Savvy senior executives understand that creating a clearly defined competitive strategy makes their marketing tactics much more effective.
With 2012 almost upon us, many of you are patting yourselves on the back for meeting or exceeding your 2011 objectives. Companies that enjoy consistent growth operate with a clear sense of purpose.
Many hard-charging CEOs are obsessed with marketing tactics but show no more than a nominal interest in competitive strategy, which is the foundation of industrial marketing success. Savvy senior executives understand that creating a clearly defined competitive strategy makes their marketing tactics much more effective.
These four points will help you formulate an effective strategy.
1. Understand your motive force. Consider what drives your company. This determines your choice of markets and products, thereby shaping strategy and operations. Your company may only have one motive force, such as meeting the needs of a specific market through a process of developing new and innovative products. Obviously this means your competitive strategy will be considerably different than if your motive force is based on being the technology leader in all markets.
2. Define a workable competitive strategy. A simple and unequivocal definition could be, “Strategy is the framework that guides culture, direction, and decision-making within an organization.”
3. Validate. Seek input from a cross-section of staff and carefully weigh what they say as you formalize a strategy. The goal is gain internal buy-in and commitment.
4. Clearly communicate. Create a crystal-clear strategy statement and make it part of the company culture. This establishes a coherent direction and common purpose, while simplifying operational decisions and aligning all activities. If a proposed initiative doesn’t fit in or contribute to the strategy, pass on it.
Andrew Shedden is the president of Broadfield Consulting, an industrial marketing consulting firm. Call (800) 353-4447. Visit www.broadfieldconsulting.com for more than 80 blog posts and free reports to help improve your marketing efforts.