What is the Big Picture? How to Get Your Strategy in Order

Danielle Spinks Earl
7 min readSep 27, 2019
hand with compass overlooking mountains below
Photo by Anastasia Petrova on Unsplash

All good strategies apply strengths to maximize opportunities.

Before we start preparing a marketing plan, we need to ask ourselves, ‘What’s our Situation?’ and look at the big picture.

This is especially the case if you are starting out, new in a role, or have joined a business where the marketing or sales targets are not being met.

There’s a chance that the problem isn’t that the marketing doesn’t work, the problem could be with the strategy. By that, I don’t mean the marketing strategy, but the organization’s strategy. It may be that your company doesn’t have a strategy. In my professional experience, that is not uncommon. This is where you come in.

Even if you are working with an existing strategy, from time-to-time, every organization needs to reflect and take a bird’s eye view. In business, like life, nothing stands still. The landscape is always changing.

So what’s the situation? Let’s take a look at a basic Situation Analysis.

Research your Market

Let’s start with some desk research.

IBIS Research

I like IBIS because it’s an international trove of information with country-specific national data.

Go to www.ibisworld.com and look up your industry.

If you are a member of an educational institution or have access to IBIS’s full reports, go ahead and read through yours. If you can’t access a paid subscription, there are still quality free overviews worth checking out.

IBIS screenshot of Physiotherapy in Australia. Source: Author

IBIS will be able to tell you the size of the market and how the industry is structured, as well as how many people are in each business and the types of market segments that these businesses service.

Extract what you think are KEY learnings you can take from this. Remember it is not about having lots and lots of information. It is about having just the key information from which you can draw intelligence.

Danielle Spinks Earl

Creative and professional writer. Runs My Virtual Marketing Manager. Living the best life with multiple sclerosis since 1998.