As I continue to watch in fascinated dismay to the continuing ideological battles in Washington, I keep thinking “All of the above” is a good place to start.  Reasonable ideas are coming from all directions to solve the many issues facing us; however, most everyone tries to position their solution as the ONLY answer for a miracle to happen.  Realistically, it often takes more than one solution to make a difference and the successful mixture is stumbled upon through trial/error.  The same holds true in business/marketing development campaigns.

Campaigns are subject to financial reviews, resource constraints, time limits, and “executive exposure.”  To counter the pressure these influences place on a campaign, I often advise clients to start trying many tools and measure their success against your stated goals.  If one isn’t working, then on to the next thing. Like the football legend, Bubba Smith, used to do: “I would grab the whole backfield, then throw out each one out until I found the one with the ball.”

The critical thinking principles to follow with this approach:

    1. Clearly Define Success.  Know what your goals for the campaign are and how they fit with the revenue/company goals.  Executives like to know this.
    2. Understand the tool’s plusses and minuses.  Each digital tool or technique is suited to a specific purpose and audience.  Make sure that the tools match up with the goals that you are setting for a campaign and the tools match the company.  For example, the networking tool of choice for a retailer may be Facebook whereas LinkedIn would be for a professional services company.
    3. Start fast – End Fast.  For each tool to be used in a campaign, put real effort into using it. Established procedures, keywords, links, schedules and then execute.  Measure frequently and deeply.  If you are meeting expectations and goals, keep on.  If not, lower the effort or eliminate the tool.  Progress without bogging down.
    4. Double Down. Successful tools, the ones that meet or beat expectations, should be expanded.  Bring more company resources into play, have more people involved. Strive to exponentially grow success.
    5. Be Decisive. Commit completely to the project or campaign.  When something is ended, don’t linger – move on. Eliminate distractions.
    6. No Sacred Cows.  Measure everything against success – yes or no to meeting goals.  No pet projects or Science experiments – it is part of the campaign or not. Quantifiable results for executive decisions.

Benefits to an “All of the above” strategy are straightforward.  No stone is left unturned and everything gets a chance. Knowledge is gained on the relationship between company goals, campaigns and the tools used.  Knowledge is gained on interoperability between tools and the usefulness of the interoperability. Quantifiable measurements/results are available for future reference.  And most importantly, company success can be achieved with the right campaign using the correct tools…truly an “all of the above” solution.

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