Wednesday, September 19 2012
Seven Steps to Vision Driven Marketing
Successful marketing is not defined by what one does; rather, campaigns achieve results when the agency is focused on why they are utilizing certain techniques.
A “Vision Driven Marketing Model”, illustrated above, challenges that rather than reactively launching marketing initiatives in response to an immediate need for referrals, or simply trying out what another agency has done, places agencies ahead of the power curve by providing a proactive means of facilitating growth.
Start with the END in mind. Allow the goal to provide guidance and have all key marketing related resources marching in the same direction toward achievement of defined growth objectives.
Define the ELEPHANT in the room; the stuff that no one wants to talk about. Vision driven marketing requires that everyone work toward a common goal, the goal must be communicated clearly to all departments, and all departments must be willing to overcome ‘company politics’ to carry out the common mission.
“Most often today, the difference between a company and its competitors is the ability to EXECUTE. If your competitors are executing better than you, they are beating you in the here and now. Execution is the great under-addressed issue in business today. Its absence is the single biggest obstacle to success and the cause of more disappointments that are mistakenly attributed to other cause.”
[“Execution: The discipline of Getting Things Done” – Bossidy and Charan]
The absence of execution is not generally a reflection of a company’s leadership; it is often a by-product of employees who are constantly battling against company priorities.
Focus on keeping it simple!
Step 1 Define your vision. Identify appropriate individuals to discuss growth objectives. Set aside meeting time every week for eight weeks. Ask the group to envision 18 months into the future. Begin each meeting with a review of existing strategic goals. Encourage team to think beyond day-to-day issues using a solid paragraph description of the ideal future envisioned for the agency.
Step 2 Evaluate Success Obstacles. Ask all stakeholders to brainstorm a list of obstacles that could prevent the agency from realization of the future vision. Consider financial resources, staffing, marketing personnel, time, priorities, recruitment and retention, and your competitors. After you have compiled your list, re-define or re-evaluate and adjust your future vision if necessary.
Step 3 Develop your Brand Identity. Beyond your standard services, and the payment sources you accept, lay the description of your agency’s identity. Ask yourself: What do we stand for? What is our mission? What is our agency’s culture? What should it be? What image do we want to portray to the market? How is that different from today? What is the FEELING we want our audience to have about your business after they interact with you? Consider your audience – Who are they? What do they care about? What value do you bring to each audience? (Remember…what matters to you may not necessarily matter to your audience…place yourself “behind” their eyes.)
Step 4 Devise your Strategy. Strategies define the avenues you will pursue to achieve your goals. Tactics are the “action items” that operationalize your strategies. Avenues include: public relations/media, intake process, direct marketing, channel marketing, strategic alliances, marketing collateral, new technologies and internal marketing.
Step 5 Create a Tactical Plan. Map out the most efficient and effective path. List all of the action steps associated with each key strategy. Include every step, no matter how mundane. Assign a lead. Assign a due date – and stick to it. Monitor and check off items when completed.
Step 6 Implement the Plan. Stay focused. Hold your leads accountable. Revisit the plan every week. Celebrate progress and key milestones with your team and staff.
Step 7 Measure the Results. If your plan is succeeding – CELEBRATE! It is important to recognize the efforts of staff and DEMONSTRATE appreciation. If your plan has not realized the desired results: critically evaluate the plan – NOT THE PEOPLE – and correct the course as needed. Ask: Has enough time passed? Have you created momentum? Is the message on target with the audience? Does the plan need redefining/redirection?
While this concept is simple, many make it overly complex. Remember – keep it simple. It does not need to be perfect; it is only a compass helping you navigate a path.
“That which you think on manifests.”