Strategic planning is always where to start
A Chinese saying holds true that if a person misses his steps one thousand miles backward, he must retrace that number of steps forward if he must locate his bearing once more, else he will be lost forever.
This is the essence of strategic planning. I learnt that it not only keeps an entity on track, it helps it get back on track if it derails. I like to think of it as the gulf that connects ambition in the heart with a desired end. It therefore must be well understood and mastered; else it can lead to peril!
Strategic planning involves three elements which are:
- Analysis – where we are now
- Development – where do we want to be?
- Implementation – how are we going to get there?
SWOT Analysis provides the big picture
Who goes on an adventurous journey without first sizing up the challenges ahead and the capability at hand? SWOT Analysis helps business entities to do this as fairly as they could. This is an honest estimation of what is on ground versus what should be on ground.
It is an easy tool to assess both internal and external environments and therefore have a big picture of what lies ahead. Therefore is must be done frequently in line with adopted strategy.
However, it is important to be aware of the limitations of this tool and develop a workaround strategy.
SMART objectives helps you navigate your path
It is often said that the journey of a thousand miles start with a step. This is to say that even the most difficult adventures or the longest journey have a starting point. After adopting a strategy and having a fair estimation of the challenge that lies ahead of achieving the plan, find a convenient starting point. Every step you take not only gives you the confidence to take another, it helps you to develop new capabilities and helps with the identified weaknesses.
It is also important to ensure that SMART objectives are in sync with the long term objectives and strategic plan.
Your task: influence ZMOT and SMOT in target audience through effective content strategy.
ZMOT is the 21st century battle ground for brands. The internet has changed the way everyone engages with the world around him/her. This influence comes to bear on almost every decision that has to be made on hundreds, possibly, thousands of micromoments.
It is therefore crucial first to identify target audience, identify relevant platforms that they use for online engagement and influence those platforms and engagements with well structured content marketing strategy.
It is important to focus on SMOT as much as we do ZMOT. This is because of platform interaction. A single word on a platform can get shared on several other platforms and such can have positive or negative impact.
Perception [Branding] is crucial
In the cluttered online world, it is important to build resilient brand that distinguishes an entity. Brand factor can make a huge difference in influencing ZMOT, particularly where products are of similar quality.