One of the key factors that makes Marketing strategy successful is carrying out regular trial and errors to find out what is most successful. Till date, marketers use various messages and vehicles to reach out to their end customers. And yet, the customer might perceive the message altogether differently. This is where marketing strategy becomes difficult – The implementation part.
Many companies make the mistake of adding too much complexity to their simple endeavors. The target of any company is simple – making their products useful and ensuring the profitability of the firm with these products. Instead of focusing on what’s most important (and due to ever increasing competition), marketer’s are becoming more myopic and making their strategies more complicated.
In the game of golf, or even in billiards, your main competition is yourself and not any other player. You have to beat your own records. With this in mind, let us look at the main reasons that your marketing strategy can fail.
1) You know whom to compete but don’t know HOW to compete – Many of the established companies across the world are trying to spread far and wide and penetrate the market as much as possible. The result is that, there are a cluster of companies fighting each other without much in terms of innovation. These companies know where they want to reach, but they do not know HOW they will reach there.
Take a company like Apple in the laptop segment or Samsung in the smartphone segment. These companies spent a part of their resources into spreading far and wide. However, they did not enter the penetration game. They learnt HOW to compete by releasing better and better products in the market; products which were using the latest in technology and had the best advantage of success in the segment.
All companies want to reach the top, but to reach the top, you have to take over the front runner, the 2nd position company or even the 3rd position company. Instead of running around trying to establish yourself wherever possible, marketers need to wait and first check HOW they are going to reach the top.
If a company is sure of it’s plans, then beating such a company is very difficult because such companies are ready for war.
2) By not being useful to the customer – The above point focuses on making a plan to compete with your close competitors, so that you know how you are going to reach the top. This point puts emphasis on your customers. And why your marketing strategy can fail if you don’t give equivalent importance to your customers.
The 1 reason that a customer buys your product, or any other product beneath the great blue sky, is because he wants to use that product. It’s as easy as that. So a company which wants to avoid their marketing strategy to fail, should look for as many avenues as possible to make their product useful.
Look at companies like Victorinox or Kangaro, Small companies which became huge over time because their products were useful to customers. Similarly look at the rise of E-commerce, a segment succeeding only because customers want to shop conveniently.
The usefulness of your product can be increased only when you talk to the people who are using your products – your customers. As long as they are involved, your marketing strategy cannot fail. Your customer, whose suggestions you listen, will suddenly give you ideas which your 100 man strong marketing strategy team had not thought of. And this idea might increase the usefulness of your product by 10 folds.
The more useful your product, the more pull it will have in the market.
3) The right place and the right time – Pointing fingers at others is bad manners. If you are a well mannered person, I will not ask you to point fingers anywhere. But this is business, and not personal. And in business, many a times you keep pointing fingers at others. I want to have a product like that company, I want distribution like that company, I want sales like that company.
But then, what is wrong or missing in your company?
The way you use your own time and resources is critical to the success of your strategy. Consequentially, if timing or resource allocation is improper, your marketing strategy can fail. Here are some examples
a) Not having proper market knowledge – which will cause you to market your own products at the wrong time, or worse, hold back your marketing efforts even though the timing is right.
b) Company readiness – Many a times, in life, I have taken harsh decisions because I wasn’t ready. The same happens to businesses. You might not be ready financially, or operationally to take a larger task.
c) Competition – As discussed in the above points, you cant target number 1 without targeting number 2,3,4. If you are directly planning on over throwing number 1, then you will deplete your resources and you wont even reach the 3rd position, let alone the 1st.
The above examples prove that proper timing and proper resource allocation is critical so as to avoid the failure of marketing strategy. There are many steps which can be taken for the success of marketing strategy, but that is discussed in another article.