can you increase the average order value and frequency of purchases?
Creating a successful sustainable growth strategy incorporates all the elements outlined above. So working with a marketing partner who understands your business goals, and has the experience and resources to deliver results, can make all the difference.
Purplex is one marketing company that sees the bigger picture. The company was established in 2004 to provide the window, conservatory and glass industry with a credible solution to business growth. As market conditions have worsened in recent years, more companies have turned to Purplex to provide creative, cost-effective growth strategies.
We don't just talk the talk either. While most marketing agencies outsource elements to third parties, we have insisted on having the expertise in-house. Our own growth over the last seven years is testament to the success of the Growth Matrix
In 2005 we established a specialist PR division, which has now grown into one of the largest specialist PR agencies in the construction industry with a highly experienced team or writers and journalists. A creative studio followed a year later and provides a comprehensive graphic design service for both print and digital media.
Since then, Purplex has acquired a direct mail fulfilment business and launched Purplex Digital in 2009. The digital division includes an in-house web design and SEO team, email marketing, social media and online advertising.
In-group resources also extends to expert market research and telemarketing. Today the business has a team of over 20 professionals covering every aspect of business growth and marketing with clients ranging from giant international conglomerates to small local fabricators.
Individual aspects of marketing - such as PR or advertising - are all important, but adopting the Purplex Growth Matrix will create sustainable, profitable growth in the short and longer term.