“Strategy before tactics” is something we talk about every day in the Duct Tape Marketing Consultants’ network. It’s what sets us apart from other small business marketing consultants.
Strategy is one of those words that conjures up images of intellectual giants, using secret information, to make last minute moves to save the day. However, creating your business or marketing strategy doesn’t have to be that complicate. I prefer to start with this simple definition of strategy:
“A plan of action for achieving a goal.”
Simple, but actionable.
When it comes to setting and achieving goals, all the experts tell us that the more personal we can make them, the more emotion we can attach to them, the more we can visualize how our life be better when we accomplish them, the more likely we will be to achieve them.
In other words, the more personal our goals, the greater our chances of reaching them.
As a business owner, you got into business to help you achieve your goals. You may have wanted more money, more freedom, or more time to work on a cause that is important to you.
Many business owners that I meet tell me that the reason the decided to “go out on their own” was they felt their work was not helping them meet their goals.
This is an important point to remember when you start hiring employees of your own – your employees will always work harder to achieve their goals than yours. Your job is to help your employees set their own goals, help provide ways for them to achieve those goals, and align their goals with the shared goals of the company (yours, other employees, and customers). Great employees always set higher goals for themselves than you would.
And of course, the success of your marketing and your business lies in helping your customers goals achieve their goals. This is why we (Duct Tape Marketers) spend so much time about narrowing your focus, finely defining your ideal customer profile, taking the time to understand your customers buying process, etc. We aren’t doing this so we can create award winning advertising or clever tweets. We are trying to better understand what their goals are so we can provide them with the information they need to make decisions about how they can meet those goals.
Talking about strategy is interesting, learning the latest techniques and tactics can be fun, but starting with clear, personal goals in mind is what will keep you moving forward when the challenges come.