Monday, November 10, 2008
Your Strategy RULES -- But, How Practical Is Your Tactical?
By Kendall Allen
On our best game, we plan for business and get to market; we move with clarity from strategy to plan to brass tacks. It all ties together. But, given the potential to miss the mark and disconnect horribly, there is an open, perpetual conversation about strategy vs. tactics. In almost any business circle, it buzzes. You can jump in on this confab almost any given day of the week. What is the talk?
But, short of an outright workshop, where participants are able to bring in their own live work or issues for dissection and advice -- can the guidance ever really connect in this kind of forum? Just think about how frequent this kind of forum is. If I were in the congregation of information-seekers, I would wonder:
? Does my tools set have secret powers I can leverage? What are they? Take me under the hood, please.
When Facing the Client
The other scenario to examine is the day-to-day of client and new business pitch work. As an agency, if you are a good one, you likely have a collaborative process that taps into research and insights to support the front-end and really breaks down the market. Then, as a team, with the right people around the table, you move to sound strategy to inform plan, programming, structure and ultimately media mix and measurement approaches to evaluate on metric. But, as time itself compresses, and you run out the door to present your thinking to the client, have you, as a recent trusted chief of mine said, "really tied it up with a bow?" Taking a hard look:
Either Way - It's About Getting Specific
In a day in the life, at least for me, both scenarios come up -- giving guidance to a room and working with client or pitch teams. In the former, I believe your essentials are:
In the client or pitch situation, try to:
As we turn for a moment from strategy, and focus on the more practical extension -- the tactical -- it comes down to not being presumptuous. On any level, are all known questions asked and answered? In a market and times like this -- such accountability from top to bottom is the very pivot of confidence and ultimately, scale.
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Kendall Allen is senior vice president of Digital Marketing Services at MKTG, headquartered in New York City. Previously she was managing director of Incognito Digital, LLC, an independent digital media agency and creative studio. She also held top posts at iCrossing and Fathom Online.
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