In times of rapid change, we need to have a strategic plan on which to base our tactical decisions.
If we only use business tactics, our plan will lack direction.

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Strategy trumps tactics

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The thinking behind the techniques
by Paul Siegel

In times of rapid change, we need to have a strategic plan on which to base our tactical decisions. If we only use business tactics, our plan will lack direction.

The Internet is new, alive, constantly growing and changing. So business people need to become acquainted with it, learn about the technology and the people in the network, and get to understand the system. This requires constant experimentation. Trying different hardware and software technologies, website and email techniques and marketing approaches.

We did not know enough to develop coherent strategies. So we set goals, and used certain tactics to achieve them. If the goals were not met, we modified our tactics.

Tactics that work?
As a result of all this experimentation, we have a long list of tactics that "work." A few of the technologies that common wisdom says "work" are:

  • Autoresponders
  • Shopping carts
  • List processing software
  • Banner rotation software
  • Search software

... and so on. Does this mean they "work" for everyone? For you? Must everyone use an autoresponder? Perhaps you may be better off making human contact? Whether you use it or not should depend on your overall strategy.

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Should you use these...?
Many website and email techniques have been found to "work." Among them are:
  • Forms
  • Newsletters
  • Discussion groups
  • Articles in publications
  • Reciprocal links
  • News releases

...and many more. Should you use all of these or none of these? Almost everyone sings the praises of a newsletter. Can you imagine a thousand marketing experts producing a thousand newsletters, all offering "tips?" Perhaps there's a better approach for you which more closely fits your strategy.

... or use these, maybe?
On a higher level, we've developed marketing approaches, such as:

  • Banner ads
  • Data base marketing
  • Guerrilla marketing
  • One-to-one marketing
  • Affiliate programs

Again which will you use? One-to-one marketing, for example, is an outstanding way to go. But is it useful for everyone? More important, can it be a fundamental part of your strategy?

Business strategy - often neglected
Strategy. We've neglected it. It's time to think of the strategy we want to follow. Not just marketing strategy. Overall business strategy. Instead of focusing on tactics to reach short-term goals, we should concentrate on strategy to produce our long-range vision.

Strategy is a concept with many synonyms, among them:

  • Mission
  • Values
  • Policy
  • Standards
  • Business Plans
  • Business Models

Strategy trumps tactics. Choosing the correct strategy is the main factor in business success. In my estimation, painting a grand vision is the best way to get there.

Paul "the soarING" Siegel is an Internet consultant and a trainer on Vision and Business Strategy. His one-day seminar, "7 Strategies for Success," can be presented at your site to save you travel time and expense. Visit his Learning Fountains web site at

To help executives and entrepreneurs develop Business Strategy, Paul has a mailing list, called LearningFOUNT. It is devoted to discussion of Business Strategy. To subscribe, just send a blank email to

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