NI companies showing worrying level of neglect when it comes to strategic vision - report

A report says companies in the north are showing a worrying level of neglect when it comes to strategic vision
Gary McDonald BusinessEditor

NEARLY half of businesses in Northern Ireland lack strategic vision and take decisions without understanding the needs of customers, according to a report by Arlington Research and the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

It says that, at a time of rising unemployment, many employees are looking to their boards for strong leadership - but aren't getting it, with firms showing "a worrying level of neglect when it comes to strategic vision".

Almost half of respondents (48 per cent) said their organisation didn’t have an adequate process to share knowledge of customer needs upwards in the company.

Chris Gilroy, chair of CIM Ireland, said: “Marketing plays a key role in building a robust business strategy and vision, but ultimately, it’s a cross functional exercise that everyone has to buy into.

“It’s worrying to hear so many businesses are implementing tactical marketing activities with no long-term objectives in place. How can you measure brand and commercial success?

“In a digital world you have so much data on your customers, the competition, and the market. Businesses need to take time to understand how best to turn insights into actions.”

He urged business owners to re-establish their planning disciplines - consider defence strategies and growth strategies for commercial and brand objectives.

“But give your team top line vision and objectives with an annual plan, then consider a more detailed quarterly or monthly activity plan,” he added.

Arlington Research managing director Paul Stallard said: “Customers, competition and communication. Understanding the importance of all three of these are critical for any business plan to succeed.

“The worry from our research was the amount of businesses who are blindly focusing on specific tactics and approaches regardless of insight. Now is the time to understand the full picture and create a strategy that employees can get excited about and fully behind.”

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