Avoid Tactics as Long as Possible

All too often we find ourselves focused on the tactical side of a solution or a gut-driven reaction, rather than doing the hard work of understanding the landscape of a marketing problem first. Many times the conversation starts with something we recognize or something we've done before that was successful. The instinct is to apply old thinking to the new problem.

However, by first acknowledging that all marketing challenges have their own perspectives and needs as well as rightfully addressing the customer's viewpoint, we will begin to see a much richer solutions.

Our initial mistake is to craft our objectives to only address a business need. Instantly, the customer is put in the backseat, hoping we'll address their needs before the solution is determined.

Of course we should write the business goals — etch them in stone, sandblast them on a wall, whatever. But then, quickly start a new set of goals, this time from the customer's viewpoint. It may get tricky right away and no one can easily think of these goals, but this step makes an enormous difference once we get to the tactics.

Consider all the touchpoints a customer might take to satisfy the business goal. Sketch the steps out. Then consider the mindset of that customer. BE that customer.

Of course, we want to achieve the right balance between what the business wants and what the customer needs. This means establishing the right amount of exertion required by both sides. Determining this balance helps to create a meaningful interaction, with lasting consumer satisfaction, while maintaining a sufficient return for the business.

Now, back to our business goals. Break them apart, if needed, to make them more actionable and accessible to the customer's point of view. Try to connect a customer need to a business want. Does your initial gut-driven tactic hold up? Will the balance of effort between the customer and business be more equal or fair?

New solutions will now present themselves, almost instantly. Solutions that were previously hidden, due to the myopic approach of being business-centered.

The best way to achieve this line of thinking, by default, is always to be in favor of the customer. It may seem lopsided, but in a room full of marketers and business owners, everyone is keen to the business needs. That is the problem.

So often when everyone is for the business, no one is for the customer. And when the customer loses, everyone loses Solve the customer's pain points and frustrations and the business will be rewarded for it.

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