What’s your strategy for 2016? | Milner Strategic Marketing

What’s your strategy for 2016?

Strategy direction

Our white paper ‘Forecasting the Future for Profit’ has continued to be widely read since it was published in 2014. A new article based on it has recently been published in SCIP’s (Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals) Competitive Intelligence magazine, and that followed the 2014 article in the Cambridge Marketing Review.

As noted in both articles, a forecast model combines all insights to provide a thorough understanding of a complex market, which is an invaluable basis for strategic planning. As 2016 begins, many organisations will be planning and budgeting for the year ahead. Therefore, we thought it might be useful to share some ideas on formulating your strategy.

There are lots of good reasons to develop and implement a strategy – clear direction, best practice, competitive advantage, long-term revenue growth. But the most compelling short-term reason to be strategic is that it saves you money. Without a clear and well-communicated strategy, each person within the company is working towards slightly different goals. This confuses customers and wastes time and resources.

The figure below shows that you need a clear strategy and strong implementation to deliver the best results. Strong implementation of an unclear or absent strategy is a nightmare recipe for a series of disconnected, tactical operational activities. By contrast, a clear strategy that is not implemented is nothing more than a commercial daydream.

Strategy - daydream or nightmare

To help clients develop clear and implementable strategies, Milner has carried out over 25 strategy workshops (see here for case study). Each workshop is entirely bespoke but usually covers the following areas:

1. High level review of objectives and resources
2. Understanding the target market (including segmentation)
3. Identifying and clarifying target customers
4. Reviewing the product/service portfolio and roadmap(s)
5. Analysing competitor strategies (including strengths and weaknesses)
6. Assessing the role and importance of technical and commercial partners
7. Setting market-reflective revenue growth targets

The process of undertaking a strategic review opens up discussion about where the organisation is now, where it wants to go and how it is going to get there. The leadership team can decide together what the best way forward is, taking into account the changing market dynamics (which can be supported by the type of forecast model described in Competitive Intelligence magazine, and the Cambridge Marketing Review).

Once the company’s strategic direction and corporate objectives have been agreed, they provide the direction and objectives for all detailed functional plans across the business. This company-wide alignment ensures that all employees are working on clear tasks that fit together to deliver the company’s overall goals.

We’d like to take the opportunity to wish you and your company every success in 2016. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you with your strategy, please contact Nick Milner by email or on +44(0)1473 633124.

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