Strategy and tactics must go hand in hand in order for a business to achieve a measure of true momentum but an effective marketing strategy must be in place before any set of tactics make sense.
This Sun Tzu quote, borrowed from the Art of War, and adapted for the title of the first workbook in the Catalyst Marketing System, pretty much sums up our feelings on the subject:
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”
The reason strategy mostly gets lip service when it comes to a marketing process is because most people misunderstand what a marketing strategy really is. So, let’s start with what it’s not. Strategy is not a wish list, set of goals, a mission statement, or litany of objectives.
How Not What
A marketing strategy is a clear explanation of how you’re going to get there, not where or what there is. An effective marketing strategy is a concise explanation of your stated plan of execution to reach your objectives.
To become the market leader is not a strategy – it’s an objective.
To serve our customers with honor and dignity is not a strategy – it’s a mission.
To double the number of new customers is not a strategy – it’s a goal.
Goals, missions and objectives are nice, but how you plan to achieve them – otherwise known as strategy ‐ paired with a logical set of tactics is the surest route to victory. In conjunction with Duct Tape Marketing, we’ve emphasize 3‐step for developing a marketing strategy.
For a marketing process and corresponding set of tactics to work they must appeal to someone. The first element, and in some cases the primary element, is who. Develop your marketing strategy around a narrowly defined ideal client above all.
In our experience the only sure way to appeal to an ideal client is to discover or create an approach, product, or service that clearly differentiates you from the rest of the market. The market needs a way to compare and differ; and if you don’t give them one, they’ll default to price comparison.
If you don’t take this step seriously everything else you do in terms of a marketing process will be far less effective.
Connect the Dots
Now that we’ve defined an ideal client and created a core differentiator it’s time to turn to your stated marketing strategy.
Like most effective strategies, the gap in current offerings and positioning is what offers the clear opportunity.
Let us return once again to Sun Tzu and The Art of War – “All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.
DevCom is ready to help businesses develop a marketing strategy that will in turn produce a powerful and useful marketing process. Contact us today to learn more about our marketing consulting services.