You've got the marketing strategy, the budget, the executive buy-in, now it's time to get to work.
The strategy doesn't happen without a clear plan and implementation process.
Marketing planning is vital for any marketing leader running a marketing division.
Yet, every professional has their own approach and may get lost in the weeds of day to day activities. Using a trusted framework to guide the rollout plan is super helpful for leaders at any sized organization.
The G-STIC marketing framework is covered in the marketing textbook Strategic Marketing Management by Alexander Chernev.
Why is nobody talking about it?
What is the G-STIC Framework for Marketing Management?
The G-STIC framework stands for:
From the textbook:
“The backbone of the marketing plan is the action plan, which defines the company's goal and a course of action to reach this goal. The development of an action plan is guided by five key activities: setting a goal, developing a strategy, designing the tactics, defining an implementation plan, and identifying a set of control metrics to measure the success of the proposed action. These five activities comprise the G-STIC framework, which is the cornerstone of marketing planning and analysis. The core of the action plan is the business model comprising the offering's strategy and tactics.“
I'm not 100% sure who created the framework, I imagine it was created by Alexander Chernev and/or Philip Kotler.
I personally find it useful as a generic framework to further customize to make it work for the context of your organization and industry.
G-STIC Marketing Framework Definitions
Let's go a bit deeper into each element of G-STIC.
- Goal: The first step in the framework involves setting clear and specific marketing objectives. Goals are the guiding light that provide direction. They help determine what the marketing efforts aim to achieve, such as increasing sales, market share, or brand awareness. If you don't know where you're going, then anywhere is fine. If you clearly define goals – whether you like to set realistic ones or unachievable ones – you will at least know were you stand.
- Strategy: Once the goals are established, the next step is to develop a marketing strategy. This involves outlining the overall approach or plan for achieving the set goals. Strategies may include market segmentation, positioning, targeting, and identifying competitive advantages. I'm shocked that the text defines strategy as the combination of a target market and a value proposition. How can it be that easy? “The strategy delineates the value created by the company in a particular market.”
- Tactics: Tactics are the specific actions and activities that support the chosen strategy. This is where marketers decide on the marketing mix elements, such as product features, pricing strategies, distribution channels, and promotional activities like advertising and sales promotions. Think about the 7 p's for this: product, service, brand, price, incentives, communication, and distribution.
- Implementation: Implementation involves putting the tactics into action. It includes the execution of marketing plans, allocating resources, and ensuring that the various elements of the marketing mix are effectively implemented. According to Chernev, “Implementation involves three key components: developing the company resources, developing the offering, and commercial deployment.”
- Control: Control metrics and performance indicators are essential for measuring the success of the marketing plan. This step involves monitoring and evaluating the outcomes against the predefined goals and adjusting the strategy and tactics as needed based on the results. Basically, analytics and analysis: what worked, what didn't? Was it your own brand or the wider industry?
G-STIC Framework Diagram
From the book itself, here's the diagram:
And here's the expanded G-STIC Action-Planning flowchart:
This is gold, in my opinion. I think 90% of non-MBA trained marketing managers would be better off starting their marketing planning with this framework and customizing it for their goals and environment.
It's worth noting that G-STIC is not a very well known framework (currently) but there is a term called a “Go-to-Market Strategy” that is very popular. We can connect the two and see how they help build on each other.
What is a Go-to-Market Strategy?
A go-to-market strategy in a few steps:
- Identify your target market and audience.
- Develop a unique value proposition.
- Choose distribution channels and marketing tactics.
- Set pricing and sales strategies.
- Execute and measure results, adjusting as needed.
A bit deeper:
Here's an expanded explanation of each step in a go-to-market strategy:
- Identify your target market and audience:
- Determine the specific segment(s) of the market you want to reach.
- Understand your ideal customers' demographics, psychographics, needs, and preferences.
- Conduct market research to gather insights about your target audience's behaviors and buying habits.
- Develop a unique value proposition:
- Define what makes your product or service unique and valuable to your target audience.
- Clearly communicate the benefits and advantages of your offering compared to competitors. (CCDV to a TM(P) is later).
- Craft a compelling message that resonates with your audience and addresses their pain points.
- Choose distribution channels and marketing tactics:
- Decide how you will deliver your product or service to customers (e.g., direct sales, online retail, partnerships).
- Select marketing channels and tactics to reach and engage your target audience (e.g., social media, email marketing, content marketing, advertising).
- Tailor your approach to the preferences and behaviors of your audience, considering both online and offline channels.
- Set pricing and sales strategies:
- Determine your pricing strategy, taking into account factors like cost, market conditions, and perceived value.
- Define your sales approach, including sales team structure, training, and sales processes.
- Consider promotional strategies, discounts, and incentives to encourage sales.
- Execute and measure results, adjusting as needed:
- Implement your go-to-market plan, ensuring that all elements are executed effectively and on schedule.
