The dictionary definition of ‘strategy’ is: ‘a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim.’ The word comes from the Greek stratēgia, a military term meaning “the art of the general” or troop leader or command, and refers to a high level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty.
Do you have a high level marketing plan to help you achieve your goals in business in our increasingly uncertain world?
I’ve recently been reading Alistair Campbell’s book Winners, and enjoyed some interesting insights from his perspective as a political strategist, and sports enthusiast. The first part of the book is all about strategy, and contains some pertinent anecdotes and quotes which I will share here.
Whilst serving as director of communications for the Labour Party under Tony Blair, Campbell became known for the phrase ‘we don’t do God’, as talking about religion was deemed to be ‘off-limits’ for the Prime Minister. However, Campbell discloses in the book that he also became known within the party for his phrase ‘strategy is God’ – which, as a strategic thinker myself – I absolutely love!
Campbell goes on to explain how in all his notebooks and in every meeting, he would write the seemingly cryptic three-letter-acronym, OST – as a constant reminder of the need for clarity on Objective, Strategy and Tactics. I feel inspired to do the same!
Whatever you may think of Campbell’s politics, I am sure you will find something to enjoy from his book. It’s packed with lots of practical examples from his personal experience of the world of politics, together with interviews and research he has conducted with people from the worlds of business and sports.
Here are a few more of my favourite quotes:
Having decided what your objective is, you need to put in place the strategy to achieve it. Again, absolute clarity of thinking is required. Above all, there is one lethal but common mistake to be avoided: the confusion of strategy with tactics.
Strategy is the bit between your purpose and your business plan. People with a clear view of winning know that strategy is everything. You have to have a strategy and stick to it, and never lose the plot.
If you do not have a clear objective, you have no definition of winning. If you do not have a clear strategy, you have no chance of winning. And if all you have are tactics, you have no right to win.
In chess, if you play without long-terms goals, you decision will be purely reactive and you’ll be playing your opponent’s game, not your own.
Strategy is the place to have arguments, not avoid them. Strategy is a team game. Strategy is about action, not theory. The best strategies are consistent, but have flexibility to adapt.
Feeling anxious that you don’t have a marketing strategy? Want some expert assistance to steer you in the right direction and get it sorted? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll see if I can help.