Next week, LEAD delegates will be 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 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGjdb6wW8PM

Malcolm 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 where the same words appear under both 'Strengths' and 'Weaknesses' and 'Opportunities' and 'Threats'. Malcolm muses, "Do they cancel each other out?" and suggests that "SWOT stands for 'Such a Waste Of Time'!"

At QuoLux, our STRATA consultancy division assists local businesses to create winning strategies that deliver sustainable competitive advantage ensuring the outputs of marketing (branding, websites, brochures, flyers, social media etc.) are tailored to the customers' needs in the market segments that the business leaders choose to compete in. We positively challenge business people to devise segment leading market penetration strategies and encourage them to broaden and deepen relationships with existing customers and to find similar new clients. We then assist businesses to implement the appropriate follow up systems to ensure success.

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.

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