When Strategy Becomes A Habit, Change Your Strategy… Then Change Your Agency
I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about his habit… smoking. An IT Director, he put his vice in relative terms, meaning that not only is he a creature of habit but that he does not even realize those habits when they are in play.
So he turns to me and says, “Hey Scott, doesn’t marketing fall into a habit in that people do the same things that are second nature to them despite things possibly not working out for the better because they know nothing else?” That got me to thinking, for example, about how strategy becomes habit. In the end, bad things happen when it does since habits don’t change the paradigm, it only perpetuates more of the same. What’s the definition of insanity again?
So when marketing becomes a habit in your culture, it’s time to change y0ur thinking… and your agency if they’re the habit creators! It happens easily over time, which is why perhaps it can be difficult to see how a thoughtful strategy has migrated into a habit. Here is a case in point.
1. How often have you heard an organization involved in a crisis or disaster say in a news conference or a written statement, “Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this event …” But it isn’t enough any longer. Why? Every organization has this statement in its crisis playbook. Even though people mean it when they say it, the problem is that because everyone uses the same phrase, it is beginning to sound stock.
2. Typically, one hears omnichannel marketing nowadays and thinks social media, a website, or maybe a targeted email drip campaign. Businesses have seized this opportunity to syndicate content across their digital networks but often treat these channels as interchangeable properties in the hopes of driving engagement. It was a good idea once but omnichannel marketing offers more than a simple message. An all-too-common mistake marketers make is not paying attention to the unique function of each channel, which makes the strategy miss the point while overlooking a critical channel: the sales team. Without holistic alignment between marketing’s efforts and sales’s execution, valuable conversations are being thrown away
Again, the above were once good strategies. But now it is just a reflexive habit that doesn’t move the needle towards success.
Does that make you wonder about your strategy and the people who are creating it year after year? Take a look at your strategy and ask yourself if it remains a thoughtful approach, or rather over time has become a reflexive approach.
When your strategy becomes instead a habit, then it is time to change your strategy… then your agency.