The 5 Stages of Strategising
Much like the five stages of grief, digital strategising can be a harrowing experience. Those of you who do it frequently know that you can stare into the abyss of a blank screen for days trying to develop the perfect strategy, and then when things finally come together, you can finish it in a matter of hours.
The research required to get started on a digital strategy is daunting in itself. And by now we know that ALL digital properties need a sound strategy. You need to know the platform intimately, know the content, know the audience and what type of content they’re likely to respond to and know the opposition. These are just the first steps towards forming a strategy. Then there’s the analytics.
Keep in mind the fact that all strategists work differently, but a few of these may ring a bell, it’s what I call The 5 Stages of Strategising!
1. Denial and Isolation
The first reaction to being tasked with forming a strategy, starting your research and collecting data is undoubtedly denial. “There’s no way I can make this work!” ‘No one’ understands what you’re going through and things are looking desperate. You don’t see a way out of this mess, or a way to create order. Everything is bleak.
“Who left this platform in such a mess for so long! Why do YOU have to fix it?” You’re now looking for someone to punch in the face. It’s frustrating trying to create order out of chaos, to make a certain property fertile, when it currently bares no fruit. No wonder you’re angry that you’ve been left to clean up the mess.
Not all strategists go through this (all of the time), but when the frustration gets too much, we sometimes need to step back from the problem, clear our heads, and bargain for more time. We are, after all, problem solvers. With more time to take the pressure off, we can get our heads back in the game.
Ok not all the steps are the same! We’ve now accepted our assignment, cracked on with it and we’re whittling away again. It is a science after all. Work backwards, know what you want, set your goal and then take it from there. Set targets along the way, do your research to ensure you’re able to reach those targets and then find your starting point.
There’s nothing quite as good as getting into the groove! You know what I’m talking about right? That groove! You’ve found the key, you know exactly what direction you need to take to make this platform work. You now just need to connect the dots from start to finish and ensure it makes sense to everyone on ground level. And, you’re done! Until next time, that is, when that dreadful denial starts all over again.
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