It is understood that market strategy is important, but actually building market strategy is easier said than done.
It’s hard. There is a lot of heavy lifting.
You get the research and analyses done, ask all of the right questions of all of the right people and make the hard decisions.
Once market strategy is developed, there is a renewed excitement and the team is gung-ho to move onward and upward.
And then it happens…
…the organization has checked the strategy box and it goes into a drawer, in a file or on a shelf. Strategy is often not revisited until the end of the year when, “you’re supposed to.”
“Market strategy, done….check!
We don’t have to think about it again ’til next year, right?”
That brilliant strategy that was so carefully constructed is in a drawer collecting dust. It’s closed up, away from all in the organization…the very people that were hired to implement it. The disconnect happens.
Things start to break down.
None of the communications to the market are focused. There isn’t a high-flying flag staked in the sand.
Every idea-of-the-moment gets thrown into a new shiny tactic that someone thinks of at each weekly meeting.
Sales is off doing their own thing.
Nobody is thinking about the customer experience or how to even keep customers coming back.
And, brand…what’s that? “Oh, we already have a logo…we have a brand.”
There aren’t any assurances on how the organization keeps the promises they’re making in the marketing that’s put out there.
There isn’t any consideration for customers.
There isn’t any focus anywhere.
You start to really feel the consequences.
The business is no longer competitive and its products or services don’t really seem to be all that valuable or relevant.
Questions are arising on why things aren’t working and why profitability is starting to decline:
- Why are we losing customers?
- Why are we struggling to get customers?
- Why is Sales not talking to the right people?
- Why are we spending all of this money for marketing and nothing is happening?
- How did our competitor catch up so quickly?
- Why are there so many more options in the market all of a sudden?
- How did we miss that opportunity?
- Why can’t we troubleshoot anything?
Because you put strategy in a drawer. You checked the strategy box at the beginning of the year and called it a day. You made the decisions, but you forgot to tell everybody else. You didn’t make room for strategy in day-to-day business.
Market Strategy has to become Applied Market Strategy. It still has to start at 30,000 feet with the big picture, but it has to move and be able to adjust quickly. Market strategy has to stay fluid and flow between the big-picture, market view and the tactics that are in the weeds.
You have to be aware and in-tune with data and feedback in the market. You have to understand why you’re still the best fit for your customers. You have do this every day, in real-time, because you have to continue to make decisions and tweak initiatives and tactics to stay on track for objectives.
You have to show up every day. Strategy has to show up every day. You have to compete.
Business has to move faster than ever to compete. Market strategy has to not only keep up, but be several steps ahead.
Strategy is no longer about pondering and thinking…nor can it be, “shoot now and aim later.”
Applied market strategy plants a flag in the sand and has the confidence of clarity while safeguarding outcomes and troubleshooting inside processes.
This is the difference between a business that remains relevant and valuable and a business that just slips away.