We typically begin each year assessing business performance and needs, defining sales goals and organizing marketing campaigns and initiatives. After meeting with a variety of different stakeholders, we develop a fresh, and sometimes daunting, to-do list.
With limited time and resources, and pressure to meet immediate deadlines, we’re usually inclined to get started executing tactics right away. Skipping the vital strategic planning step may give you some wins in the short term – but may not translate to greater success in the long term.
A key component of Signal’s agile marketing philosophy is “slowing down to speed up” or “going slow to go fast.” We spend time early on thinking deeply about the big picture, scrutinizing the value of each effort and making sure the entire team is in sync. Before launching right into the more tangible creative and development tasks required for a new project, we think through and define the value each initiative will provide and how it fits in with overall business objectives.
As proof of the success “strategic slowness” offers, a Harvard Business Review study of 343 businesses showed that companies who took adequate time for deliberation and planning averaged 40 percent higher sales and 52 percent higher operating profits over a three-year period.
In the early stage of any effort, it’s important to ask a lot of questions, share ideas and discuss different perspectives and options and for the approach. At this time, large changes can easily be made to streamline and optimize campaigns and ensure time and resources are used most effectively to maximize performance.
Slowing down allows time for better, more creative solutions to emerge that may not be possible with a focus on immediate production. Going slow also helps reduce rework and confusion – which positions team members to do their best.
Whether considering the next year, the next campaign or the next project, this is how to lay a “slow” foundation:
In our world, where the need for speed and immediate results is so important, going slow and focusing on the long-term can be a difficult concept to embrace. Even when the pressure’s on, take time now to focus on getting things right (instead of just getting them done) to lead to time saved and better results later!