Gartner Blog Network

Vision vs. Strategy

by David Yockelson  |  June 17, 2016  |  2 Comments

I am fortunate to read many strategy documents, especially those related to marketing, as part of my daily job, which is basically to – among other things – determine if those deliverables are performing the mission for which they are intended. Many of these open with a high level statement, often characterized as the “marketing strategy.” This is often not actually what is represented or intended, however. Here’s why:

  1. You mean “vision” when you state “strategy”: Here’s the definition of strategy: “a long term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal or set of goals or objectives.” A one paragraph statement about the future, whether it’s yours or your customers, is not a strategy – it’s a vision.
  2. A marketing strategy is hard to get right. There are many moving parts that span (at a high level):
    • the who – who are the target prospects, customers, partners or influencers, and are they segmented for proper targeting?
    • the why – why are they primary (or secondary or tertiary) targets? What value or revenue do they represent?
    • the when – what is the priority for each target type (which could include the “where” of geography)?
    • the how – what products, services, solutions, campaigns, etc. are intended for each target?

…and these must relate back to the business strategy that presumably has been created and that drives the company as a whole (yes, I have read marketing strategies that were created absent an overall business strategy, which makes them somewhat…risky). The business strategy should aim toward goals that delivery on the overall vision and it should do so via the values of the provider and the value proposition(s) inherent in its offerings.

Certainly, strategy and strategic direction can and should relate to the overall vision, but they’re not interchangeable. Using them that way can reduce credibility with senior executives. A strategy document that identify clearly and provide links among these elements, both in terms of relevance and timing, will be hard pressed to be effective.


Additional Resources

View Free, Relevant Gartner Research

Gartner's research helps you cut through the complexity and deliver the knowledge you need to make the right decisions quickly, and with confidence.

Read Free Gartner Research

Category: go-to-market  non-tech-to-tech-providers  

David Yockelson
Research VP
1 years at Gartner
30 years IT Industry

David Yockelson is a Research Vice President on the Tech Go-to-Market and Sales Strategies team in the Technology and Service Provider Research organization.. Read Full Bio

Thoughts on Vision vs. Strategy

  1. […] Source: Vision vs. Strategy – David Yockelson […]

  2. […] Source: Vision vs. Strategy – David Yockelson […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.