There comes a point in every business where we must stop and ask ourselves, what’s our strategy here?
When it comes to marketing, the natural progression for most businesses is to start with a few simple tactics, then build a “strategy” around them.
But that’s putting the cart before the horse. You might get some results, but this approach is inherently limiting because the business logic isn’t fully played out and the focus is too narrow.
Strategy is not just the “why” behind the tactics, it’s also the “how”. How are we going to use those tactics to a meaningful end, and how will it lead to a result we intend?
Let’s say you are aware that you need to start focusing on how all of these pieces fit together. You’re ready to create a strategy and start implementing.
The problem is, a static strategy won’t get you very far.
General Patton didn’t go to war with a pre-devised, unchanging strategy. He started with a hypothesis, which was only the first draft of the strategy, then he revised it along the way.
As with all strategies, it required ongoing attention and iteration, depending on the new situations and available resources.
Ideally, your initial strategy is a good one. It should get you momentum. But if you don’t revise it, you’re acting in accordance with yesterday’s world.
At the very least, a good strategy requires ongoing questioning about “why are we still doing this”, “is this still the best use of our time and resources?”, “how exactly is this going to lead to our intended business result?”.
That’s why I don’t offer one-time digital strategy projects at the moment. I’d be setting people up to fail unless I knew there was capable oversight.
Sure, I could create a strategy to get you started, and it might have some results, but it depends on the speed in which your business, the goals, and the market changes, and how you adapt to those things.
A baseball player may have a strategy every time she goes to the plate, but as soon as the first pitch comes out, the strategy begins to evolve according to the situation. The “how” becomes more important.
The only exception to this rule is for very small businesses who can use a standard approach to their marketing.
If you’re a very small business, it’s usually a bit easier. You need a website, as much content as you can muster, some social media, and if you’re really disciplined, some email communications with your customers.
As a company grows, however, the nuances become more crucial if the plan is to achieve business results.
Strategy is not a one-time action. That’s the first hypothesis.
Good strategy is constant questioning, analysis, scrutiny, and iteration over time.