Strategic Decision: Nature of Strategy and the Marketing Strategy Interface

23/12/2021 0 By indiafreenotes

Strategic decisions are the decisions that are concerned with whole environment in which the firm operates, the entire resources and the people who form the company and the interface between the two.

Characteristics/Features of Strategic Decisions

  • Strategic decisions have major resource propositions for an organization. These decisions may be concerned with possessing new resources, organizing others or reallocating others.
  • Strategic decisions deal with harmonizing organizational resource capabilities with the threats and opportunities.
  • Strategic decisions deal with the range of organizational activities. It is all about what they want the organization to be like and to be about.
  • Strategic decisions involve a change of major kind since an organization operates in ever-changing environment.
  • Strategic decisions are complex in nature.
  • Strategic decisions are at the top most level, are uncertain as they deal with the future, and involve a lot of risk.
  • Strategic decisions are different from administrative and operational decisions. Administrative decisions are routine decisions which help or rather facilitate strategic decisions or operational decisions. Operational decisions are technical decisions which help execution of strategic decisions. To reduce cost is a strategic decision which is achieved through operational decision of reducing the number of employees and how we carry out these reductions will be administrative decision.

Nature of Strategy

Based on the above definitions, we can understand the nature of strategy. A few aspects regarding nature of strategy are as follows:

  • Strategy is a major course of action through which an organization relates itself to its environment particularly the external factors to facilitate all actions involved in meeting the objectives of the organization.
  • Strategy is the blend of internal and external factors. To meet the opportunities and threats provided by the external factors, internal factors are matched with them.
  • Strategy is the combination of actions aimed to meet a particular condition, to solve certain problems or to achieve a desirable end. The actions are different for different situations.
  • Due to its dependence on environmental variables, strategy may involve a contradictory action. An organization may take contradictory actions either simultaneously or with a gap of time. For example, a firm is engaged in closing down of some of its business and at the same time expanding some.
  • Strategy is future oriented. Strategic actions are required for new situations which have not arisen before in the past.
  • Strategy requires some systems and norms for its efficient adoption in any organization.
  • Strategy provides overall framework for guiding enterprise thinking and action.

Marketing Strategies

Marketing strategy is the total and unbeatable instrument or a plan shaped and designed specifically for attaining the marketing objectives of a firm. A marketing mission and objectives tell us as to where we want to go and marketing strategy provides us with the grand design for reaching out there.

The borrow the words of Prof. Jerome Mc Carthy “strategy is the all important part of marketing. The one time planning decision the most crucial decision that determines what business the company is in and the general strategy, it will follow may be more important than has ever been realized”

In the words of Mr. Robertson and Yoram Wind, “there are three generic strategies for achieving success in the competitive market place. The first of these is to gain control over the supply or distribution, the second competitive cost advantage and the third product differentiation; marketing as a discipline is critical component of all these three strategies. Marketing performs a boundary role function in the firm’s selection of an appropriate strategy; marketing spares the customer interface and provides the assessment of needs which must ultimately guide all strategy development”.

To quite Michael E. Porter “marketing strategy has mainly one aim to cope up with competition; these are five major and vital forces that decide the nature and intensity of competition the threat of new entrants, bargaining power of customers, bargaining power of suppliers, threat of substitute products and jockeying among the existing contest arts ; the collective strength of these forces determine the ultimate profit potential, of an industry; the strategists goal is to find a position in the industry where his company can best defined itself against these forces or can influence them in his favour; strategy can be viewed as building defences against competitive forces.

In the final analysis marketing strategy stands for competitive marketing actions that are bound to evoke a response from competition. That is why a successful marketer needs to have a comprehensive strategy to tackle competition at any cost.

However, one cannot go to the extent of “any cost” unless one works according to a plan and that is competitive strategy for thumping success in marketing. It is but, therefore, natural that competitive strategy has to be one that will evoke the much sought after competitive advantage. Having given the competitive advantage, the said strategy should give a sustainable competitive edge.

It warrants the thorough investigation and analyses of competition before one hope to have a competitive advantage. Thus competitive investigation, scanning and analysis consist of two things namely, the “long-term profit- opportunity” and owns one’s competitive position.

The ways of out beating competition are:

  1. Reducing competition

Perhaps this is the simplest way of fighting out. It sounds well in theory; however in practice it means acquisition of smaller or weaker units which are in competition. Thus, Hindustan Lever acquired TOMACO and Broke Bond acquiring Kissan and Lipton.

  1. Joining competition

This is another way out to mitigate competition which is gaining ground. The best example is that of joint venture of Procter and Gamble and Godrej Soaps.

  1. Pre-empting competition

This is another way which is a proactive approach, which is very effective particularly when it is backed by competitive analysis. The example of pre-empting competition is that of.

  1. To create barriers

This implies forbidding others from entry in the line based on very strong financial and muscle power. Good many companies spend heavily barring others to just think of such extravagance a luxury or a dream for them. The example of this kind is that of.

