Posted by: chasker | September 18, 2008

Get Thee a Marketing Strategy!

We are learning the importance of this lesson on a daily basis.

Lately our BU has found ourselves rejoicing in the fact that we have a well defined marketing strategy this year. Is it a great marketing strategy? Only time will tell, but at least we have one and have implemented the metrics to be able to gauge whether or not the strategy is successful.

As I talk to some of my colleagues I am surprised by the lack of a cohesive marketing strategy in other areas of the business. Marketing is something that everyone has an opinion on – we are surrounded by it so much, and people with no knowledge of the inner workings and underlying processes of marketing seem to pride themselves on being experts. These same people tend to put tremendous pressure to change the strategy. However, what they are really focused on changing are the tactics and usually the most visible of tactics – what kinds of ads are you running, where are you running them etc. etc.

Listen to these people yes, but don’t act on their recommendations unless they will help the overall strategy that you have defined and increase the chance of hitting the metrics that you have put in place to gauge the success of the strategy. If you keep chasing tactics all you will ever end up with is a bunch of tactics, and a bunch of tactics does not equal a strategy.

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Responses

  1. very well put. it has always been interesting to me how many “experts” there are out there… makes me wonder why not everyone got into marketing. 🙂

  2. Strategy is difficult in many ways and, since you posted about the difficulty in finding quantitative data about marketing, hard to judge successful.

    When I do strategic planning, I usually first start with a stated goal (and no more than three). In order for the goal to be of any value, it also has to be measurable. For example, increase product downloads by 15% by the end of H1 2009. The strategy then flows from the goals. As in, “We’ll do X, Y, and Z to accomplish Goal #1.”

    Is that what you do? I’m curious how you conduct your strategic planning. What steps do you take? How do you measure success?

    Otoh, other BUs seem to take the approach of “Let’s run some ads because that’s what we’ve always done” to marketing. Hard to tell if you’re successful!

    -Kev


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