MARKETING IS NOT TACTICS
When most people think of marketing, they think of marketing tactics. People associate marketing with tactics, partly because they're fun. Advertising is fun, promotions are fun, and so is sending out email campaigns and every other similar tactic. But tactics, while the most salient aspects of marketing, are similar to the tactics of sport. They're very important, but useless without having a sound basis of knowledge.
And so it is with marketing. Marketing is far more than tactics. Marketing is analysis, and a sound marketing strategy is based on this analysis.
OBVIOUSLY, MARKETING IS ABOUT CUSTOMERS
What type of analysis are we talking about? Well, analysis about customers, for example. Having a solid understanding of customers means having a solid understanding about how customers behave, their motivations, their perceptions and preferences. It means segmenting the market correctly and not in the way that most companies think about segmentation.
It means having a profound understanding of their attitudes, their knowledge and their emotions. Without having this knowledge, the tactics of marketing are just blowing in the wind. You'll hope that the tactics work, but be blissfully unaware about whether anyone would want to pay attention or listen.
WHAT ABOUT COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS?
Rarely do we see marketing sites deal with competitive analysis . Marketing is also about understanding competition. But not just listing off who the competitors are. It means thinking about their competitive reactions, their objectives and capabilities. It means understanding competitive forces in an industry as well.
Too often I see firms acting as though they were monopolists, as though their competitors were unlikely to react or had little interest in capturing a market. The Internet is a good example of this. How many Internet companies really seriously thought about the potential competitive reactions of...