4.14 Strategy Component Assumptions and Prerequisites

Reading time: approx. 6 minutes

Exercises: Exercises are in the PDF of all exercises of this course. Download it from here.

The learning objective of the topic is to

  • Understand and be able to use the assumptions and requirements of a social media strategy as a defined, elementary component of the social media strategy.
  • be able to derive the assumptions and prerequisites of a formulated strategy and the contents of other strategy components.
  • Integrate the assumptions and requirements of a formulated strategy into everyday social media use.

Basics

Definition of the strategy component Assumptions and prerequisites

The strategy component assumptions and prerequisites of the potential-based strategy model in social media contains the prerequisites, assumptions and assessments that underlie the strategy process and the resulting strategy.

The Assumptions and Prerequisites strategy component serves to summarize all assumptions and prerequisites for the successful functioning of the social media strategy. It only requires resources for monitoring assumptions and prerequisites. There are no further interrelationships with other strategy components – beyond the function as a summary. The strategy component has no other objectives apart from the function of providing an overview and monitoring the assumptions and prerequisites in day-to-day business.

Task and sense of the strategy component

We work consciously and unconsciously with assumptions and presuppositions. This is in the nature of things as well as people. It is important that we try to define the assumptions and prerequisites that are part of our strategy in a recognizable way. For ourselves and others, and not least to be able to verify and check and monitor these assumptions and prerequisites.

All strategy drafts and also final strategies are based on assumptions and prerequisites. The task of the strategy component Assumptions and Prerequisites is to make these clearly visible and to bring them together in an overview. Once so that they and their importance for the strategy success become visible and conscious. Furthermore, to summarize the assumptions and prerequisites of a strategy and its success at one point in order to be able to review them more easily – and as regularly as possible.

Sources

We find assumptions and prerequisites in the contents of our strategy drafts and here in particular the core strategy components. For each piece of content, we ask ourselves on which assumptions and prerequisites this individual piece of content – and its success – is based, and we record these assumptions and contents both in the respective strategy component itself and in the strategy component assumptions and prerequisites.

Assumptions and prerequisites are as individual as the situation of the company and its competition. Nevertheless, there are some more or less typical sources of conscious and unconscious assumptions and presuppositions, as the following examples show:

  • Behavior of the competition: we estimate the behavior of the competition. Mostly based on past behavior. This may have worked for years, but it is not safe in the long run. Define these assumptions, but also define criteria and points that indicate that this assumption is no longer as certain as it was before.
  • User behavior: People don’t really like to change their behavior very often. And yet it happens. So, let’s better define on what user behavior our competitiveness is built as well as possible signs of its change.
  • Competitive structures: we know the competition with our performance competitors. This is an established situation. We’re just getting used to competing with attention-grabbing competitors. This is still more or less uncharted territory. What we also have to get used to is the competition for attention with social media users. If social media users are actively engaging the same topic areas in which we as a company would like to see ourselves as the most important source, this changes competitive structures and is probably not in line with our assumptions about the development of competition.

Benefits and significance of the strategy component Assumptions and prerequisites

The benefit of the strategy component is that it brings together all the assumptions and requirements of a social media strategy in one place. So we see at a glance what all must be given, that the strategy can be successful.

This makes it easier to keep an eye on the assumptions and prerequisites in day-to-day business and to recognize changes and their effects on these assumptions and prerequisites. We recognize the effects of changes more quickly and can therefore react faster.

Therein also lies the actual significance of the strategy component assumptions and prerequisites. Think of this strategy component not only as a practical overview but more importantly as an advance warning center, an instrument panel that ensures the journey to strategy success.

Strategic benefit of the strategy component

Strategy unfortunately does not work on autopilot. The strategic importance of the strategy component is therefore to have a summarized view of the assumptions and prerequisites for the success of the strategy and thus to be able to recognize changes in the assumptions and prerequisites for the success / effect of the strategy more easily and to react at an early stage. Whenever we recognize a deviation of reality beyond the assumptions and prerequisites, we approach or find ourselves in a situation of danger for the success of the strategy and have to decide immediately how to react. The sooner we recognize that fundamental assumptions and premises on which our strategy is built are changing or no longer exist, the sooner we can adapt our strategy or develop a new one.

