Growth Tips: When you’re riding off in all directions

Alignment of marketing with strategy provides direction.

February 28, 2013

In his story Gertrude the Governess, Canadian author Stephen Leacock wrote “Lord Ronald said nothing; he flung himself from the room, flung himself upon his horse, and rode madly off in all directions.”

An amusing short story, but not so funny when a manufacturer is riding madly off in all directions. It’s costly and more common than you think. Fortunately it is an easy problem to fix.

First, as a manufacturer, you must have a relevant and clear strategy. Whether your choice is differentiation, focus, or cost leadership, a strategy ultimately creates a framework for making decisions.

Surprisingly, companies that flounder actually do have an effective strategy. Unfortunately the only people within these companies who have a nodding acquaintance with this strategy are the most senior executives.

This leads to the second major point. Your strategy must be clearly understood by everyone within the company.

Third, marketing activities need to align with your strategy. You’ll gain much impact from consistency and avoid riding madly off in all directions.

Andrew Shedden is an industrial marketing consultant and coach who helps manufacturers attract and sell more ideal customers. For free business growth resources visit his website at