Is it just me or is implementing and adhering to a long-term strategy no longer acceptable? These days if you’re in the Marketing Communications business too many people expect you to perform Popeye Marketing.
They want something and they expect you to eat some spinach and get it for them right then and there, tjongolongo. The thing they are forgetting though, is that Popeye has to keep eating spinach every time he gets into trouble, it doesn’t last. That’s no way for a strategy to work.
In my opinion people should get back to the basics and look at where it all starts.
Marketing in theory
What is the vision/business plan of the company? – What do you do, where do you want to be in 5 years time. Usually the board of directors come up with this long term strategy.
Based on that you should come up with a marketing strategy that includes all of the 4 P’s
Product – what are you offering?
Price – what will it cost?
Place – through which channels will you get your product to your client?
Promotion – how will you raise awareness with your target market?
A 5th P that should be there is:
Positioning – How will you position the brand in the clients mind? How will you get them to connect with the brand.
So far, so good, if you’re in marketing communications this shouldn’t be new to you. The question is though, if you know all of this. Does your company have a 5 year plan and are people adhering to it?
Marketing in practice
What I’ve noticed is that in theory people all have a vision and a goal they are working towards. However, that vision gets blurry in the day-to-day work. As a Marketing Communications professional you get things on your plate that may not fit the goals, but that are a ‘one time exception’. That’s when you’ve got to break open that can of spinach and get moving, losing track of the long-term goal.
If it really is a one-time-only exception, than it’s okay, however, it becomes a problem when the exception becomes the rule. That’s when you have to learn to say no (accompanied by a good explanation ofcourse) to protect ‘the greater good’. I know it isn’t always easy to say no, but you have to at least try. That’s the only way to get back on track.
I am personally a true believer of a long-term strategy, primarily because I feel that if you’re not working towards something, than what’s the point?
Tell me, are you practicing Popeye Marketing on a daily basis?