Strategy... we all do it. We all need it.
Does anyone ask why?
‘Strategy’ is a buzzword within the business world which has been thrown around in every corporate circle, business function, yearly kick-off conference and staff meeting for absolute years.
But does everyone truly understand what it really is and how to maximise its potential?
What Is Strategy?
Strategy, within a business context, is commonly confused with strategic planning.
Strategy is about the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of intended goals and objectives to reach, whereas strategic planning is about the ‘how’ to achieve them through tactics, campaigns and actions.
Strategy is all about the choices we make in utilising our resources within a competitive environment and relative to our customers, which give our organisation the distinct advantage at a point in time.
Therefore, strategy is identifying the next ‘big thing’ before others do, and gaining a competitive edge in it to be able to take full advantage.
Marketing’s Role In Strategy
Marketing has a key role in updating and enacting strategy, as it’s responsible for the revenue generating marketing mix and external communications, and is the only business function looking outward toward the market (alongside the sales force, obviously).
Other internal functions, such as operations, accounting, I.T. and so on, are ‘supply-side’ biased, entirely focused on keeping the internal core operating.
Through the gathering of marketing intelligence, the marketing department can keep a close eye on fluctuations and changes that will directly impact on the organisation’s overall strategy and develop ways to address these. These can include, for example, regulatory and legal updates that impact on how business is conducted domestically and internationally. Remaining ignorant to significant changes in the marketplace is a guaranteed way to hinder progress and risk the health of an organisation.
Outgoing demographic shifts need to be monitored, and not simply taken for granted.
With the rise of social media and technology, the consumer is far more informed and possesses far more power than ever before. Marketing must appreciate these fluctuations and rise to the challenge of developing strategy and tactics which best capitalise on new and rising niches.
Marketing must also come to always expect and defend against new competition, who see the opportunity within change and approach the market differently, not playing by the traditional paradigms or rules. They are desperate to ‘eat the big fish’ and can quickly eat away at market share simply by thinking outside of the well-established square.
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