When Should You THINK About Changing a Strategy?


I said in an earlier post  that you should CHANGE a strategy or campaign only when it STOPS performing. That is, when it stops performing at an optimal level on a consistent basis.

Exactly how you measure “optimal” is up to you. You may find that even if the strategy isn’t working at as high a level as it once was, it’s still generating revenue and since you’re not having to throw additional capital at it, the returns you’re getting are really, really good. Like maybe several hundred percent good, because the strategy paid for itself some time ago and now you’re experiencing what our accounting friends call ROA or Return on Assets. I strongly advocate NOT getting sucked into changing strategies unless you have a very compelling reason just so you can maximize the returns on your assets.

On the other hand, because the world is, quite literally, changing right out from under us, we need to be THINKING about new strategies all the time. We need to constantly be asking “What if?”

What if a new market opens up that we could capitalize on? What if we want to add a product line, division, or acquire another business? What if some new legislation gets passed and drains the profit right out of our current business? What if new technology makes what we’re currently doing obsolete or will require a ton of new investment so we can stay in the business? What if a lower-priced competitor enters the market? What if an unethical competitor does something that taints the brand of our whole industry?

What if? What would we do?

By training ourselves to think in terms of the next threat or opportunity, we’ll be more proactive and won’t be caught scrambling. We can then create the future rather than try to cope with it.

So milk the cash cow that is your current strategy as long as you can, but be thinking about how to replenish the herd, too! 

When you’re green you grow…when you’re ripe, you rot!

– Ray Kroc,  McDonald’s