- Posted by Guest Post
- On May 21, 2013
- 1 Comments
Before you read this post, do a quick Google search for ‘What is Marketing Strategy?’.
I’ll bet you that if you were to spend the several years it would require to comb through all 288,000,000 search results (don’t do it), you wouldn’t find two articles that define it the exact same way.
BusinessDictionary.com defines it as “an organization’s strategy that combines all of its marketing goals into one comprehensive plan.”
In an article on marketing and strategy, Roger Martin notes that “good marketing and good strategy are both about making choices that build and maintain a particular set of capabilities that enables the company to outperform its competitors with a particular set of customers.”
David Aaker defines marketing strategy as “a process that can allow an organization to concentrate its resources on the optimal opportunities with the goals of increasing sales and achieving a sustainable competitive advantage.”
Michael Porter says strategy is all about defining your position, making trade-offs, and forging fit among organizational activities.
Why All the Different Definitions?
Marketing is a versatile profession. Especially (in my opinion) with regards to startup marketers and B2B marketers. At the end of the day, no two marketers find themselves in the same marketing situations, so it’s understandable that there would be no consensus definition of marketing strategy. Arguably, there shouldn’t be.
With that thought, I humbly add to the discussion my own thoughts.
Finding Focus and Alignment
In my view, marketing strategy is all about focus and alignment. Focusing on the relationship between customers and value, focusing on how you fit into it, and aligning the elements of your business to achieve this end. This isn’t a new or novel idea, but it’s a powerful one.
The quest to provide real value should underpin everything an organization does, regardless of industry. Digging a little deeper, I believe marketing strategy is about understanding your long-term revenue and market goals in the context of providing customers measurable value. I believe it’s about taking steps to monitor and analyze your competitive landscape while positioning your organization well to ensure you can continue to provide value in increasingly dynamic markets.
On a practical level, I believe the elements of a good marketing strategy typically include:
- Clear goals (both revenue and activity)
- Thorough defined decision maker personas
- Value propositions that resonate with each persona
- Detailed analysis of target markets
- Refined positioning strategies
- Identification of the right marketing tactics
- Ongoing competitive analysis
- A willingness to adapt
I’d love to know, what’s your definition of marketing strategy?