Marketing your business effectively requires thinking beyond the business itself – to the industry, the audience, and the world.
Business development is not first and foremost about streamlining your processes for efficiency or overhauling your marketing message. It’s about transforming the occurring world that forms the context for your business, and putting your relationship to that world on a footing of authenticity and inspiration. Another word for that transformation of context and relationships is marketing. Marketing, in other words, is a means of actually developing your business – whether you’re an established business or a startup, a company with multiple employees or a solopreneur.
Marketing as the art of business development occurs through a consistent expression of vision, with tangible outcomes. You hear a lot of companies begin their pitch or fill their mission statement with “we believe” or “I believe” in an attempt to enroll you in a shared vision. But vision that isn’t tangible isn’t enrollable. That is to say, it isn’t marketable. And that points to a deficit in the area of business development. We’ve identified three core questions of business development that, if you answer authentically, will transform your marketing into an enrollment conversation with your audience, around your vision:
THE EARMARKS OF VISION
- What transformations do we want in our industry, our audience, and the world?
- Where do we inspire and get inspired authentically, with transformative results?
- What do we add that no one else does, that’s unique in a commoditized world?
I’m going to use myself and MadPipe as an example, since that’s easiest, though it wasn’t easy to answer these questions. It took a lot of soul searching.
THE MISSION OF TRANSFORMATION
Example 1: What transformations do you want in your industry, your audience, and the world?
- I want authenticity in marketing content. Instead of fluff or corp-speak, I want us to use the genuine power of language to describe what’s real rather than push us into adversarial roles of clients guarding their money, and companies trying to get it.
- I want integrity in marketing strategy, which involves acknowledging the fundamental equity between companies and potential clients, rather than looking for ways to apply manipulative control.
- I want to alter the relationship between business and clientele such that a synergy emerges to drive innovation collaboratively in every industry. Instead of caution, and silo-ization, we get integration of clientele into the business development process itself.
THE MISSION OF INSPIRATION
Example 2: Where does your company inspire and get inspired authentically, with transformative results?
- First, Self-Discovery: We help you, as our clients, discover your own differences in terms of where you inspire, contribute, and lead your industry to greatness in the context of a particular market or community.
- Second, Empathy: We help you recontextualize leads as self-empowered, self-actualized individuals, rather than classifying them like herds of cattle or purchasing vehicles. We don’t talk of “driving traffic” to your web site, but instead of businesses and clients solving mutual problems and overcoming barriers to collaboration.
- Third, Enrollment: We help you redefine the connection with your audience by clarifying the exchange of value as a betterment of the world itself.
When you ask yourself these questions about your company, you are actually engaged in the development of your company, even if marketing is the initial impetus.
THE MISSION OF SINGULARITY
Example 3: What singular thing do you add that no one else does, that’s unique in a commoditized world?
Again, using my company as an example: we teach, coach, and consult. Those might not sound very different than any number of strategy and coaching firms, but we mean something very elaborated and specific by those words.
- We describe teaching as bringing clarity to the complex by aligning goals with information and power of expression. Fundamentally, this is demystifying what, in my industry, is often peddled quite profitably as esoteric or technical voodoo on the basis of guru-driven secret sauce. In fact, we leverage the power of the generic in the form of open source wisdom to empower clients rather than encourage dependency.
- We describe coaching as relentlessly rational planning and implementation to build up a muscle within a client company that can sustain its efforts to extend its reach and expand its function in the world. In short, we cultivate consistent, repeatable empowerment in the area of content marketing strategy.
- We describe consulting as never running out of problems. That might seem funny, and entirely too profitable, but it’s based on something really important, and that’s problem solving as a permanent creative process that isn’t meant to come to an end when you solve a problem. In fact, we say that solving a problem is supposed to generate better problems. This is true in process improvement, as well.
As a side note, you might notice that you can only fully develop or elaborate a business that is doing work you love. Love is the starting premise of marketing, because love is what exceeds the merely transactional characteristics of a business operation. That implies that:
The visionaries who can contribute an authentic vision to the company marketing are those subject matter experts who operate the company out of love for it, and what it represents beyond the mere exchange of services for dollars.
So thinking once again about the three core questions of business development, consider how you and your company are answering them, or how you plan to go about developing your business by answering them. Where do you need to revisit, ponder, imagine, wonder, and revise?
1. What transformations do you want in your industry, your audience, and the world?
2. Where do you inspire and get inspired authentically, with transformative results?
3. What do you add that no one else does, that’s unique in a commoditized world?
This goes beyond drafting a mission statement. Your core vision must be implemented tangibly and authentically in your marketing strategy to actually shape the context of your business operations and market relationships.
I’m Daniel DiGriz, the president of MadPipe. MadPipe helps clients find their own answers to these questions, so they can develop wildly and market powerfully with contagious passion for their industry, their audience, and their vision for a better world. When those dots are all connected, you get a business that’s easy to love, and marketing becomes a lot like introducing your best friend. Contact me for an initial consultation to discover immediately actionable ways to go from merely normal to truly transformative engagement with your audience, industry, and the world. Thanks for being committed to making of your business a transformer of everything it is a part of and touches.