Have you ever...?
Paid through the nose for an expensive brochure without any clear idea of how you will use it?
Most companies have - it seems obvious that you need a brochure to tell your clients what to do, but if you take a strategic marketing approach, you will be forced to question your motives, and in particular what you are going to do with that pile of leaflets behind your desk.
Spent a lot of money on market research when it might have been less expensive just to launch the product?
It's great to know what your customers want... but that pre-supposes that THEY know what they want. Think about the Sony Walkman. If a market researcher had asked you in the 1960s whether you would like to walk to work listening to taped music through a tiny couple of speakers that go inside your ear, you'd have said they were mad. Strategic marketing can help you decide when the customer knows best and when YOU know best.
Wondered which of your promotions have been effective, and which have been a waste of time?
Big companies are quite good at checking this... But not as good as they like to pretend. You can't always work out the answers to this problem but at least you should know that in advance, or you could be pouring money down a hole whose depth you can't even guess at. Strategic marketing will help you discover which campaign can produce monitorable results and the best ways of carrying out the monitoring.
Wondered what jargon like segmentation or positioning is all about?
Every profession likes to develop its own shorthand jargon. Most of the time it's just to make us sound clever, but some of the time the concepts are really useful. Segmentation means chopping your marketplace up into groups of people who read the same magazines - then you can devise different adverts for different groups. Easy really isn't it? And when you have found the segment that's big enough to hit, you need to work out where your product should be in relation to your competitors (cheap or pricey, luxury or economy etc). This is called positioning. There you are: two bits of jargon explained in a few short lines. (We'll get shot by our professional body).