If you were trying to win a war, would you first start planning a battle strategy or would you start shooting targets? Sun Tzu’s Art of War would tell you the answer. Without planning, a successful outcome is merely a coincidence. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
If that is true, then WHY do 80% of marketers (gasp!) start with tactics, instead of a strategy, according to a recent eMarketer study?
Because they DON’T THINK (about it). Why? Maybe creating a strategy seems too difficult, not as much fun or “they don’t have time.”
Did you know firms that do regular client research grow several times faster and are almost TWICE as profitable as those that do not?
And guess what? You have to slow down to do client research.
And you have to slow down to be strategic.
Have you ever sat down and tried to be creative and suffered from writer’s block? You can’t force a good idea. Many inventors and creative geniuses will tell you that none of their best ideas come from being behind a computer. They have to slow down, tap into their creative muse, and then it rolls.
What does “Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast” mean, exactly?
It comes from the military… If you rush it, you’ll get killed, or you’ll miss your target. If you are a sniper, you measure the distance, the wind and then watch your breathing so you can pull the trigger smoothly and make a quick shot. Ready, Aim, Fire. Otherwise, you could miss completely – resulting in “giving up your position” and possibly getting you killed.
Certainly, a skilled cook does not start preparing a meal without first doing some research and planning. (i.e. Who are my guests and what are their interests? What supplies do I need?)
If you slow down to strategize, when you start on the tactics, you won’t have an “Oh crap! I don’t have any more butter” moment. You’re smooth – and that’s fast. In the end, you’ll achieve faster results than if you didn’t plan ahead.
A word of warning.
You can be too slow. “Money loves speed”. Once you have slowed down and you know your strategy, you have to race to ROI and be quick to implement the tactics. The one who ultimately wins is the implementer. (Just remember, don’t implement before you plan, please.)
Who can help?
Sometimes a company can get too close to its products and markets to see new opportunities or “see outside the box.” In such cases, external consulting can be of great help. Marketing depends on intelligent memory and abstract interpretation of events and patterns. An intuitive marketer creates new ideas out of old fragments of information. They are not only comfortable thinking in that mode but find it well within the comfort zone.
Successful, high growth companies know that thorough planning by an experienced marketing professional has no peer in contributing to the growth and success of a company. To learn how we can help you develop a Marketing Strategy, request a Proposal.