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S is for Strategy

 Strategy First. Creativity Second.

Untitled2As a marketer for the past 25 years, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to move a client forward. Many clients want to go   straight to the creative but I always insist on establishing the strategy (and the budget) first. Because in the process of building a strategy we learn a lot about each other. Strategic marketing has a lot to do with defining who you are and what makes you different. Once that has been clearly articulated you’re in a better position to determine who your target audiences are. Many businesses do not go through this process. It’s not always easy. And even tougher if you have partners because what one person sees as the unique selling proposition is not always agreed to by the other parties. Gaining consensus is critical to building a strategy that will motor you forward. A lot of good stuff comes from this process. Everyone gets on the same page. You know who you are better than before and you’ve clearly identified your Brand Promise. You are focused on your goals and have a plan designed to get you there. All of this good stuff becomes the foundation for the creative ways you communicate your value proposition to the people who care.

So remember, strategy first.