Let’s imagine for a moment. You have always wanted to open a bricks-and-mortar store. The first question you will need to answer is:
What need can I satisfy?
Maybe you find a gap in the market. You discovered there are no shoe shops in your surrounding area. Your hunch is that shoes will sell in what seems to be an underserved market.
But will they?
Your job is to validate that need. Is there a gap, and can you help fill that gap? This is an exercise in building out your value proposition. Fundamental to your value proposition are the answers to 3 questions:
Your what, how and why. Let’s illustrate using an actual customer example
Your what describes your product or offering. “We have built a web app which allows users to enter an address and generate all relevant measurements of a property: sidewalk, driveway, parking etc. It is both fast and accurate.”
Your how defines your uniqueness: “We are the first in the market to process recently collected high resolution satellite imagery with AI to automatically calculate lengths and areas.”
Your why is your purpose or belief: “We believe that automation will transform the property measurement process.”
As Simon Sinek frequently discusses, most companies talk about their what and their how. But few consider their all important why. It is this which connects you to like minded others. In a business case, these are your customers. Your why should be at the heart of your value proposition, and will drive your messaging and storytelling.
Your go-to-market strategy is the next critical part of business planning. There is much written about both value propositions and go-to-market strategies, many descriptions have overlapping elements. To us your go-to-market strategy is how you plan to bring your value proposition to the market. At its core is how you plan to connect with your potential customers.
Let’s return briefly to our bricks-and mortar shoe store. If we think of the web as a city. Your web site is your shoe store front. Social media is the pubs and clubs you frequent. Content marketing and keywords have been an important method many have used to try to get noticed; to encourage customers to come into their store. On the web many use Google Adwords. In the real world, that is the guy on the street corner juggling a sign which points at your store. This is a one-to-many form of communication. That is a ‘throw it out there and hope’ type approach. Your hope is that you will get the attention of passer-byes, and drive them to take action. To wander into your store.
Traditional content marketing remains highly relevant. But there is a new game in town: social media. And it is quite different. Social media is a one-to-one form of connection. It is how you build relationships at a party or in a pub. Think of when you were single, looking for a date. Remember the process: slow, gradual, meaningful, relationship building. Without taking this analogy too far, the new world of sales and marketing using social media has similarities to dating!
So what does any of this have to do with generating amazing content. Everything actually.
A validated value proposition, and exceptional go-to-market strategy provide a solid and important foundation. But useless on their own. They are simply planning exercises. Execution is where the rubber hits the road. And execution means exceptional messaging and storytelling. This is how you connect with customers. This is how you drive sales.
We will focus in our next series of posts on effective messaging and storytelling.