I’m one of the lucky ones. My communications are often guided by a strategy that has been agreed upon by a group of like-minded strategists or a client committee. This makes it easy for me to set sail for my goal of implementation and business results. It’s a journey that is barely worthy of the name of strategic development because so much has been agreed upon in advance of my communications. But for so many responsible for communications, there isn’t a strategy to follow or a project runway that guides them in their decision making about what is and is not important to emphasize.
The result is often a blurred set of communications. Unfortunately, the speed of communications has greatly increased because of more powerful computers. Speed has become a standard that has seriously messed up organizations’ strategic marketing and related communications because it’s so doggone easy to get stuff out.
Are you suffering from the speed trap?
The ability to produce communications that make a big difference has been substituted by how many different communications you can create in a short period of time. QUANTITY has replaced QUALITY and we have the misuse and misunderstanding of how to use computers to thank for that.
I have plenty of friends and colleagues who live under deadlines that are imposed upon them by people who never write a word of marketing but are insistent that a schedule of production be kept. Are you living in this world? If so, it may be time to try and push back a bit to gain the time you need to produce something of real value.
You might say hey, are you telling me to start an argument where I work? I guess not. But what I am also saying is if you can’t find the time for three simple steps in creating your communications you will never achieve the effectiveness you desire. Here are three simple rules for producing big strategies that lead to big ideas:
- Specific bits of information on their own rarely produce big strategies. The main reason for this is because any bit of knowledge is subject to becoming an out of date fact. Benefits and principles are far more effective sources for strategies because they don’t change. Faster, sharper, hotter, are all descriptions that bring value and build an organization’s brand messaging, particularly when they are based on what the organization’s top competency.
- Creating a new combination of existing facts by stringing together a new insight produces attention. If you have a main combination of services to exploit you have a story that can be told over and over again using different examples. The famous “Got Milk” campaign was based on the same combination using different famous people in different parts of the country and that created a campaign of high impact and awareness.
- Being able to both show an idea in action and describe it is a test of whether you have a winning brand message. BMW shows one of their automobiles gripping a corner at 100 miles an hour and then explains how their engineering allows them to do that better than any other automaker. This makes you believe in their “engineered automobiles” – possibly above all others.
So let’s get back to your strategic marketing that you are producing each day. Perhaps you could hit the pause button and figure out more deeply what is the big strategy you are working from and then hit play with that firmly in mind. Are you marketing speed? Quality? Innovation? Experience? It’s essential that you decide.
Here’s one more tip. You can only be one thing and do it well. If your copy is filled with speed, quality, innovation, and experience, etc. then you probably haven’t found what it is that separates your organization from its competition. And that is why so much of the communications today is not really communicating very well.
It’s taking these points into consideration, which determines how we get to best strategies.