When business leaders’ conversations turn to marketing, hands begin to wave, voices start to rise, glances reflect skyward as speakers desperately seek to communicate clarity and grasp understanding. Quantitative professionals will introduce algorithms and statistics trying to calculate causal relations behind rational marketing activities and emotional purchasing outcomes. All these animated gyrations merely confirm that marketing is tough to pin down, yet essential to grasp.
To simplify the progression from strategy to tactics, success depends on executing along a continuum of Foundation, Process, and Goals. Marketing starts as a strategic exercise requiring iteration and intuition. The cold, hard, factual objectives refer to sales. Marketing and sells are undoubtedly related, yet unmistakably distinct. However, they do connect at the point of the customer. But, in terms of performance, one is strategic and the other is tactical.
Strategy Births Ideas
Foundationally, strategy launches processes that introduce ideas leading to desired outcomes. By documenting the mental exercise, vision and focus emerge in establishing communication between the business and the marketplace. Strategy does not actually sell, it instructs. The instructions direct activities that drive results. Identifying target markets, profitable channels, or the specific messaging leads to revenue. Branding begins at the strategic level because it articulates the business’ benefits and reputation even in the absence of physical presence. Strategic ideas become the solutions to the identified problems that prospects have. Fundamentally, without problems to solve, a business has no solution to sell. Ultimately, sales represent the measurement of manifested ideas that create value for customers whose purchases in turn quantify the seller’s success.
Tactics Yield Results
Tactically, all processes point toward measurable activities that realize results. These processes become goals. Goals are inextricably tied to tactics. Fundamentally, tactics represent what must be done to achieve what the business wants to do. The next step is to align tactics with expected results. Whether the enterprise uses internal sales teams, outside distributors, or strategic partners, the purpose remains to create points of contacts within the marketplace to establish relationships that recognize the business’ ability to execute. All business development activities will embrace fundamentals like prospecting, presentation, and problem solving as the enterprise penetrates the marketplace. Eventually, through iterating assorted processes and replicating best practices, the successful enterprise establishes sales consistency that satisfies their quantitative targets and the strategy’s initial objectives.
Ultimately, sales reflect the manifestation of strategy. Great strategies may fail due to inaccurate assumptions, or poor execution. Sales success, on the other hand, is accomplished through unyielding skill and tenacity. Regardless, the most profitable outcomes result from synchronized execution. Next, foundation, process, and goals represent the three core components to achieve business growth. But when prioritizing activities, feed the process that feeds the enterprise. Invest in sales. Communicate through cutting-edge marketing. But, ultimately top line growth and sustainability feeds the entire organization. Strategy matters, yet tactics deliver. Equip the business for great storytelling. Communicate value and customer benefits. Ultimately, sell goods and services to consumers who will embrace and sustain the brand. Then, reposition the business to sell more. That tactic grows business.
By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC