Get A Great Marketing Mix Through Your Tactical Decisions

In Marketing - How To, Marketing Mix, Marketing Strategy by Tarun GuptaLeave a Comment

When it’s a question of a marketing mix and related decision making, how to plan and make an effective one is the most difficult one to answer for the leadership of an organization. But one way to chart out an effective marketing strategy is through the development of effective “tactics” and the critical tactical decisions that you make. But beware, no tactic is ever lasting. They are valid only for short duration. An obvious question arising here is, how would we then frame effective marketing mix? Answer lies in converting these short term tactics into long term strategies. The key for which is TIME.

By spending more time or continuing with a same tactic longer than usual makes it a strategy. Today, most of the companies are employing these tactics as a base of their long term international marketing strategies. For example If an apparel company say Levis, is giving an option of two–for-one sales in India. This is a discount tactic. This tactic is made keeping competition from the corporate as well as customer behavior and his needs, in mind in India. This tactic helps Levis against Hilfiger, Spykar, Diesel etc. But mind you, this same strategy may not be valid in other geographies. So, one should be very cautious while using any tactic, because in turn that would affect the overall marketing mix of the company.

Converting Tactics To Successful Marketing Mix Strategies

To convert a tactic into a good marketing mix strategy, the business must find unique ways to integrate tactic into the DNA of an organization, to make it the most essential concept in the organization and the prime reason for its existence and survival. Many organizations be it a small or a big one, through extensive market research and business studies on a marketing model and tools, have religiously used discount tactics and have converted it into the mainstream strategy of the company. It has become a new norm for a company’s management. The tactics of the organization became coherent with the sales, marketing, and operation strategy of the company over an extended period of time.

One of the most discussed and talked-off case studies of this era, is about the pizza chain which has very well followed the above rules of Marketing Mix. Dominos when entered into the Indian market, they targeted the growth opportunities here by introducing the tactic of 30-minute delivery. They claimed that the order would become free if they miss the deadline of 30 minutes. With this the brand gained lot of trust from the people. This development in the service industry was very new to the world. But over a period of time, it became part of the business strategy. They carried this strategy online and thereafter spread the promotions fast over digital platform i.e. social media as well. This advertising strategy of Dominos became companies USP.

Almost all other chains who would have thought to adopt this tactic, would have adopted a TOP – DOWN approach, the old marketing management approach. Like 1) What pizza items do we want to have on the menu 2) how long would it take to deliver?

Dominos did exactly the reverse, converting tactic into a strategy, they made a plan to design their menu in such a manner, that deliberately placed its products (mostly pizza’s) which can smoothly fit into 30 minute delivery cycle. This was a brilliant planning in achieving the right marketing mix, I must say, an awesome move of doing tactical business has left its imprints on history as well as in my mind.

Getting Marketing Mix Right

Looking at the matter from correct marketing mix standpoint, whether you using 1+1 discount (2 for price of 1), or using 30-minute delivery tactic or whatever, when you transform your tactic into a company-wide strategy then it has to be maintained over an extended period of time. There is no scope for shortcuts. There is no direct marketing way, as theory suggests, which you can just adopt as it is. Mind you, in all sense, it is not at all easy. To modify and rework the products to fit into a tactic which will ultimately lead to change in long term is indeed a tough task.

To transform a tactic into a long term strategy, the business should be mentally prepared to change the product line, pricing, promotion, production planning and even the complete marketing mix if need be. You cannot force the external environment or the market place to change. An in-depth analysis has to be done. Efforts towards the change i.e. good amount of resources and cash flow need to be directed internally.

As described in my previous article, most companies start with building blueprint/strategy and then establish what they want to do and then they try to set the tactics essential to achieve their long term strategic ambitions. Long term objectives which are too generic, too difficult to implement and execute and too distinct, gets naturally weeded out once companies adopt bottom up approach. I have personally experienced while consulting several corporations that most of the blueprints which company prepare are far away from reality and are not executable. The biggest reason why they fail is, because the data regarding the end consumers isn’t researched properly, eventually leading to a faltered marketing mix for the organization.

Top Management In Synch With Marketers – Driving Marketing Mix Of An Organization

I have noticed time and again, that over ambitious goals, over bloated targets, overly generic marketing mix elements i.e. the four P’s – product, price, promotion and place, often lead to irreversible catastrophic disasters. It is a grave and serious concern. Do you know who face the brunt of the poor deployment of strategy? Is it the CEO or the top management who made the blueprint sitting in the corporate in their ivory towers? The answer is resounding no. To put it simple, the sales and field executives are striving hard to execute the marketing mix strategy and they are the ones who take the major blow.

When you adopt the traditional top-down method, you build a strategy and then move to build tactics; in this situation you actually divert your focus and energy on many different tactics. As expected, it is followed by most of the tactics turning out to be ineffective and impotent. Why would they work? They were not chosen because they would be effective; they were adopted because it would be supported by the formulated strategy. At the same time, having multiple tactics turns everything into a mess and it leads to incoherence.

It is hard for me to contemplate that why would marketer prefer two moves over one. This situation often gives me feeling that the chauffeur is losing hold of the brake and the crash is imminent. Inevitably all corporate managers attack all the markets will all their brands at the same time. They even try and introduce new products along with the existing brands that even cannibalize the earlier ones. They make this destructive mistake very often. This is a fatal and catastrophic lapse. Businesses who believe in conquering at all fronts usually spend hours and vast amount of energy to do it. The truth of the matter is working hard not always leads to success. It is an irony, it is a matter for regret and it is unbelievable, but it is all the same the truth, the naked truth. So is there any secret in the dark? I dare to expose it.

Success Mantra – Effective Marketing Mix Through Tactics
Success in bringing up the perfect marketing mix depends on analyzing the situation and making one audacious and courageous move which is least familiar with the competitor. Finding that one weakness in your competitors and finding yourself a differentiators takes a lot of effort and is not at all an easy task. In most of the cases, there is only one place where the competitor is most exposed and vulnerable, the so called “Achilles Heels”. It should be the focus and target of attack. Follow the unanticipated tactic. This tactical move should lead into a permanent strategy of the business. Once you finalize the tactic, dedicatedly put your best resources in this move, make right communication to the world without giving up, success is then sure to touch your feet.

Donald Trump has rightly said, “As long as you are going to be thinking anyway, think big”

Remember strategy is like a screw driver and the tactic is like a screw. The penetration in to the material is done by the screw and not the screw driver. You may have world’s best screw driver but it won’t be at all effective until and unless it is placed aptly on the screw. Tactics in isolation may be a small thing but when all the tactics add up they turn into a strategy which is indeed big. This fact is compelling and captivating, but until and unless a proper execution is done, all will go waste.

In short, just keep observing the world, listen to your customer and keep making excellent marketing mix. Inculcating these few critical suggestions in your marketing plan be it for domestic or overseas marketing along with competitive marketing techniques i.e. penetration pricing, would definitely help you in fulfilling your customer needs leading to higher customer satisfaction levels, which would eventually help you stand apart from your business competitors in this tough business environment.

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