Strategic Internet Marketing: It Takes Courage to Give Up a Bad Strategy

Seth Godin demonstrates strategic Internet marketing in an example-

“The right strategy makes any tactic work better. The right strategy puts less pressure on executing your tactics perfectly.

Here’s the obligatory January skiing analogy: carving your turns better is a tactic. Choosing the right ski area in the first place is a strategy. Everyone skis better in Utah, it turns out.

It you are tired of hammering your head against the wall, if it feels like you never are good enough, or that you’re working way too hard, it doesn’t mean you’re a loser. It means you’ve got the wrong strategy. “

A Case Study

Seth talks about getting a letter from a frustrated marketer- “She wanted to understand how to grow her business. It felt like they were doing everything right. They had a motivated, well trained sales force, a great product, a decent website, etc. everyone was working hard.

She asked me, “We sell something to manufacturing companies, a product that would essentially replace a large part of the plant operations team. Obviously, we can’t sell to them, because they want to get bigger, not smaller. We need to sell to the CEO, but we can’t get his attention because the savings involved aren’t big enough to get his attention. How do we get to the CEO? “

This feels like a tactical problem, but it’s not. It’s a strategy problem. And the strategy involves the business itself as well as the very products they are selling.

It takes courage to give up on a strategy, especially if you’re good at the tactics. That’s the reason that switching strategies often is a good thing—your competition is afraid to. “

Seth Godin’s case study is similar to what the railroad industry went through when airlines and autos started to compete with them. The competition almost put them out of business, because they couldn’t seem to reinvent themselves by revisiting their strategic marketing plan. They saw themselves narrowly, as being in the railroad industry—not the transportation industry. They only survived because of deregulation, highway congestion, and the green movement. These three things helped them become competitive again. And now the industry has a chance to focus on a different strategy . . . one that will move passengers quickly and with less fuel than other forms of transportation…namely, high-speed, light rail.

Understanding the difference between a strategy and a tactic is just the beginning of mastering strategic Internet marketing.

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