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Here is the last part of our short series on preparing your own marketing strategy and this is about resources.
In Part 4 of this series, we mentioned that you need resources to successfully implement your marketing strategy.
What are business resources
Business resources are assets and services owned or used by a company to produce goods and services that can satisfy wants and needs or can offer solutions to problems.
In old school or traditional economics, there are three groups of resources – land, labor, and capital.
I am inclined to use here the more contemporary classification of business resources into tangible and intangible groups as follows:
- Investments (stocks, bonds)
- Machinery and equipment (for office, commercial, or production/logistics use)
- Building (for office, commercial, factory/warehouse use)
- Land (for building construction, agricultural production, or a source of natural resources like metals and minerals)
- Human resources (talents, skills, experience)
- Systems and processes (unique/licensed systems)
- Technology (software)
- Intellectual properties (copyrights, patents)
- Brands (global or nationally recognized)
For your furniture marketing business, it is easy to recognize how your tangible resources can be used to execute your marketing strategy.
I would like to discuss more in detail how intangible resources can energize your strategy toward creating and sustaining your competitive advantage. Let us take up three examples of tangible resources:
You have chosen to carry two well-known furniture brands: ABODE and WORKPLACE.
These brands have a good reputation in other countries that prospective customers already know or can easily verify online. These brands have good reviews too.
Between a reputable brand and an unknown brand (some furniture products have no brand at all), customers will prefer the former. Even if your brands are priced higher, customers would rather put their money in brands with tested value offering rather than risk it on untested brands.
- Human resources
As they say, human resources are the best assets of a business organization.
A rigorously selected, thoroughly trained, progressively compensated, and highly motivated marketing and sales personnel can deliver fantastic results for your company insofar as revenue generation and customer acquisition are concerned.
It is true that creating and keeping this kind of marketing and sales staff can be very expensive in terms of time, money, and effort.
But what they can deliver in performance and results make the difference between your company’s success or failure, good or bad reputation, and pleasant or appalling customer experience.
Technology enables your company to achieve a high level of efficiency and productivity.
A good CRM software enables your company to manage holistically in real time your marketing and sales operations.
An ERP software can track your business resources, provides updates on your business functions, and shares real-time information among your operating units as well as outside stakeholders.
An accounting software can give you complete, accurate, and timely financial information about your business.
In the course of operating your business, you can eventually acquire or develop other intangible resources that can enable you to take your competitive advantage to higher levels.
You can build over time a good relationship with major furniture retailers and big corporate clients – personally knowing and periodically communicating with their owners and/or decision makers. This puts you on par or even gives you an edge over competitors.
As your business continues to provide excellent quality furniture and customer support, you consequently attain a high level of business reputation and goodwill. This resource is difficult to accurately quantify but it can definitely put you several notches above the competition.
What is business capability
Aside from resources, another factor that can drive your marketing strategy toward superior competitive advantage is business capability.
Business capability simply refers to what a business does at different levels of its organization.
Marketing and sales, for example, are among your business capabilities. You actually develop these capabilities over time across its different sub-groups or teams.
Logistics management is another business capability. Your ability to manage efficiently and productively your inbound and outbound logistics, which include the gamut of shipping, warehousing, inventory control, and transportation, can positively impact the execution of your marketing strategy.
As you gradually acquire learnings and gain more experience in these functional areas of your business, you consequently boost your competitive advantage.
You as the business owner should be able to effectively combine your company’s resources and capabilities to drive your marketing strategy towards creating and sustaining your competitive advantage. This will ensure the survival, growth, and profitability of your business.
This brings to a close our short series on preparing your own marketing strategy.
I hope you have been able to pick up some good points that can be of use to your existing business or to your forthcoming startup.
This series on marketing strategy will be followed soon with a series on preparing your own marketing plan.