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Guest Blogger: Steve Patti Writes…. To Heck with Point B — Where is Point A?

By Steve Patti, Polarity, Inc. You’ve probably heard people reference “needing to get from point A to point B” to describe their career, business, or other aspects of their life.   Sounds simple, right? …. or is it? We are continually amazed at the effort expended by companies during the fourth quarter of every year to develop their “next year” marketing plan — including the all-important sales goals for revenue and profits.  Now don’t get me wrong — we’re all about planning and measurement (just read our posts and you’ll figure this out).   However, we’re just not sure you can develop a plan for reaching point B, if you don’t know where point A is. Allow me to digress with a simple example (since we’re located near San Antonio, we’ll use a geographically familiar illustration).  If I asked someone here for directions to Houston, it’s likely they would tell me to take I-10 east for about 200 miles.   However, what if that person wasn’t in San Antonio after all — what if they were in Dallas?  Is I-10 still the appropriate roadmap to Houston?  No, it would be I-45 south for about 240 miles.  Same destination, but two different paths for getting there.   What accounts for this?  Answer: Different starting locations. OK, so here’s the point: the path to your destination depends on where you are located.  How’s this relevant to integrated marketing you ask?   We see too many companies unwilling or unable to clarify where “point A” really is in terms of their: market position, brand perception, customer experience, profitability by product/channel/market, etc.  They...