This blog post by Chris Brown really hit home for me — as it should for most people working in marketing or communications.
Here’s how Brown puts it on her Branding and Marketing blog:
So often I’ll get a request from a company representative for a price on execution of a piece of marketing. A Facebook page. A website. Maybe a PDF brochure or a prospecting email.
All of these items are fine on their own. Marketing Tactics. A marketing tool that helps support marketing results.
But alone, without being in support of a goal, the tactic simply doesn’t work.
Yes and amen. Preach.
It seems that clients — whether internal or external — rarely think of strategy. They think of tactics. They want a brochure, a website, an e-newsletter.
As marketing and communications professionals, it’s our duty to help our clients think about strategy first.
I’ve said it before on this blog, but it bears repeating:
Put strategy first. Worry about tactics later.
It isn’t that complicated. Just start by answering these three questions:
- Who is your audience?
- What do you want to tell them?
- How do you want them to react?
(I expand on these questions a bit here. It’s a seven-year-old post, but worth reading if you have the time.)
From there, you can start looking at testing and tactics (another old post worth reading — part 2 of the post linked above).
Unfortunately, we get it backwards so many times. We start first with the tactics — the news release or email blast or brochure — then wonder why our efforts aren’t effective.
Let’s take a step back and do the hard but necessary work of answering those three simple questions. Let’s start with strategy.
Image via Blue Diamond Gallery.