Strategic Planning for Growth – Know What Decision Makers Want

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At Sound Press, we sure get a lot of projects brought our way. Some are brought by CEOs and Presidents, but a lot of projects are brought by Commercial Officers, CMOs, COOs, Marketing Directors, Sales Directors, Sales Staff, and front line team members. But what projects get the green light? What projects get funded?

Well, that answer goes back to another two questions. Who is or who are the Decision Makers, and what do they want?

This is geared towards people that have projects and ideas to engage with us, that can grow the company in some regard. We do often end up collaborating with our clients to get the green light from the company.

There absolutely can be the “selling” of a project to company leadership and even boards. But it sure is important to know who the decision-makers are. At Sound Press, we really try to understand and know who those people are, because it can be absolutely frustrating to build a plan, show the efficacy and the financial model for success, and then have it shot down by someone who is the decision maker that was not involved in the process.

The first main piece of advice is to work with the decision-maker whenever possible. At Sound Press, we rarely go too far without some level of engagement with a decision-maker, and that is purposeful. We cannot build something in a barn away from the eyes of a decision maker, who then might swoop in and offer an option that is a yea or nay decision. That’s not fair to the hard-working people who deliver the product, nor is it fair to the company as a matter of financial investment to not have the decision maker involved in something worth spending money on.

The second main piece of advice is to know what the decision-makers want. Some decision-makers are 100% budget driven. And this better be followed. When getting funding for a project, the last thing you want is to “go back to the well” asking for more funding for some scope creep. It can happen, but often those ideas are simply saved for a later time.

So find out who the decision-makers are, find out what they want, stick to the budget as best as possible, and engage with the decision-makers as is appropriate at various stages along the way. Avoid surprises or changes in direction with good communication and feedback. We all want to sleep well at night and reduce stress, so try to eliminate the unknowns and keep a project or initiative successfully on track out of the gate.

What Distributors Are Doing Right

Establishing an Internal Marketing Communications Director

Effective marketing communications play a pivotal role in the success of any warehouse distributor. Whether you’re a well-established company or a newcomer in your local market, having a skilled professional to handle your marketing communications is essential.

You’ll first need to define the role and craft a clear job description. Start by outlining the specific responsibilities and goals of the position. Note the unique challenges and opportunities within your local market, such as engaging with a diverse customer base and knowing how to market to your key customer types. The job description should focus on identifying a candidate with a blend of traditional and digital marketing skills (branding, content creation, social media management, digital advertising) and automotive industry knowledge. Familiarity with industry trends, regulations, and technologies is crucial.

After developing a clear job description, the next step is to identify if you will need to hire an experienced candidate or invest in training an existing employee. Training can be cost-effective and allows you to tailor skills to your company’s needs. If you opt for training, develop a comprehensive program that covers automotive industry dynamics, marketing strategies, and tools, or find third-party solutions that can give your candidate the needed training.

Perhaps most important in our increasingly tech-savvy world is a marketing person who understands the importance of digital marketing and how it ties to the future of your company. Your candidate will need to have at least a working knowledge of various digital marketing tools, analytics, and software relevant to your automotive sector. This includes familiarity with inventory management systems and automotive-specific software like WHI’s Nexpart’s eCommerce portal.

The automotive industry’s fast-paced nature requires skilled marketing communications professionals who can adapt to changing trends and effectively convey your brand’s message. Whether you hire externally or invest in training an internal resource, a well-prepared marketing communications director is essential for your success.