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Facebook for Business – Social Media in Your Marketing Mix: Strategy

Filed under Marketing, Sales/Selling, Small Business, Social Media, Strategy on January 9, 2012

Fundamentals of Company Strategy The foundation of any marketing strategy has got to be a company strategy that defines the parameters of the business that you’re in. Among other things, it defines the scope of the product or service offering, target market, sales and distribution strategy. This is all based on a strategic analysis and strategic plan as depicted below in Michael Porter’s Wheel of Competitive Strategy.

Wheel of Competitive Strategy

Strategy has always shared a lot more sex appeal in corporate management than operations management, but despite this it is often ignored. Strategic planning is a lot of work. Less work than managing through a death spiral, but ignored none-the-less. Without this, it is quite difficult to determine which of the three generic strategies you will employ:

  • Cost leadership
  • Differentiation
  • Niche focus

Porter’s 3 generic strategies hold true today. Companies, large and small alike, all seem to be in a constant exercise to define what they want to be when they grow-up. Just as in life, your ambitions should not change as a result of your latest success or failure, achieving your goals is a long term investment. Indecision and being caught in the middle of conflicting goals and strategies is the death knell of a company.

Strategic Advantage

The business plan defines how the strategic plan is to be implemented. It will have action plans to respond to the findings of the:

  • Industry analysis
  • Competitor analysis
  • PEST analysis
  • SWOT analysis

It will determine how scarce resources will be allocated to the various elements of the business. The plan is preferably a document, albeit a living document subject to change as the economic reality of what works and what doesn’t unfolds. A written plan forces the author(s) to state explicitly what the strategy is, what the goals are and what the plan is to achieve those goals. Unwritten plans tend to be fly by the seat of your pants plans with a strategy and goals that are kind of, sort of all clear in someone’s mind at the moment. They become moving targets frustrating those with responsibility for making it all happen.

Without such an analysis, the company vision, mission and values are not worth the paper they are written on. The entrepreneurs, small and large businesses alike must back up the passion with facts. Passion and hard work cannot successfully execute an unviable plan.

Two-thirds of businesses fail in the first 5 years. The cause of this high failure rate is a very short list of consistent primary factors. Here is a list of often cited top 7 reasons.

  • Starting a business for the wrong reason
  • Poor management
  • Insufficient capital
  • Location, location, location
  • Lack of planning
  • Over expansion
  • No internet presence

This article will address Lack of Planning and No Internet Presence.

Marketing Strategy Decisions

The marketing objective at its highest level should always be to create sustainable improvements in profit and profitability within the context of the strategic plan. The basics of any marketing plan revolve around the fundamentals of marketing. For that, we can keep it simple and use Kotler’s 4 Ps:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion

This blog is the third in a series that will examine the fundamentals of marketing and how social media is being used effectively as a promotional tool in the marketing mix.

Richard Gabel

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