Marketing vs. Strategy

Marketing vs. Strategy


How different is marketing different from strategy?

These business subjects have blurry lines between them for the small business owner for a good reason – they are interconnected. As a small business owner you have to consider when and how to separate the subjects and also be able to know when you need to consider them as an entire entity.

In a Harvard Business Review article, Roger Martin writes how The Best Companies Combine Marketing and Strategy and gives a great background how marketing and strategy evolved in business thinking over the past 60 years. Martin says marketing emerged from sales because sales drive a company and companies needed a more rigorous approach to growing sales. The result was the four P’s of Marketing – Price, Product, Promotion and Place. Strategy emerged out of military theory where the goal is to beat enemy or conquer the competition. Over time, as people gave greater consideration to the needs of the customer within the context of competition, strategy and marketing started to blend together.

Strategy is about getting  your resources aligned in a coherent manner to achieve the ultimate goal of your business, which you may define as the highest valuation possible for your company.  As a small business owner working on a shoe string budget,  you need to take into account each of the four P’s of marketing but below are some thoughts on product and promotion for you to consider.

The quality of the materials you use combined create the product experience. How your company reacts in customer presentations, how you answer your phone,  how crews behave on the job, how you leave the job site and more are all a part of your product experience as well.

How does a small company implement the “P” of promotion cost effectively?  Consider thinking about adding another “P” to the mix and have it compliment your promotion efforts. Think of Proximity as another “P”. The landscape industry is hyper local – your referrals come from friends and neighbors, or from business colleagues in the construction industry. You need to be close through personal networking in the community and on social media and more to reinforce your referral market.

Effective marketing for the small business landscape owner needs to be thought out and accomplished in the most efficient manner possible.  In the hyper local markets where landscape companies compete placing the greatest efforts on marketing activities and efforts that support building a positive word of mouth referral market are critical.

The big lie of strategic planning – from the Harvard Business Review

More Resources on Strategy



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