Creating Real Strategies for Small and Medium Sized Businesses

Examining strategy. Part 2 of So you built a better mousetrap? 


In part one Small Business Building the Better Marketing Mousetrap we examined the need to answer to really basic questions:

  • So what? Which helps you focus on what makes your product unique in the market.
  • Who cares? Which helps you identify your real consumer groups

These are basically the only two questions you need to answer before you start creating a marketing strategy, but you need to answer them truthfully.

We saw one of the simplest –yet most powerful—strategic grids:

The basic grid is this one: The grid divides all your product features into two categories: those that are important to your clients and those that are not.

“Blueprint for Action” published in “The Marketing Revolution”, a groundbreaking book by Kevin J. Clancy and Robert S. Shulman (P. 115)

What we do with it is key:

The ONLY area that you should stress is the upper left hand corner: the area where you have a competitive advantage AND one about which clients actually care about. This competitive advantage can be anything: it can be price, service, personalization, conversion ratio… whatever, but it needs to be something that a client cares about AND in which you are demonstrably superior.

One of my clients, who builds strategic alliances specializing in the financial industry, had identified about half a dozen “pain points” (don’t like that term). At the end, however, we boiled it down to this: About 50% of all strategic alliances fail. His company has a success ratio of 80%. If you hire them to guide your company through the strategic alliance process you increase your chances of success by 60%. That’s strong.

There is a strong temptation to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks.

That might work for pasta, but it is no way to grow your business.

With the grid as a guide revenue these four steps:

1.  Identify any other factor in which you are demonstrably superior and make it more salient to clients.

Perhaps you have more locations, or free parking, or offer a next-business-day turnaround. If you are demonstrably superior, you can improve your chances of success by making it important to clients.

Next- Steps 2 through 4