By Scott Glatstein
on April 18th, 2012
By Scott Glatstein
According to a study by the Conference Board, marketplace strategy execution ranks high in the top 10issues that senior managers must face today. While many issues drive poor execution, they all appear to point to one major common factor: a lack of organizational preparedness to implement marketplace strategies as envisioned by those who conceived them.
For example, consumer electronics retail store A advertises great selection and low prices. Its customers are unperturbed if they don’t receive A+ service.
Their expectation is low prices not world-class service.
Store B advertises, “No question is left unanswered.” Customers entering this store expect great service. If sales associates are inattentive and customers receive no help when asking about a product, then the expectation remains unfulfilled. This means customers will return for future purchases.
Companies that spend their time developing a strategy need to follow through for the long term. Here are the top seven Strategy Activation Themes to Think About When Creating and Following Through with Your Marketplace Strategies:
- Understand that although a strategy may appear brilliant on paper, it is the implementation that is important. Failure to follow through can result when you allow your strategy to outstrip your organization’s capabilities. It can also happen when your employees do not understand your marketplace strategy or their expected behavior or when your company does not support the strategy’s delivery. You may also have conflicting success metrics and employee rewards. Find where the problem is and fix it immediately.
- Keep in mind that a promise, no matter what it entails, leads to customer expectations. Your strategy communicates intent. It’s a promise made to the marketplace. This promise creates expectations for your products and services that must be met if customers are to walk away satisfied.
- Remember to go beyond the promise and communicate Life Optimization Coaching Certification Program
tion: underline;”>how your organization will deliver on its marketplace promise. We live in skeptical times. These reasons to believe fine-tune expectations and add assurance that the company will follow through on its promise. Plus, it will provide internal direction for resource allocation, product development efforts and system design.
Recognize it’s the customer experience that differentiates one organization from another. The overall customer experience includes the sum total of all the little touch points your customers have with your organization. From the advertising messages and interaction with sales and customer-service personnel to monthly billing statements, your company’s products, services, and experiences must all reinforce the image desired in the marketplace.
Align employees. Your employees drive customer experiences. Promises can only be fulfilled if your employees understand it, believe it and are compensated well for fulfilling their roles.
Create business processes that reinforce your envisioned marketplace strategy. Internal and external business processes must support your strategy implementation. They must be mapped and traced, noting each step’s effect on the overall customer experience and the organization’s ability to fulfill its promises.
Give employees the right tools that enable their ability to be consistent with the desired marketplace image. These could be task tools to complete a task associated with a specific process step, information tools to provide critical information for accomplishing one’s job or communication tools to ensure everyone is on the same page. The tools must enable delivery of the promise and customer expectations.
Understand that successful marketplace implementation is difficult. It requires forethought, planning, and a relentless focus on your marketplace promise. Strategy activation is not an overnight fix, but a discipline that can help a company prepare for flawless marketplace implementation. The rewards of happy customers, energized employees, and a successful business are worth every ounce of effort demanded.
If you follow these seven tips, and invest in my book, “Strategy Activation: Keeping Promises to the Marketplace,” at http://www.strategyactivation.com, you will provide your organization with a head start in the right strategic direction.