If you are on this page, you are in the mood for some serious thinking. This article discusses the creation of vision and mission statements for a business using strategic marketing concepts. In about 2 minutes, you will get an idea of 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. We can apply Strategic Marketing tools and techniques to a small business. We should do so earlier on if we would like to grow our business in the long-run.

Strategic marketing offers you a useful method to think about a business & small businesses can benefit from it. The strategic concept helps the entrepreneur in assessing the market. It sets the overall direction of his/her business. You can say that Strategic marketing is mainly concerned with creating customer-centered strategies to excel in the market.

Yes, customer is the main focus of strategic marketing management.

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.

In short, you can ask yourself the following questions:

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

3: And what do I do for my customer?   [1]

The 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 the mission and vision of a company, let’s first discuss another important (strategic) business issue i.e. sustainability

Strategic Marketing and Sustainability

Sustainability is linked to business ethics. How can we run business without hurting the environment or the society, is the challenge?

Today the planet earth is in dire straits because of reckless consumption and production of goods. Consumers and producers are both equally responsible for polluting the air, the seas, and the land. The environmental degradation is alarming and it seems that the very existence of life is under threat.

Each year hundreds of people are dying of flooding caused by global warming. This summer, the 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 fish. On the other hand, wildlife is under threat as forests are vanishing the world over.

The unquenchable desire for consumption and the unbridled corporate greed is most responsible for the above-mentioned problems. Businesses not only benefit from the increase in consumption of goods and services in 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 ignored anymore. It is about time that businesses assumed responsibility and played their part.

Therefore, as part of the strategic marketing team, it is your duty to create a sustainability statement to guide the business in the right direction. It should be one of the most important marketing tasks in a business today. 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 socially responsible small business or a startup. This article is not about sustainability so let us return to our topic & dig deeper into it now.

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 or solution.

In some cases, the idea might claim to change the world significantly. It is always possible. We have enough proof of such powerful ideas that have changed the world.

It is not good that a highly ambitious entrepreneur is usually dismissed as a crazy dreamer. People are people and they will reject your ideas because this is how normal they are, they won’t believe you easily.

For example, you might be wearing jeans while reading this article. You know, the innovation of jeans has changed the world in its own way, 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. Don’t you think people resisted the jeans in the beginning? They did. People will generally resist anything new. It is a human thing.

 Therefore, a true entrepreneur must go 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 later. There are many examples of entrepreneurs who have had such visions.[1]

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

For instance, Elon Musk is determined to make traveling to space as easy as flying by airplanes on 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 but the entrepreneur, in this case, is defying all odds.

Elon Musk is making this possible through his project, called SpaceX. His other ambitious but 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 very 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] The point here is that that vision of the entrepreneur is often linked to core competencies of the business (i.e what you do better).

Elon Must can be a good case study in a course on strategic marketing and thinking.

Strategic Marketing: Mission

Vision influences mission. A mission is designed to take a 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 statement of a business provides a long-term view of the industry. This is elaborated upon in detail by Keller and Kotler. If you’d like to get a bit professorial about it, you can proceed to consume 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, it is technically the supply side of a business. The supply side is best informed or influenced only by the understanding of consumer behavior.

You know, consumer behavior is at the heart of a good marketing strategy. Therefore, a good mission statement is defined or created in terms of customer solutions, not business products or services.

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’s mission is truly customer-oriented or solution-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 when creating the statement.

After reading this article, I am sure you have a little bit of an idea as to why strategic marketing is important. It helps an entrepreneur to focus on the customer’s solutions. Well, want to avoid big-sounding words but I must add that strategic marketing provides the strategic direction for a business.

Strategic marketing offers timely input to cope up with the changing business environment. It helps with environmental scanning to see opportunities and threats. For example, now all businesses have to adopt environment-friendly business policies to save the planet, and those who don’t would face regulation or bad PR.

As a Marketing manager/leader or entrepreneur, your input will help create a better mission statement for your business. You see marketing is the front of a business and it should set the strategic direction right at the creation stage of a business.

I can say that the skill of strategic marketing management is an important one. It can not only help you advance in your career but also can turn you into a visionary business leader.

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 10-20 years?

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

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

Please comments are disabled due to a massive spam issue I am facing. Besides, I regularly rewrite these articles here and often proofread or edit later. I will add more details on strategic marketing planning tools in the future.

References:

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

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

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