Strategy Overload

We marketers sure do love our strategies. Anytime there is a new buzzword or trend, we need a strategy to address it. This is nothing new. Back in the early 2000’s when I was a brand manager at Campbell Soup, we were scrambling for an internet strategy – in addition to our promotion strategy, our Hispanic strategy, our packaging strategy, our pricing strategy, and our shelving strategy (among many others).

Nowadays, if you don’t have a mobile strategy and a digital strategy and a global strategy…. well, then, you are just not working hard enough.

But, what good are all those individual strategies if you don’t have a STRATEGY strategy?

You see, we all love to compartmentalize. It makes it easier for us to claim victories as the smaller we define the world we are playing in at any given moment, the easier it is for us to feign dominance in that world. In essence, it allows us to be strategically lazy while pretending to be strategically vigilant! Consultants know this – hence the reason you can find countless consultancies for any minute element of your business you are trying to manage.

However, the danger of compartmentalizing strategies is that each time you do it you increase the risk (perhaps exponentially) of those strategies not lining up – of them not working together (or, worse, working against each other), of making your spends less efficient, of LOSING SIGHT OF THE BIG PICTURE.

When it is all said and done, most everything we do as marketers amount to TACTICS. The way all these tactics line up together to achieve our OBJECTIVES should be our strategy – and, the argument can be made, we should just have one.

Brand ManageCamp 2015 speaker Greg Verdino is on the same page as me on this topic. Even though he is an expert on Digital Transformation, his stance is that the last thing we need is a Digital Strategy. What we do need instead is an understanding of how the speed of digital change impacts consumers, customers, and markets, an ability to anticipate the implications of what is coming, and a vision for how these can inspire radical reinventions that transform our brands, our businesses, and our industries. This vision then becomes a PART of your overall strategy – not just a strategy unto itself. You can learn more about what Greg (as well as all our other speakers) is going to cover at Brand ManageCamp at

Greg has a lot to say about Strategy – and you can read all about it on his blog at

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