Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Elements of Business and Marketing Strategy

The terms "business strategy" and "marketing strategy" are used a lot, which begs the question, "What are the components of these strategies?" Here are some of the strategic questions that businesses should be asking.


  • What is our mission?
  • What is our vision?
  • What are our values?
  • Who will we serve?
  • What is the most advantageous business model for us?
  • What will our sources of revenues be?
  • What products and services will we offer?
  • How will we source and deliver these products and services - manufacturing, strategic partnerships, licensing agreements, M&A, etc.?


  • What should the organization structure look like?
  • How should we distribute power throughout the organization?
  • Where in the organization will planning occur?
  • What will our decision making processes be?
  • What types of positions and individuals are required to support the organization's goals?
  • Where should ideation and innovation reside in the organization?


  • What are our financial goals?
  • What are our revenue, profitability and growth targets?
  • How will we manage our growth?
  • How will we manage our cash flow?
  • What will our sources of financing be?


  • Again, who is our target customer?
  • For what will our brand stand? What are its values?
  • What types of benefits will our brand deliver to its customers?
  • What is our brand's unique value proposition?
  • What is our brand's promise?
  • What is our brand's archetype and personality?
  • What identity will we give our brand? What is its name and what are the other elements of its identity system?
  • What is our brand's story?
  • What sort of customer experience do we want to create?


  • What are our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats vis-a-vis our competition?
  • How broad will our product range be?
  • What functions and features should our products have?
  • What is the optimal pricing strategy?
  • How bundled or unbundled will our products and services be?
  • What will our distribution strategy be?
  • How will we present our products and services to our customers?
  • What mix of marketing tactics shall we use?
  • What are the dimensions of each tactic - advertising, promotion, publicity, event marketing, sponsorships, CRM, Internet, mobile, etc.?


  • What are our key messages?
  • How will we communicate those messages?


  • What media vehicles will we use to communicate our messages?
  • How much should we spend on each vehicle and in what pattern over time?


  • What is our sales model? Direct, tele-sales, retail focused teams, major accounts management, consultative sales, organized by line of business or geography, independent sales reps, outsourced sales, etc.?
  • How will we configure our compensation packages for our salespeople? What percent of compensation is incentive-based? What behaviors do we want to drive?

While there is some overlap between the questions, they roughly fall into these strategy "buckets." And there is a rough hierarchy of strategies too. For instance, business strategies should be determined first, while marketing communication and media strategies are generally the last to be determined. And each "tactic" has its own supporting strategies. For instance, the Internet tactic might have its own strategies including website design, search engine optimization, email marketing, blogging, content management and social media marketing.

I hope this helps you as you think about business and marketing strategies.


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