What Is Marketing Strategy?

A lot of people want to know exactly what is marketing strategy. There are many definitions out there but to put it simply, it is how you get people or potential customers interested in your company, your product or your service. How you position your brand, create messaging and establish your company goals, supports your attempt to interest people. How you engage with or pursue your audience is what defines your marketing plan.

A marketing strategy is the foundation for which you can judge whether or not your plan is successful. You can from that determine if you are meeting the goals set out and defined in the strategy. The marketing strategy is really the cornerstone of every marketing effort and acts as a springboard for all future efforts.


Marketing Strategy Importance

What Is Marketing Strategy?

Some business owners sometimes get so hung up in the finite details of creating, developing and testing a product, that they don't take the time to figure out who the audience is, what the product should say and why people would be interested. Without paying attention to a marketing strategy a product launch might be rushed and not be as successful as one backed by a marketing strategy to guide it into the market. It could potentially cause a small company to have to close it's doors because there was a great idea and need for a product but no thoughtfulness to how it fits into the space or how people might receive it.

Strong Strategy Basics

In order to create a strong marketing strategy you need to:

1. Understanding what makes your business unique or different.
First part of a successful marketing strategy is to find something that makes your business stand out from other businesses that offer similar services or products. Sometimes you will have to change parts of your business to accommodate that. If potential customers don't find anything unique about your business they will choose service based on price.

2. Understand your target audience.
Think about characteristics of your ideal customer. Make a mental picture of this person and try to get inside their heads. What would they like? What things are important to them? What motivates them to buy? What influences their decisions?

3. Identifying marketing goals or what you want to achieve with marketing.
Does this mean a conversation rate, products sold or number of contracts signed? It could be any number of things. It is just the definition of what you would consider success for your company.

4. Establish your marketing budget.
Having a budget helps you keep track of what you need to spend on marketing without it getting out of control. This is something that will allow you set up expectations internally as well.

Upfront Planning Leads to Success

Embracing and establishing a solid marketing strategy would benefit any company, product or service. It is where the most successfully marketing campaigns are created from. Plus, it is a great way to keep everyone on the same page and keep a consistent brand identity and message platform throughout. Consistency is key in developing recognition and loyalty. A marketing strategy that clearly spells everything out keeps all the efforts in line with each. This will ultimately make all your efforts more impactful.

What Is Marketing Strategy?

e-Marketing Strategy: 7 Dimensions to Consider (the e-Marketing Mix)

What is e-Marketing?

e-Marketing is still quite a controversial subject to talk about, since no one succeeded to unify the various theories around it; however there is one thing upon which there is no doubt - that e-Marketing first appeared under the form of various techniques deployed by pioneer companies selling their products via the internet in the early 90's.


The frenzy around these new marketing techniques created by e-tailers and supported by the internet rapidly gave birth to a new dimension of what we knew as Marketing: the e-Marketing (electronic Marketing).

e-Marketing Strategy: 7 Dimensions to Consider (the e-Marketing Mix)

There are many definitions to what e-Marketing is, the simplest and shortest one being formulated by Mark Sceats: e-Marketing is Marketing that uses the internet as manifestation media. A working definition is that coming from a group of CISCO specialists: e-Marketing is the sum of all activities a business conducts through the internet with the purpose of finding, attracting, winning and retaining customers.

e-Marketing Strategy

The e-Marketing Strategy is normally based and built upon the principles that govern the traditional, offline Marketing - the well-known 4 P's (Product - Price - Promotion - Positioning) that form the classic Marketing mix. Add the extra 3 P's (People - Processes - Proof) and you got the whole extended Marketing mix.

Until here, there are no much aspects to differentiate e-Marketing from the traditional Marketing performed offline: the extended Marketing mix (4 + 3 P's) is built around the concept of "transactional" and its elements perform transactional functions defined by the exchange paradigm. What gives e-Marketing its uniqueness is a series of specific functions, relational functions, that can be synthesized in the 2P + 2C+ 3S formula: Personalization, Privacy, Customer Service, Community, Site, Security, Sales Promotion.

These 7 functions of the e-Marketing stay at the base of any e-Marketing strategy and they have a moderating character, unlike the classic Marketing mix that comprises situational functions only. Moderating functions of e-Marketing have the quality of moderate, operate upon all situational functions of the mix (the classic 4 P's) and upon each other.

1. Personalization

The fundamental concept of personalization as a part of the e-Marketing mix lies in the need of recognizing, identifying a certain customer in order to establish relations (establishing relations is a fundamental objective of Marketing). It is crucial to be able to identify our customers on individual level and gather all possible information about them, with the purpose of knowing our market and be able to develop customized, personalized products and services.

For example, a cookie strategically placed on the website visitor's computer can let us know vital information concerning the access speed available: in consequence, if we know the visitor is using a slow connection (eg. dial-up) we will offer a low-volume variation of our website, with reduced graphic content and no multimedia or flash applications. This will ease our customer's experience on our website and he will be prevented from leaving the website on the reason that it takes too long to load its pages.

Personalization can be applied to any component of the Marketing mix; therefore, it is a moderating function.

2. Privacy

Privacy is an element of the mix very much connected to the previous one - personalization. When we gather and store information about our customers and potential customers (therefore, when we perform the personalization part of the e-Marketing mix) a crucial issue arises: that of the way this information will be used, and by whom. A major task to do when implementing an e-Marketing strategy is that of creating and developing a policy upon access procedures to the collected information.

