There’s no one universal definition of strategy but you can make a conclusion that “strategy is about what we are going to do now in order to shape the future to our advantage.”
Strategy is thinking long term. Without an eye on the big picture, you may miss the larger shift in our PR and marketing communications Industry – shifts that may require early planning to respond and thrive.
As a leader, you should be thinking about four different types of competition to maintain relevance in a changing environment. You should also be helping your clients to keep a close watch on these big four.
The four types of competition
Competition for relevance.
The first and most fundamental level of competition relates to the competition of relevance. Here executives must ask: “Does our offerings meet and satisfy actual customer needs?”
Success is a double-edged sword. The intoxicating euphoria of success could sometimes blind you and prevent you from asking yourself this hard question frequently.
PR and Advertising agencies can learn a lesson or two from the banks in Nigeria , that have successfully pivoted from the old “tally number” days to the profit machines that they are today.
A few bank CEOs disclosed that they are constantly questioning the relevance of their offerings to the customer.
A follow up question you need to ask is, are your customers patronizing you because they desire to, or because they have to? This is the most dangerous place to be. Because as soon as an alternative becomes available, your customers will fly away.
Competition for dependence
When relevance is established, executives face another level of competition: competition for dependence.
This refers to the notion that organizations also compete against consumers’ ability to satisfy their own needs and their jobs to be done. In other words, consumers can often create a solution for themselves, thereby making the organization’s offerings obsolete.
Consider the changes that have taken place in the market in the last two years of the pandemic and intermittent lockdowns.
Agencies and companies that will continue to outshine all others must be experts in creating a “dependency complex.”
Competition for preference
After successfully competing for relevance , dependence and preference, organizations must consider competition for excellence. At this level, the challenge is to sustain the organization’s advantage while continuously seeking renewal.
An example of failure to compete for excellence is illustrated by how Nokia, in the midst of its success failed to keep up with the competitive threat from Apple and Samsung.
Despite being the dominant market leader in the mobile phone market in Nigeria and all over the world, Nokia eventually experienced a dramatic fall.
Nokia did not appropriately adapt to the changing environment due to conservatism and a belief in its existing strengths. Put differently, Nokia’s past success acted as a blinder to peripheral threats coming from unexpected sides.
They lost the competition for excellence. At both the individual and corporate level, are you constantly battling for excellence?
“The pursuit of perfection and excellence must be perpetual because there is no such thing as perfect. There’s only the relentless pursuit of perfection.”
|Setting your strategy: HBR