What Is Strategy?
Posted: September 28, 2022
What exactly is “strategy?” In a recent episode of our podcast, three of our higher education experts – our Director of Strategy, Erica Kim, along with our Vice President of Strategy, Dana Cruikshank, and our CEO and Founder, Diane Sutton – weigh in on the necessity of having a well thought out plan to execute before beginning any marketing campaign.
According to Harvard Business Review, “Strategy is about choosing what to do as well as what not to do. Deciding which target group of customers, varieties, and needs the company should serve is fundamental to developing a strategy. Strategy is also, however, in deciding not to serve other customers or needs and not to offer certain features or services.” Strategy gives you the overarching direction to follow when piecing together the smaller decisions of a plan. When thinking about it conceptually, strategy answers the core questions. The who, what, when, where, and how of marketing become clear when putting together a strategic plan. In making sure you are following a core strategy, you are able to avoid any arbitrary or assumptive decisions when working toward your goal.
While it seems so important to have this north star in a marketing campaign, oftentimes these strategic plans end up as the “binder on the shelf” collecting dust once it’s been established. We see that as an issue. At VisionPoint, we see strategy as keeping our client partners ahead of the competition, making sure they know exactly what to do and what not to do in order to get the highest return on their investment. Keeping the institution’s goals and targets at the forefront of your marketing plan allows you to be on the same page without posing the risk of anyone feeling like they are not being heard. Strategy is not going to be a “one size fits all” way of getting these campaigns up and running; it is made to be unique to each specific want and need of the client and allows us to feel confident that we are moving in the right direction.
Higher education is a complex field with multiple objectives for each individual institution. Strategy acts as the foundation to build upon for all the other aspects of marketing, such as research, creative, and advertising. One of the things that our client partners find refreshing is that VisionPoint truly takes the time to listen and understand before creating a custom strategy, rather than presenting a cookie cutter plan that may or may not be successful for their needs. Our way of doing things has set us aside as an agency that truly cares about not only getting things done but doing so both efficiently and effectively.
If you are interested in hearing more of our thoughts on strategy, click here to tune in and listen to the full podcast episode. Looking for an expert in higher ed strategy to partner with you and your institution? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a personal consultation call.