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It shouldn’t surprise any effective business leader that more aggressive and out-of-the-box growth strategies/techniques are yielding more aggressive and out-of-the-box results – particularly in sectors where technological advancements offer a discernible advantage.   Social media, digital marketing and other tools at the disposal of any entrepreneur or launching enterprise have undeniably transformed typical time frames associated with marketing life cycles.   The need for such phases as Market Identificationand Formulationhave not gone away, but the tools available to new businesses (when utilized appropriately) can put a new or underachieving company on the radar of potential customers and consumers in the blink of an eye.

A decade ago, a typical new enterprise would allow for 6-12 months for the formulating and startup phase; today, through the potential and power of one successful guerrilla or viral marketing campaign (or related social or digital media success), the goals of differentiation, name recognition, segment introduction and exploration of multi-channel can literally be achieved overnight.  Similarly, elements of the long-term can be achieved much more rapidly than expected (M&A activity, strategic partner opportunities, etc.).  In the context of such exceptional growth potential, the four steps of planning (Strategy, Alignment, Execution and Optimization) are critical to have mapped out from the outset – with the caveat that pivoting should be expected as part of the process.

Marketing life cycles are being unquestionably shortened and the techniques and requirements of what have been traditionally only thought of during mid-term and long-term strategic plans are being considered much earlier in the process.  As such, c-suites are being tasked to stay on top of more rapidly evolving strategic planning considerations.  Is your organization and c-suite prepared for the possibility of premature life cycle advancement?

Below are three quick strategies to consider in order to establish your company’s growth framework:

(1) Consider a senior level or c-suite position dedicated to strategy development, implementation and optimization.

A Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) or Vice President of Strategy can be your primary executive dedicated exclusively to growth, diversification and expansion by creating, communicating, executing, refining and sustaining strategic initiatives.  The existence of this individual/department in your organization means that you inherently have team members anticipating and ready to respond to marketing initiatives that hit their mark.

(2) Factor in the potential for “home runs” into your business strategy.

We encourage all of our clients to layer in “ranges of success” throughout their business plans to anticipate low, mid and high level outcomes for the key goals and targets included so that potential impacts are understood from the outset.

(3) Ensure supportive infrastructure (i.e., backups) throughout all divisions and disciplines of the organization to help respond to high level growth.

Organizations should initiate training, professional development and proactive hiring plans in order to put themselves on the cusp of advancement as it occurs.