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Doktor Spinn

Why Winning Strategies Are Realistic

Filed under: Business | Consulting | Strategy
Soccer - Playing Field - Marketing Strategy

In my last post, How To Develop A Strategy Bullshit Detector (SBD), I wrote about the importance of designing marketing strategies to win.

I’m very happy to have gotten a lot of positive feedback on my post already. But there’s lots more to be said on about creating winning strategies.

Having a strategy designed to win is of course a good starting point, but few marketing strategies survive their first encounter with reality.

Focusing on how to win will clarify your strategy, but in-between creating a strategy and winning, there’s a lot going on.

So I wanted to give you my thoughts on how to actually start winning.

Sounds good?

“Here’s An Idea: Let’s Do What Apple Did!”

In our industry, people love to model Apple’s success. And I get that:

There’s tons of interesting insights to be harvested from such an inspirational story.

And as for your marketing strategy, why shouldn’t you model your efforts on the best of the best?

Let’s say you’re in the process of creating a marketing strategy for your company and your CEO expects a strategy that will do for your company what Think Different did for Apple.

I get that. “Shoot for the stars,” and all that.

But I’m guessing it must be daunting to try and come up with a marketing strategy that will outshine Apple’s?

Let’s say you do find a strategy like that. Now, not to put you down or anything, but you’ll probably fail anyway.

One of the reasons is due to pure probability. Apple, in this example, is an anomaly.

In fact, when you model your strategy on the best, you’re modelling on a whole bunch of anomalies.

They might share some mutual characteristics, but it’s not necessarily what got them to where they are today.

Create A Mental Soccer Team And Shape Their Strategy

Let’s say you’re dream is to manage a soccer club, so you go ahead and you start one.

You invest and you manage to pull some local players together. You find a soccer field where you can train and play.

Of course, your team starts out in the lowest series. It’s the natural order of things. Now, one might think that it’s easier to win in a crap division, but it isn’t.

Playing in the lowest division doesn’t generate lots of a revenue from selling tickets and sponsors might be few. And the level of the actual game probably won’t attract any of the best players — even if you could afford them.

You need to find a strategy based on the actual circumstances, a strategy that will see you through to the next division.

You can dream all you want about managing a top-tier club with brand name sponsors and superstar players. But such a strategy won’t get you where you want to be.

Your first job is to win games THIS season, with the actual resources at your disposal.

Why Understanding Crap Is Paramount In The Beginning

So how do you model your marketing strategy — if not on the best of the best?

Let me illustrate this by giving you two scenarios:

  1. Read a book by world-class, renowned author, then model his or her writing and write a text that is equally good — or better. Unless you’re a freak of nature, you will fail miserably and your text will probably be crap.
  2. Now, read some crap and spot some of those dumb mistakes being made. Learn from them and write a text where you don’t make those mistakes yourself. Do this over and over again and soon you’ll be producing .. not crap.

As you progress, hopefully you’ll start noticing your own mistakes and learn from them in a similar fashion.

This can be boiled down to a very simply formula:

  • Study and benefit from the failures of others.
  • Since you’re going to fail anyway, fail fast and fail often.
  • Don’t make the same mistakes more than once.

Instead of modelling the freaky anomalies, it’s incredible how much you can win by just showing up, taking a beating every now and then and learn from each and every experience.

Managing Your Mental Sports Team To The Top

If you’re managing a sports team in the lowest possible division, there are sure to be glimpses of great potential  — and even the occasional streak of genius.

But a spectacular goal from a mediocre player with a sudden influx of divine inspiration isn’t going to get you through to the next level. But not making mistakes twice, will.

In business as well as in sports, there are going to be tons of mistakes. A business that never makes the same mistakes twice will always have the most powerful force in marketing working for it — momentum.

I hope this gives you a fresh perspective on creating winning strategies. In Pacino’s words, you fight for that inch that is right in front of you:

(Loyal DS readers will know by now that I’ll grab every chance I get to share this video, ha!)

Strategies should be long-term for sure, but not so long-term they become a feverish vision. If you can’t implement the strategy for where you are today, then it’s useless.

Create Marketing Strategies That Starts Where You Are

David, as described in my last post, wasn’t exactly trying to disrupt one-on-one combat, now was he?

David’s primary concern was to beat the crap out of Goliath standing right in front of him.

Whit this in mind, I would actually encourage you to read my last post How To Develop A Strategy Bullshit Detector (SBD) again and to think of how YOUR particular fight looks TODAY.

And if you’re interested in digging even deeper into the mindset of how to create winning strategies, I suggest checking out another post of mine, My Acceleration Theory For Long-Term Success.

And as always, please leave a comment with your thoughts and experiences on the subject matter — and make sure to forward one of my posts to a friend to help me reach new and exciting people!

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  • Elia Morling

    Jerry, you have a knack for reducing complexity and cutting to the heart of a matter. I enjoyed your earlier blog post “How To Develop A Strategy Bullshit Detector (SBD)” but it left many thinking “Ok, but then we need to define WIN”. Something which you tackled brilliantly in this post.

    BTW congrats on making it on the Adobe Think Tank. It suits you. :)

    • http://www.doktorspinn.com/ Doktor Spinn

      Thanks man. Speaking of, it would be awesome to see if can write a joint post this summer on how to set a strategic framework for digital marketing based on 10Cs. I’ve never co-written a post before, it could be fun. Give it some thought and let’s connect in backchannels!

      • Elia Morling

        Sounds great! Let’s do it :)

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