When newcomers to the world of Communication starts to understand a bit better the amount of cumulated years of experience and knowledge involved in the field – they are sometimes puzzled by the use of the word Strategy when talking about Communication or Advertising.
Isn’t it a creative sector, where things are done by artists who test the limit of human understanding and try to magically touch the emotional point of people?
Or guys in Mad Men pretending to think rationally when they enter the pitching room with a concept that magically fell on them the night before?
Well no one actually would think that, but it can get close at time – such as the engouement for the word “viral” two years ago showed it. But the truth is simple and clean:
Creativity is 75% strategy
Which means Creativity is one tool among others to achieve some results – what matters is strategy.
The whole world of Communication / Advertising and Marketing is built around strategy and the general vocabulary of war. We talk about:
- targets (for reaching someone – a target audience)
- strategy (on which tool and method we will use to reach these people)
- campaigns (you go campaigning with your troops to reach a goal)
- and generally goals and objectives which are also very much military and sport-related.
Well, welcome to one of the economic sector that generates the most revenues in the world – around 580 billion dollars per year. Which means around 20 times the Music Industry, 8 times the Film industry and 3 times the Video game industry. Or also twice the 3 combined.
Whether you call it Marketing when you sell products, Advertising when you promote them on TV and billboards or Communication when you sell ideas – these sectors are extremely well built activities of persuasion that entirely run our world.
So having a strategy in this specific case means simply knowing one’s job – and it starts by knowing why you want to talk to someone.
Will it be to become the most important organisation or company in your sector in the next 5 years, is it to show to potential partners that you are a reliable colleague to include in any proposal in the next 3 years – is it to sell 30% more products of a kind in the next year to come? Everything starts by having a clear-cut vision of where you want to go – up this hill, down this mountain, across this river.
And only with this clear-cut vision of where you want to be, can you start putting the troops in order to solve the question of how are we going to actually reach this point.
Strategy is not an additional tool to put in your basket – it is the only tool that can make things happen.