"Let's level the landscape before planting the flowers"—Mike Jordan, 2017. This is a phrase I've recently coined... d'ya like it?
It's what I say when I speak to businesses who are quick to assume that design, digital or tech is the answer to EVERYTHING. Don't get me wrong, it's a great place to start. It certainly gets me bouncing through the door but what starts with a meeting about an end produce soon turns into a bit of an in-depth reality check.
What's become clear is that many problems faced by businesses come back to these simple questions: Who are you? What do you do? Who you're doing it for and why? Does everyone in the business know it? Do they know your story, your vision and your challenges? Do your sales team know it?!
What I'm saying is that before you start looking at outward facing solutions, you may need to look a little closer to home.
It seems that a lot of growing businesses lose sight of their identity, especially internally. As employees come and go, restructures take place and objectives change, corporate messages get jumbled, communication breaks down and the leaders at the top are pressing an agenda that the rest of the business doesn't understand.
This is grade A internal engagement speak. It's the very fundamentals in being able to articulate your brand from which all marketing, comms and content strategies can be created from.
Knowing the answers to these questions will set you on your path my friends, but do not stop at just answering them. Make them part of your processe, set new standards, be more open, constantly review them.
Your brand should be part of your journey. It should ride the waves as you ride them and be able to change course if your landscape demands it.
Only when you're clear about who you are (as a business) can you have more confidence in the success of exciting reactive marketing decisions.
So before you start thinking about those pretty flowers, let's level the landscape.