Before I ventured into the exciting world of digital marketing, I had a short career with the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). I don't tend to speak much of that time, but recently I found myself reflecting about some of the lessons I learned during my service and how they apply to my current role managing people as well as marketing campaigns.
1. Detailed planning is key
Before every mission, exercise, or even routine training, you spend hours if not days on planning, preparing for every scenario that might come up. But even if you can't prepare for every single scenario, spending that time on planning helps you react faster when unplanned scenarios do come up.
In a study we conducted about marketing "athletes" last year, we found that one of the key differences between the star marketers and the less successful ones was the time spent on planning. In general, star marketers spent almost four times more time on planning than the less successful marketers.
As a rule of thumb, you should spend at least 20% of your time on planning.
2. Situation analysis is the most important overlooked skill
I spent some time teaching cadets the basics of command and control, and the concepts of combat operation. During that time, I noticed that most plans and field operations failed because of overlooked elements in situation analysis. The terrain was not fully analyzed, the enemy's reserves were not taken into account, the political drivers were ignored... something in the initial and ongoing analysis had been overlooked.