This is a duty and a must for any conscious marketer to consider all aspects of privacy, as long as data are collected and stored, data about individual persons.

Privacy is even more important when establishing the e-Marketing mix since there are many regulations and legal aspects to be considered regarding collection and usage of such information.

3. Customer Service

Customer service is one of the necessary and required activities among the support functions needed in transactional situations.

We will connect the apparition of the customer service processes to the inclusion of the "time" parameter in transactions. When switching from a situational perspective to a relational one, and e-Marketing is mostly based on a relational perspective, the marketer saw himself somehow forced into considering support and assistance on a non-temporal level, permanently, over time.

For these reasons, we should consider the Customer Service function (in its fullest and largest definition) as an essential one within the e-Marketing mix.

As we can easily figure out, the service (or assistance if you wish) can be performed upon any element from the classic 4 P's, hence its moderating character.

4. Community

We can all agree that e-Marketing is conditioned by the existence of this impressive network that the internet is. The merely existence of such a network implies that individuals as well as groups will eventually interact. A group of entities that interact for a common purpose is what we call a "community" and we will soon see why it is of absolute importance to participate, to be part of a community.

The Metcalf law (named after Robert Metcalf) states that the value of a network is given by the number of its components, more exactly the value of a network equals the square of the number of components. We can apply this simple law to communities, since they are a network: we will then conclude that the value of a community rises with the number of its members. This is the power of communities; this is why we have to be a part of it.

The customers / clients of a business can be seen as part of a community where they interact (either independent or influenced by the marketer) - therefore developing a community is a task to be performed by any business, even though it is not always seen as essential.

Interactions among members of such a community can address any of the other functions of e-Marketing, so it can be placed next to other moderating functions.

5. Site

We have seen and agreed that e-Marketing interactions take place on a digital media - the internet. But such interactions and relations also need a proper location, to be available at any moment and from any place - a digital location for digital interactions.

Such a location is what we call a "site", which is the most widespread name for it. It is now the time to mention that the "website" is merely a form of a "site" and should not be mistaken or seen as synonyms. The "site" can take other forms too, such as a Palm Pilot or any other handheld device, for example.

This special location, accessible through all sort of digital technologies is moderating all other functions of the e-Marketing - it is then a moderating function.

6. Security

The "security" function emerged as an essential function of e-Marketing once transactions began to be performed through internet channels.

What we need to keep in mind as marketers are the following two issues on security:

- security during transactions performed on our website, where we have to take all possible precautions that third parties will not be able to access any part of a developing transaction;

- security of data collected and stored, about our customers and visitors.

A honest marketer will have to consider these possible causes of further trouble and has to co-operate with the company's IT department in order to be able to formulate convincing (and true, honest!) messages towards the customers that their personal details are protected from unauthorized eyes.

7. Sales Promotion

At least but not last, we have to consider sales promotions when we build an e-Marketing strategy. Sales promotions are widely used in traditional Marketing as well, we all know this, and it is an excellent efficient strategy to achieve immediate sales goals in terms of volume.

This function counts on the marketer's ability to think creatively: a lot of work and inspiration is required in order to find new possibilities and new approaches for developing an efficient promotion plan.

On the other hand, the marketer needs to continuously keep up with the latest internet technologies and applications so that he can fully exploit them.

To conclude, we have seen that e-Marketing implies new dimensions to be considered aside of those inherited from the traditional Marketing. These dimensions revolve around the concept of relational functions and they are a must to be included in any e-Marketing strategy in order for it to be efficient and deliver results.

e-Marketing Strategy: 7 Dimensions to Consider (the e-Marketing Mix)

Otilia Otlacan is a young certified professional with expertise in e-Marketing and e-Business, currently working as independent consultant and e-publisher. She developed and teach her own online course in "Principles of e-Marketing" and is also a volunteer Economics teacher.

You can contact her via her personal website at BRAINmarketing.net [http://www.brainmarketing.net] or check out her latest developing Marketing resources project at TeaWithEdge.com

Craps Strategy - How To Win In Simple Steps

If you want to win at craps you need to have a craps strategy that focuses on placing the bets with the greatest odds of success.

This is relatively simple, the house edge against you is relatively small when you apply a correct craps strategy to win.


Another advantage of playing craps is the excitement and entertainment value it gives you.

Craps Strategy - How To Win In Simple Steps

Let's now look at how you can apply a craps strategy to win and also have some great fun.

Craps strategy - History of the game

The playing of dice for money or possessions goes back far into history. We hear of it firstly in the (Rig Veda X:34) Hymn 50.

This was written perhaps before 1500 B.C. and only then from an earlier ancient oral tradition. Today's craps have their own rules and betting customs, but one can be sure, there is not that much difference.

Craps Strategy - The Odds

In today's game, you can, if you follow the craps strategy below, bring the odds at least to even...or about so, and with some patience, a sizable stake, and knowledge, you can win with this craps strategy.

Unlike the unhappy king who lost a kingdom and in Hymn 50 advises tilling the land and leaving dice alone, we will show you how not to get burned, and have some fun.

