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Say It With Pictures

Say It With Pictures

(January 27, 2010) - It's a new year! Time to take a fresh look at your strategic plan for the year ahead. What do you hope to achieve by December 31, 2010? Better customer service? Stronger branding? Greater social-media buzz? All of the above? And just as important: How will you convey that plan, once it's developed, in a clear and concise way to your team?

Ben McConnell at the Church of the Customer Blog says the best way to keep employees in tune with a customer-relationship plan is to map it out.

"A strategic plan has a better chance of being successful when it's easy to understand, easy to find, and easy to share," he explains. "That's why, after we create longer-form strategy documents for social-media or customer-evangelism planning, we convert them into one-page infographics." He offers a sample—and here's how to build a similar chart, to say it with pictures:
    Top row: Objectives. List your top objectives for the year (e.g., "Become a word-of-mouth success story") straight across the top of the page.

    Second row: Goals. Position your goals ("80% customers signed up from WOM") beneath the top row to match them with the appropriate objective.

    Third row: Strategies. Detail the strategies you'll formulate to reach those goals ("Make company founders more visible").

    Fourth row: Tactics. List the tactics you'll employ to implement those strategies ("Launch SM accounts for founders, company").
"The word-driven complexity of a strategic plan is easier to comprehend when it's displayed graphically," McConnell concludes.

The Po!nt: Create a low-tech "picture" of your plan.
Once your customer-relationship strategy is set for 2010, break it down into a single-page chart like this one. Your team should appreciate the handy reference.

Source: Church of the Customer Blog. Read the full post here.

About Ben McConnell
Ben McConnell is an author, consultant and principal of management consulting firm Ant's Eye View.

Ben is the co-author of two books on customer loyalty: "Citizen Marketers: When People are the Message," (2007) which documents the emerging world of social media and how brands should begin to embrace a participatory culture. Ben's first book, "Creating Customer Evangelists: How Loyal Customers Become a Volunteer Sales Force," (2003) explains how companies convert customers into evangelists who spread the word about products, benefits or value propositions. "

Named as one of the 50 most influential online marketers, Ben co-authors the Church of the Customer blog; with more than 121,000 daily readers.

Colleen Gildea

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