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Written by Lisa Shepherd
on November 21, 2011

When we begin working on a marketing plan for a new client we often spend countless hours learning about the company’s origins, current status and plans for the future. Often we hear about how the company originated from a series of fascinating events and undoubtedly there appears to be an obstacle or two that the business has had to overcome at one point or another. Through this process we aim to achieve an intimate understanding of the company and as well learn about the company’s strategy.

But often when we start the fact-finding process with clients we find that their strategy isn’t necessarily all that solid. Countless times we have been told that going through this first phase of discovery with them has actually forced them to hone their strategy.

Needless to say, without having a succinct strategy that the company and all the employees can live breath and die by makes growth difficult and challenging.

Michael G. Rukstad from Harvard Business School identified three critical components of a good strategy statement: objective, scope and advantage.

When outlining the objective of your strategy you need to identify a period of time for the attainment of the goal. Without this critical component the strategy does not have the focus that is required for execution, measurement and evolution.

Your scope needs to be well-defined ensuring that the details required to implement successfully will be clear to all of those who are involved. A scope that is lacking in description will not provide the necessary components to deliver results.

Lastly, having a firm understanding of your competitive advantage is fundamental. Understanding how your company is different from others explains your value proposition and explains how you will achieve your stated objective.

Next time you find yourself stuck in a conundrum with a new initiative or don’t know how to handle a change in your business, take a step back and think of how this works with your company’s strategy. Having a clear strategy will help guide you to make the right decisions and keep you on the right track and will also help inform a solid marketing strategy.

Do you know what your company’s strategy is?

 Market Smart, B2B Marketing for Non-Marketers

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