Marketing Strategies: Creating Clear Organizational Vision

Marketing Strategies: Creating Clear Organizational Vision

Posted by Ryan Nokes 7/6/09

The importance of getting your business on the same page is paramount: from top management to business divisions to internal office processes to individual employees. Lack of a unifying direction can lead to unexpected consequences. Stephen Covey, in his book The 8th Habit, performed a survey of companies and employee engagement. He then compared the results to a soccer team. The results are chilling.

In a poll of 23,000 employees:

Corporate Understanding of Vision & Objectives If a Soccer Team Had The Same Understanding
Only 37% said they have a clear understanding of what their organization is trying to achieve and why Only 4 of the 11 players on the field would know which goal is theirs
Only 20% were enthusiastic about their team’s and their organization’s goals Only 2 of the 11 players would care
Only 20% said they have a clear link between their tasks and their organization’s goals and fully trusted the organization they worked for Only 2 of the 11 would know what position they play and know exactly what they are supposed to work for
Only 15% felt that their organization fully enables them to execute key goals All but 2 of the players would, in some way, be competing against their own team instead of the opponent

This then is what most organizations look like: One is focused, one is upset, most are confused; and while a few are excited to be there, they have no idea what’s going on. Scary.

Setting the Vision

A vision is an achievable ideal that both motivates as well as provides direction. It pulls the whole team together and gives them a common goal to strive toward. A shared vision rallies the organization together around a shared passion, which is a hallmark of truly innovative companies. When enough people understand where the organization is trying to get and are empowered enough to create and implement ideas, innovation happens.

Google is a great example. Their vision is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible.” 20% of Google employee time goes to whatever project an employee thinks will help achieve that vision. As a result, Google manages to innovate in their field at a ridiculous rate.

Some other examples include:
• American Express – “To be the world’s most respected service brand”
• Avis Rent-a-Car – “To become the world’s preeminent rent-a-car brand”
• IBM has 2: “To lead in the creation, development, and manufacture of the most advanced information technology” & “To translate advanced technologies into value for our customers as the world’s largest information services company”

For 300 more, you can check out this book.

Vision or Hallucination?

Most organizations create a vision that gets slapped on marketing materials or on the front desk or even on their websites, yet nothing is actually done. The employees are aware of it, but do not understand how their jobs relate to it. Covey’s survey proved this.

So how do you move from corporate hallucination to corporate vision? You link the vision all the way to the bottom-line, showing each person in your organization how their efforts contribute. This turns everyone into your organization into marketers, because each one is now more empowered to help promote the business.

In our next blog post in this series on utilizing marketing analytics to generate business leads and build brand loyalty, we’ll discuss how you can create this link to empower your organization and improve your marketing ROI. Thanks for reading.


Comments: 2

  1. Justin Lison says:

    Yes, that’s a great comparison, soccer teammates and business teammates, knowing myself how complicated it can be to try to instill the will to succeed throughout all business organization’s members.

    Yet, one of the most effective ways that a company can “set the vision” into all members of the organization is by relentlessly working toward the goals entailed in the Company Mission Statement. The Company Mission Statement is a way to align the goals and general way of operating as a unit. If the Company Mission Statement is a constantly reinforced throughout all the various employee tasks there will be a horizontal connection when every employee will be able to see the role of their business in the external environment on top of understanding where the organization looks to be moving toward in the near future.

    The tricky part is trying to engineer a Company Mission Statement that lacks the corniness that is all to commonly found in the business world today. A Company Mission Statement must be proud, energetic, and hopeful in the pursuit of executing objectives. It must read like the last few words a sports captain reminds his teammates of before they hit the playing field. In many ways a Company Mission Statement is exactly that. It should be the exciting desire to come out on top, that blazes an inferno of psychological will power, mentioned every time the organization is putting their reputation on the line.

    The Company Mission Statement is the company’s self concept of itself in the external environment and thus is crucial in creating clear organizational vision’s needed by all businesses as mentioned in the article above.

    • vault says:

      Thanks for your addition. It’s true that a company’s self concept should be encapsulated in its vision; one of the best ways to do this is to make sure that the statement has a concrete, measurable outcome. Take Culver’s mission statement: “Every Guest Who Chooses Culver’s Leaves Happy.” Any decision made by anyone in the company comes back to one question: Will this decision make Culver’s customers leave happy? If it doesn’t further that purpose, it’s thrown out. It’s clear, it’s concise, and it’s outcome oriented. Anyone have other examples of how to instill a company’s mission into its employees?

Comments are closed.