Strategic marketing tools & techniques for a new start-up

Hey, If you are on this page, it means you are already in a mood for thinking.

This article discusses the creation of vision and mission statements for a business using strategic marketing concepts. After reading this article, you should be able to understand how things work at a strategic level (top) of a business.

First, I want to clarify the misconception that strategic marketing planning is only for big businesses or corporations. No, it is not.

You should Apply Strategic Marketing tools and techniques to a small business. You should do so earlier on if you would like to see it grow big in the first 10 years.

Listen, Strategic marketing offers you a useful method to think about a business. It helps the entrepreneur to assess the market or the overall direction of his/her business.

Briefly, you can say that Strategic marketing is mainly concerned with creating customer-centered strategies to excel in the market.

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How to apply Strategic Marketing Tools & Techniques to create Mission

Creating a marketing-oriented mission statement has a special importance in the strategic marketing process.

A mission encompasses the current activities of a business. It defines your business activities in terms of a product, a solution and a target customer/market. You can ask yourself simply the following questions:

1: What is your business activity?      2: Who is your customer?

3: And what do you do for your customer?   [1]

Your answers to these questions will make a mission statement of your business. Peter Drucker, the famous Austrian-American management guru, is credited for asking such simple but difficult questions in order to create a mission.

Before digging deeper into the discussion on mission and vision of a company, let’s first discuss another extremely important business issue i.e. sustainability

Strategic Marketing and Sustainability

I’d like you to understand this concept as it is linked to business ethics. Simple, how can we run a business in echo-friendly way.

You see, today the planet is in dire straits because of of our reckless consumption and production behavior. Both consumers and producers are responsible for polluting the air, the seas, and the land.

The environment degradation is alarming and It seems that the very existence of life is under threat. For example, each year hundreds of people are dying of flooding  caused by global warming.

This summer, EU is experiencing a record high temperature. 2019 has become the hottest year for EU.

Soon, we will have more plastic in the sea than the fish. On the other hand, wild life is under threat as forests are vanishing in most part of the world.

The unquenchable desire for consumption and  the unbridled corporate greed are most responsible for the above mentioned problems. Businesses not only benefits from the increase in consumption of goods and services in a society but they also partly encourage it.

Under such grave circumstances, We ought to hold every business accountable for what they do and how they do it. The growing global warming can’t be ignore.

Therefore, as part of strategic marketing team, it is your duty to create a social responsibility statement for your business. It should be one of the most important marketing tasks in a business.

Ideally, sustainability has to be the guiding principle to inform the process of creating a mission and vision at your company.

As an executive or an entrepreneur, the important question to ask:

    Is your business practice sustainable?

 if it isn’t, how can you improve it?

This is how you should begin by creating a great small business or a startup. Now, let’s dig deeper into the topic of vision and mission.

Using Strategic Marketing to create a Vision

Vision is simply the entrepreneur’s dream. It is that one person who gets ambitious and claims to have a better idea.

In some cases, the idea might claim to change the world significantly. We should pay attention as it is possible. We have enough proof of such powerful ideas that really changed the world.

Therefore, it is not good that a highly ambitious entrepreneur is usually dismissed for a crazy dreamer. But people will reject your ideas because this is how normal people behave, they won’t believe easily.

For example, you might be wearing jeans while reading this article. Yes, the innovation of jeans really changed the world, don’t you think? On May 20th, 1873 Levi Strauss & Jacob Davis registered their patent for the design of Denim Jeans. I am sure they had no idea that Denim Jeans would do so well.

 A true entrepreneur goes after his/her vision or the crazy ambition against all odds. This ambitious vision of the entrepreneur serves as a great motivational force for his team. There are many examples of entrepreneurs who have had such visions.[1]

Elon Musk is one such good example. When it comes to dreams or vision, Elon Musk outpeforms many!

For instance, Elon Musk is determined to make travelling to space as easy as flying by aeroplanes on the planet earth. He is very optimistic that humans would become a space-faring race in the near future.

Isn’t this cool to be living on different planets? Honestly, it is a scary idea!

Elon Musk is making this possible through his project, called SpaceX. His other ambitious but really significant projects include Solar City and Tesla.

Elon Musk is the epitome of a visionary entrepreneur. Perhaps some folk might even say he is better than the Steve Jobs and the Bill Gates of the world.

 We can say, Elon Musk is really good at technical subjects such as physics and computer programming etc. It was mostly due to his programming skills that he became a young millionaire and later a co-founder of Paypal.[1]

Note that vision of the entrepreneur is often linked to core competencies of the business (i.e what you do best).

Strategic Marketing: Vision and Mission

Vision influences mission. A mission is designed to take the business in the direction provided by a vision statement.

There are about five characteristics of a good mission statement:

the mission statement should be short, memorable and serves as a primary source of a company’s values and policies.

A Mission should narrow down the number of goals to pursue (after all,you cannot serve the entire world). It should define where your business should/can compete.

A mission provides a long-term view of the industry. This is elaborated upon in details by Keller and Kotler. If you’d like to get a bit professorial on it, you can proceed to consume the chapter # 2 of their book. [2]

Most importantly, when you are creating a mission or vision, it should be focused on the customer’s problem.

When a business proceeds to offer a product or a brand, this is technically the supply side of a business. The supply side is best informed or influenced only by the understanding of consumer behavior.

Consumer behavior is at the heart of a good marketing strategy. Therefore, a good mission statement is defined or created in terms of customer’s solutions, not in terms of business product or service.

For example, consider two statements from two restaurants:

1)  Restaurant A: “Our business is to sell good food”  2)  Restaurant B: “Our business is to deliver good experiences”.

Restaurant A mission statement is product oriented i.e food.

Restaurant B mission is truly customer oriented. It is focusing on customer need for experience instead of the tangible product offered in the restaurant(i.e food).

The customer taste for food changes constantly but the need for experience remains the same. Therefore, it is more efficient to focus on a solution instead of the product itself.

After reading this article, I am sure you now understand why Strategic marketing is important. It helps an entrepreneur to focus on the customer’s solutions.

Strategic marketing offers the timely input to cope up with the changing business environment. For example, now all businesses have to adopt environment friendly business policies.

If you are a Marketing manager, then you must give your input to help create a better mission statement for your business. You see marketing is the front of a business and it can play an important role in understanding the business environment.

I can say that the skill of  strategic marketing management can help you advance in your career.

Example of Vision and Mission

Vision:  Sony Walkman
 Sony Akio Morita vision of Walkman  (it seemed impossible to make)

Mission: Honest Tea

What do you think of the following statements from SpaceX?

SpaceX: “SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets.”

Is your company mission short, memorable and meaningful?

Does your company have an inspiring vision for the next 15-20 years?

What values and policies does your company derive from your vision or mission statement?

What is your personal mission and vision statement for your life? Do you think your personal vision/mission should be separate from what you do in business?

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References:

[1] Strategic Marketing: An applied perspective by Karel Jan Alsem

[2] Marketing Management by Philip Kotler & Kevin Lane Keller