Craps strategy - The basics

The craps table is oblong, and the shooters stand at one of the narrow ends, and throw the dice to the other side. The rules say that when you "come out" if you roll a 7 or 11, you win. If you roll a 2,3, or 12 you lose.

Any other number becomes your "point" and you throw until you hit that number, whereby you win, or a 7 whereby you lose.

Craps strategy - The odds

The secret for winning at craps is to have a craps strategy in your betting, and bring the odds as close to even as you can, where the house holds the lowest edge possible.

Let's look at the best bets to incorporate in your craps strategy

On the table you will see a "pass" or "don't pass" betting area. The pass line bet wins on an opening 7 or 11. The don't pass line wins when the shooter throws a 2,3, or 12. This is known as "craps".

There are many bets possible, but we will concentrate here on getting the odds in your favor. The bet is call Free Odds Bet and is the one your winning craps strategy should be based upon.

Free Odds Bet

This bet is available only after you put a bet on the pass line.

It's called Free Odds because the house has no statistical advantage on the player in this bet. It must be remembered that if you MUST put a bet on the pass line, and so the house gets a small odds advantage there.

When the point is determined (the come out roll is not a 7 or 11, where you won anyway, or a 2,3, or 12 where you lost anyway), you can place a bet equal to your bet on the pass line. This bet reinforces your pass line bet.

This bet is safe, as if the point is "made" (the same number comes up once again before a 7), you will win on the pass line and the free odds line bet. It becomes slightly complicated here, as the point made will have it own odds based on the difficulty in achieving that number.

As points, 4 and 10 are the easiest, so they pay out 2 to 1. 5 and 9 are the next most difficult and the payout is set to 3 to 1. The hardest numbers to achieve are 6 and 8, so they pay out 6 to 5.

Craps strategy - The way to win is simple

Betting on the Free Odds bet will double your pay out should you win.

There are many more bets, but they will have greater odds against you, and your chances of winning are reduced.

The Free Odds will keep you playing for hours and can get you an edge to win and is the basis of any craps strategy to win and make money at this fun and exciting game.

Craps Strategy - How To Win In Simple Steps

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On craps strategy and more tips to win in craps and all major casino games visit our website for free features articles and downloads at:


Coping with Change: Develop Your Personal Strategy

Why do we resist change?

As the saying goes, the only people who like change are busy cashiers and wet babies. We find change disorienting, creating within us an anxiety similar to culture shock, the unease visitors to an alien land feel because of the absence of the familiar cues they took for granted back home. With an established routine, we don't have to think! And thinking is hard work.


Change is a business fact of life

Coping with Change: Develop Your Personal Strategy

Is your company is currently undergoing major changes that will affect the lives of all of its employees? These changes are probably in response to the evolving needs of your customers. They are made possible because of improvements in telecommunications and digital technology. They are likely guided by accepted principles and practices of total quality management. And you can expect that they will result in significant improvements profitability--a success that all employees will share. Because our customers' needs are NOW, we must make changes swiftly, which means that all of us must cooperate with the changes, rather than resist them.

How do we resist change?

We tend to respond to change the same way we respond to anything we perceive as a threat: by flight or fight. Our first reaction is flight--we try to avoid change if we can. We do what futurist Faith Popcorn calls "cocooning": we seal ourselves off from those around us and try to ignore what is happening. This can happen in the workplace just by being passive. We don't volunteer for teams or committees; we don't make suggestions, ask questions, or offer constructive criticism. But the changes ahead are inescapable. Those who "cocoon" themselves will be left behind.

Even worse is to fight, to actively resist change. Resistance tactics might include negativity, destructive criticism, and even sabotage. If this seldom happens at your company, you are fortunate.

Take a different approach to change

Rejecting both alternatives of flight or flight, we seek a better option--one that neither avoids change nor resists it, but harnesses and guides it.

Change can be the means to your goals, not a barrier to them.
Both fight and flight are reactions to perceiving change as a threat. But if we can change our perceptions, we can avoid those reactions. An old proverb goes, "Every change brings an opportunity." In other words, we must learn to see change as a means of achieving our goals, not a barrier preventing us from reaching them.

Another way of expressing the same thought is: A change in my external circumstances provides me with an opportunity to grow as a human being. The greater the change is, the greater and faster I can grow. If we can perceive change along these lines, we will find it exciting and energizing, rather than depressing and debilitating.

Yet this restructuring of our perspective on change can take some time. In fact, coping with change follows the same steps as the grieving process.1 The steps are shock and denial that the old routine must be left behind, then anger that change is inevitable, then despair and a longing for the old ways, eventually replaced by acceptance of the new and a brighter view of the future. Everyone works through this process; for some, the transition is lightning fast, for others painfully slow.

Realize your capacity to adapt.

As one writer put it recently:

Our foreparents lived through sea changes, upheavals so cataclysmic, so devastating we may never appreciate the fortitude and resilience required to survive them. The next time you feel resistant, think about them and about what they faced--and about what they fashioned from a fraction of the options we have. They blended old and new worlds, creating family, language, cuisine and new life-affirming rhythms, and they encouraged their children to keep on stepping toward an unknown but malleable future.2

Human beings are created remarkably flexible, capable of adapting to a wide variety of environments and situations. Realizing this can help you to embrace and guide change rather than resisting or avoiding it.

Develop a coping strategy based on who you are.

