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Your company is only as successful as your business strategy. Having a strategic plan gives your organization focus and direction, which ensures you’re actively working toward achieving your goals. Without that roadmap for success, you run the risk of missing key opportunities and losing potential customers to competitors. In this blog post we’ll look at how you can leverage three core components of your company’s identity—your mission, vision and values—to develop a plan for success.
Why you need a strategic plan
A strategic plan outlines where your organization is going, how you’ll get there and how you’ll know when you get where you wanted to go. Think of your plan like the guardrails on the side of the road; you may not think about them on a regular basis, but they ultimately help you stay on the road and heading in the right direction. That’s exactly what your strategic plan is – guidelines for your business.
Here are five key objectives for your strategic plan:
The last reason is particularly important because messaging can be used internally as well as externally to ensure your team and your customers know who you are and why you’re invested in what you do. There are three key components of your company’s identity that inform and reinforce this message: your mission, your vision, and your values. Before we look at how to develop clear and concise mission and vision statements, let’s look at the strategic planning cycle.
The strategic planning cycle
How and when do you come up with your strategic plan? This will depend on the structure of your organization, leadership, company culture, and the complexity of your business or industry. Regardless of how you approach the planning process, you should be going through the strategic planning cycle on a regular basis.
Whether it’s once every six months or once every two years, you should set up a regular strategic planning cycle to review performance metrics from the previous period and use this information, as well as other sources like market research, to develop a plan for the future.
During your planning sessions, you should look to answer the following questions:
More often than not, organizations have a good idea of what should be included in their strategic plan. However, assumptions about what your company should be focused on can lead to alignment and communication issues. You should always have your strategic plan documented to codify your goals and objectives so your team knows what you are working towards and why.
Mission, vision, and values
Who you are is as important as what you do. In today’s increasingly competitive markets, people want to spend money on more than just a product or solution; they are looking for quality brands that provide value beyond what they sell. Defining your mission, vision, and values will help you build your brand, foster strategic alignment, and demonstrate your value.
A memorable brand is something every successful business should have, yet many struggle to cultivate. In the strictest sense of the word, brand is defined as a name, term, design, or symbol that identifies and distinguishes your products and services from your competitors’. More generally, your brand is the set of expectations customers have, the stories you tell, and the relationships you build. These key aspects of your brand contribute to your company’s identity, how you are perceived, and whether someone chooses your solution over a competitor’s.
Brand building begins with three things: your mission, vision, and values. Together, these make up the message that engages and motivates your audience. It should tell them who you are, what you have to offer, and how you will help them solve their business challenges. Here are some questions to consider when developing your statements.
Your mission statement
Your mission statement describes the overall purpose of your organization. It is a constant reminder to your team, existing customers, and future customers of why your organization exists. It should capture and communicate the vision of the organization.
Your vision statement
Your vision statement is an aspirational description of your organization as it effectively carries out its operations. Think of it as an ideal representation of your company.
Your value statement
Your value statement is a description of your organization’s core principles and beliefs. Value statements can include both general and specific examples of how your organization will put its beliefs into practice.
Your mission, vision, and values help bridge the gap between business priorities and digital marketing initiatives. Using these as your messaging framework, you can turn random acts of marketing into comprehensive campaigns with clear goals and KPIs.
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