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As organisations, brands, and entrepreneurs’ step into 2024, a retrospective look at last year’s marketing efforts is not just beneficial – it is essential. The business landscape continues to be volatile and uncertain (VUCA), and 2024 shows no signs of smoothing the ride. Success will be the hallmark of those strategically positioned and prepared to navigate these challenges. 

Reflecting on the CIM Definition of Marketing: According to the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), marketing is “the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating, and satisfying customer requirements profitably.” At D&I Consulting, we see this as the complete marketing cycle. Thus, the pivotal question arises: Are your marketing efforts for the new year deliberate, or are they merely reactive? Have all aspects of your business been finely tuned, and you are leaving marketing to chance? Let us dig deeper with a few points I will like to share.

The Importance of Strategic Marketing: It is not enough to boast an aesthetically pleasing store with an inviting ambience. These elements should complement a robust marketing strategy. Marketing is not a chance operation; it is a managerial procedure comprising deliberate steps to understand and cater to customer needs. When did you last engage with your customers or conduct in-depth market research? If identifying and satisfying customer needs is not at the forefront of your strategy, you are already trailing behind. 

Investing in Understanding Customers: Training your staff, from frontline to management, is not an expense; it is an investment. A team committed to understanding customers can anticipate their behaviour and predict trends. This is not just important; it is critical. Satisfied customers not only return but also become promoters of your brand – the most sustainable way to grow your business. Failing to identify and anticipate customer needs jeopardises not just customer satisfaction, but also long-term profitability. 

The Risk of Complacency: If you find yourself uncertain about whether you are meeting customer needs, it is likely that your customers are sticking around due to factors like high switching costs, lack of alternatives, or mere convenience of location. This is a precarious position to be in, as it leaves your business vulnerable to any new competition that might offer more attention to detail. 

Completing the Marketing Cycle: The goal is to build the capacity to identify, anticipate, and satisfy customer needs. This is the essence of completing the marketing cycle and ensuring sustainable profitability. 

How D&I Consulting Can Assist: At D&I Consulting, we specialise in helping businesses take stock of their current position and strategically prepare for the year ahead from a marketing perspective. You might feel you are lagging, but there is good news. You are certainly not out of the race and can surely catch up. Let us guide you in reshaping your marketing strategy for 2024. Our approach is about taking deliberate steps to ensure that your marketing initiatives drive profitability. From managerial team, service providers, strategy, processes and execution, no one is left out. 

In summary, the question “How’s your marketing?” is not just a casual inquiry; it is a critical assessment tool for your business’s future. Let us help you make 2024 a year of proactive, strategic, and profitable marketing. 

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