Understanding the market
Furious activity is no substitute for understanding. (H. H.Williams)
The quotation from H. H. Williams that heads this chapter has a double relevance. First, it is by way of a justiﬁcation. We have spent two-thirds of this book explaining thewhole concept of strategicmarketing planning and the idea that it only works if it is bicongruent. Only nowdoweget on to how to apply this knowledge.As the quotation suggests, this is deliberate. As a recent Economist article pointed out, many books on management are awful. Part of the reason for this is that they try to satisfy managers’ appetite for quick and easy solutions to long-term and difﬁcult problems. The purchasers of such books expect to get a lot for a little, and often get what such naïvety deserves. To gain real and lasting competitive advantage, it is not enough to go through the motions of what is recommended by academics; you really have to understand it. My hope is that the ﬁrst two parts of this book give that understanding, preventing this book from being one of the awful ones.