You might say "Duh! Why haven't I thought of this," when you see these notes...

Hey You,

It’s Lewis aka Nerd #2.

Today I’m giving you notes on this seminar of which the subject, Jay Abraham, The Marketing God, deemed important enough to devote 4 days worth of time to – Strategy.

Jay says 95-99% of all business are blind, they’re operating tactically they have no idea where they want to go, where they need to go.

The only reason anybody would do this if because they don’t know how to operate strategically, they don’t have the marketing marketing sense to optimize those results. So where you can add great value is to go and show people the strategic shift so that can double triple multiply by a factor of 10 their current profits.

An example of great positioning is how Jay says that he’s dedicated his life to getting more for less, more results for the same capital, for the same amount of effort, with the same amount of people. Give him the operation you’ve got and he’ll show you how to get more out of it. You’re already spending money on marketing, you’re already spending money on your staff, he can show you how to optimize them. And that’s the the value proposition he brings to clients that any consultant should seriously consider using themselves.

Understanding of the overarching strategy is so important because everything changes

After the first encounter after the first problem, everything changes. So you want to have your five year strategy, but after the first month it’s moot, so if you can’t go back and edit it then you’re in trouble.

Abraham’s first and probably simplest definition of strategy is that strategy is the overall vision of where you want to go and what value you want to bring — what you want to do, what’s your goal.

It’s something that you can objectively measure all of your tactics against so if you decide you want to run an ad, if you decide to hire somebody, you should be able to measure that against your strategy and see that this tactic is the giving you the highest and best use of your resources.

There are three basic myths about strategy we have to dispel before going forward.

Number one is that strategy is rigid and set in stone. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Strategy by it’s nature has to be flexible has to be fluid.

Number two is the myth of marketing itself being a strategic level function. And that’s wrong, marketing is just as tactical as sales unless it’s driven by your higher level strategy.

Number three is that strategy means system. Abraham says that’s not the case he’s going to spend time further in the program going through and debunking these and coming up with their definitions a strategy and how to use it.

Here’s couple of random notes on strategy that are good to keep mind: Occam’s razor – the simpler the better. Einstein said this. Bruce Lee said this also. Clausewitz said it about war and it’s true everywhere.

The more complex something is the more chances you have the fuck it up, so make sure that when you create a strategy keep it simple and give it the mechanism to change.

Also, eliminate all minor secondary efforts

In other words be very clear about what your major definite purpose is what your reason for being in a market is and then make sure that every thing you’re doing fits into that.

Make sure that everything you’re doing can be measured against that and then get rid of, delegate, or hire out all of the other stuff. It does you no good to have a bunch of things that you just have to do but that don’t contribute to your major purpose.

It’s much better for you to give them to subordinates, to subcontract it or to just get rid of it altogether, because you only have so much time, you only have so much energy, and you have to focus that and marshal it toward the highest and best use of your time.

Another great Clausewitz point worth noting no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy or as Mike Tyson put it, “Everybody’s got a plan until they get punched in the face.”

It is very important to plan, but you want to know that your plan is not going to unfold exactly as you lay it out on paper. Get as many alternatives as you can.

Make the best choice you can with information that you have but build in flexibility. Build in the ability to react to market information. Otherwise you’re sunk.

You can’t create a strategy unless you know the numbers behind the business.

It does no good to think of a strategic option or a strategic direction to move in if you don’t know the numbers that your business is producing.

If you don’t know what the lifetime value of the client is, what’s the likelihood that you’ll see the importance of converting them to another service?

If you don’t know any of that, if you don’t know it as a business owner then any strategy is just shooting in the dark. When you do know those numbers, then you can work toward a really profitable strategy. You can work toward an intelligent strategy.

A question you should always be asking yourself as a business leader is…

“Of the myriad of strategies that are possible, with the myriad of strategic objectives that are possible what are the odds that the one I’m currently using is the best?”

Do this to keep your mind open for new strategic changes for shifts that might make your business much more profitable or more efficient, etc.

Jay did an interesting exercise where he took pieces of the annual reports of the Fortune 500 and cut out most of crap and only looked at the strategy section for what they said that their strategies were.

He noted that over 80% of them, so 400 of the 500, had either divested pieces of the business, had acquired new pieces of business or had changed the nature of their business between their origins and where they are now.

In other words, they’re changing the strategy.They’re evolving. They’re looking outside of themselves to maximize their potential.