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Marketing Strategy Explained

24 October 2014

Do you really understand marketing strategy or is the whole subject a bit of a mystery for you?
I’ve always thought that people who really understand a subject have an ability to explain it in very simple terms. So after 30 years of working in marketing here are a few simple thoughts on the subject:

So why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side.

OK so let’s put some business language on this……….

The chicken had an objective – to get to the other side.


His strategic options included:
• Hiring a taxi
• Getting a bus
• Walking across the flyover
• Taking the subway
• Crossing the road
• Cycling
• Hiring a helicopter
• Getting a piggyback from another chicken

The chicken decided that the most cost effective strategic option to achieve his objective was to cross the road.

That’s it ……….. marketing strategy explained. We can make it as complicated as you like but at its core Marketing Strategy is a simple logical process of applied common sense.

Here’s one real life example:
A client asked me to meet him. He wanted to make a radio ad. That’s great I said and I went off to meet with my creative team. After the meeting I realised that I wasn’t sure why we were making a radio ad as opposed to some other sort of marketing activity. So I went back to my client.
What is the objective I asked? To tell our clients who happened to be architects about their new 3D printing service. How many architects are we trying to reach? About 400! Instead of making a radio ad why don’t we just ring them all I asked? As soon as the words left my mouth the client smiled and said – that makes much more sense – it would be cheaper and much more effective – let’s do that instead. So we hired a telemarketing company and they contacted each of the architects personally by phone and by email and set up demonstrations of the new service.
It’s not rocket science. The key to all marketing strategy is clarity about the objective. Why did the chicken cross the road? The rest is just trial and error, common sense and a bit of experience.