  1. To differentiated the products

It pays to differentiate the products. One must not hesitate to differ his own product with a new to provide better value for the money paid by the customers. It is not only ideal but practical. That is majority of the companies to do it. The examples are good many but we can take toiletotries of all companies.

  1. To improve the speed of response

The competitive edge can be further sharpened than one thinks. There are certain manufactured products where speed of response as well as quick source is of top significance.

Though the companies are aware of keeping pace with changing technological tempo they should be well ahead of the same. Quality in consonance with technology has much valid response if it catches the required speed.

  1. To divest from regular activities

Instead of moving in the same grow; it should more out of it. The firm should divest out of focus activities. This makes available much wanted scarce recess in the focused activities.

  1. To improve efficiency

It is but natural that there is close alliance between important efficiency and the competitive edge. This helps the marketer to distinguish his products though reduced cycle of line and reduced costs.

To restate, a competitive marketing strategy should be such that will give sustainable competitive advantage. One has to be therefore proactive and quick in one’s responses and one should be willing to invest in long-term profits.

Nature of Marketing Strategies

The exact nature of strategy is self evident from the definitions we have gone through.

The nature is clearly spoken by the following points:

  1. They are dynamic

The concept of marketing strategy is relative as it is designed to meet the changing demands of a situation. Each situation and event needs a different strategy that is why strategies are revised and recast very frequently to cope up with the changes in a given situation or event.

  1. They are futuristic

A marketing strategy is forward looking. It orients towards future. A marketing strategy is designed to bring out the organization from a ditch of degression to the path of progress for better change in the coming times.

  1. They are complex

A marketing strategy is a very complex plan impounding in its compound other plans or firms of plans which area must to achieve the organizational goals. It is a compendium or complex of plans within plan to out beat the strength and vitality of others in the line are allied activities.

  1. They provide direction

Marketing strategies provide a set direction in which human and physical resources will be allocated and deployed for achieving organisational goals in the face of change environmental pressure, stress and strains and constraints and restraints.

  1. They are all covering

Marketing strategies involve the right combination of factors governing the best results. In fact strategic planning warrants not only the isolation of various elements of a given situation but a judicious and critical evaluation of their relative importance.

  1. They are a link between the unit and environment

The strategic decisions that are basically related with likely trends in the changing marketing changes in govt., policies, technological developments, ecological change over’s, social and cultural overtones. Then, the ever-changing environment which is external to the organization has impact on it because unit is the sub-systems of supra-system namely environment.

  1. They are interpretative

Marketing strategies are the interpretative plans formulated to interpret and give meaning to other plans in the spot-light of a specific situation or situations. They demand an adjustment of plans in anticipator of the reactions of those who will be influenced. Strategic decisions are the result of a complex and intricate process of decision making.

  1. They are Top Management Blue-print

Marketing strategies their formulation is the basic responsibility of top management. It is because, it is top management that spells out the missions, objectives and goals and the policies and strategies are the ways to reach them. Thus, top management is not only to say to where to go but how best to go the terminal point.

Essentials of Marketing Strategies

Any marketing strategy to be worth calling as successful or effective must enjoy certain extras which can be called as essentials or requisites of it.

The basic guidelines, used to call a strategy a successful one used by experts are:

  1. It is consistent

A marketing strategy to be effective is to be consistent with the overall and specific objectives and policies and other, strategies and tactics of the marketing organization. Interval consistency is an essential ingredient of a good strategy as it identifies the areas where the strategic decisions are to be made imminently or in the long run.

  1. It is workable:

Any strategy however laudable and theoretically sound is meaningless unless it is able to meet the ever changing need of a situation. In this business world contingency is quite common and the strategy that strikes at the head to contribute to the progresses and prosperity of marketing organization.

  1. It is suitable

A strategy is emergent of situations or environment. It is the subservient of changing environment of business world. It is but natural that any strategy not suiting to .the environment can impound the marketing organization in the compounds of danger, digress and frustration.

  1. It is not risky

Any strategy involves risks as uncertainty is certain; what is important is that the extent of the risk involved or associated with strategy is reasonably low as compared to its pay-off or returns. It is because; a high risk very strategy may threaten the survival of the marketing organization, let alone its success, if calculations go fit.

  1. It is resource based

A sound strategy is one which is designed in the background of the available resources at its command. A strategy involves certain amount of risk which can hardly be segregated. A strategic decision warrants commitment of right amount of resources to the opportunity and reservation of sufficient resources for an anticipated or “Pass through” errors in such demands of resources.

  1. It has a time horizon

The statement “a stitch in time saves nine” that aptly applies to the concept of strategy. A sound strategy is time bound to be used at the nick of the hour and tick of the opportunity. It has an appropriate time horizon. This time this is costlier than money and its horizon banks on the goals to be achieved.

The time should be long enough to permit the organization to make adjustments and maintain the consistency of a strategy.