- “Sun Tzu put it best, ‘strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.’”
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[The following is the transcript of this video. Please note that this episode, like all posts, features Jean speaking unscripted and unedited — filmed in one take. The actual video may differ in content from the script. But you’ll still get loads of value!]
Hey everyone! It’s Jean. Happy holidays!
I know that by this time of the year your thoughts are already in the New Year, the big 2020. And my hope is that you and your team have crafted a strategy you are confident will help you scale your business well into the new decade.
Today I want to remind you to stay the course and avoid the temptation to pursue the flavour of the week tactic. And nowhere is that temptation stronger than in marketing. It’s the one part of the business where the flavour of the week tactic or random act of marketing is most likely to take hold.
I know! You desperately want to more leads. So when your brother-in-law tells you how important it is to tweet three times a day. Or your marketing executive suggests Tik-Tok is the channel to put all your energy. Or the sales team wants you to run a campaign in an opportunistic market — you’re inclined to give it a try. After all, how much can it hurt? Hell, it might even result in some leads. But the truth is, random acts of marketing are precisely why your marketing isn’t working.
This year I want you to put strategy before tactics. Just about every business owner I talk with who is struggling to find marketing traction and grow is putting tactics before strategy. They lack a clear vision for their business and wonder why the tactic of the week isn’t working. And this lack of vision and ad-hoc approach to scaling the business filters down throughout the whole organization.
So, here’s what I want you to do in 2020:
1. Start with a strategy
A strategy is more important than tactics, yet the tactical idea of the week gets most of the attention.
We need to update the website to take advantage of an opportunistic deal. We should get more active on a new social media channel. We need to start a podcast. Write a blog post on a topic to increase SEO. Tweet more often to drive up impressions. It’s easy to come up with a new idea every week — these are all tactics!
Sun Tzu put it best, ‘strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.’
This year, I want to challenge you to create a marketing strategy and stick to it. And remember, a strategy is not a goal. If your goal is to be a market leader in cloud optimisation, a marketing strategy could be to carve out a very narrow niche and dominate that area.
With that in mind, start by defining your ideal client. Then work out how you differentiate yourself from everyone else in the market. And lastly, develop a clear explanation of how you are going to get there.
2. Align Sales and Marketing
I can’t overstate this one enough. You need to keep these two groups working together. Once you have a strategy, set regular sales and marketing meetings. Make sure everyone is on the same page and focus your combined energy on the goal.
3. Stick to the plan
Define what success looks like in the next twelve months and stick to the plan to get there. Marketing is a long game. Sure there are stories of companies that do something, get it right and experience phenomenal growth. But chasing hacks and random acts of marketing won’t deliver a miracle. Instead, build space for innovative ideas into your plan, but stick to it.
4. Set goals and communicate them
Make sure everyone knows what the goals are and how you plan to achieve them. You must believe your goals are realistic. They must be aligned with your strategy. You must have a plan to accomplish them. Regularly revise the plan and commit. Map out marketing themes for the year.
Quarter one might be about building thought leadership material.
Quarter two is about supporting the sales team to get inroads into your niche through an ABM campaign.
Make this the year that you put marketing strategy before tactics. Think about how much more powerful your marketing can be if you are sticking to a plan while the competition is running around performing random acts of marketing.