If your business performance is lackluster, take a closer look at how it’s operating. And if you’re a business owner already running your company on EOS® – the Entrepreneurial Operating System — congratulations! You’ve already taken an essential first step toward gaining clarity around your goals and organizing the milestones for how you and your team will achieve them.
But where and when does marketing fit into the equation? EOS® plugs marketing strategy into a two-day Vision Building™ Agenda and seven other important topics. That’s a great start, but it only scratches the surface. A comprehensive strategic marketing plan can take months to compile and, when done well, can perfectly plug into all six components of the EOS Model®. This dynamic duo is a powerful combination to take your business from running on fumes to an entire team firing on all cylinders. Here’s how.
The Six Key Components of Any Business
The EOS Model® provides a visual illustration of a six-piece pie chart comprised of the components it deems essential to any business, including:
Vision Powered by Marketing Strategy & Planning
Arguably the foundation for success, and the focus of this article, a company’s vision typically encompasses its core values, purpose, passion, niche, and unique value. It is designed to inspire and motivate employees to work toward a common goal. So…what happens when there’s no clarity around the vision? No focused goal and zero hopes of achieving it. EOS® corrects this by getting everyone in the organization crystal clear about where they’re going and how they’ll get there.
But here’s the thing — if you only consider yourselves in this vision, you’re leaving out an essential piece of the picture — your customers.
Marketing plays a crucial role in clarifying a company’s vision.
Effective marketing is about understanding your target audience and communicating your company’s purpose and values to them in a way that resonates. In other words, your vision needs to align with the needs and desires of your customers. By conducting market research and gathering feedback, you can gain critical insights into your target audience’s hearts and minds and ensure that your vision matches up.
In addition, marketing brings a company’s vision to life through visual design, content creation, and storytelling via words and images. By creating compelling campaigns and content that align with the company’s vision, marketing can help build a solid emotional and intellectual connection with customers.
For example, Amazon states: “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
While ‘customer-centric’ could be defined in various ways, the second half of that statement sounds spot on. I can attest, having recently ordered a dog frisbee one day and 50-pound bags of Solar Salt water softener the next. As its logo suggests, Amazon indeed does sell everything from A to Z. And with Prime same or next-day delivery, competitive prices, and pretty easy return policies, it’s safe to say Amazon is customer-centric too. Its vision is realized through marketing execution, and its goal is accomplished!
Hindsight is good, foresight is better, but insight is best of all.
The phrase ‘Hindsight is 20/20’ refers to the fact that it is usually easier to analyze and evaluate events after they have already happened rather than when you’re in the moment. But that won’t help you right now. Foresight is better because it’s your crystal ball, but most business owners are short on long-term predictions. Insight, however, is achievable and actionable and helps you avoid the worst type of sight — oversight!
Failure to consider internal and external (customers, influencers, referral sources, competitors, strategic partners, industry at large) brand perceptions is negligent and will cloud your vision. As the saying goes, ‘perception is reality.’ If your vision isn’t authentic, believable, and marketable, it’s just a dream. By conducting a Positioning Workshop, SWOT analysis, and competitive and industry research, you will unearth existing brand perceptions, gain vital insight to determine if those perceptions will help or hinder your value proposition, and allow you to adjust your vision accordingly.
What if, for example, Patagonia’s vision to “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis” lacked a sizeable enough target market that cared enough about Mother Earth to pay $299 for a jacket? It would be a company without any customers and any profit. Luckily for Patagonia, the company’s vision seems to resonate with the environmentally conscious and upscale consumers it sees as its target audience, as proven by its $3 billion valuation (as of September 2022).
Is it luck, or is it vision powered by insight and strategic, authentic marketing that delivers on its brand promise? Patagonia has made several efforts to live up to its vision, including using sustainable materials, fair labor practices, environmental activism, and philanthropy, as well as encouraging a circular economy — offering repair services and reusing its products rather than replacing them with new ones. How will you live up to your vision?
A Strategic Marketing Plan Helps You See Your Vision More Clearly
EOS® is an invaluable tool for any business owner or leadership team looking to get a clearer vision and achieve growth. But don’t go into it with rose-colored glasses. Take the extra step to ensure the success of your company’s future. Add a comprehensive strategic marketing plan to your operating system, and you’ll get the insight you need to realize your vision. And stay tuned for our upcoming blog series, showing how marketing plugs into the other five EOS Model® components — people, data, issues, process, and traction.
For assistance, contact Incite Creative. We have over 23 years of marketing expertise and have worked with businesses running on EOS® and welcome the opportunity to partner with EOS Implementers®.
About Incite Creative, Inc.: Incite Creative is a marketing advisory firm that provides outsourced CMO services. In short, we become your company’s chief marketing officer and do so virtually and efficiently — saving you time and money. Since 1999 we’ve had the pleasure of building and boosting brands for a core set of industries. Our thoughtful process, experienced team, and vested interest in our client’s success have positioned us as one of the Mid-Atlantic’s most sought-after marketing partners for those looking to grow their brand awareness and bottom line. Stop paying for digital and traditional services you may not need. Our retainer, no markup model means our recommendations don’t come with any catch or commission. Our advice aligns with what you need and what fits within your budget. For more information, contact us at 410-366-9479 or [email protected].