The Importance of Strategy in Marketing
Strategy in marketing is important in driving effective marketing as it places the marketing efforts at the heart of the overall business’s long-term strategic aspirations. Yet it’s surprising how often the marketing team overlook the importance of aligning their efforts with the strategic focus of the business and instead perceives the marketing in a silo all of its own. This can lead to missed opportunities, lack of alignment with overall company objectives, and potential negative impacts on the business’s future success. It’s essential that marketers are able to interpret their marketing efforts in the wider spectrum of the business as that’ll help drive improvements and fundamentally ensure that the marketing efforts create the long-term strategic value needed for the business to succeed.
However, there are a few difficulties or challenges that businesses need to be aware of with ensuring this is possible
In their efforts to achieve short-term revenue goals, marketing teams may prioritize tactics that drive immediate sales, such as discounts, promotions, and other forms of price-based incentives. While these tactics may provide a quick boost in revenue, they may not align with the long-term strategic goals of the business. For example, offering frequent discounts may devalue the brand in the eyes of consumers, erode brand equity, and harm the long-term profitability of the business.
Moreover, short-term tactics may not be sustainable over time, as they can create a cycle of dependency on promotions to drive sales, further eroding the perceived value of the product or service. This can lead to a situation where customers become accustomed to purchasing products or services only when they are on sale, rather than paying full price, which can harm the business’s long-term financial health. Another downside of prioritizing short-term tactics is that it can result in missed opportunities to establish a competitive advantage or build brand equity over the long term. For example, if a business’s long-term goal is to become the most innovative company in its industry, marketing efforts may need to prioritize product development and thought leadership, rather than just driving immediate sales. This creates challenges for marketers and is harder to structure their marketing around rather than using ‘quick fixes’ such as discounts or promotions.
To avoid these potential negative outcomes, marketing teams should take a more strategic approach to their work by aligning their efforts with the long-term strategic goals of the business. This means that marketing teams need to work closely with other departments to understand the company’s broader goals and objectives and develop marketing strategies that support these goals. Furthermore, marketing teams need to prioritize metrics that track long-term success, such as customer loyalty, brand equity, and customer lifetime value, in addition to short-term metrics such as sales revenue. By doing so, they can ensure that their efforts contribute to the long-term growth and success of the business. It can also lead to a better understanding of the real value (and impact) of long-term marketing efforts.
Issues with communication
The lack of communication and collaboration between marketing teams and other departments can lead to a situation where marketing strategies are not aligned with the broader goals and objectives of the business. Marketing teams may not have a clear understanding of the company’s long-term strategic goals, leading to marketing efforts that do not support these goals. For example, suppose the product development team is working on developing new products that target a particular customer segment. In that case, the marketing team needs to understand these products’ unique features and develop marketing strategies that resonate with the target audience. Without collaboration between the product development and marketing teams, the marketing team may not have a clear understanding of the product’s unique features, resulting in marketing strategies that do not resonate with the target audience. Unfortunately, as businesses expand in size they often suffer from compartmentalisation, which means teams often don’t speak to one another. This can easily lead to misunderstandings and issues of interpretation.
Furthermore, a lack of communication and collaboration can result in duplication of efforts or even conflicting strategies. For instance, let’s suppose the product development team is working on a new product line to cater to a new market segment. In that case, the marketing team may not have a clear understanding of these new products, resulting in marketing strategies that do not align with the product development team’s efforts. This can lead to conflicting messages or even a lack of marketing support for the new products, which can ultimately harm the business’s long-term growth and success.
To overcome these challenges, marketing teams need to work collaboratively with other departments within the organization. This can involve regular meetings between teams to discuss ongoing projects and upcoming initiatives, sharing information on customer feedback, and collaborating on marketing campaigns. Even short 15 minute catch-ups or debriefs can greatly help to reduce misunderstandings. By fostering a culture of collaboration, marketing teams can gain a better understanding of the broader goals and objectives of the business, and develop marketing strategies that support these goals.
For more information on the final challenge, you may face whilst creating a strategy for your business, as well as the importance of collaboration and data. Please CLICK HERE for the continuation.