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Do you have a strategy?

Every company says they have a marketing strategy, but how good is it?

Recent research from the IPA shows that marketing effectiveness has plummeted in the past 10 years.

Since 2006, campaign effectiveness and long-term efficiency have fallen, and short-termism is steadily rising.

It makes you wonder: is your marketing strategy really a strategy?

Or are you just creating marketing fluff?

Take the "Marketing Genius or Fluff" quiz to find out...


You’re targeting Millennials

Millennials are not a valid market segment. To say that everyone born between 1981 and 1996 share the same behaviour, beliefs and preferences is absurd. Anyone with kids should know this instinctively. The same applies to Baby Boomers, Gen X/Y/Z, and any other generic age-related demographic. Segment and target your market based on relevant market behaviour, not age.

BBH Labs has published research that proves this. Read Puncturing the Paradox: Group Cohesion and the Generational Myth

"There’s an entire industry built on churning out Gen Z insights and it’s complete bollocks."

You're being ‘agile’

I don’t care what McKinsey says, being ‘agile’ is just another term for “shit we don’t have a plan so lets just wait and see what happens.” While being able to react to the market is important, it does not replace the need for an actual strategy. Sorry.

You have generic strategic goals like “innovation”

Being ‘innovative’, ‘increasing sales’ or ‘best-in-class’ are not strategic goals. Strategic goals are specific to your business - clearly defined objectives that are targeted, measurable and have a firm deadline. If you can apply your goal to another company, and have it still seem valid, it is not a strategic goal.

Side note: See the MIT study below that found no correlation between a company's official values and company culture.

You’re doing 'content' for SEO

SEO is not a strategy. Unless you’re on a legacy platform from 2001, no-one needs to ‘do’ SEO. Google has advanced to the point where all the old tricks like keyword stuffing and meta tags no longer work. In fact, the algorithm punishes it. Just focus on writing things that are interesting and relevant to your audience.

Your media spend is 100% digital

Media neutrality. Two words with heavy implications. Putting 100% of your marketing budget into any one channel exclusively is guaranteed to kill the effectiveness of any campaign. Choose your media based on your strategic goals for the year – the more channels you can afford the better!

You have a content/social/influencer strategy

Don’t confuse tactics with strategy. Facebook posts, influencers, emails and blogs are a means to an end. They fall under the umbrella of strategy, but are not strategies themselves. Don’t make working with influencers a goal - articulate how they will help you fulfill your strategic objectives. If they can't, don't use them.

You don’t know how much ROI your campaigns will generate

Remember the old “half my marketing budget is wasted…” joke? It shouldn’t be your reality. If you’re crossing your fingers and hoping your campaigns deliver a profit, you’re doing it wrong. Work out how much revenue each strategic objective is expected to deliver. It can be done! Your CFO will love you for it.

You have no research budget

No research budget means no research, which means your strategy is based on assumptions, guesses and wishful thinking. An effective strategy needs to be founded in reality, not fantasy. Market research is the essential first step to creating an effective strategy. It doesn’t cost as much as you think.

I explain what research marketers need to build a successful strategy here: Essential Market Research

Your brand positioning can’t fit into a single slide

If your brand mission, vision or statement includes maps, flow charts, or multiple pages of text, you are in trouble. Consumers are never going to remember more than two or three things about your brand. You need to choose these things wisely and bake them into everything you do.


If you made it without checking any boxes, then congratulations - you probably have a solid marketing strategy!

If you checked one or more of these boxes, then... you probably don’t.


But know that you're not alone.

60% of organizations fail to link strategy to their budget, and 85% of executive teams spend less than one hour a month discussing strategy.

Luckily, you’ve just found someone who can help you out.

I help companies and brands:

  • Understand their customers

  • Balance long and short-term market growth

  • Create effective, profitable marketing campaigns

If you'd like to discuss getting a better marketing strategy, get in touch!

1 Comment

When it comes to ROI and research, it is important to have a clear understanding of the expected results and invest in market research to gather information and make informed decisions. Finally, it is important to keep your brand positioning simple and memorable.

And by the way, you can help with marketing I use it myself and everyone is very happy.

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