We’ve all been involved in the development and/or execution of a strategy, and we understand how wrenches get thrown that stop the wheels and get us off track.
This month’s NOK picks speak to those challenges: how should a company create a strategy? Why do companies not execute on their strategies? What constitutes a good strategy?
by Rand Fishkin (Moz)
There’s no right way to stack all the different marketing tactics, but you must understand your objectives before building a strategy. Once you know your objectives, you can then determine what part of the funnel will help you reach your goal most effectively.
Rand provides a great example on retargeting and making sure your goals are clear. Are you trying to get people to come back and engage with a new piece of content OR are you trying to convert more people? These two very different objectives need to be defined before activating a specific channel. Lastly, don’t forget to test and analyze. All the channels need to work together and the strategy may need to change over time as different parts of the funnel get optimized.
by Brian Barela (Loyal)
We know you already factor data into your strategic decision making, but do you also factor in empathy? In this article, Loyal explains why engaging both the minds and feelings of customers is critical for customer development.
In this actionable and specific article, Loyal provides activities, articles, and frameworks that explain exactly how to get to know (and share!) the feelings of your customers and use that knowledge to create meaningful brand experiences.
by Donald Sull, Rebecca Homkes, and Charles Sull (HBR)
The authors counter some myths about why strategy isn’t executed based on a survey/study of 8,000 managers in more than 250 companies. Below are the myths they tackle and the issue or solution in parentheses after:
- Execution equals alignment.
(It’s a cross-function, cross-unit thing.)
- Execution means sticking to the plan.
(One must adapt to the problems and opportunities that pop up along the way. P.S. Being agile is easier said than done.)
- Communication equals understanding.
(Strategic objectives are often unrelated to one another and to the overall business strategy. Add in corporate priorities, core competencies, core values and you’ve got a muddy mess.)
- Performance culture drives execution.
(Performance measurements lead to “playing it safe.” Other things must be recognized, too: agility, teamwork, ambition, and experimentation.)
- Execution should be driven from the top.
(What happens when the top brass leave? Distributed leaders from the “middle” should drive execution and be guided by the top.)
by Richard Rumelt (Amazon)
Our final pick for this month’s NOK list is a book that came highly recommended from Aaron Dignan. Good Strategy Bad Strategy dives into the reasons that strategies either fail or don’t even qualify as a proper strategy in the first place. Through many historical and real-world examples, Rumelt illustrates how good strategy must be void of fluffy jargon, effectively assess the critical challenge at hand, and, most importantly, include a plan for action. The book serves as a stellar guide on what is necessary to be successful with strategy.