OK Google, what is strategy..
“A plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim”
As we’re talking in the context of Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM), let’s assume our ‘long-term or overall aim’ is to put the customer at the heart of our communications strategy.
Working in CRM, you undoubtedly notice the term strategy gets used a lot. By a lot of different people. To mean a lot of different things.
So, to make things a little easier to navigate, let’s consider those things as different dimensions of our long-term aim. And most importantly, how those dimensions fit together.
Let’s get into it..
Dimension 1: Strategic and tactical levels
In terms of dimensions, this can be considered our height (from high to low).
Strategy exists at different levels. And each level must take its direction from the strategy above.
The relationship between these strategies is parent-child. And where this parent-child relationship exists, the child can be referred to as a tactic.
In the context of CRM, this looks something like this:
- Vision – the overarching dream for the customer relationship
- Journey – the entire view of the end-to-end customer journey
- Programme – a specific portion of the customer journey
- Touchpoint – an individual interaction with the customer
- Variant – a tailored version of that individual interaction
This view helps us design a plan of action for what it is we want to achieve, regardless of what level we are working at.
Dimension 2: Functional lenses
In terms of dimensions, this can be considered our width (from left to right).
Strategy exists within different lenses. These strategies must align and be designed to run in parallel.
The relationship between these strategies is sibling. And where these sibling relationships exist, the sum of them will add up to an individual but wholly defined project.
In the context of CRM, this is within our control and looks something like this:
- Customer (needs) – the customer benefit
- Business (objectives) – the business benefit
- Creative – the ideas employed to get there
- Data – the information used to get there
- Technology – the (digital) environment used to get there
This view helps us design a plan of action for how we achieve ‘the what’ from dimension 1.
Dimension 3: Progressive phases
In terms of dimensions, this can be considered our depth (from front to back).
Strategy exists within different phases. These strategies must be designed to build on top of one another. So, the relationship between these strategies is progressive.
In the context of CRM, we’re usually talking about progressive personalisation. This looks something like this:
- Basic – customer recognition
- Customer life cycle centred – personalisation to drive relevancy and CTA
- Lifestyle centred – segmentation centred on lifestyle approach
- One-to-one – fully personalised
This view helps us design a plan of action for the short-term and the long-term, considering from dimension 2 what’s possible now and in the future. This ensures that any short-term effort is effective early on, but is also an efficient use of time with our long-term aim in mind.
Putting it all together
All our dimensions combined, create a sort of strategic cube.
Take away any one side of that cube, and you’re missing an important piece of the puzzle to inform your strategy.
Next time you find yourself in a conversation about strategy:
- Work out which side of the cube you are on
- Consider other sides of the cube to get a more complete view
Here at Edit, we are hard-wired to work strategically in order to deliver outstanding work, all building towards your pre-agreed long-term vision (in the above example, to put the customer at the heart of our communications strategy).
Get in contact with our Strategic Planning team to find out more.