Have a strategy in place – If this line were a spice, it would have ruined the dish because it has been used aggressively and excessively in company meetings, suggestion blogs, and whatnot. What is a strategy? What is it actually? A simple definition that answers every doubt is "Strategy is about having a goal and how to get there," says Casey Cheshire, Founder & CEO of Ringmaster Conversational Marketing and Podcast Host of The Hard Corps Marketing Show & Creating The Greatest Show.
Now, let's expand that definition on a granular level so that next time someone asks us to build a strategy we already know our way up.
Having a Goal and How to Get There
Having a Goal
When running a business, the goal common goal should not be just sales. "It is always good to have some goals in mind for yourself and your business. To solve this, ask yourself: where's this company going exactly? Where does the CEO want to take it?" says Casey Cheshire.
Examples of non-specific goals include:
- Generate more leads
- Get more website visitors
- Sell more products
- Increase brand awareness
Some examples of specific goals are:
- Grow email list subscribers by 10% each month for the next 6 months
- Acquire 50 new customers in the next 3 months
How to Understand Customers and Connect with Them?
What does a doctor do to understand the pain points of their patients? Before running a diagnosis, they listen to their patients. If the patient says, 'Doc, I have chest pain.' The doctor will test for chest pain and not for foot pain or broken joints. Listening carefully is the first step for marketers to understand their customers.
Marketers carefully listen to the audience for their pain points; in the digital world, where content is king, words describing the pain points also matter because the content revolves around those words. Listen to them carefully when they talk to you, their social posts, opinions, and views. This will help you curate your message in their language.
If we simply jump to sales without understanding or connecting with our customers, there is a high chance we end up being completely disconnected from our audience, which is not a good position to be in for a business.
Process Before Tech Stack
"Learning technology is normally the first step marketers learn when it shouldn't be. Knowing about the company's process should be the first thing marketers should learn." Casey highlights that marketers push the tech stack before the process. However, it should be the other way around.
Once you have decided how you will reach your goals, the process stage gives you a flow, a map that leads you to your goals.
How do I map out my company's work process?
You are lucky if you get it right the first time; otherwise, there will be many hit-and-trials until you reach the process that is working smoothly with your company. And the process could be something unorthodox. And it doesn't matter. What works for you works for you.
Any task you line up to achieve your goals goes through the following stages.
Assigning: Who will assign the task and where? Who will approve the idea?
Performing: Where will the tracking be done? How do you set the deadline for the task? What goal will the task serve?
Reviewing: Who will review the task and how?
Completion: Where to submit the completed task?
You may also have sub-stages in between these stages. You can involve training for the team members. As said earlier, no one fixed process works for everyone. The right process for your company originates when you ask the right questions.
The Tech Stack
Now that you know what process you and your team will follow. It's time to choose the tools to support your process. You can adjust your team according to the new tools you want to use. Train your team well to align the man and machine for your business goals. Or you can make the tools already in use work according to your process requirements.
Case Cheshire has put the tech stack in the last stage for the marketers. Just because your technology stack is big and fancy, it doesn't mean you are making a big difference in your company. You are not. Your goals should be right, and your process should be effective. The tech stack is just to support the processes.
Many marketers do the opposite and make this mistake. They choose the most popular tech stack first and then see what they can do with it. What happens is that they make the features of the tools their goals, and they start working for those goals. In reality, that is not a business goal. It never can be. That's why Choosing the business goal is the first step; the second step is strategizing the processes for that goal; the tech stack is the third step.
Listen to the Podcast on Spotify