Here is a short summary of some notes I took while reading “Bottom up Marketing” by Al Ries and Jack Trout (authors of Positioning and Marketing Warfare). They discuss the need for driving strategic objectives based on the information collected and executed at a more tactical level.
“The best strategic plan is useless”, said Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, “if it cannot be executed tactically”.
In business you tend to see what you expect to see. Which is why top-down thinking is so dangerous? You tend to overlook any factors that aren’t related to the success of your strategy.
The VW Beetle was not the first small car on the market, of course. But it was the first car to occupy the “small” position in the mind. It made a virtue out of its size, while the others apologized for their small size by talking about “roominess”. The position VW took was tactically informed while others made decisions based on the market’s strategic landscape.
In business as in warfare, the safest strategy is rapid exploitation of the tactic. The trick is to move quickly if you’re going to move at all, and come down with a ton of bricks when you do.
The true nature of business today is outwitting, outflanking, and outfighting the competition. Marketing is war, where the enemy is your competitor and the ground to be won is the customer. The key point is that marketing battles are first won or lost at the tactical level, not at the strategic level.