SPOTLIGHT: What’s thoughtful strategy?

Estimated read time: 5 minutes

KelseyNEWEvery once in a while, I like to highlight other blogs here in the Spotlight section. Let me introduce you to Kelsey Guetschow, who blogs over at The Thoughtful Strategist. Kelsey and I are also writing a customer service book together that should come out later this year. I’ve send her some questions and here are here answers…

Why did you decide to blog as The Thoughtful Strategist?

I went back and forth with quite a few different names. At some point I decided I just needed to pick one because launching the blog was more important than being 100% sure I’d found the perfect name. I talk a lot about business and marketing strategy. Sometimes I get into more specific technical experiences around things like A/B testing in a CMS, data-driven business decisions, or website personalization.  On the other hand, a lot of my time is spent investigating and reporting on customer experience. I needed a name where I could give myself the latitude to extend the brand of my blog to different sub-topics I’m passionate about without confusing the user.

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Unfortunately I do see “strategy” as one of those business buzzwords. In some ways I cringe a little when I hear it because it has become so common place. So many companies claim to be doing “strategy” but few are executing anything new or insightful or different or, most importantly, strategy focused on the consumer.  “Thoughtful Strategy” is looking at your business and marketing practices from a number of different lenses.

Why is it important?

It’s a multi-dimensional approach to assesses what, why, how you’re doing business and how it’s bettering the lives of your consumers. When companies focus their strategy too much on one area of the business, or don’t take into account the ripple effect their decisions make on other areas or their consumers, they miss out on opportunities to better their organizations and their product.

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Who is most likely interested in your content? (aka who is your target audience/interested community)

Marketers, business leaders, and healthcare influencers, especially those focused on data-driven impacts, customer experience, and digital strategy.  Most of my topics cross between in-person engagement and the digital landscape.  My background is also in healthcare and I love that industry.  You have the opportunity to impact people’s lives at a time where they are usually incredibly vulnerable (aka sick).  I’ve also heard from a number of students and teachers who enjoy the blog and relate some of the lessons and stories to their experiences in the classroom.

Since many here blog, what are your top tips on blogging? What has worked for you?

Setting goals on content production and holding myself accountable.  It helps that much of my blog is turning into a book on customer experience (coming end of 2016!) so I have to keep writing.  There have been 2 weeks where I didn’t publish. One was when my son was in the hospital, the second was when he (and I) were incredibly sick and sleep deprived. At first I was really beating myself up about missing those weeks but I realized I had to let that go. I enjoy blogging and if I don’t give myself a break every once in a while it may not be fun anymore and I don’t want to ruin it for myself! On the other hand, I have struggled with getting my backlog of writing established so I have scheduled posts to go out when “life happens” and you just don’t get to writing that week.  If I could do it over again, I would have waited a few extra weeks to launch so I did have a backlog at the beginning.  Then I would keep writing, keep a backlog maintained, and (hopefully) build on those extra posts to-be-published. (Disclosure: I’m quite envious of the 6-month backlog Christoph has established…I may not be able to generate that much content this year but 2 months is my goal by the end of 2016!).

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Anything else you’d like to share?

If you want to blog, if you have stories, opinions, or experiences you want to share, get started.  I struggled for so long wondering if what I had to say was worth sharing. Was I some imposter saying I had insightful messages to share with marketers and how could these ever make a difference?  I was so nervous before I posted my first few blogs. I even disconnected my Facebook so the posts wouldn’t be shared with my friends – I wasn’t confident in my voice and the impact I could have on my audience.  However, when you stop worrying about how your message will be received and share real, authentic experiences, opinions, and insights, it works.  A few weeks after I launched, I had two people in one day comment that my post was “really powerful” – my self-doubt melted.  I don’t need to be a blogging sensation, I want to make a difference to my readers.  Right now, that audience is still in the hundreds, someday may be bigger – I’d love to positively influence more people – but if not, that’s okay, I’ll keep blogging and sharing my Thoughtful Strategy along the way.

Connect with Kelsey Guetschow here: