For ease of understanding, I have often explained my job as being a Strategic Marketer or a Marketing Strategist. The reality is that I do several small tasks that feed into the ultimate goal of helping companies communicate their goals and visions in the best possible light. I didn’t study marketing or strategy in college. Yet, I’m pretty darn good at seeing the goals of each company. The article below made me reflect on my style and methodology.
Are You A Strategic Thinking Marketer?
Strategic thinking is a natural inclination – something I think you’re born with. In many business schools you can learn principles of strategic thinking, but like learning to play the piano, you won’t be very good at it unless you have the innate talent to see things strategically. Are you a strategic thinker?
I spend most of my time consulting with marketers on brand strategy – helping them to see useful patterns across the competitive landscape where everyone else sees complexity. In my experience, most marketers and brand managers just want to know HOW to get to their goal as fast and efficiently as possible. That’s tactics not strategy.
Strategic thinking requires you know WHY you are intent on pursuing any particular course of action. When you are clear about your why, the how to get there seemingly takes care of itself. Like gravity I don’t know how this principle works, I just know it does.
Interestingly enough, those with the gift of strategic thinking hardly see it as such. Like all natural systems – like breathing – your gifts operate effortlessly mostly under your awareness. You may be a brilliant strategic thinker but because it’s so natural to you, you may not acknowledge it and self apply it to your conscious behavior.
To help you connect with your gift for strategic thinking and the power it has to strengthen your resolve to achieve your marketing goals, here are several attributes and themes that may seem familiar to you and are shared by all strategic thinkers.
Strategic thinkers see through the clutter.
They have an extraordinary perspective on how the world works. They “see” pathways hidden inside complexity. These pathways or insights often result in uncanny and creative solutions rich in their obvious simplicity.
Strategic thinkers are naturally curious always asking “what-if” questions.
They link “what if “scenarios together like pearls in a necklace. They are always a few moves ahead of where their competitors happen to be on the chessboard of the brandscape. They’re relentless in their questions, which usually enables them to spot trends that have lucrative opportunities embedded within them.
Strategic thinkers think about the important and not so much on the urgent.
While others focus on navel gazing their immediate circumstances, strategic thinkers find it incredibly obvious that if you look down the road and decide what you want to have happen when you get there, you won’t be a victim of your current circumstances anymore.
Strategic thinkers evaluate risks and obstacles.
They see repercussions more clearly than others. They don’t pursue any course of action without careful consideration of the downside. Then they systematically assess “if this or that happens, can we live with that outcome?” They are usually more prepared and ready for where events may lead them.
Strategic thinkers are not attached to their own preconceived ideas.
They use their insight and intuition to cull through and discard the potential pathways that lead to resistance and confusion. In groups they are always open to consider the crazy ideas out of left field.
Strategic thinkers take determined action.
They don’t procrastinate and wring their hands in worry and fret. They strike forward confidently armed with their strategy. Through their action they keep their vivid vision from becoming a pipe dream.
There’s an old saying “it takes one to know one” Hopefully that’s the case for you! Our natural inclinations always reveal our gifts and strengths. If you have the awareness and application of your inner strengths, you’ll spend less time thinking about your shortcomings.