If you love strategic planning as much as I do then I am sure that one of your biggest pet peeves is when people jump to tactics straight away in a planning meeting. Despite your most desperate attempts to steer things back on course, and define what the overall strategy looks like, you die a little when someone blurts out "Let's set up a YouTube channel and Tweet about it!".
How do you get around this? Here is what I have started doing in my initial planning sessions and it seems to be working well so far. I've banned what I consider the seven dirty words of digital strategy. They are:
Why are they so bad? Because it allows people to jump to a tactic without thinking about brand essence, audience, voice, etc. It also takes attention away from a more integrated digital approach (email, loyalty programs, SEM, etc.). The pure hype behind these seven words has turned mass media and corporate boardrooms on their heads trying to figure out how to best leverage them.
So, the next time you walk into a planning meeting, lay out your list of dirty words and create a penalty for anyone who mentions them. You'll be surprised how quickly your discussions turn to audience, engagement and how fast you come up with more creative, innovative solutions. Once you have that, you can see talk about these platforms if, and when, they are determined to be the right tools to be most effective in reaching your audience.
Oh, there are more dirty words like Friendfeed and Delicious, even more general terms like blog and wiki, but removing those seven from your planning vocabulary will help you reach a new strategic mindset and come up with better solutions for your clients.
What are your seven dirty words? Let me know how this works for you!
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