Making decisions can be hard.
Should I go travelling, go to University or go get a job after school?
Should I rent or buy a house?
Should we get married and have kids?
Should I give away my last Rolo (now there’s a persistent creative idea) or just scoff it myself?
OK, maybe not all decisions are that hard.
But when it comes to marketing and advertising it can sometimes be challenging to navigate the choices we face.
Extend the brand or double down on the core?
Advertise or not? (you should advertise, honest).
Long or short term focus?
TV or Outdoor?
Paid or Organic?
Viral or, well, not. (Almost always not).
You could toss a coin.
But hope is not a plan. Having vague aspirations for some ideal outcome is not the same as developing a strategy to achieve your goals.
At its best, a strategy is a decision-making tool.
A way of deciding what to do and what not to do.
A strategy gives you a more finely honed, sense of what is, and isn’t, the right course of action in any given situation.
And, to be its best, your strategy needs to be expressed simply.
The more complex and convoluted the expression of your strategy the less it excludes.
The less it excludes the less useful it is as a decision-making tool.
So you should strive to make your strategy simple enough.
But no simpler.
About now you’re maybe thinking “I don’t have time for all this strategy malarkey. We need results RIGHT NOW!”
You’re probably thinking this is just a strategy guy justifying his existence (you’d be half right).
Your strategy is a touchstone you should keep returning to every time you need to decide how and where to direct your marketing efforts.
Well conceived and expressed strategy makes it easy to make good decisions, faster than you can without one.
So use strategy as a springboard to tactics that deliver you what you need in the short term without sacrificing your long term goals.
If you’re struggling to make good decisions which help you achieve your marketing or advertising goals maybe it’s time you revisited your strategy.