Is your business built on firm foundations?
Below is a hierachy of marketing and business planning stages and provides a strong foundation for successful marketing. We found this great article via www.businessballs.com and just had to share it!
Ask yourself the following questions. Start at the foundations (point 1 below) and work upwards!
|8. Our Performance Indicators||How do our Targets and Objectives translate into the essential measurable aspects of performance and activity? Are these expectations, standards, ‘Key Performance Indicators’ (KPI’s), ‘Service Level Agreements’ (SLA’s), etc., agreed with the recipients and people responsible for delivery?|
|7. Our Targets and Objectives||How are our strategies comprised? How are these responsibilities and activities allocated across our functions and departments and teams? Who does what, where, when, how, for what cost and with what required effect and result? What are the timescales and measures for all the actions within our strategies, and who owns those responsibilities?|
|6. Our Strategies||How will we achieve our goal(s)? What needs to happen in order to achieve the things we plan? What are the effects on us and from where? Like planning a game of chess, what moves do we plan to make, why, and with what effects? How will we measure and monitor and communicate our performance? What are the criteria for measuring our performance and execution of our strategies?|
|5. Our Goal (or several goals in large or divisionalised businesses)||What is our principal goal? When do we plan to achieve it? How will we measure that we have achieved it? At what point will we have succeeded in what we set out to do? Goals can change of course, and new ones necessarily are developed as old ones are achieved – but at any time we need to know what our organisation’s main goal is, when we aim to achieve it, and how its achievement will be measured. And again all this needs to be agreed with our people – including our customers if we are very good indeed.|
|4. Our Mission (or Missions if there are separate businesses within the whole)||How do we describe what we aim to do, are and achieve? What is special about what we are and do, compared to any other organisation or business unit? Do our people understand and agree with this? Do our customers agree that it’s what they want?|
|3. Our Vision – dependent on values and philosophy.||Where are we going? What difference will we make? How do we want to be remembered? In what ways will we change things for the better? Is this vision relevant and good and desired by the customers and staff and stakeholders? Is it realistic and achievable? Have we involved staff and customers in defining our vision? Is it written down and published and understood? The Vision is the stage of planning when the organisation states its relationship with its market-place, customers, or users. The Vision can also include references to staff, suppliers, ‘stakeholders’ and all others affected by the organisation.|
|2. Our Values –enabled by and dependent on philosophy and leadership.||Ethics, integrity, care and compassion, quality, standards of behaviour – whatever the values are – are they stated and understood and agreed by the staff? Do the values resonate with the customers and owners or stakeholders? Are they right and good, and things that we feel proud to be associated with?|
|1. Our Philosophy – fundamentally defined by the leadership.
When things go wrong in an organisation people commonly point to causes, problems or mistakes closer to the point of delivery – or typically in operational management. Generally however, major operational or strategic failings can always be traced back to a questionable philosophy, or a philosophical purpose which is not fitting for the activities of the organisation.
|How does the organisation relate to the world? This is deeper than values. What is the organisation’s purpose? If it is exclusively to make money for the shareholders, or to make a few million for the management buyout team when the business is floated, perhaps have a little re-think. Customers and staff are not daft. They will not be comfortable buying into an organisation whose deepest foundation is greed and profit. Profit’s fine to an extent, but where does it fit in the wider scheme of things? Is it more important than taking care of our people and our customers and the world we live in? Does the organisation have a stated philosophy that might inspire people at a deeper level? Dare we aspire to build organisations of truly great worth and value to the world? The stronger our philosophy, the easier it is to build and run a great organisation.
If you are an entrepreneur or leader, or anyone contributing to the planning process, think about what you want to leave behind you; what you’d want to be remembered for. This helps focus on philosophical issues, before attending to processes and profit.
Whatever your philosophy, ensure it is consistent with and appropriate for your organisational activities and aims. Your philosophical foundations must fit with what is built onto them, and vice-versa.
When you’ve satisfied yourself that the fundamental organisational framework is in place – and that you have gone as far as you can in creating a strong foundation – then you can begin your marketing planning (link).
Are you making the most of your marketing?