Who Do You Serve?

Being a strategist it’s sometimes easy to get caught up in paralysis by analysis. The data and the insights sometimes swirl around in our heads and overwhelm. The sheer amount of data available today can boggle the mind (literally) and leave you with so many options that it’s hard to choose a path and go with it.

Olivier Blanchard calls it “The Strategy Trap” and warns customers to look for agencies and strategists who focus on their customers, who are really the folks who matter.

Sometimes, companies focus so much on developing and implementing strategies that they forget to focus on what’s important: Focusing on the customers. That’s priority numero uno. As a consumer, I don’t give to shakes what a company’s latest strategy is. I really don’t care. You want to gain 4% market share in the next quarter? You want to dominate the tablet PC market? Okay. Great. What’s that to me? All I want is for you to improve my life. How are you planning on doing that? How does your strategy actually make anything happen on the ground? Have you thought about what happens when your theories actually touch the real world?

This is excellent advice, not just for organizations looking for agency partners and consultation, but to those of us who provide those services. The really innovative companies are those who seek to better their industry, not just their bottom lines. They want to create better experiences for their customers and change the way we all do business. It’s why I refer to myself as a Creative Strategist and why I try to always test my recommendations against what the end user wants and needs. That is who I am serving, it’s just that someone else is paying the bills.

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