Creating a Company-Wide Strategic Toolkit at Simantel

Situation

It goes without saying: corporate digital strategies today are more complex than ever. Cookie cutter approaches lead to mundane marketing and flat results. The agency that I worked was known for it’s creative campaigns and thoughtful strategies, but wanted to  strengthen their internal strategic capabilities to deliver innovative solutions that addressed the complexity clients were facing. 

CHALLENGES 

  • Delivered strategies that were high-quality, but inconsistent from one team member to another, both in content and method of delivery
  • Had inconsistent expectations of time and resources needed to develop both high-level strategy plans and smaller tactical plans
  • Delivered strategies that did not have enough granularity or detail for the implementation team members.
  • As a result, additional time and resources were often needed to bring team members up-to-speed

Action

Developed a strategic framework and toolkit with standardized templates. This enabled the team to:

  • Use a flexible framework that could be adapted to various scenarios
  • Consistently produce high-quality work products
  • Close the strategy-to-execution gap

Results

  • Efficiency gains in the development of strategic plans and processes
  • Smoother hand-off between strategic teams and execution teams
  • Consistency across accounts in approach and work product
  • Common understanding of strategic outputs and the time involved

Additional Details

The framework included an integrated suite of standard tools and template with guidance on how to use them.

Tools

Strategy Plan Template (Broad)

Modular template which provides framework for outlining integrated marketing strategies. Components include:
  • Situational Overview
  • Business & Marketing Goals
  • Audiences & Goals
  • Creative Strategy
  • Brand Strategy
  • Messaging Strategy
  • Content Strategy
  • Channel Strategy (Media, website, MA, social, etc.)
  • Measurement Strategy

Tactical Planning Templates (specific)

Set of functional planning templates that decompose strategic ideas into smaller pieces. Especially useful for execution team members that require specific direction.  Examples: Business, functional, technical requirements, use cases, task analysis, content inventory, content audits, event tagging, form strategy, messaging matrix, etc.

Design Templates (Visual)

Collection of design templates used to visualize strategic and tactical elements. Includes:
  • Wireframes (lo-fi, hi-fi)
  • Flowcharts
  • Personas
  • Task map
  • Sitemaps
  • User flows
  • Experience maps
  • Ecosystem
  • Iconography

Guidance

Playbook

Provides a framework for strategic planning. Includes direction on how to:
  • Complete Strategy Plan and other tactical planning templates.
  • How to manage the ideation and execution process.
  • Uncover and prioritize marketing needs.
  • How to select and plan strategic elements that meet business and user needs.

Tools & Techniques

Many tools are used in the strategic process to build presentations and visuals. This folder includes collection of:
  1. Tutorials for using tools (OmniGraffle,  Sketch, Adobe Experience Design, etc.)
  2. Techniques and best practices for visualizing UX/ UI designs and/or prototyping; established visual vocabulary

Deliverables

Folder which includes collection of previous deliverables to be used for ideas and inspiration.

SITUATION

ACTION

RESULTS

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