Conversation driven strategy

As of today, the wider the audience you want to target, the smaller the importance of pitching a strategy. Everything is open for discussion and everything is negotiable to achieve the maximum possible contribution from a product or service. If you are trying to think hard and create a strategy for your product lauch or service upgrade, take a walk and go speak to a potential customer instead. On the top most level, you do have a strategy that can be fitted within a few slides. The more granular you go, it becomes iterative and interactive. Overall strategy still serves as a boundary for giving direction to the team’s efforts. Taking the cue, how it is implemented at the customer facing level is entirely interactive. And these interactions need not be direct nor exclusive. From a customer’s perspective, she talks with every other player to make an informed decision. From the business’ perspective, you have to assume that the customer will talk with competition and be one step ahead in the game. If you are the CEO of a service, take time to talk anonymously to an end user. If your company sells a product, give it to a critic to know what’s okay and what’s not. Of course you may have a marketing team or analytics team doing this for you, but what you can do directly will be a very valuable double-check. Talk!

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