What Would It Cost You? Strategic Planning 101

Hi everyone, Liv here from Vizual.

I'm very excited for a few reasons today. Firstly, I'm in my new office, which is just amazing. And the second reason is I am starting a brand-new video series here on LinkedIn and Instagram and Facebook and YouTube, and anywhere anybody wants to find me. And I'm going to be going through all of my favorite end to end marketing and communication methods.

Now, I'm going to be busting myths. I'm going to be diving into some of the really strategic and impactful parts of what I do at Vizual and asking questions. And today's question is one that I ask my current clients at different points in our journey. It's a question that I ask potential clients or leads that come to me and want to know exactly what service they need, or if they're on the right track for their business planning. And importantly, it's a question that I ask people who aren't a hundred percent sure if they want to commit to working with a marketing agency.

And the question I ask is, what would it cost you to just not worry? To not do this?

I usually get one of two responses. The first response tends to be, "Well, nothing. It's not going to cost me anything. If I don't do it, I'm off the hook. I don't have to pay for anything." And the second kind of thing that somebody might say is, "Well, it would cost me a lot. It would cost me the ability to make money for my family. It would cost me reputation. It might cost me leads."

That is where this conversation can start. There are some very, very, very simple steps that I and my company guide clients through, and it kind of falls under this strategic planning umbrella, my favourite. Clients that engage me for strategic planning know just how much of a nerd I am when it comes to this sort of thing.

We're going to start with this brand foundation. So, it's starting with the WHY. So, this little inner circle, why are we going to do this? What's the reason? What's the why behind your business? Then we're going to move out a little bit to the HOW. How can we do this? Is there a way that works for other people? Do we need to reinvent the wheel? And then we're going to formulate the WHAT for WHO. That probably sounded a little bit like a Dr. Suess book, but we've got to start with the why to work out how we're going to do things.

Then we go a little bit further and work out exactly what we need to do for the people that want it. So that is our branding foundation. We work on that with small and medium businesses across Australia, in the US and New Zealand, and we work out their foundations. Next thing we're moving onto is their personality, their brand personality, their persona. This part is what a lot of people think strategy is. It's their logo, it's the tone of voice, it's the colours, it's the font, it's the fun stuff. I'll be the first one to say that choosing the way your brand looks and developing this brand that you love is really exciting. Too many people just stop there. There's actually more to it, and that's what I love to help businesses develop.

So, we've moved past the brand, the branding, the persona, the way that it's going to make people feel when they see it. We're now going to move into the target audience. And this is important because we need to work out what the audience feels, what their pain points are, what their pleasure points are, what would be an amazing deal for them, or what is just... too much, not going to work, we've lost interest. We need to work out these different things so that we can really formulate great products, great services, great marketing, and branding that's going to speak to those people in the best way possible.

Next is probably my favourite part, which is gap analysis, competitive analysis, going through each and every part of businesses like yours, brands like yours on a small scale, a medium scale, a large scale, and just working out what they're doing, what's working, what's not working. This is the part where people send me brands that they align with and people that they want to emulate a little bit. And we work out what they're doing that is just top notch, and then other things not so good. All of it matters, and all of it is valuable because we can dig through the information and the data to work out exactly what angle we need to come at.

That really, really helps us formulate the last step of this strategic plan, which is your brand roadmap. A roadmap is the HOW. It is the action plan. How do we get from point A to point B uniquely, so we stand out, efficiently, so we're not wasting time, money, resources? And how do we do it in a way that we know our target audience is going to see and love? That is the part that freaks everybody out because it is this big... How do we do this? How do we even know what to do? What are the steps? What are the processes? And that is where a company like mine, a company like Vizual, is priceless because we know, and we tell you exactly what to do for your business at the point of time that your business is in with a very fruitful look to the future. And we package it up in a beautiful document, tie it off with a bow and hand it over.

So, the next time you are up against a decision for your business, whether it's to invest money into a strategic plan, like what we're talking about, whether it's doing a rebrand, starting social media, just think, if you're not sure which way to go, "What would it cost me to not do this?" If you are like the first guy who is, "Well, it's not going to cost me anything, doesn't matter." Then reassess where you're at, work out what needs to be done. But if that question is like doomsday, it's going to cost me way too much to be happy to not do it, then give me a call. Details are in my LinkedIn bio and Vizual's LinkedIn bio. Contact me and we can start working on a strategic plan together.

Thanks everyone!

Liv Wilson

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