HZ has a broad range of capabilities. To help showcase our process and all that we do, we will be talking with the heads of our departments & teams on a (semi-)weekly basis. Below is our third installment. Enjoy!
1. What is at the core of a strong strategy?
A strong strategy is built around insight. Insight into the business problems we are trying to solve—whether those are tied to customer behaviors, competitor differentiators, market trends, or just plain thinking about human behavior. To determine the best path forward, we evaluate the universe of possibilities and then distill those into an actionable plan.
But, our work is never done. We see strategy as a cyclical process that requires us to measure performance and continually course correct. In short, our approach to strategy is integrated, iterative and agile.
2. Is there a set process for developing a strategy, or does it vary case by case?
While there are standard practices we follow, no two strategies are ever the same and neither is our approach. We do always ask, “What is the business problem, and are we solving it?” And, to ensure that everything we’re doing is making a positive impact on our clients’ goals, we keep asking ourselves that question across the engagement.
Since each business problem has its own particular requirements, we customize our process accordingly. Our first step is to conduct a thorough immersion to gain a deep understanding of our client’s business, audiences, industry, competitive landscape, etc.
When we move into strategy development, we make sure the customer is at the center. We focus on opening lines of communication between brands and their audiences because we know that results are achieved when you can drive a conversation. Finally, we make sure everything we do is consistent across channels and touchpoints. The opposite of integrated is fragmented. Once you put it in that context, the need for marketing efforts to work in harmony becomes pretty clear.
3. At HZ, we like to say, “Everyone is a creative.” How does this mantra apply to the strategy side of the marketing equation?
At HZ, strategy is not a department. It’s a collective responsibility, and a core philosophy at our agency. We all use strategy to be faster, better, smarter—and yes, more creative—regardless of our role at HZ. What greater creative challenge is there than to develop a meaningful way to bridge form and function?