Dealing with assumptions and prerequisites

One example of such not-at-all-surprising changes that people nevertheless fail to keep in mind is the emergence of social media users as attention-grabbing competitors. Social media users become competitors for attention in our subject areas if they attract attention to their subject area with their own content – outside our social media presence. For example, a very convinced BMW fan in Turkey has received more attention from users for his fan page in Facebook than BMW Turkey. If we are active in a market or topic area with high user engagement or for a lovebrand, we should not only consider this possibility, but actively work with it. Ultimately, it is only a risk if we have not taken advantage of the opportunity in it, which lies, for example, in constructively involving these particularly enthusiastic fans and users.

Opportunities and risks for successfully shaping competition arise from changes in behavior in the market – among users and companies. Or through changes in the behavior of competitors – through new impulses, new minds, new strategies. That’s why it makes perfect sense to keep an eye out for signs of possible changes in the competition – especially in the area of personnel.

Usage

The task of the assumptions and prerequisites strategy component is to summarize and clearly present the assumptions from the individual strategy components. This results in an overall picture of the assumptions of the draft strategy/strategy, which is relevant both for the assessment and evaluation of the strategy and in day-to-day work – for checking whether the assumptions still apply.

Goals Strategy component

The aim of the strategy component is to provide an overview of the assumptions and prerequisites of a strategy as factors relevant to success in order to be able to subject these assumptions and prerequisites to a regular review more easily.

Requirements for the strategy component

  • Completeness: all assumptions and prerequisites relevant to the success of the strategy must be captured.
  • Timeliness and validity: the timeliness of the assumptions and premises must be apparent. The strategy component is thus also the basis of a task for day-to-day business.
  • Sensitivity: identifiable sources of change in assumptions and prerequisites form the basis for early recognition of relevant effects.
  • Integration: ensuring attention to changes in day-to-day work through clear responsibilities and routines.

Derivation of the contents of the strategy component

The definition of the assumptions of the strategy takes place once in the strategy components, where we check the individual contents of the strategy component for assumptions and preconditions underlying them. For the strategy component, we combine these assumptions.

Step 1- Summary: The first step in the application is to summarize the assumptions and prerequisite of each strategy component in the Assumptions and Prerequisites strategy component as the central location for the entire strategy.

For the core strategy components (user benefits, usage formats, motivation, participation, and channels), we provide an overview of the assumptions and requirements. This helps us to recognize changes more quickly and also to use this strategy component as an advance warning system for changes.

Strategy componentAssumptionsRequirements
User benefithere we note the assumptions on which the success of our UserBenefit is based – source strategy component UserBenefitHere we note the prerequisites that must be in place or created for the UserBenefit strategy component to be successful. Source Strategy Component UserBenefit
Usage formatshere we note the assumptions on which the success of our usage formats is based – source strategy component usage formatsHere we note the prerequisites that must be in place or created for our usage formats to be successful. Source Content Strategy component Usage formats
Participation.here we note the assumptions on which the success of our strategy component participation is based – source strategy component participationHere we note the preconditions that must be in place or created for the strategy component Participation to be successful. Source Strategy component Participation
Motivation here we note the assumptions on which the success of our strategy component motivation is based – source strategy component motivationHere we note the conditions that must be in place or created for the strategy component Motivation to be successful. Source Strategy Component Motivation
Social media channelshere we note the assumptions on which the success of our social media channels is based – source strategy component social media channelsHere we note the prerequisites that must be in place or created for the strategy component social media channels to be successful. Source Strategy Component Social Media Channels
Resources here we note the assumptions for the strategy component resources – source strategy component resourcesHere we note the conditions that must be in place or created for the Resources strategy component to be successful. Source Strategy component Resources

Step 2 Check compatibility: After we have gained an overview of the assumptions and prerequisites of our social media strategy in this strategy component, we use this advantage to check whether the individual assumptions and prerequisites are compatible with each other, logically applicable and do not contradict each other.

Step 3 Checking up-to-dateness: we regularly check whether the assumptions and prerequisites in our strategy are still applicable and given.

Resource requirements

The contents of the strategy inventory are essentially developed in the other strategy components and merely summarized and reviewed in the assumptions and prerequisites strategy component.

Opportunities and risks Strategy component

As an overview, the strategy component does not present any independent opportunities and risks.

Interactions of the strategy component

The Assumptions and Prerequisites strategy component summarizes the assumptions and prerequisites of the strategy components. It thus does not create any additional interactions between the strategy components, but it does provide a good overview of the assumptions and prerequisites of all strategy components.