Less Strategy in 2018
Along with drama and comedy, science, the Olympics and of course democracy, one of the best contributions that the Greeks have made to the modern world is the creation of strategy.
As Greek city-states were in a constant state of war with one another, they were forced to lay out a systematic approach to win battles. That systematic approach is known today as strategy, a word that we have happily and rapidly incorporated into our business world and jargon.
Unfortunately in our experience as an agency throughout the years, the word “strategy” has become the most overused, misused and at times the most undervalued word by some prospects, peers, coworkers and even some clients.
Change in subject line: Less misuse of the word strategy in 2018.
For these reasons, we want to kick off the year and our blog "Our Point of View" with our thoughts about strategy, hoping that it will give you a new perspective or reassure what you already know and do for your organization.
In “almost” every marketing campaign conversation with prospects and some clients, the word strategy will find its way into one or more sentences. After all, don’t we all want to become a strategic partner?
I know I do!
Hence, this desire to be strategic in what we do is the source of the first and most frequent misuse of the word strategy in relation to marketing strategy, culminating in confusing marketing tactics with marketing strategy.
Some examples of conversations where the word strategy is misused (you may substitute for your own industry).
“Our strategy is to invest in digital media”
“My marketing strategy consists of generating engaging content”
“Our strategy is to generate MQL’s” - Although this last one falls into the category of objectives and not tactics.
And while tactics are imperative to achieve the overall business strategy, they are only a mean to achieve your marketing strategy. Tactics should be frequently evaluated, tweaked and adjusted whereas a strategy should have a long term approach. Therefore, when most people refer to a change in strategy, often they really mean, changing a particular tactic.
Last, and sometimes sadly, as strategic as we all want to be because we know that a solid marketing strategy will generate value to our organizations, the formulation of strategy is often undervalued. Many organizations will not truly dedicate the time or commit the financial resources to do market research that allows them to generate a sound marketing strategy, that is based on market data and consumer insights. Instead, most resources including time are allocated to the implementation of tactics (execution).
Which in our point of view, a great execution of a marketing tactic will never make up for an off marketing strategy. Head of marketing will not see the expected results when is time to calculate ROI on a recently implemented marketing campaign.
Notice that on purpose, we have omitted a vital prerequisite of strategy formulation: objectives. But we promise you, we will soon share “Our Point of View” on this subject along with goals and KPI’s as part of a functional marketing strategy.
In the meantime, we wish you a prosperous 2018 and hope that a clear and efficient marketing strategy is driving your marketing plan.
Author: JC Cedeno
CEO of PALM ERA, based in Miami, FL.
JC graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Tennessee in Business Finance and later earned a MBA from Emory University with a concentration in Marketing Strategy and Pricing.