The Right Strategy Wins

If you’ve tried everything, and nothing seems to be working, it could be your strategy.

After decades of working with business owners, I’ve found that even the most basic marketing tactics are effective when the right basic strategy is in place. And when no strategy (or a poorly chosen strategy) is in place, the world is a cruel place, regardless of even the best marketing efforts.

For example. a couple of insurance industry clients claimed that business was down about 30%. A strategy that served them well five years ago is no longer effective. Yet, another insurance company client is holding their own, even growing a bit. And yes, they have chosen wisely when it comes to strategy.

This isn’t a matter of tactics. It’s about having the courage to admit that your entire business, the products you sell, your pricing or manufacturing model or the markets you serve no longer offer a reasonable expectation of success. Few can win the battle against the large forces of the marketplace.

Tactics won’t help, regardless how polished. No direct mail, no telemarketing, no selling can turn the tide of a bad underlying strategy. It’s like banging your head against the wall.

Marketer Seth Godin stated it well:

“If you are tired of hammering your head against the wall, if it feels like you never are good enough, or that you’re working way too hard, it doesn’t mean you’re a loser. It means you’ve got the wrong strategy… It takes real guts to abandon a strategy, especially if you’ve gotten super good at the tactics. That’s precisely the reason that switching strategies is often such a good idea. Because your competition is afraid to.”

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Bill Alpert

Rob - September 5, 2011

This post is a bit too basic – bad strategies don’t work and good ones do. It would have been more valuable if you could suggest some good strategies for people to get the most from their direct marketing.

admin - November 6, 2011

Rob, marketing isn’t about strategies at all, it flows from your strategy. And that’s the confusion so many people get stuck with. They try to build a business around some type of marketing tactic, a process which will inevitably fail. Strategy goes deep; the reason your business exists in the first place. Too often that part never gets thought about.

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