In our work as marketing consultants, we often find, much to our surprise, that even some of the most respected companies in the world run their businesses without having defined and documented their marketing strategies.
We ask “What’s your marketing strategy?” and they answer “Great question. That’s something we need to get in place right away.”
Crazy but true. So what’s the excuse for not having a marketing strategy?
Five Reasons Most Companies Don’t Have a Marketing Strategy
Here are five reasons why so many companies don’t have a marketing strategy in place.
- Too Busy – For many businesses, it’s enough work to get customers and keep them happy. There’s no time to sit around and discuss marketing strategy. After all, there’s work to be done!
- Wrong Personnel – It takes strategic thinkers to come up with strategies. Indeed, in many cases, marketing departments are staffed by doers, rather than strategists. Other executives outside of marketing may think strategically, but often they are too busy with their own responsibilities to work on the company marketing strategy.
- Confusion Regarding Strategy Versus Tactics – It’s remarkable how many people will list off a series of marketing tactics when asked to describe their marketing strategy.
- Ineffective Marketing Strategy Sessions – Without the help of an outside facilitator, many companies struggle to run effective marketing strategy planning sessions. There’s a will to create a marketing strategy, but the way to get there is deficient.
- No Business Strategy – Marketing strategies are explicitly defined to support the achievement of business goals and the business strategy. Needless to say, if you haven’t defined your business strategy well, there’s no point in attempting to define your marketing strategies.
If you’re organization is struggling with defining a marketing strategy, it may be time to hire a marketing firm. Somewhere out there, there’s a firm that’s perfect for you. It’s just a matter of finding the right fit.
By the way, do others find it surprising that many companies don’t have internal clarity on their marketing strategy? Do you think companies can do well without defining their marketing strategies? I’d be interested to hear what you’re seeing at your firm. Leave a comment below to let us know your take on this topic.