The 3 Most Important Rules in Strategic Marketing

Being found at the top of anyone’s short list is the dream of most marketing directors today. However, if any B2B marketers find they are constantly being passed over for their competitors, they should take the time to evaluate their current strategy, as opposed to running and hiding!

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The problem is, people often misunderstand what is “required pro forma” and rely on just their ideas and concepts that they think everyone will love. That approach does work for genius type people such as Steve Jobs of Apple fame, but it rarely works for the rest of us in the trenches.

Think of it this way: you go to school and take a business management class and you find out there is an exam in one week. Should you:

1) re-read all of your notes from class,

2) talk to fellow students about the exam’s possible content, or

3) take the principles that you just learned and build a business model and value proposition and test them out on a group of outside people?

Which option do you think will engrain what you’ve learned the most effectively?

As amazing as it sounds, most of us elect for solutions #1 or #2 and ignore #3. Why? Mostly because #3 isn’t the quick fix that most marketers like to use. This oversight can be fatal. Substituting a sense of experience to justify confidence in a strategy is often like hoping that your balloon will rise when willed with air, not the helium inside when you first got it.

Unfortunately, I learned this lesson the hard way with the first Website we built for our firm. I thought it had “everything.” But that was the problem. Too much information clogged the pipeline.

We found this out, after the fact, by talking to many different people about their experience with our site. Armed with this information, we changed the Website into a much simpler and sleeker user experience.

Tom Marin is the president of MarketCues, a national consulting firm. Tom serves as a senior advisor and change-management consultant with 35 years of experience. He has worked for some of the world’s largest corporations, as well as middle-market firms. Tom's focus is to plan and drive strategy shifts and strategic growth programs in the printing industry and a diverse range of market areas.
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