Marketing Strategy, 6 edition
Welcome to one of the most interesting, challenging, and important topics in your business education. What makes marketing strategy so interesting, challenging, and important you ask? To begin, marketing strategy is interesting because (1) it is inherently people-driven and (2) it is never stagnant. A distinct blend of both art and science, marketing strategy is about people (inside an organization) finding ways to deliver exceptional value by fulfilling the needs and wants of other people (customers, shareholders, business partners, society at large), as well as the needs of the organization itself. Marketing strategy draws from psychology, sociology, and economics to better understand the basic needs and motivations of these peopl —whether they are the organization’s customers (typically considered the most critical), its employees, or its stakeholders. In short, marketing strategy is about people serving people.
For this reason, marketing strategy is interesting because it is never stagnant. The simple fact is that people change. A strategy that works today might not work tomorrow. Products that are popular today are forgotten next week. These truisms are important because truly understanding marketing strategy means accepting the fact that there are few concrete rules for developing and implementing marketing activities. Given the constant state of change in the marketing environment, it is virtually impossible to say that given “this customer need” and “these competitors” and “this level of government regulation” that Product A, Price B, Promotion C, and Distribution D will produce the best results. Marketing simply doesn’t work that way. The lack of concrete rules and the ever changing economic, sociocultural, competitive, technological, and political/legal landscapes make marketing strategy a terribly fascinating subject.
Now that you know why marketing strategy is so interesting, it should be easy to see why it is also challenging. A perfect marketing strategy that is executed flawlessly can still fail. Sometimes, organizations are lucky and have success despite having a terrible strategy and/or execution. The nature of marketing can make marketing planning quite frustrating.
Finally, the importance of marketing strategy is undeniable. No other business function focuses on developing relationships with customers—the lifeblood of all organizations (even non-profits). This statement does not diminish the importance of other business functions, as they all are necessary for an organization to be successful. In fact, coordination with other functions is critical to marketing success. However, without customers, and marketing programs in place to cultivate customer relationships, no organization can survive.
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