Real Marketing Can’t Help But Be Strategic

Capabilities value contribution to strategy

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Everyone wants more sales. They want more revenue. And they want more margin. And they want it now. They think that this involves strategy.

Actually what they are looking for is tactics, and when they adopt tactics without a strategy it will almost invariably fail.

Tactics is selling canned tomatoes at retail in the supermarket. Strategy is planting the seeds on the farm where the tomatoes are grown and canning them and then distributing them…. taking margin at every turn. Yes I know its very basic, but almost everywhere you turn there are people who don’t understand marketing who think that they can just buy it. The fact of the matter is almost invariably that marketing requires planting seeds.

Developing marketing concepts that are valuable takes time and means that you need to work with managers and executives of companies who are prepared to accept some ideas that go against the grain for a lot of them.

The most important of them is this: That really important sales invariably don’t take place because you tell someone to buy something. They take place because the marketer becomes so attuned to the marketplace that he or she can advise the company that he/she works for how they need to change in order to meet what the market wants…. next.

This is a subtle and complex problem and it takes real insights into how technology works, how people function and how to build the narrative for the people who develop the products….

That is the stuff that I try to impart on my students and it is the product that I provide to my clients… esoteric, yes, but very powerful.


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