Strategy First

Two people review notes posted on a wall.

One of my roles as a marketing consultant is to filter through the constant flow of new products and ideas that come my way, deciding whether or not I should promote them to any of my clients.

In a typical week, I am exposed to a variety of products and services, most of them hatched in the digital realm, that promise to change the way I do business or at least make it happen faster and cheaper. Sometimes my clients bring these ideas to me for my inspection and advice, and other times I receive them directly or read about them on one of the many information channels I connect to. I may consider recommending a new product or service, especially if it is supported by solid research or comes with KPI metrics to back it up. Occasionally, the new idea is really a repackaged older idea that didn’t work all too well the first time around!

Regardless of what particular tactic I’m considering, it must clear one primary hurdle – the strategy. I always ask whether this new idea (product or approach) will support my client’s strategic goals? With no exception, it always goes back to the strategy.

That’s why I spend time early on in a newly developing client-agency relationship conducting a strategic intake. This may take the form of a single face-to-face session, or a series of phone calls. But I don’t ever skip this important step. Asking key questions related to my client’s business goals, past marketing experiences, product descriptions, target audiences, company resources and timing, to name just a few categories, is worth its weight in gold later on, as new opportunities arise.

Anne Richardson

Anne Richardson is the owner and media director of Richardson Media Group, an agency specializing in media planning and buying, advertising campaign management, and SEO.


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Richardson Media Group logo icon.
Anne outside the door of the Richardson Media Group office.

In addition to her role as owner and media director here at RMG, Anne authors the majority of our blog posts and hosts our BSuite podcast. Favorite topics for both platforms include the entrepreneurial journey, sustainability + social responsibility, media planning, media buying, and forming productive agency partnerships.