Strategy is born from deep inspection of the question Why? Why is this goal important? If I cannot get to a good answer to why this goal makes sense in the context of my strategic vision, then the goal is suspect (or the strategy is suspect).
A stranger steps up to you on the subway and asks you to write a poem. You pause to consider the request. Then you let down your guard, detach from the rush, open your heart and oblige. In that moment you are being a true New Yorker—friendly, generous, creative, kind.
It’s not uncommon for clients to describe themselves as “the best-kept secret in town.” When they do so, a scene from Dr. Seuss’s classic, Horton Hears a Who, comes to mind—every Who in Whoville making noise to be heard out beyond their puff of dust.
If your Brand Idea is succinct, meaningful and consistently expressed, it'll be audible outside of your brand bubble, outside of Whoville.
Everyone has dreams. What you may not realize is how your dreams may be hinged to the dreams of others.
The cessation of desire leads to the cessation of suffering. —Gautama Buddha (paraphrased).
The implication of this, the second of the Four Noble Truths, is that the enlightened are generally not good marketing targets. Fortunately for most marketers this is a very small group.
Marketing strategy allows you to use pathways and footholds that apply your limited marketing budget more effectively (everyone's marketing budget is limited). Marketing strategy facilitates your ability to apply marketing money to the correct half of the Wanamaker equation—the half you are not wasting on audiences who do not value your message.
Focus group testing is appealing. I really do get it. In theory, it's a quick and efficient way to find out what you need to know about what people think or how they use your product or service, but in fact it isn't quick or efficient, and it has a dangerous inclination to lead you down false pathways.
The Internet is the great connector but only of what it has in it. So put yours in or be damned by it to silence. Only porn it seems had the power to penetrate the membrane that separates my pre-Internet writings from the entirety of human knowledge that we can access today at the stroke of a key.