Having a high-level financial objective is definitely important but often people in the field have difficulties to link this high-level objective (generate a revenue growth of 5% thus 1M€ more) with what they could do!
Canvas works really well if:
- Start with a clear ambition, S.M.A.R.T. and linked with the finance. One of the usual mistake when doing a marketing strategy exercise is to not properly link the marketing actions with the financial consequences. In the Marketing Canvas exercise, we genuinely start from the financial ambition for addressing this issue. This ambition is about growth and thus the canvas is about growth hacking your marketing strategy.
- Start with a clear persona representing a customer cluster sharing the same Job To Be Done (problem to be solved by your offer). It could happen that you can't achieve your ambition with your current persona/segment (in classical strategy, it corresponds to a cash cow or a future dog). If it is the case you should consider another segment with another job to be done.
- Assess the current situation of your marketing mix by asking the 28 questions as defined in the canvas. Define clearly if each dimension TODAY is helping you to achieve your ambition (it is an accelerator) or is not (then we define this dimension as a brake). Do this exercise in team as it will create a shared understanding of the situation and support your answers with facts.
- Backward thinking is a very powerful way of finding solutions to any problem. In this process, try to visualise/imagine how dimension(s) defined as BRAKES would look like if they would help you with your ambition. What is different? Could you describe it? Does it really help with your ambition? If yes, then you have one idea of potential solutions. Find as many ideas as possible.
- Having generated plenty of ideas (some could even be yellow ideas aka impossible ideas), you should prioritise it in order to finalise your preferred vision of this future where your ambition is achieved. What are the actions you should do to transform this future into a reality: Start Doing, Stop Doing, Do More, Do Less, Simplify, Magnify? Brainstorm as a team and list all actions.
You now have identified all actions for building your future but you have to organise it into a comprehensive and feasible roadmap. Some actions are low hanging fruits while others require more time and effort. One way to do this is to use these 2 criteria: contribution to the ambition and effort. Congratulations, you now have a roadmap and a marketing strategy.
What is the best way to start defining the marketing strategy of your company, business or activity? My proposal is to start with a bold strategic question! Why?
When you work on your commercial strategy for your startup, you can facilitate this conversation with using the Marketing Canvas (more on the canvas here). Please find below 10 steps you should follow:
- What is your ambition? Big Idea? Define a question that will clarify your projected future like How can we achieve 1M€ after one year of operation? How can we generate 5% growth next year? How can we differentiate our brand in a digital world where predictive technologies driven by AI will become a standard?
- What is the problem you are trying to solve? Clarify the job to be done for your customers.
- Who is our buyer and user? Define your persona.
- If not you who else? Define the category where you are playing and what are the alternatives for your buyer.
- How do you want to be remembered? What people will say about you? Your BRAND
- What is your answer to the problem your buyer has? What is your value proposition? Do you have USP, ESP, Clear Pricing and Proofs?
- What experience people will have with you? Will it generate sales and engagement? JOURNEY
- How do you discuss with your buyer? Do you have conversations? Do you listen? Do you have content, stories, influencers? Which media do you use?
- Does it make any financial sense? What is your Marketing Budget and Revenue?
- If you don't think it all works, iterate one more time
Use the canvas and answer to these questions using all dimension while asking the same question:
Will my .... help me to achieve my ambition?
RED: Not at all: ORANGE: Somehow unlikely; YELLOW: Somehow likely; GREEN: Definitely
ORANGE and RED dimensions must be reviewed or mitigated because that are not helping you to achieve your ambition.
Interested in the Marketing Canvas, you can find more information here.
One clear objective of the Marketing Canvas is to facilitate debate and discussion around a clear strategic challenge question. Most of the specialists of the leadership topic agree that one of the key reason why strategy is failing is because the decision that has to be made is unclear! When you do the strategic marketing exercise, you need to be crystal clear about which question you are trying to answer.
The tool has been designed for facilitating the discussion when designing your strategy.
High-level process is:
- You start from an ambition/question (like increase revenue by 5%, have more digital transactions, be more meaningful, ...)
- You discuss using the 28 dimensions asking:
- What's blocking you to achieve your ambition? (brakes)
- What's helping you (Accelerator)?
- You can support this rating using any information, knowledge you have but it works also if you only rely on qualitative information.
- Then you map your answer on the Canvas. Red are brakes; Green are accelerators.
- Then you try to analyse these brakes/accelerators and understands what cause them, what are the correlation.
- Then you start ideating (brain-writing, co-create, ...), find crazy or impossible ideas) on what you could do (magic diamond, do things better, do different things).
- Then you prioritise your ideas.
- If you can you test it.
- Then you have your action plan.
The Marketing Canvas is evolving. We have changed 2 main dimensions as it reflects more the Marketing reality.
Long story short, you should as a marketing leader be mastering the budgeting exercise. I am saying Mastering on purpose because it has a tremendous impact on your professional daily life! Not easy! Scared! Don't know where to start. This article might help you.
Listening is the first and certainly the most important component of the Conversation in the Marketing Canvas. Before talking, you should first systematically listen to your customers and prospects? Are you doing it? Actively?
Why you do business is more important than how you do business.
The Brand describes your Ideology and your Core Purpose. It is also your identity.
If you want to design the marketing strategy for your business, you should first start to analyse where you will play. What does it mean? It means that your product/service will be associated by consumers/buyers with other alternatives they have on the market (maybe no alternative exists which means that you creating a new category also referred as a blue ocean).
In the Marketing Canvas, we have the REVENUES dimension. Usually, I recommend to start from there because it is the global constraint of the Marketing Strategy exercise. This is what you will have to deliver!