A strategy, in the corporate context is concerned with the survival and growth of business organisations in the long-term (Stutton, 1980). Strategy involves the search for development and the choice of objectives that may help an organization meet those objectives that are in sync with its existing resources.
What is a strategy?
Thompson (2006, p.3) describes ‘strategy’ in the marketing context that a company’s strategy is the management’s game plan for growing the business, staking out a market position, attracting and pleasing customers, competing successfully, conducting operations and achieving targeted objectives. However, there is more to a strategy than simply aligning the goals and attaining them. An action is said to be strategic when it allows a firm to become better than its competitors, and when this advantage can be sustained (Mazzucato, 2002).
A strategy, at the bare minimum, synergises the goals, aims, purpose, targets and the overall objective of a firm and the means to achieve them. This can be seen in the definition given be Johnson & Scholes (1993, p. 10) strategy is the long-term scope and direction of a firm, which essentially matches the internal resources with the constantly changing environment, its markets, its customers or clients and eventually meet the shareholders’ expectations.
Importance of a marketing strategy
Marketing strategy is a systematic methodology that focuses on the efficient use of resources of an organization to drive the attention of customers towards the products or services rendered by an organization. The consumers are ultimately the end users of a product and obviously a marketing strategy must concentrate on the increase of profit through increase in number of customers. Marketing strategy takes into consideration all the elements such as product research, product development, product distribution, product promotion, product pricing and product deployment [Field P, 2007]. It maps the overall marketing goals of an organization with the available time frame to achieve the goals. It helps in choosing the marketing mix, target market segment, allocation of resources and positioning of products in the market. A marketing strategy should always ensure that its functions are focused towards profit making and do not deviate from the companies mission and objectives.
Marketing strategy as defined by different authors
Smith (2005) defines marketing strategy as “that set of management decisions which identify which customers will be targeted and what value propositions will be made to them”.
Kumar (2007, p. 71) describes marketing strategy as the “complete and unbeatable plan or instrument designed specifically to attain the marketing objectives of the firm: they will tell us where to go and provide the design for getting there”. He also uses the term to explain competition: that the sole objective of a marketing strategy is to cope with market competition- the threat of new entrants, the bargaining power of customer and suppliers, threat of substitute products and the jockeying among the existing contestants”.
Marketing strategy is defined as the selection of a course of action from among a set of available alternatives that involve specific customer groups, distribution channels, communication methods and pricing structures. A marketing strategy should correlate the marketing mix as well as target market and must be able to provide the right mix of product to the right target customer. There are several strategies to achieve it. However the marketing strategies have been generically classified as follows.
- Sutton, C.J. (1980). Economics and corporate strategy. University of Cambridge, UK.
- Kumar, A.; Mittal, R. (2001). Marketing Management. Anmol Publications, New Delhi.
- Mazzucato, M. (2002). Strategy for business: a reader. Sage Publications, USA.
- Thompson (2006): Crafting And Executing Strategy 14E(Sie). Tata McGraw Hill, New Delhi.