Do you use your Mission Statement for marketing purposes, or is it just a statement that is  framed and hanging on the wall? 

A mission statement is inwardly focused, so no worries about not using it. So develop this instead; A Strategic Intent statement is meant to not only be inspirational like a good vision or mission statement can be, but it also has a specific measurable goal. For example President Kennedy said, “the United States is going to land a man on the moon and bring him back safely by the end of this decade.” The US didn’t even have a space program when he said that, so it was a very bold goal, with a specific measurable time frame that inspired a nation and NASA.

The goal of a Strategic Intent statement is to inspire customers and employees that the company’s passion is being the “best or extraordinary” (in what ever defined aspect), and is inviting Strategic Intent vs. Mission Statementevery one to not just to come along for the ride, but rise-up to participate as well. It should be short and to the point, inspirational and specific – a phrase that people can easily remember.

The Ford company’s example slogan of  “quality is job one” is a good advertising slogan or general vision statement, but imagine if back in the 80’s they had written this Strategic Intent statement instead:  “Ford will be the number one rated quality car with the best service in America by 1999.” If Ford had communicated that Strategic Intent statement, the public, the media, everyone would have stopped and taken Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 10.41.57 PMnotice to watch and see if they could do it or not. People might even have rooted for an American car company as the underdog to see if they could climb to the top. The employees would have a very specific goal in all aspects of what they each did to be number one, and know they would have the bragging rights once they got to be number one. Management would be inspired to rally their teams and everyone would be pushing in the same competitive direction, to be the best. Customers would know that Ford is focused on producing the highest quality car in America, they would probably perceive that it was a quality product before they ever got to the top.

How do you create better marketing materials?

Think Process. Yes, it’s crazy to think that a creative person can actually be organized and methodical – but they need to be to help improve sales and business success. Do you have a simple who-does-what list for developing marketing materials – from conception to final sign-off? Where does it start, and how many people are in the review process? It could be as simple as creating a check-off list in an excel spreadsheet.

Put these 8 suggestions in your pocket. Create a form or guide to help someone get started when writing a marketing piece that asks these 8 questions; 1. What is the purpose of the piece?  2. What are your customer’s needs?  3. What are the solutions to the customer’s needs? (Make sure you are communicating value, click here later if you need help on what value is)  4. What is the company’s expertise and value to meet or exceed those needs?  5. Why is your solution different?  6. Is there a compelling story to support the product or service?  7. What is the desired out come for the piece?  8. What is the call to action?  When the person starting the marketing document passes the answers to these questions on to the next stage in the process, it should make things go much smoother.

Who is adding value and who is just a pass-through? What value does each person add by participating in the process? Here’s a simple, yet shocking idea: Create a short list of bullets that helps each person know what value they are required to add to the process, so when they pass it on to the next step, the next person has what they need without backtracking.

BottleneckGet rid of bottlenecks in your process once and for all. Is there a step or two in your process that takes longer than you think it should – based on the value being added and the time it takes to move the piece to the next step? No finger pointing or blame, because everyone is busy, but if there is a bottleneck there could be many reasons for it. It’s typically the process that needs fixing, not the people. Most times it’s either not the right person in a process step, or they are having to add value that people before them left out because the people before them are lazy and just wanted to move it off their desk, or the required input and value each person adds wasn’t properly defined in the process.

Any process could be improved with specific requirements of the value each person adds – but if you are creating value-based marketing materials from start to finish in 2 to 3 weeks, then you probably have a pretty smooth running process.

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