Diving in and framing the framework

Inspired by recent talks and discussions in our Content Strategy PDX meetup, I’ve decided to dust off this ol’ blog that gathered a couple years of dust and a nasty case of malware. (Actually, I deleted the whole damn thing on account of the malware, then relaunched from scratch… but found in my archives an old back-up with a few old blog post gems to import.)

Questioning and defining Purpose and Strategy have driven my interest in all projects I have tackled since the first business web site I produced in 1995/1996. There were no frameworks then. No content strategy. No guidance whatsoever, except for a few books on html, and a broad notion of this is what a business web site looks like, and the marketing boss’ directive that the copy should be “We’re the number one gizmo in the gadget industry.”

Over the years I have given generous thought (and some exercise) to the big picture strategic view of marketing, sales, product, business, people, purpose, technology, customers and content (in no particular order) and a myriad of things related. A few ideas and theories have emerged and evolved over the years. Some are clear and some half-baked.

One “big idea” I have toyed with for years is that of a strategic framework web application — some kind of tool where one might plug in a few business variables, push a few buttons, pull a few levers, and — wala — out pops a strategic roadmap. Fun to think about… but the more one sketches it out, the more the tool gets ridiculously complex with variables and unknowns, to where I’m happy keeping it as a childish fantasy.

The strategic roadmap web app may remain a fantasy, but I’ve decided to dive into another of those “big ideas” that I have been chewing on for close to a decade. I’ll call it (working title) The Mathematical Marketing Model. It’s a tool I’ve sketched out in my head, that pulls together bits-and-pieces (and perhaps whole elements) of spreadsheets and other documents used over a few decades in Marketing. The purpose is to illustrate the mission critical role of Marketing and Content on the success of the business to executive decision-makers, to corporate leaders, to interdepartmental colleagues, and to other collaborators and contributors.

The Mathematical Marketing Model. I’m not sold on the title, but the premise is to develop a multifaceted spreadsheet with a variety of variables and data around products, services, markets, customers, channels and other valid inputs, and use it to develop a broad picture of the influence (or lack thereof) of marketing on business success. A basic level version of this tool may enable better conversations among marketing and sales. A deep and hearty version of this tool may prove to be a framework for making strategic decisions, and measuring success. We’ll see.

I plan to document the development of this tool here. I’ll look forward to sharing concepts and drafts, and will look forward to getting feedback and ideas from colleagues and comrades. As it shapes up, I’ll look forward to presenting it to a larger audience of peers, and solicit additional feedback from critics.  Thoughts and ideas are welcome.