How can you have great conversations with your users if you don't listen to their voices! It is important to have a systematic method for monitoring and collecting customer feedback on customer needs, expectations, understandings, and product improvement. This is what we call Voice of the Customer (VoC). A good Marketing Strategy is a strategy where you collect customer feedback everywhere your customers are.
Providing an orchestrated experience with brilliant basics and an omni-channel approach is already a great achievement. Next step is to transform some moments into Moments of Truth (also referred to as wow or magic moments). These moments will create some magic for your customers (something that will positively impact them, they will remind it and share it) and ultimately delight them. So do you have sparks in your customer journey?
At each moment, your customer can use different channels (physical or digital). As the number of channels that can be used for transacting with a brand is growing, you should have an answer for all potential channels and orchestrate these channels: this is what we usually call an omni-channel strategy. Not having clearly defined your channel strategy will be a brake to your goals.
As a Brand, you need to formulate a clear and articulated answer at each moment. These answers should reflect customer identity, satisfy the objectives and meet expectations. We usually say that your Brand is the experience you offer to your customers. You should have brilliant answers to every single customer need at each moment: these are your brilliant basics!
Moments are the different steps a user is going through when he is trying to solve his Job To Be Done. You can use Mental Models for identifying all key moments a user is going through and try to formulate the best brand experience possible. You can also use the See-Think-Do-Care model for helping you when you define these moments. Do you understand your activity through your customer’s eyes?
Proving the claims of your Value Proposition is what turns your marketing conversation from classical blabla to impactful and relevant information for your customers. Inspired by ground-breaking book The Six Principles of Persuasion from Robert Cialdini, you should have a believable collection of the most persuasive reasons people should notice you and take the action you’re asking for.
Today, differentiation comes through emotions and not functional features. Especially, if you look at it from the Experience Economy (from Gilmore and Pine) . Do you know if you deliver the right emotional features? Can you leverage more the emotional dimensions in your value proposition for creating value? Answering yes means that you can create extra value through the emotional dimension of your value proposition
Features or Functional benefits of your value proposition are also referred as your USP (Unique Selling Proposition). Good marketing strategies are capable to leverage market demands (functional job to be done), maximising value potential (revenue) and being consistent with the purpose of the brand.
Your visual identity is how you translate your purpose into visible elements. It can be defined as the collection of all brand elements that you create to portray the right image of your brand. While the Values will help your employees taking the right decisions and having the right behaviours, the Visual Identity will ensure your customers/clients to recognise (without any doubt) who you are and why you exist.
Your values are the translation of your purpose into key behaviors. Most of the commercial activities are delivered through behaviors (from people or from systems). When developing your marketing strategy, you should have Brand values that are fully amplifying your Brand Purpose. It will help your organization to translate your beliefs into action.
As Marketers, we are not excused for being complaisant with the world around us. It should have been always the case but today the situation is so critical that we need to take action.
REVISIT STEP 2 - SET YOUR GOAL
The original approach at Step 2 was profit oriented. Indeed, during this step, we recommend to set a financial goal (revenue) before starting step 3 which is the assessment.
The triple bottom line approach (wikipedia) as proposed by John Elkington consists of extending the bottom line concept with sustainable elements. In addition to Profit, Elkington proposed to add Planet and People. The Marketing Canvas Method can be easily hacked for integrating the Triple Bottom Line concept by simply changing the way Goals are set during step 2.
At Step 2, you can define goal for Profit (original approach) but also goal for Planet and People. It is not fully clear for me whether a standard framework exists with clear KPIs linking Marketing Strategy and Planet/People elements. You can chose the goals that would specifically work for you when discussing Planet and People topics. Based on a very quick desk research, I identified few topics that could be used for defining objectives for Planet and People. It would be interesting to have your point of views and make this list more robust. Don’t hesitate to comment this post.
LIST OF GOALS FOR PEOPLE AND PLANET
Energy Management: How could you reduce your energy consumption and use more renewable energy when executing your marketing strategy? Goal?
Resource Management: How could you make use of resources for your marketing strategy in such a way that our next generation or in future there are no effects on the resource? Goal?
Waste Management: How could you collect, transport, process or dispose of, manage and monitor various waste materials generated by your marketing strategy? Goal?
Employee Welfare: How could you reinforce employee welfare when executing your marketing strategy? Goal?
Fair Trade: How could you reinforce fairness in your marketing strategy through dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade? Goal?
Cause Marketing: How can you better the society while executing your marketing strategy? Goal?
When you have defined these goals (e.g. CO2), you can apply the Marketing Canvas Method for assessing your current situation (STEP 3). Let’s take 2 examples from the 24 dimensions.:
JOB TO BE DONE (CUSTOMERS): Is the knowledge of your customers’ job to be done helping you from achieving your goals?
FEATURES (VALUE PROPOSITION): Are the features of your value proposition helping you achieve your goals?
By asking these questions, you have interesting discussions about your current ability to achieve these goals (like CO2) or not (Brake or Accelerator).
Dans l’enthousiasme de travailler sur sa stratégie marketing, on se précipite souvent et oublie l’importance de ce que je considère comme la première étape: la compréhension du marché dans lequel nous allons opérer (startup) ou nous opérons déjà (entreprise existante). Il y a 3 questions importantes à se poser lorsqu’on analyse le marché. C’est questions sont: …
Interesting article from Roland Berger Consultants about Sales in a Digital World. Their thesis is that you need to master 3 Cs if you want to have a voice in this new world:
- Develop the Customer Base: It is definitely in line with what I am preaching. You should not only focus on acquisition but also on stimulation and retention. The CLV dimension of the Marketing Canvas is telling you how much you perform versus your ambition;
- Orchestrate the Channel: I also agree but I would extend this to Orchestrate the Customer Journey as it is much broader than channel and it is integrating elements like Brand experience, touch-points, emotions and wow moments.
- Manage the complexity: it is maybe fluffy as notion. We all know that we should manage the complexity, the question is how should I do that. One possible answer is in the article when they discussed centralisation. I think the key element there is to automate your processes (BPM, scripting, algorithms, ...) in order to reduce the chaos and uncertainty. but don't forget to keep the human part.
Source: Roland Berger, Think Act, The digital future of B2B sales
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 goal? 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 goal?
RED: Not at all; GREEN: Definitely
RED dimension must be reviewed or mitigated because that are not helping you to achieve your goal.
Interested in the Marketing Canvas, you can find more information here.
Interesting article from Mark Schaefer on Marketing and Love.
In a world of Infinite Segmentation where Brand building is out of control, all you need is love. People want to be acknowledged … and loved … more than anything. The vast technological opportunities at our doorstep are the way we can scale love.
The Marketing Canvas could help you navigating in this hyper-empowered consumer world! Don't know the canvas, discover it here.