Warning: this content is older than 365 days. It may be out of date and no longer relevant.

I recently had the privilege of guest lecturing at Bentley University’s eMarketing class, hosted by CC Chapman. The most important point of the evening was that strategy is where we must always start as marketers.

  • If we don’t know why we’re doing something, we don’t have a winning strategy.
  • If we don’t have SMART goals, we don’t have a winning strategy.
  • If we don’t respect the limits time imposes on us, or our resources and competitors’ strategies, we don’t have a winning strategy.

In Leading Innovation and Marketing Blue Belt, I share this formula for strategy:


Strategy is goals times methods, limited by time and the environment.

  • If we’ve got the right goals but the wrong methods, our strategy will fail.
  • The reverse is also true.
  • No goals or no methods? Multiply anything times a zero and we get zero.

If you’re starting marketing and you’re not talking goals and methods, or constraints on those goals and methods, you’re not talking strategy — and strategy is where you must start.

You might also enjoy:

Want to read more like this from Christopher Penn? Get updates here:

subscribe to my newsletter here

AI for Marketers Book
Get your copy of AI For Marketers

Analytics for Marketers Discussion Group
Join my Analytics for Marketers Slack Group!

Subscribe to My Free Weekly Newsletter

Subscribe to My Free Weekly Newsletter

Sign up now to the free Almost Timely Newsletter, released every weekend with the latest news about marketing, technology, analytics, data science, and AI.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

You have successfully subscribed to the Almost Timely Newsletter!