How to Achieve your Goals
Overall StrategyEach of your planned goals calls for a series of actions. You must remember that you won't attain your goals all at once, but rather in stages. If you have chosen your strategies wisely, and made sure that reaching you business goals leads to attaining strategic objectives, your steps should be clear. As with any tactical plan, you have to know what the goal is, when it is reached, what resources you have to attain that goal, and what the possible barriers are. Selecting a marketing strategy is a four step process.
Examine past present and current marketing strategies.Your strategies should reflect your attitudes and personality. Strategies can be active or reactive, aggressive or defensive, risk-taking or risk-averse. If your own style is relaxed and risk-averse, an aggressive, high-risk strategy probably won't work. That doesn't mean you can't adopt a conflicting strategy for a short while - but if you adopt one counter to your feelings, be aware of the potential conflict.
Strategies can be active or passive, aggressive or defensive, goal-oriented or opportunistic. These three sets of pairs help you define your customer strategies; apply them to each of the following areas and ask yourself which adjective applies out of each pair:
There is nothing normative about these pairs. No one is "better" than another though some are more useful for your business at one time than another.
Summarize personal and business objectives.Include your personal goals in your marketing plans. If you want to retire in 5 years, include it. Plan for it. If you want to see how big a business you can build, go ahead. Build the business. But not unless it makes sense to you, personally.
Review your personal goals against your business goals. If your priorities aren't in line with your business priorities, change your business priorities. Examine each of following promotional strategies and ask yourself if, given your resources and competitive situation, it would help you reach your goals. You will probably use more than one strategy, or modify one or more to better fit your business:
- Paid Advertising
- Cooperative ad support from your vendors
- Direct Mail
- Public Relations
- News releases
- Magazine articles
- Open houses
- Inquiry handling
- Direct marketing by phone
- Service: customer complaints, follow-up
- One-on-one selling
- Presentation materials
- Personal letters
- Sales personnel training
- Sales promotions
- Loss leaders
- Specialty advertising
- Matchbooks, key chains, other novelties
- Date books
- Site location and shared advertising
- Window displays
- Other types of promotion
- Blimps and balloons
Choose the simplest strategy for your business.To be effective, strategies have to be communicated. Fancy strategies look great on paper, but if they present opportunities for misunderstanding, you can count on their being misunderstood. The simplest strategies are the best strategies. Bow to make your final strategic choices.
- Test them for consistency with each other. You don't want to pursue contradictory strategies.
- Test them for feasibility. If they require more resources than you can muster, they won't work.
- Test them for coherence. Do they fir your business? Do they tend towards unifying the focus of your marketing efforts?
- Finally, make sure they are acceptable to your employees. If you can't generate company-wide support, the strategy will fail. This is where complicated strategies break down. If you can't communicate strategies clearly, you have a problem.