Setting Strategy

When we are asked to help the Exec set strategy we ask these questions:

Why does your business exist?

Irrespective of market sector, delivering value to customers must be the prime purpose of any company, yet many organisations struggle to differentiate or communicate their true value to the outside world.

Outcome: understand and set out the (true) purpose of the company and its markets.

Who are your Customers?

A truly customer-centric organisation knows their customer segments. Some organisations are service-oriented rather than sales-led, or have a variety of customers, but nevertheless each needs to understand its customers’ personas and clearly communicate its purpose, and the value it gives each group.

Outcome: Understand and document the current customer base and then identify and understand each sector, so that it can be dominated.

What are your Products, and Product Benefits?

It is a fundamental rule of marketing and sales that customers are typically more interested in benefits as opposed to the technical details or features of a product. A company must understand the benefits of its products to customers (obvious… but so often ignored).

Outcome: Set out the product benefits - the value that customers realise from a product or service, in terms of needs, expectations, requirements and motivations.

What is the value your business sells?

The results of a company’s efforts to create value are measured in the customers’ perception of that product’s value. Customer value is all about subjective perceptions, which can only be influenced, not controlled.

Outcome: understand the particular drivers of value for this market.

How do you know that your organisation is creating customer value?

All organisational activity should be about generating value for its customers. But few people in the team are able to define ‘value’ as something that’s actually meaningful in the context of an initiative or a customer.

Outcome: understand the drivers of value to the customer, for the company’s products in the market.

How do you succeed at selling?

Most companies know what they are selling, but many have no clue why their customers are their customers, and what factors determine if they buy or not. The reality is that most businesses today are making decisions based on a set of incomplete or, worse, completely flawed assumptions about what’s driving their business.

Outcome: a clear view of "what affects what", so that it can tell how one factor influences another.

How do you currently set and amend strategic direction?

Successful leaders understand that if their organisation is to grow in the long term, they can't stick with a "business as usual" mindset, even when things are going well. They need to find new ways to increase profits and reach new customers.

Outcome: Revisit the company vision and mission statements to lay out a destination; that destination guides the strategy; and strategy directs action.

Then …

Create the Strategy

A strategy statement communicates three key aspects of the business (objective, scope and competitive advantage) to its employees to help them best execute their roles (and keep the revenue flowing in).

Outcome:

  • Business strategy – markets, products & customers
  • Digital, data and technology strategy – key enabling and compliance matters
  • Ecosystem strategy - how the organisation will survive and thrive in a dynamic network.

Measure the Value Delivered

Goals, objectives and action plans are needed to execute the strategy, activate the mission and achieve the vision. This is how the company purpose is implemented.

Outcome:

  • Goals – milestones in the process of implementing the strategy
  • Objectives – turn a goal’s general statement of what is to be accomplished into a specific, quantifiable, time-sensitive statement of what is going to be achieved and when it will be achieved
  • Action Plans – the portfolio of programmes needed to embed adaptive operating model, to evolve leadership & culture, and to execute for te desired outcome.
  • Tracked value delivered – stops the initiative running out of support, because no on can see the ROI.

Capability Interplay

Strategy on its own can only take you so far. You must actively address all four points below - we show you how.

Strategy – give clarity on corporate purpose and then a credible vision, roadmap and plan, which are then tracked to prove the value which results (one of the fundamental flaws of most strategies).

Leadership & Culture – Ready the organisation for success through board-alignment and a cross-functional, people-centric approach.

Change and Transformation – Execute effectively and create breakthrough value by building future business and technology capability.

Organisational Agility – Embed an adaptive operating model and sustainable ways of working, to evolve and thrive.

This article only comments on setting the strategy; other posts cover the other capabilities that every company must succeed at.

Aston Beck have discretely helped many organisations set their strategy. We don't work in the same space as Bain or McKinsey, but we do give you a pragmatic and deliverable strategy to keep the revenue rolling in. If you'd like us to take you throughwhat you need to do, then please get in touch.

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Surviving significant change requires new ways of thinking and a strategic mindset. And it’s not only a digital future which presents a challenge.

The impact of Covid-19 requires leaders to reimagine and reinvent the business itself.

In addition to the specific actions that we can help with - the subject of particular posts on this Action page - there is a particular flow through some of the Insight posts that you may find helpful.

If you'd like any assistance, please

Get in touch

For a longer read, follow this path:

Why does my business exist?
Irrespective of market sector, delivering value to customers must be the prime purpose of any company, yet many companies struggle to differentiate or communicate their true value to the outside world.
What is the value my business sells?
The results of your efforts to create value are measured in the customers’ perception of that value. But customer value is all about subjective perceptions, which can only be influenced, not controlled.
How do I know that my organisation is creating customer value?
All organisational activity should be about generating value for our customers. But few people are able to define ‘value’ as something that’s actually meaningful in the context of an initiative or a customer.
How do I succeed at selling?
If you want to win in business, you can’t rely on your monthly management reports. You need a clear perception of “what affects what”, so that you can easily tell how one factor influences another.
How do I set and amend strategic direction?
Successful leaders understand that they need to find new ways to increase profits and reach new customers.There are numerous options available, but how do you know which one will work best for your organisation?
Five domains of corporate strategy that the digital world is changing
Embarking on any strategic journey is an enormously complex challenge. There are five domains of corporate strategy that the digital world is changing, each of which you must understand, embrace and show leadership in
Who are your Customers?
A truly customer-centric organisation knows their customer segments. Some organisations are service-oriented rather than sales-led, or have a variety of customers, but nevertheless each needs to understand its customers’ personas and clearly communicate the Why, and the value it gives each group.
Measuring customer value
Companies succeed by providing superior customer value. Value is the basic utility of the product or service, plus a customer surplus which results from the way that a company connects with its intended audience. We discuss how value is created and how it is perceived as relevant to a purchase.
What are your Product Benefits?
It is a fundamental rule of marketing and sales that customers are typically more interested in benefits as opposed to the technical details or features of your product. You need to understand the benefits of your products.
The Product-Led Business
Product-led companies invite the buyer to use the product and help them experience a meaningful outcome whilst using the product. Once they’ve seen the benefit, paying for the service becomes a no-brainer.
Products, Architecture & Value
Driven by innovation, competition and/or acquisition, the design of products becomes more complicated and they are introduced to the market at a quicker pace. We need to ensure that our products properly architected and we need to stay focused on the value that they deliver to our customers.
Resolving product-led and customer-centric business models
A product-led organisation markets the benefit of its products to as many customers as possible. Customer-centricity flips the process around and aims to understand the needs of the customer, and then provide the best solution. The customer experience is what now delivers greatest business value.