As we wrap up the festivities and give away a few more collector’s koozies, here’s one more piece of Star Wars wisdom. One that will help you move with precision at today’s lightspeed pace of business.
Despite the name, lightspeed isn’t just about moving fast. The precision aspect makes all the difference – knowing exactly where you want to go, and how to get there.
And that takes strategy.
Han Solo was right: Going faster than lightspeed isn’t as easy as it looks
In Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (the one we’ll always remember as the first Star Wars), Han Solo warned Luke Skywalker about the dangers of traveling through hyperspace:
Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops, boy! Without precise calculations we could fly right through a star or bounce too close to a supernova and that’d end your trip real quick, wouldn’t it?”
No one wants to bounce too close to a supernova, or in marketing terms, lose track of your customers’ needs and fail to provide value. That bounce would be disastrous, and it’s why you need a marketing and communications strategy.
Just like a propulsion device for faster-than-lightspeed travel, the right strategy is the hyperdrive that gets you exactly where you want to go. With it, you understand who your target audience is, what needs and problems they have, what messages will resonate with them, and what channels and tools will best reach them.
What determines if your strategy actually delivers? Forbes Contributor Steve Olenski shares 5 Factors That Can Make Or Break Your Marketing Strategy:
- Your understanding of your target market
- Communicating the value to your customers
- Watching the data
- Focus on giving value to customers
- Passion about your company, your product or service, and your marketing strategy.
All that, and of course, a flawless execution. Ancient Chinese Military Strategist Sun Tzu said:
Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”
Imagine Obi-Wan Kenobi saying that, and it becomes pure Jedi Master wisdom.
Make your communications strategy as clear as a Tatooine horizon
In Star Wars: Episode IV, Luke stares at the distant Tatooine horizon while the planet’s twin suns set (with Luke doing his best Captain Morgan pose). The scene is not only visually iconic, but it’s also a key transition from Luke’s mundane life on the farm to the future he has envisioned with the Rebellion.
Executives and leadership teams who want to paint their own vision for their stakeholders need a strong communications strategy. One that permeates throughout the organization and makes the destination and milestones clear.
Without a well-defined strategy, you’re left with a muddy vision, confused customers, and disengaged employees.
The right communications strategy creates a singular, shared vision for your company, energizes your employees, and engages customers to choose you over your competitors.
To turn your vision into reality, keep your teams focused. The team at MIT Sloan Management Review offers Six Steps to Communicating Strategic Priorities Effectively, and topping the list is this cautionary advice:
Limit strategic priorities to a handful.” With a clear, short list of goals, your teams know “the top leadership team has done the hard work of making trade-offs among competing objectives.”
Increase your velocity with this strategy success story
Want to make the biggest impact with the resources you have? Then focus your strategy on solving the problems of your target audience.
We’re proud to count Cisco among our client partners, and their Cisco Marketing Velocity Program is a lesson in delivering a 10-years-and-counting success story:
- Understand your audience: Cisco recognized its channel partners have a range of marketing interests, varying levels of marketing acumen, and would benefit from thinking about marketing in new ways.
- Articulate a clear goal: The company set out to help Cisco’s partner community learn and apply the latest trends in marketing to enhance their business strategy, accelerate partner sales of Cisco products and services, and increase partner profitability.
- Develop and execute a strong plan: Cisco established a program anchored by an annual conference, combined with an ongoing online curriculum series and a traveling road show in locations across the United States, Canada, and Latin America.
- Improve with actionable data: Cisco Marketing Velocity uses feedback from participant surveys and other touch-points to continuously refresh the program based on audience needs and interests.
With the right strategy, you’re ready to go exactly where you want, and you know precisely how to get there. Wookie sidekick optional.
We specialize in helping organizations develop and execute marketing and communications strategies. Let’s talk about how to elevate your marketing and branding efforts with precision. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.