Why strategy needs to come before implementation

When it comes to our business we all strive to be ‘doers’ rather than ‘thinkers’, but without a clear strategy your efforts could all fall short. 

10-minute read

When you have a business goal in mind, it’s easy to get carried away and start listing all the thing you can do to move your business forward.

This list can include anything from posting three times a week on Facebook, taking part in a speaking event, writing a blog post every day, to launching a Google Ads campaign. But what’s important to understand is that you need a clear strategy before you start implementing all these different tactics.

Why a to-do list of tactics isn’t sufficient

Let’s say you’re trying to come up with a digital marketing strategy. It might seem logical to simply follow a thread of tactics to help you meet your goal.

This can be anything from generating leads via Facebook, using phone call follow-ups to increase sales, to optimising your customer funnel. What you need to understand is that getting to your goal will never be a linear process.

Focusing on tactics makes it hard to see the bigger picture.

You can’t get a clear understanding of how all of these tactics are connected to your goal. Nor can you can you see how all of the tactics work together in your strategy. Also, focusing solely on tactics will result in you overlooking important details that are related to your business goals.

The benefits of forming a strategy first

There are several benefits of coming up with a strategy first. You’ll be able to:

• Get a strong understanding of how tactics contribute to the main strategy.

• Simplify the implementation process and have a clear direction on where to move towards.

• Lay out a plan that consists of multiple implementation paths so that you can still move forward when things don’t work out.

• Work out how resources (money, time, employees) will be allocated for implementing the strategy.

• Ensure that your team on the same page so that they are able to communicate efficiently and effectively.

• Establish when each particular tactic will be used so that you don’t waste time.

• Understand the relationships between various tactics and how they work together.

• Recognise all the parts and details necessary to execute the strategy.

• Know the key decisions you’ll need to make to move forward.

As you can see, coming up with a strategy before implementation is a far wiser decision.

If you can’t see the forest for the trees, you’ll be trying to meet your business goals using a limited perspective.

It’ll be easy to get sidetracked when you focus solely on executing tactics.

Don’t misunderstand…

You need both a strong strategy and strong tactics.

But by coming up with a strong strategy first, you’ll have a better understanding of how things will need to be implemented. You’ll avoid wasting resources and won’t make costly mistakes as you execute your plan.


So what do you think?

Do you think I am full of it? Or did one or more of those reasons strike a note with you? Why not leave a comment below to let us know what you think is holding you back from getting your idea off the ground and making a bigger impact.
The Good Alliance, Cat Townsend

Cat Townsend

After more than a decade spent helping big brands sell more stuff, to people that didn’t need it; Cat set a simple intention: To do more work that made a positive difference in the world. And so The Good Alliance was born…


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