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The Real Role of Marketing

This month, our LEAD™ program delegates were treated to a Masterclass on world-class marketing by Professor Malcolm McDonald – a world authority on strategic planning and marketing. 

As well as being a riveting subject for business people, Malcolm delivers the key points in a very engaging and amusing way, and echoes what we have found in practice – most organisations cannot describe their markets, how those markets work, what position their business has in the market compared to that of their competitors and what market segments are available. If businesses cannot do that, how can they create competitive advantage? How can they generate superior profits (over the long term)? 

Moreover, Malcolm observes businesses who attempt to create business plans often fall into the trap of writing poor mission and vision statements that can apply to any businesses rather than being meaningful to them. Further, many undertake a traditional SWOT analysis rather than consider doing one for each market segment. 

Last week's blog was a guest article by Malcolm, entitled Show Me the Money: Market Segmentation, and so this week we hear from another guest writer, in reply to Malcolm.

I am delighted that one of my former senior managers, Niels Kjær, in one of my former businesses has taken the time to write about his experiences on how he has embraced the Marketing Planning Process, transforming the way he works, the businesses he worked for, and his career. Niels is a successful business person in his own right and an inspiration to others. 

"After reading one of the QuoLux™ blogs from Malcolm McDonald, I decided to write about my practical experience with the Marketing Planning Process (MPP) that I was introduced to more than 10 years ago. I had several years experience as a sales director/manager in a major Danish building materials company. 

The model represented a complete mind-set change and paradigm shift for me and the business. MPP means that you can proactively plan your sales activities. The inputs and outputs in the MPP are based on facts and most importantly what customers think about us! 

I spent 2 to 3 weeks every year visiting our customers to do the research demanded by the process. The primary reason was to collect data so we could score our strength in the market compared to our competitors. The visits also had another effect - it gave respect - our customers were pleasantly surprised that we wanted their input. 

The next step was to assess what an attractive market looked like. It was an interesting internal task to do and one companies rarely do.  

We then constructed our directional policy matrix (DPM). This is a fantastic tool generating many interesting discussions around the Boardroom table regarding where we would focus our efforts. 

Previously our focus had been wrong. We had invested time and money dealing with an unattractive market segment where the customers did not rate us highly. We should have been raising pricing, minimizing promotion and cutting back on the organisation. It was an eye opener! We reassigned employees to focus on segments that we had chosen as our future. Our profits increased dramatically. 

We completed the process each year. The result was a large number of actions to be implemented during the year - we called it our “year-wheel”. Our marketing plan became the foundation of our business model. 

I have since been managing director in several companies. I use the model every year and have asked my management teams to think and work using the model. 

The MPP is more than conducting research and making plans for the companies. It affects the way you think in your working life. It has changed the way I do business, for the better. 

So do yourself a favour and read “MARKETING PLANS - Profitable Strategies in the Digital Age” by Malcolm McDonald. Understand the idea and start the journey. You will find that your company will be more market driven than you ever thought possible!" 

Niels Kjær 


It's such great feedback and advice from Niels, thank you. One final quote from Malcolm, “Deep down, companies know the answers to the above questions, when they are asked." Our role is to help you step back from the day-to-day activities so that you create the time to ask the question of yourself so that you properly plan. 

If you would like assistance in creating an MPP within your organisation then we would be delighted to help you. Market segmentation is a key theme on our LEAD™ program for senior leaders, of which Malcolm is one of the Masterclass speakers; if you'd like to learn more about our LEAD™ program for senior leaders and meet Malcolm, you can read more about it here.

You can also book a call with us to talk through how we may be able to help you. 


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