Archive for the ‘Strategic Planning’ Category

Making Strategic Planning Work

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Why do strategic planning efforts so often fail? It’s a question I ponder a lot and one that I’m asked frequently by clients and business colleagues. I work with companies of all sizes and in a variety of industries on strategic planning efforts. Previously as a marketing manager/director of corporate communications in the education, energy and healthcare industries I was involved in a range of strategic planning activities from business planning to the development of marketing plans and project-specific plans.

Most of these plans are developed, reviewed, revised–and, sadly, forgotten. Here are some of the key factors that I believe contribute to the successful execution of a strategic plan — whether it’s a business plan, a marketing plan, or a project plan. The process is the same, and so are the potential pitfalls.

We recommend these best practice steps: (more…)

Who Needs a Physical Location? You May Be Surprised!

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Some of my favorite authors/social economists do a great job of cautioning us to beware of “conventionally held wisdom”–Dan Ariely and Steven Levitt are two that immediately come to mind. It’s so easy to get swept up by conventional wisdom and then, unfortunately, to act based on that wisdom–whether it reflects reality or not. (more…)

Creating an “Integrated Marketing Plan”

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

I was asked recently to provide some information for an article on how to create an “integrated marketing plan.” That phrase has become quite popular and is, I would agree, more precise terminology to convey what a marketing plan actually does. In truth, I would think that every marketing plan would, by definition, be (more…)

Mission Statements: Who Needs Them?

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

I will admit, that in years past I was a mission statement basher. I considered mission statements to be exercises in futility and a waste of time. I’ve come to believe differently, with one big caveat: (more…)

New LinkedIn Product Pages – Go or No Go?

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

LinkedIn recently announced the introduction of product pages—the ability for brands to create pages to highlight specific products. The big question for brands is: “worth it,or a waste of time”? Call me crazy, but I’m going with the latter. In fact, as I work with and monitor my own accounts as well as client accounts I’m very cognizant of the potential to dilute brand messages by using too many channels.  (more…)

That “Silly” SWOT and Why You Should Spend Time to Do it Right

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

I used to consider SWOT analyses to be “silly exercises,” but after using them on a number of occasions during strategic planning processes with clients and, after conducting research for my book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Strategic PlanningI’ve come to believe that (if done effectively) they can help drive better strategy development.

If done correctly, SWOT analyses should: (more…)

Don’t Tell Them What You Think Before You Know What THEY Think!

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

My husband likes to say: “Opinions are like noses, everybody has one.” There’s truth in that, of course. We do all have opinions and even if they’re not strongly held–or strongly expressed–they impact the way we interact with those around us, including individuals and organizations.

For businesses and business professionals attempting to shape those opinions (often called “public relations” or PR), there can be a tendency to start the process by sending out “key messages,” from the standpoint that “we need to get the word out!”

To that, I like to say: (more…)

The Thing About Strategy – Why You Will Never “Get It Right”

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Both the current situation in Syria and the start of my classes for this semester have me thinking about strategy. In fact, my pondering about the news reports I’ve been hearing regarding our strategy (or lack thereof) for addressing the situation in Syria helped me to frame what I believe are some important point for students in my PR Campaigns class, as well as for some clients I’m currently working with on strategic planning projects. (more…)

The C-Suite is Asking the “Wrong” Questions – Really???

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Communication folks – ever feel like you’re bumping your head against the wall trying to get “them” to “get it”? Maybe it’s time to take a step back, do a brutally honest self-assessment and consider that maybe, just maybe, you aren’t getting it! (more…)

How Do You Find and Target the Right Customers

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

We sponsor, and I present a session on marketing at, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s Entrepreneurial Training Program; my session is on marketing. When I first spoke with the program’s director about the program he pointed out that one of the major missteps that he saw from participants was that they too broadly defined their target audiences. They generally felt that their products or services appealed to “everyone.” He was right. (more…)