Marketing strategy is an awful lot like going grocery shopping at the local megamart.
Presumably, you have a list and a goal of things to obtain.
Along the way, there are distractions that can eat into resources, like a Buy One, Get One sale in Aisle 12, or a price jump on your favorite snack food.
There’s the favorite broken/wobbly/odd wheel on your cart (or carriage or buggy, depending on where you live) that constantly threatens to send you walking into a shelf or support pole.
Obstacles are a mix of static, like support poles inconveniently placed in the middle of the aisle, and the dynamic, like the four screaming children who are running wildly in front of you.
Depending on what you’re buying, you may even face competition from other shoppers. You find yourself fighting it out for that last half gallon of ice cream in your favorite flavor because someone made it 60% off this week.
Finally, when you check out, there’s always the chance that the various computer systems fail to read your debit/credit card, ring up your order wrong, or just flat out crash.
Like a trip to the grocery store, marketing strategy is affecting by a variety of factors that can derail it:
At the end of the day, your marketing strategy has to have a goal or meet an objective that is meaningful to your organization. This is first and most important; a marketing strategy that is not bonded to your organizational strategy is doomed for failure.
Your strategy is determined in part by your resources and capabilities. If you spend your entire quarter’s budget on a new hire or ad campaign unexpectedly, your strategy will run aground fast.
Like the wobbly wheel, there will always be something working incorrectly. Thus, your strategy is one of frequent compensation for error, no matter how good the plan was when it started.
Your marketing strategic obstacles have static environmental problems and dynamic ones. PEST/PESTLE analysis is a straightforward way to understand what those obstacles are, and how likely they are to impede you.
Your competitors dictate part of your strategy. If your competitor can execute the same strategy better than you, you’re going to lose, especially if you’re both pursuing a rare resource.
Finally, like the checkout, marketing technology has as many ways to damage your marketing strategy as it does improve it.
Before you set your marketing strategy, understand what’s most likely to throw it off course!
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