These 3 tips would apply to any strategy, so while we are focusing on marketing strategy in this post, the same 3 tips will apply to business strategy, growth strategy, digital strategy or organization-wide strategy.
1. Strategy Is Never Rigid
We love Mike Tyson’s quote “Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth” because it is very true. You may spend months planning your strategy, and then market conditions change, or your competition comes out with a new product or service. All these factors will make you reevaluate your strategy; therefore, never think of your marketing strategy as something “rigid” that you have to follow through no matter the circumstances.
2. Be Ready To Adjust Or Pivot
While most marketing strategies will not require a complete pivot, having an open mind and being prepared to adjust is extremely important. The overall vision of your strategy may stay the same (e.g. continue to grow by expanding into new territory), but how you approach this expansion may change over time.
Also, you may discover a new (more promising) opportunity which may directly conflict with your original strategy, so you have to be open-minded. Just a word of caution, many marketers and business leaders start looking for a new strategy or opportunity as soon as things start getting difficult, so don’t abandon your original strategy because it’s taking longer or requires more resources. Starting a new marketing strategy every quarter is a sure way to destabilize your business.
3. Measure and Optimize
If you are a regular reader of our posts, the “measure and optimize” theme should be familiar to you. All major initiatives have to be measured in some way, so regardless of what your priorities are, having KPIs (key performance indicators) or OKRs (objectives and key results) in place is critical, and it is equally important to keep a close eye on them.
Improvements come naturally, if you monitor your marketing strategy and KPIs/OKRs because it will force you to adjust tactics (tasks and steps within a strategy), and shift resources depending on how you are performing. For example, you may change tactics that are underperforming and move more resources to tactics that are over-performing.
It doesn’t matter how great your marketing strategy is; it will fall apart if you can’t communicate it effectively to your team and decision-makers; therefore, it should not be a surprise that buy-in from everyone involved is essential. At the end of the day, if everyone is not rowing in the same direction the chances of reaching the finish line are very slim.