Corporate employees typically follow one of four decision-making styles: analytical, directive, conceptual, and behavioral. These four styles, described in a book by Alan J. Rowe and Richard O. Mason,3 have the following characteristics:

    Analytical Style - technical, logical, careful, methodical, needs much data, likes order, enjoys problem-solving, enjoys structure, enjoys scientific study, and enjoys working alone. Conceptual Style - creative and artistic, future oriented, likes to brainstorm, wants independence, uses judgment, optimistic, uses ideas vs. data, looks at the big picture, rebellious and opinionated, and committed to principles or a vision. Behavioral Style - supportive of others, empathetic, wants affiliation, nurtures others, communicates easily, uses instinct, avoids stress, avoids conflict, relies on feelings instead of data, and enjoys team/group efforts. Directive Style - aggressive, acts rapidly, takes charge, persuasive and/or is manipulative, uses rules, needs power/status, impatient, productive, single-minded, and enjoys individual achievements.

Read once more through these descriptions and identify which style best describes you. Then find and study the strategy people who share your style follow to cope with change:

    Analytical coping strategy - You see change as a challenging puzzle to be solved. You need plenty of time to gather information, analyze data, and draw conclusions. You will resist change if you are not given enough time to think it through. Conceptual coping strategy - You are interested in how change fits into the big picture. You want to be involved in defining what needs to change and why. You will resist change if you feel excluded from participating in the change process. Behavioral coping strategy - You want to know how everyone feels about the changes ahead. You work best when you know that the whole group is supportive of each other and that everyone champions the change process. If the change adversely affects someone in the group, you will perceive change as a crisis. Directive coping strategy - You want specifics on how the change will affect you and what your own role will be during the change process. If you know the rules of the change process and the desired outcome, you will act rapidly and aggressively to achieve change goals. You resist change if the rules or anticipated results are not clearly defined.

Realizing what our normal decision-making style is, can enable us to develop personal change-coping tactics.

How can we cope with change?

Getting at least this much comprehension of the big picture will help us to understand where each of us fits.

2. Do some anchoring. - When everything around you is in a state of flux, it sure helps to find something stable that isn't going to change, no matter what. Your company's values (whether articulated or not) can provide that kind of stability for you. Ours include the Company Family, Focus on the Customer, Be Committed to Quality, and Maintain Mutual Respect. These values are rock-solid; they are not going to disappear or rearrange themselves into something else. Plus, each of us has personal values that perhaps are even more significant and permanent. Such immovables can serve as anchors to help us ride out the storm.

3. Keep your expectations realistic. - A big part of taking control of the change you experience is to set your expectations. You can still maintain an optimistic outlook, but aim for what is realistically attainable. That way, the negatives that come along won't be so overwhelming, and the positives will be an adrenaline rush. Here are some examples:

Invest time and energy in training. Sharpen your skills so that you can meet the challenges ahead with confidence. If the training you need is not available through Bowne, get it somewhere else, such as the community college or adult education program in your area.

Get help when you need it. If you are confused or overwhelmed with the changes swirling around you, ask for help. Your supervisor, manager, or coworkers may be able to assist you in adjusting to the changes taking place. Your human resources department and any company-provided counseling services are other resources available to you.

Make sure the change does not compromise either your company values or your personal ones. If you are not careful, the technological advances jostling each other for your attention and adoption will tend to isolate you from personal contact with your coworkers and customers. E-mail, teleconference, voice-mail, and Intranet can make us more in touch with each other, or they can keep us antiseptically detached, removed from an awareness that the digital signals we are sending reach and influence another flesh-and-blood human being.

Aware of this tendency, we must actively counteract the drift in this direction by taking an interest in people and opening up ourselves to them in return. We have to remember to invest in people--all of those around us--not just in technology.

The "new normalcy"

Ultimately, we may discover that the current state of flux is permanent. After the events of September 11, Vice President Richard Cheney said we should accept the many resultant changes in daily life as permanent rather than temporary. "Think of them," he recommended, "as the 'new normalcy.'"

You should take the same approach to the changes happening at your workplace. These are not temporary adjustments until things get "back to normal." They are probably the "new normalcy" of your life as a company. The sooner you can accept that these changes are permanent, the better you can cope with them all--and enjoy their positive results.


1. Nancy J. Barger and Linda K. Kirby, The Challenge of Change in Organizations: Helping Employees Thrive in the New Frontier (Palo Alto, CA: Davies-Black Publ., 1995). This source is summarized in Mary M. Witherspoon, "Coping with Change," Women in Business 52, 3 (May/June 2000): 22-25.

2. Susan Taylor, "Embracing Change," Essence (Feb. 2002): 5.

3. Alan J. Rowe and Richard O. Mason, Managing with Style: A Guide to Understanding, Assessing and Improving Decision-Making (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Management Series, 1987) cited in Witherspoon, "Coping with Change."

4. Emily Friedman, "Creature Comforts," Health Forum Journal 42, 3 (May/June 1999): 8-11. Futurist John Naisbitt has addressed this tendency in his book, High tech/high touch: Technology and our search for meaning (New York: Random House, 1999). Naisbitt co-wrote this book with his daughter Nana Naisbitt and Douglas Philips.

Coping with Change: Develop Your Personal Strategy

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Copyright ©2006 Steve Singleton

Steve Singleton has written and edited several books and numerous articles. He has been an editor, reporter, and public relations consultant. He has taught college-level Greek, Bible, and religious studies courses and has taught seminars in 11 states and the Caribbean.

