Professional Liability Insurance Group January February 2018

The PLIG Professional’s PULSE

Volume #21

FOR THE What Is Your Strategy NEW YEAR

What is your business strategy this year? What tactics will you employ to bring in more clients, build up your revenue streams, and strengthen your business? As you develop and set goals for your business in 2018, consider how you develop those goals. Look at your marketing and branding strategies and think about them with a top-down perspective.What do I mean by this? There are two schools of thought: top-down and bottom-up.These two perspectives are defined by how a company or brand markets itself. Chances are you’ve heard the terms.There was a very popular marketing book published in the late 1980s, called “Bottom-up Marketing” by Al Ries and Jack Trout, which defined the term. It was written in contrast to the more traditional approach of top-down marketing. Both have their place in the business world, and you can look at them in the context of strategy and tactics. In the top-down model, strategy generally dictates tactics.Your tactics then become the foundation The bottom-up model is the opposite.Tactics dictate strategy. “Bottom-up Marketing” argues that strategy only comes after you understand your clients — their needs, desires, and so on. In short, your clients influence the strategy of your business. With the top-down model, you are in control of your marketing, your brand, and the brand experience.You look for a path to growth.You have your finger on the pulse of the market.You develop marketing that allows you to travel that path. It gives you control.This is similar to how Disney operates.They have immense control over their brand and family of brands. It’s practically unrivaled in any industry. With the recent acquisition of most of 21st Century Fox Corp.’s assets — including the entertainment division, 20th Century Fox — Disney wields more control than ever before.They have essentially become the entertainment industry.This control emanates from the

top down and filters out to all Disney properties, from film and TV to their theme parks around the globe.

Take the parks, for instance.The moment you step into Disney World or Disneyland or any of their other parks, Disney controls your experience.They want you to have a memorable, magical time, and they want to you to spend more money — and it’s safe to say most people do. What can you learn from this method of marketing? How can you use strategy to dictate your tactics? As you set goals for your business, think about the way you market to clients, prospects, and the community at large. Are you in control of the brand message, or do your clients control the message? Disney isn’t necessarily the best company to emulate, but you can take elements of what is successful about their model and adapt it to more suitably fit your business. It might mean boosting your customer service and striving to be the best in your community or niche. It might mean having an unparalleled company culture — you’re a business where people want to work, and one people rave about all time. Or it might mean taking calculated risks.These are all attributes of successful businesses.The question for the new year remains, however:What are you going to do to reach new levels of success in 2018? -Shayne

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