Strategy Hurts

March 3, 2014Comments Off on Strategy Hurts

Ramit Sethi notes CVS are dropping a product which generates $2bn a year in sales.

On the same day, 37 Signals announce they're going to drop all but one product. 

These are big, powerful, strategic, decisions.

The message here, perhaps, is real strategy hurts. 

I've been in too many rooms where a community professional refuses to make any strategic choice which excludes a significant percentage of the audience.

Yet this is exactly what you need to do. You need to focus on a small slice of your audience that has as much in common as possible. The more the audience has in common, the greater the sense of group identity, the more relevant every discussion, the more likely that this group want to join and participate in the community. 

We're not asking you (or any of our client) to give up $2bn a year in sales. We're usually asking you to exclude a significant percentage, perhaps the majority, of your audience and focus on a small group you can build a strong, powerful, community from. 

If you ask us to write a strategy, we don't wave a magic wand and explain how you build a thriving community in 3 months that makes all of your target audience happy. We outline the tough choices a community requires and use research to help you make those choices.

You can expand later. You can build multiple communities in different groups later. But do this later. For now, make the big, scary, painful, strategic decisions. 

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