May 25, 2019
Spoiler Alert: There is no “Best” Strategy
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I see many executives asking the question, "What's the best strategy for (fill in the blank)." The truth is, they are asking the wrong question. There IS no 'best" strategy. That's because the best strategy depends on so many factors unique to every business. In my field of marketing, the best strategy depends on factors such as the firm's prominence in their market - market leader or startup -, who their target customer is, what that customer values, the marketing skills, capabilities, interests and resources of the firm, what they've tried before, what's worked and what hasn't, just to name a few.
Tempting as it is to adopt a strategy that works elsewhere, this approach usually fails because it doesn't account for dynamics that are unique to the business. Successful strategies are chosen to fit a specific situation then developed within the business context.
Fortunately, there IS a guiding principle for discovering the best marketing strategy: seek to increase clarity in three areas: 1) specifics about who you want to sell to (and who you don't!) and why. 2) their problems, pains fears and worries, and 3) where you can find these people, how you can communicate with them and what it costs to reach them.
Clarity in these areas comes from taking your best guess based on experience to date, executing, measuring the results, assessing how to make improvements and then iterating. Constant experimentation and continuous improvement are key.
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