ABHISHEK BHARTIYA

1:20 AM, 26th May 2018

G.O.S.T Framework - It works!

Strategists / Consultants are almost notorious for blabbering about various types of frameworks they use for all sorts of business issues. You want to create brand awareness, use framework ‘X’, need to beat the competition, use framework ‘Y’ and so on. However, no matter how much we dislike this “framework dropping” lofty talk of consultants (I consider myself one too! :) ), the fact of the matter is that frameworks work!

We all have heard about some of the most famous frameworks like BCG Matrix, GE Matrix etc. which are utilized today across many companies from different industry verticals on regular basis. But today, I am going to talk about a simple and lesser known, but equally effective framework that has helped me plan out business strategy in uncharted & new territories very effectively. I was introduced to this framework by one of my ex-bosses and I have been using it ever since (I have provided the link to original paper by Rich Horwath at the end of the article). 

It is a very simple & yet very effective way of formulating strategy, especially when building campaign strategies, which are usually of much shorter duration, compared to a company’s overall business strategy.

However, it is not to say that this can’t be utilized for building a company’s overall business strategy. In fact, this framework was build to help senior management and executives to effectively work out a long-term business strategy. But so far I have mainly used this for planning and executing much shorter but equally important (for my function and company at least) campaigns. So, without much ado, below is the G.O.S.T framework:

G: Goal –  What? - in a general sense; A broader motive pursued by an organization for a well defined duration. For e.g. – “Becoming the company with best customer service ” or “Becoming top online jewelry store in the nation by next year”

O: Objective –  What? – More specific & quantifiable goal. For e.g. – “Increasing NPS (Net promoter Score is a measure of customer satisfaction) by 2.5 times of current levels Y-o-Y” or “Reaching an ARR of $ XX Mn by Q-4 of next year”

S: Strategy –  How? – Generally speaking the plan of action for achieving the Objective. For e.g –

  • Increasing our call center and service delivery team strength and further improving the training quality for these teams.
  • Increasing brand's mind-share of the target audience in the key markets.
  • Increase repeat customers’ share of wallet.

T: Tactics –  How? – More specific & quantifiable goal. For e.g. –

  • Increase brand’s mindshare by a% and retention rate of x% to y% –
    • Achieve this by clearly identifying various target audience segments (assuming this is not done properly, most of the time it is not) and then reaching out to them with the right communication, crisply putting forth our “UVPs” (unique value propositions). Constantly monitor and refine these audience segments, budgets, bids, communication, creatives and various other levers available to the team.
    • Constantly tweak the on-site and off-site content performance, identifying the right automation platforms to drive on-site and off-site personalization.
    • Develop a loyalty and referral program to reach out to the new consumers via existing customers.
  • Increase repeat sales of current d% to f% – 
    • Identify more engaging content themes for the site and email marketing to increase site-wide engagement metrics (Pageviews/sessions, Bounce rate, Avg. session duration) mailer open rates and CTRs;
    • Develop a loyalty and referral program to engage with existing customers to increase repeat sales through membership benefits and offers.

So, there you go, this is how I like to work out any campaign strategy. Obviously, the steps above are for mere reference to show, as to how  you can make this framework work for you. While, this framework is simple and easy to understand but it still needs you to find answers to those very basic questions, without which no strategy formulation is possible. However, the beauty of this framework is it’s fluff-free easy to understand approach to working out a plan to achieve your desired goals.

I can only hope that next time when you will have to work on a campaign strategy, you will employ this framework to your advantage. And, if you do, please share with me your experience of using this framework.

AB.

Source - Original Article


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