Creating a Solid Foundation for Successful Marketing
There’s no shortage of marketing strategies you could choose at any given time. They come in all shapes and sizes. All you need to do is pick one and get started. But before you do, it’s important to have a strong foundation underlying your marketing. This is the basis on which your ultimate success rests.
Your core values (your WHY) are the principles that underlie everything your organization believes, says, or does. It’s important to define these core values since they have such a huge effect on the direction your business will take. Without clearly defined core values, you’re just wandering around rudderless.
For example, you might choose “customer focus” as a core value. This means that everything your business does should somehow revolve around the way you treat and serve customers. If your customers know you for this, you’ll know to avoid products, strategies, or methods that minimize and devalue the customer experience.
An important part of a business’s foundation is an understanding of its ‘Business Signature’ and ‘Soul Strengths’. This is your unique blend of who you are, the way you do things, your personality, life breadcrumbs, and the things you’re good at without really trying. These are the qualities of your organization’s “personality.”
Your ‘Business Signature’ sets you apart from your competitors who may do what you do but NOT like you do it! This natural strength is most likely overlooked but can be a powerful competitive edge!
Your organization’s foundation should rest on clear and well-defined long-term goals. Long-term goals should show the direction you’ll take in the next five, ten years.
Long-term goals align with the core values and fundamentals of your business. But they also tell you where to go once you’ve reached a short-term goal. For example, you might grow your social media following to 1,000 people, but what then do you do with them? Look to your long-term goals to guide your next efforts.
Getting Everyone on the Same Page
The foundation of your organization gets its members on the same page. It provides a map of where your business is going. It also defines the culture of your company and makes it clear, so that everyone within it knows where they stand.
Before you get started on any marketing push, start by defining a few key business fundamentals:
1. What are your core values? What is your WHY? Core values can be expressed as single words like “diversity,” “results-oriented,” “service,” or “flexibility.”
2. Identify your ‘Business Signature’. Try to think of your life breadcrumbs that have tell-tell signs of the things that make you unique, and the things you’re good at, your personality, the things your customers say about you. What makes people want to do business with you?
3. Identify a unique value proposition. This is a statement that explains what benefit you bring those who use your product or service, and what separates you from competitors.
4. Create a list of long-term goals that reach beyond the next year or next few years. Imagine where you want your organization to be at specific points in the future such as five years, ten years, and so on.
Once you’ve done this, write it up in a way that’s easy for those in your organization to understand and communicate it clearly to them.
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