Developing a Strategic Marketing Plan with EOS®
Companies adopt the Entrepreneurial Operating System® for many good reasons. One of the most common ones is the need to grow internally: The business has hit a ceiling created by lack of process, scattered priorities, or other inefficiencies. EOS provides the framework for achieving that internal growth, so the business can break through the barriers to external growth.
With so much effort devoted to internal development, EOS can be misinterpreted as an entirely inward-looking system. Don’t be fooled! EOS works so well for over 80,000 companies because it feeds into every aspect of business—including marketing.
Everything starts with Vision.
A shared vision is one of the core features of a business that runs EOS. The Vision Building™ process includes creating a profile of the business’s ideal customer for a reason. When starting out with EOS, many businesses discover that a misalignment between internal values and some of their existing customers explains why their relationships with those customers are rocky.
During our Vision Building sessions I love to ask my clients, “Which of your customers are your favorites? Which of them are your least favorite?” When we dig into why they answer the way they do, they can tie the reasons back to the core values they’ve identified.
The power of selling to the right people.
When you know who you want to sell to, and why, you can craft a strategic marketing plan that’s tailored to a targeted marketplace. The end result isn’t just better sales results, though that’s certainly nice. It also improves operational efficiency, because the customers you bring through the door are well-suited to the way the business works.
During the Vision Building session at one of my clients, it didn’t take long for them to figure out the most important feature they want in a customer. It so happens this client is a marketing firm. For years they’d taken on any prospect who came through the door, devoting tons of resources to helping businesses figure out the basics of what they wanted to accomplish. As much as they like helping people, acting as branding coaches was killing their productivity.
After about ten minutes of discussion, they wrote down “They know who they are,” at the top of their list of customer features they preferred.
Their CEO has brought this moment up with me several times. “Just knowing that one thing about what we’re after has changed our approach to everything,” she said. “Now I don’t hesitate to pass on prospects that aren’t sure of their identity. Building brand identities isn’t what we do, so why kill ourselves trying to make it work?” Instead, they are focused on the good fits, making them happier and more successful at the same time.
The power of alignment.
A strategic marketing plan is only good if the operations team can execute on the promises made by the sales team. Keeping everyone on the team on the same page is hard without a shared framework. EOS tools like the V/TO™, Level 10 Meetings™, and the Accountability Chart provide the common ground for the sales and operations team to stand on together, and channels for resolving challenges together.
A good illustration of how this works was told to me by the owner of a business that was heading into its second year of EOS. [AB1] She told me that they tried EOS because they were struggling to hold on to their clients and they knew they needed to get better organized. They thought their problem was on the execution side, and devoted the early months of EOS to improving their operations processes.
“The problem was we were still struggling to hold on to certain clients,” she said. Then at a Level 10 meeting they dug into what was giving them so many problems with a certain client, and discovered that the trouble was in the promises being made by the marketing team. “Without EOS I’m not sure our teams would’ve talked as openly about the problems they were experiencing.” That day was a turning point: the marketing team changed its pitch to align with what operations was doing, and their service record has only improved since then.
How has EOS shifted your marketing strategies?
Every business I work with takes different lessons from their EOS journey, but all of them have found important new direction for their strategic marketing plan. What challenges has your business experienced in coming up with marketing schemes? I’d love to hear from you. Send me an email or give me a call anytime.