In this blog I discuss why these are the core elements that every business needs to hone in on, in order to shape a business and marketing framework. You will need to work on each section in turn as it balances on these three struts to be successful. Take one away and the whole thing collapses.
· Mission & Vision Statements
· Brand Voice & Persona
· Your Corporate and Social Responsibility
Over the years I have noticed that your Mission & Vision statements aren’t seen as very important and often glossed over even from Start Your Own Business Courses. The mindset we project to Startups is of action rather than of airy-fairy philosophies which is what these are sadly considered as most times.
When I first started my business in 2013, I was only encouraged to create a Business Plan but this totally fell apart and became null and void within a year of starting it. Once I developed a Mission & Vision Statement for my business about a year later however, that helped me start creating strategies and more importantly STEPS to make those statements a reality.
I will state on record however, there is still an absolute need for a Business Plan. They should include a summary, detailed list of your products and/or services, marketing strategy, analysis, financial planning and your budget. If you match your Mission and Vision with it though, I feel it take your Business Plan further.
The Brand Voice and Persona is a tool to help you fully iterate what your audience understands of you. How they should perceive you and understand not only what you do for them but it means to be your customer. By formalizing this it helps build consistency and I think helps you stand back from your business and fully understand how you are perceived as a whole in the industry you are in as well.
More and more emphasis has been focused on the Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) of business over the last 10 years. Every industry can help make international change in climate response, diversity and so much more. Even as a Sole Trader I think it’s important to highlight your own position in this field. You don’t have to be an activist, but this means of self-regulation is deemed more ethically-orientated and our audiences are much more educated and self-aware than ever, we need to cater for this.
All of these elements need to be updated and re-evaluated on at least an annual basis to adapt with your growth, change of audience, maybe new products and services and even your brand positioning.
· Your Customer Avatars
· Keywords that activate the avatars
· How your product or service connects in their daily lives
The obvious understanding of who you’re serving will come first, they are described as your Customer Avatars. You could have as many as 10 or more “ideal clients” but as long as you have a true understanding of the end user /decision maker you can create content, improve customer experience and ultimately convert them to purchase.
What I have also leaned on over the years is to not only see my customer avatars as types of people, but it is best is to understand what type of problem they have that I can fix!
The keywords that activate your customers can differ greatly. Most businesses mention the features of what you offer but I find the benefits manifest sales too. Phrasing and messaging are all part and parcel of your overall Marketing, and this area isn’t just for Online but becomes a tangible part of your messaging.
Depending on the time of year, seasonality, internal and external events nationally, internationally these can all have an impact on how your product or service can be perceived. By helping your customer see what you have to offer in a planned and considered way – you’re making it possible for them to see your brand as the ideal product or service for them.
In order to keep this up to date I would encourage you to review this at least once a year by checking your analytics and CRM data.
· Marketing Sales Funnel
You can only understand the mediums you need to be on by fully understanding which ones your customers are on and that is by creating your customer avatars. The mediums you might consider aren’t always going to be online either, they can include offline platforms as well. As part of this measurement you’ll have to understand, knowledge of the staff, time availability and response times.
All of these directly have an impact on your strategies which comes next. It’s better to do 2 online and 1 offline campaign well than 5 very badly. Here we look at the tools you can manage all of this with like perhaps Asana or Hubspot, etc and the budget to afford paid ones. Maybe you’re in a position to add virtual assistants to help and then consider the KPI’s you want to use to monitor for success.
With these strategies in place to manage you and your customer expectations, we now move to the Marketing Sales Funnel. This will always incorporate at a minimum Awareness, Consideration and Conversion. How are you to do these on each of your mediums and manage seasonality, goals and turn around? What other resources do you need to pull in to make your funnel successful? Maybe graphic designers, website updates and booking speaking or trade shows.
The final and most important item to do is conduct your analytics. This end measure will tell you what has and hasn’t worked for you over the proceeding few months. By doing this regularly you can save time and money by tweaking changes and manipulating what works for you faster.
The final section really needs to be reviewed at least quarterly and that way you can measure its success against your annual targets.
This triangle of alignment can work for any business from any industry, all it takes is some conscious and methodical planning and a diary system and if possible, a project management tool.
If you would like any assistance with your business alignment then contact me today!