2paragraphs: Your well-earned nickname is “The Genie”–for the seemingly magical results you’ve produced for a wide range of clients. Like all magic shows though, behind the scenes is mostly hard work and smart practice. When a brand or a product really takes off on the Internet, what percentage of that success is luck/magic/timing versus solid groundwork and smart purposeful strategy?
Rob Toth: I’d say it’s 0% magic, some percentage points for luck and a definite importance on timing. This varies a lot on the vertical such as whether it’s typically home to a lot of early-adopters and more. I’d put much of the weight though on strategy. There is a reason why even the big-boy Fortune 500s are implementing CSO (Chief Strategy Officer) roles.
Strategy is what determines everything from what features/benefits the product will have, who it’s aimed at, where to reach those individuals, what mindset (psychographics) you’ll target, what type of ads to use, the sales model to use, the pricing structures, the testing elements, the packaging, the brand, the website navigation, the calls to action, the followup, the back-ends, the creative alliances, the expansion/growth, the exit…. Product launch and business development strategy is the chess game very few bother to play. It’s precisely why they often end up losing.