Tactic vomiting hurts…Data can help

Jun 06, 13 Tactic vomiting hurts…Data can help

I was in a meeting with a colleague the other day when he admitted something that made me cringe, even though that something was true.  He was talking about the way our perspective on social business has changed. And eventually he got to our strategic planning process.

In the past, at times, we would have come to the table with a series of tactical suggestions based on nothing more than our creativity and experience working with other brands. Today, we hesitate to bring any recommendations to the table until we’ve seen research to inform our ideas.  

Too often, the data was missing.

We call that tactic vomiting. And in my experience, communicators suffer from it more often than a 2-year-old attending a daycare full of sick kids suffers from the stomach flu. Why do you think marketing and PR have had so much trouble proving business value over the years.

The data is out there to be had. We just have to ask for it, find it or conduct research to acquire it. The good news is when we start with data, the strategy and tactics come so much easier. And we can be almost certain they’ll be on target because we’re making informed decisions.

Do you know a tactic vomiter? Someone who says “Wouldn’t it be cool if?” in brainstorms all the time? Or someone who always suggests campaign ideas based only on his/her personal experiences?

Get your friend some help. There’s plenty of data out there. Spray and pray. Throwing spaghetti against the wall to see if it sticks. All of that stuff hurts our credibility as communicators. Tactic vomiting hurts. Data can help.

1 Comment

  1. Samra Bufkins, MJ, APR /

    Tactic vomiting. A new term to add to my classroom glossary. I struggle with this as I teach students how to look at business objectives–what do you want to accomplish–FIRST, then do the “how to” (strategies) before the tactics. Colorful terminology seems to resonate with college students. I’ll use it. Maybe the graduates I turn out in the next year or so will be on the same page with you and me.

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