Go to his DeeperStudy.com for Bible study resources, no matter what your level of expertise. Explore "The Shallows," plumb "The Depths," or use the well-organized "Study Links" for original sources in English translation. Check out the DeeperStudy Bookstore for great e-books, free books, and great discounts. Subscribe to his free "DeeperStudy Newsletter" or "DeeperStudy Blog."

The Difference Between Strategy and Tactics

"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." - Sun Tzu

What are the fundamental differences between strategy and tactics? Even the savviest on-line and off-line entrepreneurs frequently confuse the two.


Tactics are the day-to-day activities that are repeatable in your business and relatively clear-cut. Like blocking and tackling in football, they comprise the basic components of the jobs and the daily activities of any organization - or any business - no matter the size.

The Difference Between Strategy and Tactics

They are such things as SEO Campaigns, writing an article, creating a website, making a sales call, or perhaps joining an on-line community such as StomperNet, or Rich Schefren's Business Growth System. Tactics are specifically created and selected to reach particular and measurable objectives.

Tactics are the actual ways in which the strategies are executed. They may also include such things as newsletters, press releases, teleseminars, blogs, advertising, websites, and any other tool that your target markets are usually exposed to.

Tactics are easy to copy. If one company observes innovations in another company's products, for example, the observing company can easily duplicate what it has seen, or develop something comparable if straight duplication is not possible. As soon as the process or product is copied, the competitive advantage of the innovation recedes or disappears.

If you are not careful, tactics may end up being simply quick fixes that can bring short term gain, but they will not lead to long-term success unless rigorously applied; and they must be part of an overall plan for success. Therefore, it is critical to look at each tactic from the standpoint of what it will do to achieve your overall strategy.

Most businesses today tend to be tactically focused. You work diligently every day in your office, doing task after task, but most often without a strategic focus.
Being mainly tactically focused will result in a lot of ups and downs in your business, and very likely a long, slow (or very fast) decline in the value of your business.

Strategy, on the other hand, is perspective, that is, your Future Picture and direction. Strategy involves the "big picture" - the overall plan, and how those plans will achieve your goals and objectives. It involves deciding who the important stakeholders are, and which of them will be the recipients of your messages (i.e., "target audiences"), or the targets of your activities.
Your strategy is the framework, your compass that you will use to make decisions that will benefit the future outcome of your business. Strategy is the set of directions you make to enhance your situation and position within your overall market.

Without a well thought out strategy, your business is merely like a person wandering around uselessly in the dark. There is neither a planned direction of where to go in the future, nor which methods to use to get there. Tactics and strategy are always relative to one another, and together they bridge the gap between ends and means.

To succeed in your business environment, it is vital to plan a strategy that connects your activities to your overall plans. If you have a solid understanding of where you want to be at some defined point in the future, it becomes a relatively simple exercise to create a set of activities to get you there. If you know where you are going, there will be a way to get there - always.

Recognize that there is a difference between strategy and tactics, and do not confuse the two. The company that clearly understands that difference is the business that will be the most successful, the most durable - and the most profitable.

The Difference Between Strategy and Tactics

Certified Professional Management Consultant Jim McCarthy currently works in Oceanside, CA with his wife, Career Consultant Barbara McCarthy.
For information on a complete Strategic Planning System, please go to Internet Marketing

Significant Problems Encountered in Implementing a New Strategy in a Business

''Strategy is defined as the determination of the basic long-term goals and objectives of an enterprise, and the adoption of courses of action and the allocation of resources necessary for carrying out those goals'' Chandler(1962)

Strategy is a process and could be considered in fewer than three stages. These are: strategic analysis; this is the stage where through analysis the strategist identifies the opportunities threats, strengths and weaknesses in the environment; the strategic formulation stage, where a choice is made and the strategy implementation stage is the stage where the strategy is translated into action.


Implementing a strategy or strategy implementation is defined as "the translation of strategy into organisational action through organisational structure and design, resource planning and the management of strategic change".

Significant Problems Encountered in Implementing a New Strategy in a Business

Analysing the definition, it becomes obvious that strategy implementation is somewhat complex. Therefore, the successful implementation of a strategy would be how well the various components in carrying it out are successfully integrated and interact.

To identify significant problems encountered in implementing a new strategy in a business, a critical look at the components to be applied in implementing the strategy would be a good pointer. These are considered below: Organisational structure and design; and strategy implementation; translating the strategy into organisational action by using the structure of the organization will also be dependent on the type of structure in use in the organization. This is so because the needs of a multinational organization are different from those of a small business. It is also possible that the extent of devolution or centralisation can influence strategy implementation.

For example using a matrix structure which often takes the forms of product and geographical divisions or functional and divisional structures operating in tandem; the time taken for decisions to be made may be much longer than in more conventional structures. The organisational structure and design aspect of the strategy implementation deals with how the human resources in the organization are mobilised and organised to bring about the corporate strategy. The main significant problems encountered through the usage of organisational aspect in strategy implementation is the fact that most of the employees can leave the firm if they feel that they are being 'used' in actual fact if they are not motivated. This is particularly so where the CEO or senior management imposes the strategy on the employees.

