‘Diligence is the mother of good fortune’
Almost all businesses prepare a business plan and have it reviewed by senior executives. Whatever the business, the plan consists of a request for resources, some description of how they will be used and a promised outcome. Despite the large amount of effort put into preparing, reviewing and revising these plans, they often fail and, in doing so, they destroy shareholder value and waste precious resources. It is dangerous to draw simple conclusions from stories of business success and failure, but the rigorous study of enough cases reveals some useful general patterns. We can see common factors that lie behind success, such as making sure the market is really there and ensuring that the business has and uses a distinctive strength. Similarly, we can see patterns in business failures, such as the failure to identify the target customer correctly or to anticipate where the market is headed. Identifying these common factors is important because traditional metrics of firm performance and marketing accountability can be manipulated easily and, in most cases, look backwards rather than forwards. This chapter introduces a new way at looking at a business strategy and connecting it to firm performance. This approach, known as Marketing Due Diligence, is based on the fundamental factors that underlie almost all successful business strategies.
There are few things in business ...