- Continuously monitor and measure key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the success of your strategy.
- Be prepared to make adjustments and refinements based on real-time data and feedback to optimize your go-to-market efforts.
The Connection Between G-STIC and a Go-to-Market Strategy
The G-STIC framework can be a valuable tool for developing a go-to-market (GTM) strategy. Here's how the G-STIC framework relates to a go-to-market strategy:
- Goal: In the context of a go-to-market strategy, the “Goal” component of G-STIC involves defining clear and specific objectives related to entering a new market or launching a new product or service. These goals might include objectives like capturing a certain market share, achieving a specific level of sales revenue, or gaining a foothold in a new geographic region.
- Strategy: The “Strategy” component of G-STIC corresponds to the overarching approach for entering the market or introducing the new product/service. This includes decisions related to market segmentation, target audience, positioning, and differentiation. It's about determining how your offering will stand out in the market and how you will compete effectively.
- Tactics: Under the “Tactics” stage, you'll decide on the specific actions and activities that will support your GTM strategy. This might involve choosing distribution channels, pricing strategies, marketing campaigns, sales tactics, and product/service features that align with your strategy.
- Implementation: Implementing a GTM strategy involves executing the tactics and plans you've developed. It includes tasks like product development, building distribution partnerships, launching marketing campaigns, training sales teams, and ensuring that all elements of the GTM plan are put into action.
- Control: The “Control” component is essential in a GTM strategy to measure and assess the success of your approach. You'll define key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to track progress toward your goals. Based on the data and feedback collected, you can make adjustments to your strategy and tactics to optimize your go-to-market efforts.
The G-STIC framework provides a structured and systematic approach to planning and executing a go-to-market strategy. It helps ensure that your GTM efforts are aligned with your objectives and that you have a clear plan in place for achieving your goals. Customizing and applying the G-STIC framework to your specific go-to-market situation can enhance your chances of success in entering new markets or launching new products/services.
Philip Kotler's CCDV to a TM Model
“Create, communicate and deliver value to a target market at a profit.” – Philip Kotler
I searched the internet for anything on CCDV to a TM(P) model, but really it's only on YouTube. Kotler created the acronym, which means “Create, communicate and deliver value to a target market at a profit.” This is a way to wrap up your entire marketing strategy in a memorable way. The key point is you should have some framework for thinking that hits on the main points, is contextualized for your situation, and you can act on it.
Watch that segment above and see my notes below as well as a connection to how it impacts your larger strategy. In essence, CCDV to a TM(P) is a horribly named acronym, but it has it's place.
Product Management vs Brand Management vs Customer Management
Kotler notes the difference between product management, brand management, and customer management.
It used to be that in a company you would make things, then you would have product and sales sell it.
Things have changed in product management today.
It used to be that only the scientists and engineers would develop products. Doing things secretly that competition wouldn't learn about.
That's changed now.
Kotler gave the example of how P&G connects with outside scientists to create “open innovation”, finding the best ideas anywhere.
He says that brand building used to be packaging – a name, a logo. “The brand is a promise. The brand inspires everything you do. And it's highly emotional.” Kotler says in the video. And continues, “go after the mind and heart, mindshare and heartshare”, but not we're going after spirit care. Create an emotional relationship that's beyond the person's own ego.
This all does connect to CCDV to a TM(P). You want to connect with your customers, meet them, manage them, and know them well.
My take: This concept Kotler mentions has been around for awhile and was popular throughout the 2010s. I haven't heard about it as much lately, as this was more about the “crowdsourcing” concept that was really popular for awhile. I do think this has gone a bit out of fashion, or been “evergreened” where it's now permanent.
Video: Building a Go-To-Market Strategy
So while I haven't found any great G-STIC videos (believe me, I watched the 5 that were available), this GTM strategy video from a former Google PMM is a great beginner breakdown for building up a strategy from the ground up:
I like a few of his ideas and insights:
- Pre-launch goal: You can build up the product early on by building up an organic following and educating them on the process and your product. This is highly correlated with content production and SEO work done ahead of time. While it may not convert at the highest, it's addressing the market and building your brand.
- Launch stage goal: drive user adoption. Ampli
- Post-launch goal: optimize and scale channels. Scale up what's working, scale down what isn't, and test out new channels.
- He walks through how to build an app for children with reading difficulties, in the style of Duolingo.
- He walks through the three phases of launch, and goes deeper on detailed planning for each stage.
- Objectives, goals, KPIs, and the timeline are features
- These concepts relate to the G-STIC framework
Post Update Log
- Oct 4, 2023: Original publish date.
- Nov 6, 2023: Updated with more details on G-STIC, and better connecting to GTM model, as well as Kotler's CCDV to a TM(P) model. This helps the reader better see a few frameworks and how they try to achieve the same thing.
Last Updated on November 6, 2023 by Joe