‘Strategic Marketing’: are you getting the real deal?

So, strategic marketing huh? Sure you’ve all heard about it but, as I have discovered, not many CEO’s know when they are getting the real deal.

Many have attempted to clarify what these two words really mean, but it still seems to confound a lot of executives I meet (particularly in healthcare circles). Heidi Taylor, a good friend and expert B2B marketer writes eloquently on this. I’ve lifted this statement from one of them because she succinctly describes the issue at hand by saying “I’m uneasy because I constantly see a whole host of articles, blog posts and so-called thought leadership on the subject of Marketing Strategy which are actually not about strategy at all”.

I feel her unease and think I can assist here! I’m not going to change how everyone uses these words in one blog, but I think I can help by giving CEO’s some advice on how to recognise when you are getting ‘strategic’ marketing input from your marketers and when you are not. Here we go:

  • The marketer who comes to you having identified growth markets that fit with the company’s purpose and direction, has all the necessary information to size the prize and who confidently says ‘we need to enter this market because of X,Y,Z but that means letting go of a, b and c’ is thinking strategically. Strategy is about winning and, therefore, about making tough decisions to do so.
  • The marketer who comes to you and chats about the ‘things’ they will do to promote a service or run a campaign, and doesn’t help you make the tough decisions on which markets to enter and which not to invest in, is too focused on the tactics and therefore not thinking strategically.