The clearer the marketing strategy, the faster the actions

The Strategic Marketing module of the Henley Executive MBA โ€“ Global was one of those things that I have been waiting for the most in my studies. Iโ€™m in charge of marketing in my current company, so I was really hoping to get some more clarity into my marketing thinking and to get new inspiration for planning our marketing efforts for the coming years.

Cariona Neary ran the Strategic Marketing workshop in Helsinki and it was a really good experience, especially in terms of taking a simplified and pragmatic approach to a complex and often abstract topic. I was particularly pleased with the group work exercises that we got to do in our learning teams.

The second day of our workshop was opened by Einar Toivonen, Head of Commercial at Foodora, who talked to us about the commercial strategy and turnaround management he has been working on for the past few years. He impressed us all with his sharp ability to combine holistic commercial and strategic thinking with practical improvements and experiments.

Einarโ€™s presentation was a good reminder that a marketing strategy can only work in a dynamic environment if things are put to action fast, and there is courage to fail fast with many of the experiments that are conducted. Strategic decision-making is often thought of as something thatโ€™s slow and time-consuming, compared to faster operative decision-making, but it is the clarity of strategic thinking that enables faster and wiser decision-making in commercial everyday matters.

During the workshop, I decided on a couple of changes that I will immediately make in our current commercial operations. First of all, I will change our value proposition (that also serves as a motto) to a more customer-oriented one, highlighting the key benefits for the customer. Secondly, I will have a serious discussion with my business partner about the ideal client segments, and how we should prioritise them a lot more in our marketing activities.

The workshop was designed to give us all the necessary tools and knowledge to complete our module assignment. Iโ€™m planning to write mine on the sustainability of our current marketing strategy, that relies heavily on social media, personal branding and domination of digital airspace. I would like to take a holistic, critical and analytical look at the effectiveness of our chosen marketing strategy, and what kind of changes might be needed during the coming years.

In the workshop we talked a lot about relationship marketing and Iโ€™m starting to think that this is something we should focus more on in the future. Relationships are particularly important in a business where a lot of the delivered value is intangible. Iโ€™m beginning to see a potential evolution path for our company that develops from broadcasting through dialogue to holistic customer relationship management.

All in all, Iโ€™m very satisfied with the workshop and now it is time to take all the learnings into action by writing the module assignment. Wish me luck!

You can follow my EMBA journey through weekly updates with the hashtag #JuhoGoesEMBA on LinkedIn.

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Juho Toivola

Juho Toivola is Henley's Executive MBA student and brand ambassador. He's an organisational psychologist leading two Finnish companies, Asselmointi and Digital Minds. As a proud father of three small children, Juho lives an active life in the happy town of Lempรครคlรค, Finland. He will be sharing his MBA journey from 2021 to 2023. #JuhoGoesEMBA

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