What is it that gets you, as a marketer, excited? Are you all about the strategy or all about the tactics? Do you get excited about where you’re going or how you’re going to get there?

George Patton famously said “good tactics can save even the worst strategy, bad tactics will destroy even the best strategy”. So, it’s all about the tactics, right? What George Patton forgot to say was that even excellent, innovative, impactful tactics are of no use if they are not strategically aligned.

So, we need to get both the strategy and the tactics right….and they need to work together. Alas, that is sometimes where it all goes wrong.

If I had a pound for every tactic not aligned with the brand strategic objectives and CSFs….well you know the old adage! But why does it happen and how can you stop yourself falling at the tactical hurdle?

  • Take the Technology Challenge . We used to have our heads turned by the pretty pictures and the ad men’s engaging strap lines. Now, we are seduced by the technology. The app that will engage the patient. The virtual meeting that will ensure high attendance. It all sounds fabulous….and it sometimes it is! But no matter how fabulous….it needs to help you to achieve your goals, to operate one of the key strategic levers. So, stop, think. Are you excited by the technology or what the technology will do for your brand?
  • Use 3 honest serving men – why, what and how! Ask yourself simply why am I doing this, what will it achieve and how will it achieve it? If you can’t answer all of these with clarity and conviction, the tactic should be shelved.
  • Come back to the strategic objective. CSFs should be aligned with strategic objectives but sometimes they suffer from drift. So, come back to the strategic objective. If your strategic objective is to drive market share is a tactic that drives earlier diagnosis really appropriate? If you are not market leader then the simple answer is no. No matter how you try to justify it, the answer is no!

Let’s leverage the power of AND. Let’s develop a clear customer-focused strategy and aligned tactics. Then and only then is success assured.