Who should read this book?
This book has been written for owners, managers and entrepreneurs of growth companies or organisations who, irrespective of their product, service or stage of business, all share one thing in common: a resolve, ambition and desire to grow beyond their current size, sales or membership at a faster rate than their competitors, and to do it now.
We refer to these companies as growth companies or organisations.
They are invariably driven by owners and managers who desire to out-perform their peers and to grow beyond the status quo, and who perceive the current environment as a positive opportunity to achieve their business ambitions and goals.
Such people are owners and managers who ‘plan to win’.
Whether in business or in their social, sporting and personal life, they recognise that success does not come without planning and practice, and that growth only comes when they embrace and harness the power of marketing to assist them in their goals.
It is for these growth company leaders that we have written Fast Marketing for Fast Growth, which is based on our BrandQuest marketing strategy process that we have been creating for our clients. In all cases we have found that industry, size, nature or maturity of the business is irrelevant. What’s important is that the fundamentals remain constant.
The BrandQuest process has been successfully applied to companies and organisations across many categories including manufacturing, retailing, film and television, professional services, education, financial services, consumer services and not-for-profit.
Prior to adopting the BrandQuest method, most growth businesses lacked any way to measure the success of their existing marketing tactics, and, most importantly, whether their marketing gave a positive or negative return on investment. All previous marketing had been applied without discipline or consistency.
We have observed that there are many owners and managers out there who share a common desire ‘to win’, who understand the need and benefits of successful marketing, yet at the same time recognise the immaturity or naivety of their current marketing efforts and a lack of marketing expertise within their current management.
WHY WE WROTE THIS BOOK
From our previous business lives, the BrandQuest founders have a broad mix of experience and expertise. With over 50 years of combined senior management experience as managers and owners of both start-up and corporate companies, working in advertising, business strategy, marketing strategy, finance, operations and research, we continually saw common marketing issues that were not being addressed or were being poorly applied. Some of these problems were:
People go straight to marketing tactics
In their understandable eagerness to gain some marketing momentum, many companies put ‘the cart before the horse’. That is, they move straight to the ‘doing’ stage, before they have passed through the ‘thinking’ stage. We liken that to building a house without having plans as a guide. Or similar to hopping onto a bus not knowing the destination or where it’s going.
Without a guiding strategy to underpin your marketing tactics, you are marketing by guess-work, and without doubt wasting hard earned and precious money. A marketing strategy is the foundation on which all marketing tactics should be planned, then consistently implemented and measured against.
Lack of accessible marketing solutions for small to mid-sized companies
Marketing strategy has traditionally been the domain of large nationals and multinational companies who could afford both the marketing staff and the necessary outsourced providers (such as high-end consultancies and advertising agencies) to deliver their marketing needs and expertise. This option is simply not viable for small to mid-sized businesses for a host of reasons, especially time and money. But whom can they turn to? Where can they go to in their quest for sophisticated marketing knowledge and implementation?
Many attend seminars, such is the high interest in marketing as a topic. However, it is often the case that many marketing seminars are so high level they serve to confuse rather than teach the keys to successful marketing. Other growth company owners and managers seek knowledge and insights in business books.
Finally, many growth companies seek the assistance of marketing consultants and consultancies. Sadly, the offering is often highly polarised with expensive and timeconsuming marketing consultancies aligning themselves at the very top end of the market (national and multi-national brands), whilst a plethora of smaller consultants deliver a broad array of quite unsophisticated, non robust, non business-changing marketing tactics at the other end.
Lack of resources, especially time
One of our key observations regarding successful businesses is their efficient management of time. For owners and managers of growth companies time is their most precious resource. Consequently a key criterion throughout the development of the BrandQuest program was to recognise and respond to this fact. For these reasons we have assiduously structured and written Fast Marketing for Fast Growth with the reader’s available limited time in mind.
Marketing theory is too complex
Have you ever noticed how some people just can’t help themselves and love to complicate things? Like when you ask a professional or consultant to explain in more detail exactly what it is they do for their clients? Suddenly you’re transported to another planet listening to some kind of foreign language.
Marketing is a subject that is normally associated with boffins and marketing-babble.
Open any textbook (or better still engage almost any marketing consultant) and you’ll hear them all; psychographics, demographics, macromedia and micromedia. Above the line marketing, below the line marketing and through the line marketing. DM, DR, CRM, FMCG, 4Ps, 7Ps. Quant and qual, reach and frequency, and on and on it goes.
These observations and how they might be resolved were the catalyst for the development of the BrandQuest business model and this book.
If you’re nodding in agreement and you see yourself as a manager who is ‘planning to win’ through aggressive and planned business growth then this book has been written for you.