Another problem encountered here is the way and manner information is passed down or up the ranks. If there is a blockage which impedes the flow of information processes it means that decisions would be made based on outdated or obsolete information. This can be solved by devolving the central command for easy flow of information among all rank and files especially in implementing a new strategy in a business. Recognition must be given to organisational structure and design's set up where operational and strategic decisions are made, there should be compromise if implementing a new strategy will succeed in any business.

The next aspect in strategy implementation - resource planning sets out resources and competences need to be created. It deals with the identification of resources needed and how those resources will be deployed and controlled to create the competences needed to implement the strategies successfully. This resource configuration is dependent on: protecting unique resources i.e. where a strategy depends on the uniqueness of a particular resource such as patent; and it must be protected; by legal means; fitting resources together, (mix resources to create competence) business process re-engineering (to create a dynamic improvement in performance) and exploiting experience by learning and improving continuously to improve competence.

One of the major problems of strategy implementation as a result of resource planning is a failure to translate statements of strategic purpose, such as gaining market share into critical factors that will make the purpose achievable and ultimately achieved. This a critical success factor analysis can be pursue as a start in resource planning. For example a definite timetable might be needed for an organization trying to introduce, say a new product for Christmas. A detailed examination of the timing has to be done if production and its marketing would be a success; as well as the allocation of funds for this undertaking. The problem here is that due to the non-uniformity in the times needed for the various activities, it is difficult to know where to start.

Scholes et Johnson (1999) writes that the circularity of the problem is quite usual in developing a plan of action, and raises the question of where to start - with a market forecast, an available level of funds, a production-level constraint, or what? The answer is that it may not matter too much where the starting point is, since the plan will have to be reworked and readjusted several times. A useful guideline is to enter the problem through what appears to be the major change area. An organization planning new strategies of growth may well start with an assessment of market opportunity. Someone starting a new business may will begin with a realistic assessment of how much capital they might have available.

Critical path analysis is recommended for strategies which have detailed planning of implementation. Another problem envisaged is the conflict arising among departments on the allocation of funds especially where money is involved in the implementation of the new strategy.

The next component in the implementation stage of the strategy is the management of strategic change. It is widely accepted that strategic change builds on four underlying premises:

1.There is a clear view within an organization of the strategy to be followed.
2.Change will not occur unless there is a commitment to change
3.The approach to managing strategic change is likely to be context dependent.
4.Change must address the powerful influence of the paradigm and cultural web on, the strategy being followed by the organization.

There are two types of change - incremental change-which merely builds on the skills, routines and beliefs of those in the organization, so that change is efficient and likely to win their commitment, and transformational change - which requires the organization to change its paradigm over time. It could be a change in routine (''the way of doing things around here''. It could also be a change in strategy that will necessitate the change. Although the implementation of strategy concerns the changing aspect of organization structure, control systems and resource planning which does affect the day-to-day operations of members of the organization; people's behaviours and perceptions may not have changed.

To effect a successful strategy implementation, management must also adopt appropriate styles to manage the change processes. For example, it there is a problem in managing change based on misinformation, or lack of information, education and communication style will be used. This involves the explanation of the reasons for and means of strategic change. Collaboration or participation involving those who will be affected by strategic change in the identification of strategic issues; intervention, direction and coercion styles.

Associated with management of strategic change is the problem of change management. It becomes absolutely difficult to manage the change which comes about as a result of the implementation. For example some managers will lose their position as a result of the change (delayering) others might be made redundant as a result of do upsizing others might still lose their job titles or position which they cherished most as a result of business process re-engineering. This will demotivate the staff and the organization may lose some competent staff. Others may have to be retrained to take up new positions or demoted if they are to remain in the organization. This kind of problem can be avoided if management adopts a participatory style of leadership and get the staff involve from the formulation to the implementation stages of the strategy.

In conclusion, it could be expedient to point out that just as there are numerous definitions of strategy, its implementation style might differ and so might its attendant problems and solutions. Nevertheless, since implementation involves the controlling of others behaviours and sometimes perceptions and culture, most problems would be human-related and probably possible solutions would be dependent on management style and behaviour of the leadership in terms of structure and availability and allocation of resources.

Significant Problems Encountered in Implementing a New Strategy in a Business


Cole, G.A (2000) Strategic Management, 2nd Edition, Continuum, London.
Drucker, P.F (1993) the Practice of Management; Butterworth and Heinemann, Oxford.

How to Develop a Training Strategy

1) What is a Training Strategy?

Training and development in an organization requires implementation to achieve success. Therefore, the strategy will require vision, focus, direction and an action planning document. A training strategy is a mechanism that establishes what competencies an organization requires in the future and a means to achieve it.


2) Why have a Training Strategy?

How to Develop a Training Strategy

Many points can be put forward in favor of why you need a training strategy. The most compelling though rests in the results of a recent study of 3,000 companies done by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania.

They found that 10% of revenue -

spent on capital improvements, boosts productivity by 3.9%

spent on developing human capital, increased productivity by 8.5%

Remember, anything worth achieving, is worth planning for!

3) What are a Training Strategy's Components?

There are many important aspects to consider here. To create the Strategic Training and Development Plan, you will need a detailed profile of your;

  • Employee Training and Train-the-Trainer needs,
  • Team Building and Team Development,
  • Leadership Development,
  • Executive Coaching,
  • Competency Requirements and Skills Profiling,
  • Objectives and Action Plans,
  • Vision.

