First things first: What game are you playing?

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billiards_James Barker_freedigitalphotosStrategy before execution. This should be simple.

But it’s human nature to jump right into doing stuff before sweating out the big questions.

For example, a couple prospective clients have put off small, closed-ended projects that I proposed to help them align operating strategy and marketing. This in turn would  help them answer such daunting digital communications questions as how to deal with social media, and what capabilities does the website need to offer?

It’s my suspicion that what they’ll really learn is the organization doesn’t actually have a unifying operating strategy. But in both cases, the reason given for delaying the little strategy project is that they first have to devote all their attention to the big website project.

I understand that building a new website is daunting. But it’s even harder if you don’t know what purpose the new website is supposed to serve. It’s like getting ready to knock the ball in the hole without knowing whether you’re playing billiards or golf.

That’s why strategy always needs to come before execution. Strategy tells you what you’re trying to do. The website will help you do it. But only if you tackle them in the right order.

Image courtesy of James Barker/


About the Author:

Bob Rosenbaum is founder and principal of The MarketFarm, a content-oriented strategic communications firm.

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