Why It Matters: Marketing Strategy

Why explain how a marketing strategy supports an organization’s corporate strategy?
Photo of a Lego woman holding a map, standing at a crossroads labeled "Boom" and "Bust."

In this module you’ll learn about the important role that marketing strategy plays in supporting corporate strategy. When a company has a mission and a set of corporate-level objectives, the marketing strategy must support those goals, which is perhaps the most important lesson that the following companies—and many others like them—failed to learn:

10 Lessons I Learned From Burning Through $50,000 on a Hardware Project That Bombed

With Kolos, we did a lot of things right, but it was useless because we ignored the single most important aspect every startup should focus on first: the right product.

VoterTide Postmortem

We didn’t spend enough time talking with customers and were rolling out features that I thought were great, but we didn’t gather enough input from clients. We didn’t realize it until it was too late. It’s easy to get tricked into thinking your thing is cool. You have to pay attention to your customers and adapt to their needs.

My Startup’s Dead! 5 Things I Learned

What I didn’t understand was, you charge not for how much work it is for you. You charge how much the service is worth.

As these companies attest, a lot of things can go wrong in the startup world, and learning the hard way can mean going out of business. Take a look at the following graph, which reveals the major reasons startups fail:

Bar chart labeled Top 20 Reasons Startups Fail: Based on an Analysis of 101 Startup Post-Mortems. From top down, they read: No Market Need 42%, Ran Out of Cash 29%, Not the Right Team 23%, Get Outcompeted 19%, Pricing/Cost Issues 18%, Poor Product 17%, Need/Lack Business Model 17%, Poor Marketing 14%, Ignore Customers 14%, Product Mis-Timed 13%, Lose Focus 13%, Disharmony on Team/Investors 13%, Pivot gone bad 10%, Lack Passion 9%, Bad Location 9%, No Financing/Investor Interest 8%, Legal Challenges 8%, Don’t Use Network/Advisors 8%, Burn Out 8%, and Failure to Pivot 7%. CB Insights name, logo, and web address appear at the bottom.


Many businesses go under because their products are inferior or don’t match a need, because of poor pricing strategy, poor marketing, or because of other issues related to product, price, promotion, or distribution. In essence, they fail to have a good plan that supports the goals of the company.

It is exceptionally difficult to get marketing strategy right. It is easy to get busy doing the work of the company, rather than planning the work that will ensure the company’s survival and success. Successful companies have a good corporate strategy that is supported by an effective marketing strategy. In this module you’ll begin to understand why that’s so important.

Learning Outcomes

  • Evaluate how marketing strategies align with corporate strategies
  • Explain the inputs and components of a marketing strategy
  • Show how common analytic tools are used to inform the organization’s strategy
  • Give examples of corporate strategies
  • Explain how the development and maintenance of customer relationships are an essential part of an organization’s marketing strategy