In kicking off a discussion of transforming and planning your 2016 strategic plan, we need to begin at the most basic foundation of our revenue generation model: strategy.
In many organizations, strategy can take the form of a complex document, filled with aspirational models, activities, and ideas with little basis in reality and little hope of having relevant actions attached to it.
For me, the most important aspect of strategic planning is when the actions are laid out in a manner that encourages actions.
Without action and consistency you are almost guaranteed to fail.
That’s why over the years I have broken down my internal and client focused strategy initiatives to focus on 3 simple questions:
1. What is the tangible value our organization delivers or wants to deliver?
In too many cases, we can become seduced by worthless metrics like “likes,” “retweets,” and “engagement.”
These metrics may have value, but in terms of shifting buyers from undecided about investing your value to making a purchase, it is important to move past them into things that add value and that have tangible, relatable value like:
Once you have captured these ideas, you can work the intangibles into your tangible value like reduced meeting time, less stress, more time for focus.
So, begin by looking at how you can create value and what it is.
2. Who can use our value and will buy it?
This is a topic I jump back and forth on quite regularly.
But as business professionals, it isn’t always difficult to find people that want our value…as long as they don’t have to pay.
Or, it is easy to have meetings and chats with people…but not people that can advance us towards our business goals.
That’s why it is essential that you spend time identifying the intersection of two critical areas:
The people that can use your value
The people that can use your value, but that are also willing to pay for it.
One without the other won’t really do you much good. But do pay attention to people that recognize the value you provide and can put you in direct contact with the people that will buy your value!
3. How do we reach this audience?
In one word, this means MARKETING.
In marketing your product or service, I am going to warn you that there and always will be a lot of well meaning advice thrown your way.
“You have to be on Twitter.”
“You need a Facebook business page.”
“You really must be on Pinterest.”
All of this kind of advice is offered up with the best intentions, but most of it is worthless.
Because in marketing, context and focus count more than anything else.
That’s why the first two points are so important.
You need to understand your value and who your buyers are.
Then, it makes it so much easier to reach them in locations that they are susceptible to the allure of your messaging.
So if you are selling to VPs and CEOs, you may not find them on Facebook, but you might find them at a nearby conference that you have the ability to speak at.
Or, you might be able to publish an article in a magazine that they read.
Or, you may be able to host a lunch and learn that you can invite some of a company’s decision makers to.
The way you can market is probably wide open, but it should be wide open because you really have to be careful that you are targeting the right audience in the right way.
I want you to give these questions some thought.
Over the next few days, we will spend time focusing on each one of them with a little more of a trained eye.