Add Some Zest To Strategic Planning
If you are a marketer, you are in the business of making change happen
Marketing and advertising professionals know strategic planning is important. Today we still engage in a more comfortable process of preparing a comprehensive plan with goals, tactics, budgeting, and call it strategy. This planning process is not the way to make strategy, especially in the ever-changing business environment and tech-enabled life.
Zest is a concept of courage and involves acquiring the motivation to complete challenging situations and tasks.
The term strategic planning is a scarily misunderstood concept in the marketing and advertising world. The most basic confusion is amongst goal, strategy, and action. Marketing and advertising professionals often choose to present tactics before strategy: mostly actions, activities, objectives and broad descriptions of what goes on in the exact period of time. It happens often cut-and-dried but none of this stuff is a strategy. Even more destructive habit is our tendency to use the word strategic when we imply smart. But this is another story to tell…
Many strategy presentations start with analyses of the market; not a scenario, not a range of outcomes, or a few versions of the future. And that’s the last thing you hear about uncertainty in the presentation.
Uncertainty is not only everywhere in and around strategy, but it is also the very reason why we need a strategy. Without uncertainty, we’d just need a plan to go from A. to B. Planning for various scenarios and accounting for uncertainty is often missing from analyses discussed in the strategy process, an issue that derives primarily from the social side of strategy.
Marketing is the generous act of helping others become who they seek to become. It involves creating honest stories — stories that resonate and spread. Marketers offer solutions, opportunities for humans to solve their problems and move forward. — Seth Godin
Marketing and advertising have changed, but our understanding of strategic planning hasn’t kept up. Mostly, we remember growing up in a mass market world when reach was scarce, and attention was plentiful. But today, instead of selfish mass and effective advertising now rely on empathy, problem-solving and services.
I am determined to the belief that marketing is a noble profession, and what we as marketers do is of great value and good.
Marketing is one of the greatest professions especially for the future of business. It’s the work of positive change. It’s creativity in business. It’s innovation management. It’s the business of making change happen.
How to make the change we seek? Add some zest to the future of strategic planning. Zest is about changing the strategic planning for better. Zest is about being able to think differently, to solve problems and create different scenarios. Zest means deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value.
A sharp and viable strategy must address the future as well as the present. Being able to effectively respond to an ever-changing business environment means mastering change and efficiency gains.
Strategy is a pattern in a stream of decisions. — Henry Mintzberg
Remember: strategy is a journey, not a project. Planning requires ongoing adjustment. Yes, start yours with a presentation. But never end it there.