All of these profiles will further have to be considered within the realms of Equity and Diversity, Organization Values, Business Process Improvement, Change Management and Organization Design and Structure.

4) How are Training Strategies Created?

The most successful and profitable approach has been to;

Identify the customer's training needs in terms of their organizational strategic plan, HR strategic plan, personal development plans and focus on comprehensive interviews or focus groups,

  • Establish development gaps, present and future,
  • Set organizational training objectives,
  • Create a training action plan, which must ensure that the necessary systems are in place, access resources, source or design training and position the training. The training must then be delivered and co-ordinated,
  • Monitor the training,
  • Evaluate the training by assessment and verification, and
  • Revise training and/or training plan.

5) How are Training Strategies Implemented?

A strategy designed but not implemented is worthless!

In order to bring about the best results for the training strategy, the training products or services need to be marketed and promoted by manipulating the following;

  • Product/Service - keep the training cutting edge and future focused. Make sure there is a practical transfer of learning, put a development support network in place, and ensure alignment to quality standards.
  • Promotion - commit to a core training value system. Create a slogan or tagline to brand your training. Bridge the gap between perception and reality. Give your training a personality and a brand, and remember your customers (your employees are customers) want to know, "What's in it for me".
  • Price - cost the training accurately and calculate the value received.
  • Place - decide between on-the-job, classroom, distance learning, web-based and virtual learning. Access, location, and distribution are key to consider.
  • People's needs - establish what your customers want and need. Ensure your customers know the training is meeting their needs and that these needs provide a base for decisions in all other areas.
  • Project Management - Establish roles and responsibilities. Action the Training and Development Strategic Plan. Monitor and evaluate progress and make adjustments where necessary.

View our Training Strategy diagram for a visual perspective.

How to Develop a Training Strategy

To learn more about how you can benefit from our Organizational Development Training programs, please visit us at our website.

Business Strategy Game Quiz Answers

Most Business Strategy Game classes have quizzes separated in difficulty known as "BSG Quiz 1" and BSG Quiz 2". The quizzes have many in game questions relating to the rules, and some questions can be very difficult. Especially in BSG Quiz 2, the answers will need to be solved using basic business knowledge. Here is an example of a question in BSG Quiz 2.

Given the following exchange rate changes:


Year 1 Year 2
Euros (EUR) per US$ 0.8230 0.8165
Sing$ per Brazilian real 0.5860 0.5710
Brazilian real per euro (EUR) 3.7030 3.7180
US$ per Sing$ 0.5940 0.5980

Business Strategy Game Quiz Answers

Then, as explained on the Help screen for the Branded Sales Report, it follows that:

* The euro has grown weaker versus the US$.

* The Brazilian real has grown stronger against the Sing$.

* The Brazilian real has grown stronger versus the euro.

* The euro has grown stronger against the US$.

* The US$ has grown stronger versus the Sing$.

This is how you answer this question. If year 1 values are lower than year 2, that means it takes more money to purchase another currency in the present year. Or in effect, that the currency will grow weaker.

If year 1 is higher than year 2, that means it takes less money to purchase another currency. Or in effect, that the currency will grow stronger.

So let's deduce which one is the right answer.

"The euro will grow weaker versus the US$."

This can not be right, as the numbers have gotten smaller in the second year, which actually means the currency has gotten bigger.

"The Brazilian real will grow stronger against the Sing$."

As the second number has gotten smaller that means the currency has gotten stronger. But the currency in question is the Sing being stronger, and the words are reversed in this answer. This answer is wrong.

"The Brazilian real will grow stronger versus the euro."

The second number is larger than the first, which means that the currency has gotten weaker. Another wrong one.

"The euro will grow stronger against the US$."

By deducing the first answer, it made this answer automatically right. As the first number is higher than the second, which means the currency has gotten stronger.

"The US$ will grow stronger versus the Sing$."

As the second number has gotten bigger, this means the currency has gotten weaker, and this answer is wrong.

Tough stuff eh? It's not that hard if you walk away and come back to it. But this is how tricky the quiz can get.

Business Strategy Game Quiz Answers

Get more helpful tips and BSG advice from a former BSG Grand Champion by visiting BSG Tips. Email admin@bsgtips.com for more answers to BSG Quiz 1 and 2.

Effective Marketing Strategy in Retail

The retail sector is one of the most competitive in the business world, and so effective marketing strategy is needed in order to be successful. However, many retailers get caught up in the day-to-day running of their companies and don't use all their business strategy expertise to push their business forward. If you are in the retail business, then you need to wake up and think carefully about your current marketing strategy. If you don't you could find yourself trailing behind the competition and losing business to other retailers. If you want to improve your retail marketing strategy, then here is some advice to get you started.

Use the Internet


With the Internet increasing in popularity all the time, it is extremely important to use Internet marketing as a way to improve market share. In order to improve your access to customers, create a web site where customers can view your merchandise and possibly buy products online. Selling your products online is a great way of expanding your business without having to spend lots of money on new premises or retail locations. However, if you don't want to develop online business, then you can still advertise your business online. Effective marketing strategy should use all mediums available to improve business exposure, and with online advertising a low cost and effective medium it makes sense to take advantage of the opportunity.

