In our recent experience there’s one word on the lips of senior executives we’ve spoken to about their go-to-market and business strategy. It’s not ‘Digital’, ‘Mobile’, or ‘Social’, although all are certainly hot topics. It’s also not ‘Profit’, albeit this is intrinsically important. The word that repeatedly plays a central role in our conversations and subsequent work is ‘Proposition’.
When you are talking about the letter P in business it’s easy to be drawn to thinking about marketing. The world of marketing has long been known for the 4 P’s of Product, Price, Place, Promotion. For service industries, this is often expanded to 7, to include People, Process, and Physical evidence. If you group all these together you get what in recent years has variously been referred to as ‘Positioning’, ‘Brand’, ‘Product’, or ‘Offer’. Today it’s what businesses are preferring to call ‘Proposition’.
Meetings and various current pieces of client work aside, I can think of no better example than a recent job spec I saw advertised on LinkedIn. It was for a head of proposition role and in the 8 bullet points that made up the advert the word ‘proposition’ was mentioned no less than 12 times. The job holder would be required to ‘deliver innovative and insight driven customer centric propositions and to ‘lead the business in the delivery of customer value propositions’, to ‘own and be accountable for the delivery of the brand proposition strategy’, and to ‘lead the business to create, shape and evolve new proposition ideas and opportunities.’ Finally, the ad specified that ‘Applicants will possess recent and significant propositions experience.’ Just in case you weren’t sure.
Let’s be clear, this is a very important job in any company. Call it what you like but this is the absolutely critical role of shaping the go-to-market strategy. It involves all the 7 P’s of marketing, a large slab of commercial and business acumen, and the ability to act strategically to create competitive differentiation and, most critcally, to unite the key functions of within the business behind a common purpose.
Every CEO has a deep interest in this aspect of their business, because it is fundamental and without clarity of proposition it’s impossible to expect to be commercially successful. That’s why Whitecap has developed a framework and approach to help define, test, launch, manage, measure and refine your proposition whilst also embedding it across your business.