How do we work with clients?

We help business owners answer the most critical question on their Competitive Strategy and Market Position: What do you do differently or better than your competitors, that your clients care so deeply about, that they are prepared to pay a premium?

If your answer to this question includes general responses such as experience, customer service, quality, range or people, it is likely that your business is more affected by price sensitive buyers. In reality, there is no real differentiation in brand attributes that customers expect as ‘minimum table stakes’.

Strategy development is a challenge for many firms. Too often it is a whiteboard session among senior management and being subject to limited objective information, the sad result is often a competitive strategy that offers no real advantage.

We bring time, focus, an independent perspective and uncluttered thinking that often allows you to see things in a different light. We favour evidence and facts over assumptions and anecdotes. We can respectfully and sensitively challenge and pressure-test entrenched viewpoints, long-held assumptions and sacred cows, and provide business leaders with informal and objective advice and observations.

Working with business leaders, EvettField brings experience, an independent and unbiased perspective, and robust processes to help them stand out from the crowd.

 

RESEARCH – FOR EVIDENCE-BASED DECISION-MAKING

The rationale behind research is simple. It gives you a much better understanding of markets, competitors and customers, and it provides the evidence-base that allows you to make informed decisions. In short, it massively reduces business risk and increases the likelihood of success.

Objective independent research is perhaps the single most important step to arriving at a sustainable competitive advantage. The purpose of research is to provide the evidence base to guide business leaders to make informed competitive strategy decisions.

There are several types of research of relevance here. The first is research on your target markets – size, growth rate, market share and market dynamics. Secondly, competitor analysis will allow you to see what position your competitors are trying to occupy in the market and whether there is any meaningful difference in the competitive landscape, and whether your advantages are in fact real. Thirdly, and most importantly, is an understanding of buyer needs, expectations and buying processes, plus any hidden influences that affect buyer decision-making.

EvettField has a well-developed research methodology to quickly and reliably provide the answers that business leaders need to de-risk their competitive strategy. We have successfully applied this methodology to over fifty different B2B markets in Australia and New Zealand, and we routinely uncover insights that were previously invisible to even long-term business owners.

 

STRATEGY – DEVELOPING COMPETITIVE STRATEGY

EvettField use the research fact base to inform the competitive strategy and underpin development of an implementation plan through three key channels.

MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP

Cementing competitive advantage has to be a whole-of-business effort and become an integral part of company culture. This is the responsibility of business leadership.

Research will provide clarity around the competitive assets that are valued by buyers and the role of business leaders is critical, as only they have the span of authority to coordinate resources to create the competitive assets that underpin revenue, margin and market share growth.

Leadership must create the competitive assets that support differentiation and the market position of the business. These are not necessarily product or service capabilities and often include information systems, data points and customer experience assets.

MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS

EvettField believe that the most under-utilised tool in business is marketing. Marketing is simply a contest for people’s attention and effective marketing requires combining the real needs of buyers with sophisticated use of data, technology and analytics. A well-crafted system will build an audience, create awareness, drive engagement and facilitate contact between a prospective buyer and seller.

Modern marketing is however a sophisticated discipline with a bewildering array of tools and many different areas of specialisation, and, because they don’t have the breadth of skills across all areas of marketing discipline, most businesses are poor marketers and fail to optimise their marketing presence.

In all this, the role of content is critical. Content is simply information that is directed towards an audience, and marketing is the transfer of content from the point of creation to the point of consumption. Good content will inform, enlighten, educate or engage your target audience while poor content will fail. 95% of the content that businesses post on the internet is poor content that simply fails to do its job, and represents wasted, time, effort and opportunity.

SALES AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

While marketing will create interest, the role of sales is to satisfy interest, and once contact is made, there is a baton change from marketing to sales.

It is critical that the marketing communication and content themes that attracted and engaged the prospect are continued during the sales discussion. Failure to do this will result in loss of momentum and possible loss of the prospect, and tight integration of sales and marketing is essential to maintain buying momentum.

There is often a tension point between sales and marketing, usually resulting from lack of coordination and integration between the functions. Modern systems provide complete transparency and steer prospects through a qualification funnel to the point of contact and provide clarity around individual campaign performance.

 

IMPLEMENTATION SUPPORT

The excitement of strategic planning is soon followed by the hard yards of implementation.

All your efforts at planning are worthless unless you implement, and it is estimated that 90% of strategy does not get implemented. Australian boardrooms are littered with un-implemented strategic plans that are gathering dust.

The reasons for implementation failure are remarkably consistent. EvettField understands why implementation fails and works with business leaders to manage critical failure points, ensuring that the internal environment is conducive to successful implementation.

We take a risk management approach to implementation and ensure that strategic goals are broken down into a coherent plan, and that the business has the resources, expertise, discipline and patience to implement it.

FOR MANAGEMENT

The role of leadership is to coordinate resources to create the competitive assets that support sales and marketing activities and may include information systems, product capabilities and customer experience assets.

There is no standard ‘playbook’ of competitive assets and EvettField can provide direct advisory support or to source subject-matter specialists from a vast network of expert resources.

FOR MARKETING

Marketing is a sophisticated discipline with many different areas of specialisation and few small/medium businesses will be fortunate enough to recruit a marketer with meaningful capabilities across all areas of the discipline, and as a result will not have the capability bandwidth to optimise its marketing presence.

EvettField has a full in-house digital lead-generation marketing team with the appropriate bandwidth to provide a fully outsourced service to clients. As the authors of the research and architects of the competitive strategy, we have end-to-end visibility with a direct line-of-sight from problem to solution.

FOR SALES

If the role of marketing is to generate interest, the role of sales is to satisfy interest. All too often however, the two functions are disconnected, and this lack of alignment between sales and marketing is a key weakness in many organisations.

EvettField work with sales management and sales resources to ensure that critical elements of the competitive strategy are effectively embedded into their selling processes, including:

  • Marketing rationale and intent
  • Buying behaviour and buyer journey
  • Segmented value propositions
  • Communication themes

 

OUTCOMES

So, you’ve done the research, developed and implemented your competitive strategy. What can you expect?

You understand the dimensions, drivers and dynamics of your market, and the position your competitors are trying to occupy. You know how buyers make purchasing decisions and what information is important to them when buying, and the best channels through which to deliver that information. This has been captured in your content and your marketing plan.

Your marketing engine is now delivering relevant, meaningful and engaging content to the desktops of prospective buyers, and by delivering this content in sufficient frequency, you will create enough positive brand ‘touch points’ to influence buyer behaviour.

If your content is working effectively, when your prospects are in their buying ‘drop zone’ they will probably reach out to you to discuss their needs.

Once they do reach out, your sales resources will know the content that interested and engaged prospects, and they will continue that discussion during the sales process through to sale.

By properly aligning competitive assets, marketing, content and sales you can expect:

  • Increased inbound contacts
  • Better qualified prospects
  • Increased proposal count
  • Less price-based buying
  • Faster sales cycles

All of which underwrite revenue, margin and market share growth which themselves drive sustainable improvements the cash flows that underpin enterprise value.

There is no standard formula for how much budget you need to invest, but what we can say, is that with a staged approach to implementation, there is a always compelling case for generating a compelling ROI.