Get Out of Weeds and Learn the Difference: Digital Strategy, Plan and Tactics

Have you ever led a strategic meeting where you have a specific agenda of big things you want to nail down. You know what I am talking about, right?

You want to ensure that big goals and objectives of a business or project gets buy-in from your key stakeholders, board of directors or management.

You are on a mission and so is most of your team.  However, there is that one person in the meeting who wants to talk detailed tactics?

On the flip side you likely have experienced the opposite. In this scenario you need to talk about detailed tactics to drive a project to completion. However, there are those one or two people in the room who want to diagnose the big strategic goals and decisions made 12 months ago for an enormous size launch that is happening in 6 days!?

I've been there and done that on both of these scenarios and more during the 15+ years I spent working in corporate digital marketing and product / brand leadership roles. I see similar scenarios working with our agency clients since 2010.

I lived the second scenario in the middle of a HUGE launch years ago while working at a large enterprise technology company during my 7.5 year tenure.

For one of our projects, we had a group of people (who were impacted by the digital transformation we were implementing) doubting our project up until the last minute telling us “you can't launch this now.” Well, that project that launched turned into $150,000,000 and an 800 person business unit within 18 months. True story.

We became a legend within the walls of the company not only because we could execute well, but also because we managed all of the naysayers who didn't want to embrace the digital transformation we were implementing. It was a transformation of mindset and technology that positively impacted and evolved a multi-billion dollar service line of business. So, gracefully ruffling feathers and getting buy-in was at the core of what we had to master if we wanted to achieve our goals.

There is no perfect strategy or plan because there are no perfect people.

There will always be supporters and doubters for every project you ever work on.

There is no perfect project, plan or execution. It can't be perfect as every project is dependent upon people. People are human and can never be perfect, period.

The first thing you can do is accept this fact and embrace imperfect perfection.

This means embracing the humans on your project and respecting the fact they each are coming to your project with a different agenda, mindset and thought understanding of what you want to accomplish.

The second thing you must do is lead. Real leaders facilitate buy-in early on in a project. The best leaders are masters at getting the right team members engaged and on board as early as possible. They know how to set goals and get buy-in not only at the strategic goal level, but also know how to execute at the tactical level. They know how to help team members who only need to worry about the tactics, also understand the reasons WHY they are doing what they are doing.

Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

I'm a big believer in “plan your work and work your plan.” It's why I am often referred to as “Pam with a Plan!” :) Although many of my team members over the years laugh at my determined need to set clear goals, objectives and path to success for even small projects, most of them were begging for my plan when the heat came on from management at a later day. Numerous times I heard a colleague or executive whisper in a meeting “Pam, do you have that plan you created?” Those plans saved our butts numerous times and helped us win big budgets and accomplish big things on a consistent basis.

While meetings are important (sometimes) to get people on the same page and ensure that your goals are accomplished, there is also a lot of time wasted in meetings. Many projects fail or are delayed due to this same problem.

Strategy, Plan and Tactics: Do You Know the Difference?

Get Out of Weeds and Learn the Difference: Digital Strategy, Plan and Tactics

If you take a step back to really think about what causes wasted time in regard to project execution, it's usually a miscommunication of the project goals and objectives.

Often times this is caused from people jumping into solutions and tactics before they know why they are involved in the project or what the project is about.

People also come to work each day or join a new project team with a personal and / or professional agenda. It's human nature.

Regardless if it's a digital, social media, technology transformation, content or brand identity project, the critical success factor is that you must take time to properly plan. You need a strategy, plans and tactics. You need all three and can't be successful if you leave off one of them.

Bottom line you can't accomplish what you don't set a goal to achieve with a plan and tactics to get there.

If you want to succeed in 2019 as you execute your online digital marketing, social media, content marketing and branding project, you better get your projects organized. You better know know why you are doing what you are doing.

Chasing shiny objects that help you mark items complete off of a tactical list of random acts of digital marketing is a recipe for failure.

You can ignore my advice at your choice. However, I promise you that 2019 is THE year many marketers will fail because they listen to consultants, agencies and internal team members who guide them down a tactical path without having a clear set of objectives, goals with a strategy and plan that guides them.

You will get the results you work for, period.

Take a listen to episode 251 of Social Zoom Factor podcast to learn the clear difference between strategy, plan and tactics as it relates to your business and career in 2019.

How to listen and Subscribe to Social Zoom Factor Podcast 

Is Your Team Ready for Big Results?

If your team needs help getting organized, setting goals, and defining a path to success for your business and marketing, give us a shout. This is what we do for our day jobs. We don't force you into any long term contracts or take months to complete your plan. What you try to spend the next 3 months doing with your team we can likely help you knock out and complete in a matter of days.

This is a big reason why we launched our social media training academy, Social Profit Factor. It’s not about a social shiny object that will get you rich and famous overnight. It teaches you step by step what you need to do to be successful building your business and brand online and leveraging all of the great tools and technology available to us via social media and supporting technology today.

It’s not what the technology can do FOR you, but what YOU can do WITH the technology!

Need help navigating the online social and digital world? We can help. 

Social Profit Factor can help you ignite your online tribe and grow your business with social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. 2018 is where those who have simply been “hustling” to get by realize they must hustle and work smarter. Before you even think about posting that video on Facebook you must know who you are, what your audience needs from you and how your efforts are going to deliver value for your audience and your business.

You need a structured plan to be successful using social media. Social Profit Factor will help you develop your plan with goals, objectives and priorities within 30 days!

Sign up now to become a founding member and receive some incredible deals plus bonus offers.

Need help honing in your branding strategy, architecture, message platform, online presence,  or launching a new product or service? Want to leverage social media, digital marketing and branding to grow your business? Our agency, Marketing Nutz can help you build, launch and  optimize your digital and social brand presence to achieve your goals. Give us a shout and let's get to work!