Well there are two reasons I decided to write this post today and they both involve a plan vs a strategy. A lot of people think that both are the same but in my mind they aren’t. A plan is just the map of where you’re going, a strategy is the route you take to get there.
This is the exact reason so many people fail in online marketing. I hear all the gurus telling people to develop a plan and stick to their plan and success is assured. Then they sell you a plan and it somehow doesn’t work out for you as it did for them. If you ever wondered why it’s because they didn’t sell you the strategy they used to make the plan successful. Why would they?
Sure they gave you a step by step process, but we all know that regardless of how detailed the plan is it always needs a little tweaking to work the way you expect it to. You could follow a detailed plan down to the exact letter but still be unable to duplicate the same audience that the plan’s author did.
However, if you create a strategy to use the plan and develop your own audience, i.e. (your targeted audience) the people who want to follow your style, then the plan suddenly becomes effective.
This is the very reason I pay no heed to the so called experts when they say that a particular method no longer works. In the 5 years I’ve been doing online marketing I’ve heard that email marketing doesn’t work, Facebook ads don’t work, PPC doesn’t work. I’m sure you get my point.
Everything is a season to many marketers, instead of saying their strategies no longer work and need to be revised, they blame it on the platform or delivery system.
And as you and I both know, all these platforms that they claim no longer work have continuously worked to create profit for thousands of marketers.
Instead of blaming the platforms they use they should attempt to discover why their strategies no longer work. I’ve noticed that many people still make enormous incomes in every facet of online marketing so that means the market hasn’t changed.
The problem that no one wants to admit is that the majority of us keep following other people’s plans and using other people’s strategies. If we all follow the same plans and use the same strategies of course they’ll reach a point where they no longer work because we’re not targeting our own audience. But if we tweak and test new strategies to target a new audience the same markets the experts claim are dead suddenly start to yield positive results.
I’ve heard MLM is dead yet Natura did 3 billion in business last year, PPC is dead yet 20% of affiliate marketers using PPC make over a million dollars a year.
As you can see even though these markets had changed they were still full of profit potential. What these markets discovered was the old plans no longer worked and new strategies had to be developed to reach a new audience. A plan is only effective when you implement new strategies to use it.
Take soft drinks as an example, you may notice that while they are all basically the same, yet they are all marketed with a different strategy.
Because every marketing strategy doesn’t resonate with every audience. You need to test and refine strategies to reach new audiences, marketing is not a one size fits all occupation and new audiences are created everyday. You need to be continuously testing new strategies to reach these new audiences.
So yes you do need a plan, and yes it is possible to purchase one that belongs to someone else. But the strategy on how to implement the plan should be entirely yours.
Believe me, I was caught up in this practice myself not too long ago. I followed the exact step by step plan of another PPC marketer, I mean down to the exact letter. Yet I only achieved 1/3rd of the results that they did. At first I blamed the plan but the plan was sound, it took me months to realize what I needed was a new strategy. After I changed my philosophy and split tested a few new strategies the plan actually worked better than I thought it would.
The message I’m trying to relay to you in this brief post is that regardless of how well you plan you still need to find an effective strategy to implement that plan. If the first strategy doesn’t work find another one, don’t just give up on the plan.
Ford’s first car didn’t work, the first attempt to enter space was a disaster and my first blog failed epically. If you can’t see the pattern here let me help you, all of these plans just required a new strategy to work. Keep the plan, revise the strategy.
Plan – an orderly arrangement of parts of an overall design or objective.
Strategy – how to implement the plan.
It doesn’t matter whose plan you use as long as you have solutions to these three questions the plan should work:
a. Who should be the customers that define our target market?
b. What should be the value proposition that differentiates our products and services with those customers?
c. What should be the capabilities that make our business better than any other in delivering that value proposition? (How do we do it better.)
When you have sufficient answers to these three questions the plan you didn’t think would work suddenly becomes an effective strategy.
Now I’m not sayng that every plan you see in a $5 WSO will work, in fact most of them are truly garbage that’s just over hyped to make a sale. I am saying that if there is a plan that’s proven to work for it’s author but so far hasn’t worked for you, it may require a new strategy.
Do you agree?