Effective Marketing Strategy in Retail

Offer a promotion

Retail business is extremely competitive, and so even the smallest of promotions can give you an edge over your competitors. Your business strategy should be to come up with regular and innovative promotions to entice customers into your store. These promotions can range from offering a free gift with certain products to a competition entry when certain items are purchased. If you keep your marketing strategy fresh with new promotions then you will definitely remain competitive and will attract customers to your products.

Signage and storefront are important

Although you can use plenty of complex marketing strategy techniques to attract customers, nothing is simpler and more effective than having a bold and effective storefront and signage. If you have a shop window, then keep the displays up to date and imaginative. Change the display each season and alter your sign every few years to keep things looking good. However, make sure that you keep the signage them constant so that your brand and store are easily recognisable. Make sure your sign can be seen from as far a distance as possible. Sometimes, the simplest marketing strategies are the best, and keeping your store bright and attractive is one such method.

Ask customers what they want

Your marketing strategy ideas might be great, but if you really want to improve your business then you need to ask the people that matter most - the customers. Effective marketing strategy should always begin by asking customers what sort of products, services and promotions they want. This will give you a better idea of how to market your products and improve your customer base. If there is one thing you should learn about effective business strategy, it is to listen to your loyal customers and then cater to their needs through effective marketing strategy.

Effective Marketing Strategy in Retail

Julie-Ann Amos is a freelance business writer on business and property investment, and owner of exquisitewriting.com She recommends http://www.singingpig.co.uk as one of the most effective sources of information for small businesses and property investment. Their property investment forum is a place to find information hard to locate elsewhere.

Mahjong Solitaire Strategy For Beginners

Based on how simple the rules are, you would assume that mahjong solitaire would be an easy game to play. Just remove matching tiles, as long as the matching tiles aren't blocked by any another tiles.

Of course, it's not that simple. If you've just started playing mahjong solitaire you will have quickly found that if you just remove the first matching pairs you see, it won't take long before there are no more tiles you can remove.


This is because if you don't remove the right tiles, then tiles will get stuck.

Mahjong Solitaire Strategy For Beginners

For example, if you have 2 'A' tiles on top of each other, then you have to be very careful about how you remove the other 'A' tiles. If you remove the other tiles together, then the 2 on top of each other will be left at the end of the game. You won't be able to select the lower tile, and you wont be able to finish the game.

There are many advanced ways of analyzing the layout, making sure that this doesn't happen. But when you are starting out, you don't want to spend hours analyzing before you make your moves, you just want to get going!

Well, I have 2 strategies for you, that will help you finish some mahjong solitaire games. They won't make you an expert, but if you are struggling to finish a game, they should definitely help.

The first thing, is to watch for 4 of a tile being playable at once. If you see this, you should remove the 4 tiles immediately.


Because you know that there are no more of those tiles in the layout. So removing them can't leave other tiles unplayable. *You can guarantee that this move will be correct, and won't block the game.*

Another strategy is relevant when 3 of a tile are visible.

If 3 tiles are visible, and one tile is not blocking any other tiles, remove the 2 non-blocking tiles.

This is best illustrated with an example.

Suppose part of the mahjong layout is like this...



Should you remove the A's, and if so, which ones?

Yes you should. You should remove the A's from the top line.

You shouldn't remove the A from the 'AX' line, because that A is not blocking any other tiles. You will get more tiles unblocked by removing the A's from the top line. Also, there is no way the bottom A can be blocking another A. It is possible though, that the top A's could be blocking the final A.

The above strategies won't allow you to win every game of mahjong solitaire, but they should help. If you have a game that allows hints, try using that. This will allow you to focus on strategy, rather than finding matches.

Mahjong Solitaire Strategy For Beginners

Dan Fletcher is a programmer at dogMelon. They make Classic Mahjong For Mac, which features great graphics and sound, with fun layouts.

Find out more at:

Chess Strategy

Chess is a conceptual strategy board game for two players. It is played on a square board of eight rows and eight columns. The rows are known as ranks and the columns are known as files. This results in sixty-four squares of alternating color. Each player starts the game with sixteen pieces, which are gradually eradicated in time (captured and removed from the board by opposing pieces) as the game proceeds. The main objective of the game is to checkmate the opponent. This usually takes place when no further move can prevent the king from being captured. Chess has since long reigned as one of the world's most popular games. It has been described not only as a game but also as an art and a science, which requires a lot of thinking and patience. Chess strategies are extremely important as it helps players understand the finer aspects and features related to the game of chess.

A game of chess is divided into three segments, the chess opening, the middle game, and the end game. An appropriate analysis of the openings is also considered to be extremely vital in conceptualizing an effective strategy. Players should be well conversant with the subtleties and beauties of the many and compound variations in the different chess openings. Often it is the starting move, which determines the move and strategy to be followed. The middle game refers to the phase of the game that takes place after the opening and usually merges somewhat with the endgame. During this time, an effective strategy revolves around players attempting to reinforce their positions while weakening their opponent's. The endgame is that point of the game when there are only some pieces left on the chessboard. Here the strategies used in the beginning and the middle comes to use.


In chess, detailed knowledge of the moves and how to play under certain given conditions play a crucial role in determining the game strategy to be followed. An efficient strategy acts as a guideline in ensuring a good game of chess.

Chess Strategy
Chess Strategy

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