I’m a big believer in using frameworks and systems when marketing a company. But not any framework or system. Only the ones that are built based on experience, that have evolved based on trial and error and work in the field (with customers and sales organizations for example). The ones that have flexibility built in them, are simple to understand and act as a bridge between strategy and execution.
Over the past seven years I’ve build such a framework which I call, you guessed it, my Marketing Integration Framework (MI Framework). I use it to help me stay focused, prioritize and set direction.This framework is used to set direction, establish priorities and align strategy with tactics. The outcome is to establish brand preference and generate business results.
The 6 ingredients are mixed together as we integrate branding and business development in to your company. An illustration and brief description are below.
Figure: The MI6 Framework
- Today's B2B buyers rely on word of mouth and awareness as their primary means of establishing a list of prospective service firms. The goal of marketing is to establish a unique value proposition and over time brand preference. The brand defines your value proposition, your "elevator speech" and what makes you unique.
- Professional Services firms, especially I.T. Services and Solution providers (aka System Integrators), need to bring to market compelling services and solutions. The goal of marketing is to clearly define what that offering is, why it is of value and provide proof that this is the case. The offering is a core component of your brands value proposition.
- Professional services firms must constantly develop new business. Translation, they have to sell themselves. The goal of marketing is to create conversations with prospects and clients and position the brand, offering and value as something worth considering for purchase. Alignment and sales enablement is critical. Business development is what generates cash and profit for your business.
- These are 4 simple guiding principles, called the "4 Rs of marketing", that you apply on a day to day basis that help set clarity in terms of direction and priority. The goal of marketing is use these principles to keep you heads clear and stay focused on what matters in B2B marketing...especially for professional services firms.
- Building a brand, developing an offering and generating business requires a programmatic approach. The goal of marketing is to establish a strategy and put in place tactical programs to implement it. This needs to be done consistently and over time. Programs generate results, build your reputation and your brand.
- Having in place repeatable systems make it easy to accelerate execution and measure progress. The goal of marketing is to establish systems that help companies learn, improve, measure and execute in the areas of branding, offer and business development. Systems make it possible to do good things again..faster.