To succeed in the art and science of marketing, one cannot simply stick to one central approach and hope to wing it come what may. What's needed instead are a mix of both long-term, medium-term and short-term views. The adoption of these perspectives should vary depending on one's vantage point.
For a start, one should have a clear long-term vision of the goal and desired end point. What are the overall objectives of one's marketing efforts? Heightened customer satisfaction? Improved profits? Greater sales turnover? Or stronger brand positioning? Deep in the trenches of marketing skirmishes and battles, one should never forget what the end goal is.
Next, one should look at the medium-term strategies that are needed to accomplish that. What would be the few projects spanning several months to year that should be considered? These could be the development of new products, refurbishing of shop-fronts, training of staff in new areas, organisation of events, or upgrading of service levels.
Finally, one should consider the short-term (or immediate-term) tactics which are the day to day actions needed to close the sales. This is where the rubber literally meets the road, and emphasis must be placed on excellent execution. They would include the placement of advertisements, the interaction between sales staff and customers, how telephone calls are answered, as well as decisions on promotions and deals. These could also be opportunistic and timed to coincide with seasonal peaks.
Whenever you are thinking about the marketing actions needed to uplift your enterprise, remember to embrace not just the here and now but the longer-term vision. Be nimble enough to switch perspectives accordingly, but never forget to consider the repercussions of one's action.
An example would be the offering of special sales and hot deals. While an occasional offer helps to drive top-line sales, having them too often would end up creating customers who only buy during offers and not other periods. This would punish both bottom-line profitability and long-term business viability.
Seeing the trees for the woods is one thing, but missing the bush fire that threatens to engulf and destroy everything which you have built is quite another thing altogether. Being able to sense and react according to long, medium, and short term concerns is necessary to ensure the continued viability of one's business.
Labels: anticipatory marketing, business strategy, marketing strategy