This evening was a great night spent with some very well-known sales, marketing and branding experts. We were invited to a very nice restaurant in a private room. The purpose of the meeting was to help a colleague who wanted to take his business to the next level… or a few levels beyond where it is now.
There was a ton of agreement in the room… figure out what it is that you do in a single sentence, identify the traits that differentiate you, develop a process to sell your services based on the value you bring, connect with your network to identify the top prospects to market to and develop a brand that encompasses what you bring to the table.
I didn't necessarily disagree with this… but that's some pretty intense work, isn't it? You could work for years on these things… and end up back at the drawing board because you didn't succeed.
With all due respect to my colleagues, I'm always a bit skeptical when experts provide this type of strategic planning and advice. I've honestly been working in and around marketing departments for over two decades now and I can't think of a single marketing plan that worked as planned.
In all honesty, I think a lot of this talk is just poppycock.
It's not totally bunk… I do believe thinking strategically is important. After all, you need to know where the general direction of the target is before you pull a trigger. However, I'd rather someone fire first and then aim rather than working for months to set up a shot that may or not hit the bullseye at all.
I often see businesses fail before they ever actually pull the trigger. They're so fearful of failure that they're paralyzed and never actually take the necessary risks to move forward. Look around you at the businesses that are successful. Are they successful because they planned flawlessly? Or are they successful because they were agile and able to adjust their strategy as the demands of their prospects, their clients and their industry required?
What are your views? Experience?