It’s not often that I get to Chicago and the weather is just right – low 70’s, low humidity, clear skys, and best of all, no traffic to or from the airport! It’s been a productive week. Some lessons from this week’s strategy meeting are in order…
1. It’s never about the product. We spent two full days on strategy, only naming product in passing, or by accident. Marketing strategy that builds on features and functions is destined to fail.
2. Synergy among the leadership is so important. We had this, and it showed…Jim Collins is right (of course), when he says, “Get the right people on the bus, others off, and make sure everyone is in the right seat before getting started with strategy.
3. Most of the resellers are competing on the same items – this makes everyone look the same, reduces margin across the business, and pushes up the cost of doing business. There is a better way – in fact we discovered several.
4. Many of the things vendors are pushing VARs to do with MDF are useless…again, there are better ways to spend marketing dollars, and I believe we found some that will change the course of business over the coming months.
5. A clear vision of where the company needs to go is essential – it is the filter that everything else gets measured by. We started here, taking the time to come up with a clear, concrete, unified vision, and it paid off through the two days.
PS. Note the photo taken from my window seat…down town Chicago.
© 2012, David Stelzl