Strategy, execution and the art of creating a race you’re sure to win

  • Better Marketing
  • March 7, 2024

Our highly competitive business environments are often likened to running in a crowded race… jostling for position, elbows out, trying to avoid tripping over each other…. Going for the same customers, the same market opportunities, offering the same benefits.

Good strategy is about standing apart from competition at all costs! It’s about creating your own race, the one YOU want to run. (We talk more about this here). 

Because your strategy is about being different.

It seeks to solve a customer’s problem in a way that allows you to position yourself in competitive clear space. Hint: this doesn’t require radical product or even pricing differences, strategic advantage could come from operating in a fundamentally different way as dictated by your strategy. Significant advantage and differentiation can also be achieved by developing a brand that blows away the competition and is loved by customers (expressed through a great website, collateral, content etc). 

People sometimes dismiss strategy as a self-indulgent, intellectual exercise. It doesn’t actually get anything done.

In fact, it’s all about action. That is, ensuring all resource deployment, policies, messages and manoeuvres are consistent and coordinated.

Focused, coordinated action, in the same direction provides the most basic source of advantage available to any business.

And not only does strategy allow businesses to act more coherently, it also frees them up to act faster. By making it clear what the company wants to do, and for whom, it provides guardrails for the people it hires and safely empowers them to select their own coherent actions within the strategy. This in turn, allows more effective, independent decision-making at all levels.  

For example: a new opportunity arises, is this something we should pursue? The first way to look at that is whether it’s on-strategy. If not, it goes no further. This helps to remove uncertainty and emotion from decision making.

The limitations of execution without strategy

Most marketing (especially digital marketing) focuses on executing tactics, spending enormous time and energy on pumping out content for example, but paying scant attention to strategy. All too often the result is this:


Some organisations work hard at getting better at executing faster or, cheaper. For sure, getting better at execution allows you to run faster or cheaper. But without a good strategy it might not be in the right direction and you end up with this: 

In fact, companies that excel at execution are precisely the ones for which strategy is most importantrunning at a speed towards the best end point, as shown below, is a race that they’re most likely to win. These are the only companies that really have a shot! 

This is why great companies routinely invest time in thinking, and only get running when they know exactly where they’re going. 

Because once you’re all running in the right direction (strategy), then the only question is how far can out-executing your competitors take you?  

The Inside Out Solution   

If you’re not sure how to get strategic, here’s the good news.   

About five years ago we changed our entire business to help SMEs like yours access the senior marketing talent you need to make a big difference, without the big salary that goes along with it. 

The key to it all is placing a senior marketer inside your business, so they develop a deep understanding of your business with full accountability. By only having them there part-time you only pay for the actual time you need. Additionally, given their level of experience, you don’t need to spend your valuable time managing them.  

These ‘fractional senior marketers’ work with us, and you, to develop a solid strategy right at the beginning 

Our structured, collaborative process extracts, analyses and prioritises critical marketing inputs which we craft into the clear, well-articulated, actionable and comprehensive Strategic Blueprint. This is the road map you need to meet your business objectives. 

It’s a model that’s been highly successful for many of our clients over the years, and if you’d like to learn more about what goes into the Strategic Blueprint for your business and how a fractional marketer could be just what you’re looking for, please get in touch here.   

Because not doing any marketing just isn’t an option, and doing it without strategy wastes your time, and your money too.   

Click here to read some client case studies and here to see examples of our work, and for more details on our process, click here. 


More reading:  

What is a marketing strategy and do I really need one? 

Why do we need a formal marketing strategy? 

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