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3 Tips for Tackling Tactics

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3 Tips for Tackling Tactics


It’s the end of the first quarter, and you’ve updated your business plan for the year. You’ve got a sound strategy, you’ve determined your tactics, but now you’re struggling with taking the required action to deploy those tactics. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. In fact, billion dollar businesses face the same struggle. A recent survey of more than 400 global CEOs found that executional excellence was the number one challenge facing corporate leaders in Asia, Europe, and the United States, heading a list of some 80 issues, including innovation, geopolitical instability, and top-line growth. There are a multitude of “good” reasons why great tactics never get executed, but rather than focus on why it happens, let’s discuss three methods to help you start implementing instead:

  1. Take Imperfect Action.  Most owners and managers struggle with execution because they might not feel they are fully ready—everything is not yet “perfect”. Perhaps you haven’t sent an email blast to your customers because you don’t have a customer relationship management  (CRM) system set up yet, so you “wait” until that can be resolved (when, in fact, an excel spreadsheet of email addresses could work in the interim). The reluctance to take “imperfect” action stands in the way of getting started and delays your progress toward achieving your strategic objectives. Instead of striving for “perfection”, just with one activity that drives towards the achievement of your company’s strategy (like sending the email WHILE you research the best CRM tool to choose).
  2. Think and Grow. Set aside one half- day a week as a “think and grow” session, rather than spending all your time making near-term operating decisions.  Commit to reviewing and thinking through the tactical aspects of your plan and to taking a singular, perhaps less-than-perfect action to move one of your tactics forward.
  3. Acknowledge Progress. Instead of waiting until a tactic is complete to measure its effectiveness, celebrate the progress you are making with each milestone you hit.  Back to the email example: perhaps you haven’t communicated with your customer base every other week like you had planned, but you HAVE been able to offer them a promotion that allows them to take advantage of a free month of your newest service. Yeah! Take a bow. Instead of thinking about all the stuff that’s “still to do”, take a moment to enjoy the forward momentum. Celebrating progress begets further progress.

Finally, understand that you can have a killer strategy, but if you don’t take time from your day-to-day operations to execute the components of that strategy, your success will be limited. To learn more about strategy and tactics, download our Adopting a Marketing Mindset whitepaper.

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