If you’re a savvy business leader, you may have heard of the Entrepreneurial Operating System®, or EOS. You might have read Traction by Gino Wickman and gone a step further to review EOS success stories about companies once floundering in the marketplace or grasping for structure. But what you might not have learned is exactly how the EOS strategy results in marketing and sales success. As a life-long B2B marketer and ardent believer in the power of this entrepreneurial system, I’m excited to share this side of the EOS story with you.
Developing a Marketing Strategy Using Traction EOS
Developing a marketing strategy requires thorough planning for both the short- and long-term. The market changes all the time, posing new challenges to companies. EOS provides the tools and guidelines you need to create an effective marketing strategy.
The most powerful marketing tool that EOS provides is the Vision/Traction Organizer™, known to EOS vocabulary masters as the V/TO. This document simplifies the strategic planning process, helping business leaders bring their vision for the company out of their heads and onto paper by answering eight questions that crystallize where their organization is going and how it will get there. The V/TO features eight key components, two of which are very important to us marketers:
- Core FocusTM
- Marketing Srategy
- Core Values
- 10 Year TargetTM
- 3 Year PictureTM
- 1 Year PlanTM
The Core Focus and Marketing Strategy are the key V/TO elements that not only drive internal alignment for your entire organization, but also subsequently lead to a powerful and consistent marketing program that delivers real results in the form of Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) and Return On Marketing Investment (ROMI).
The Fundamentals of Your Core FocusTM
The Core Focus outlines your company’s “purpose/cause/passion” and niche. Ultimately, it results in a clear mission statement – one that your employees can rally around and your prospects can understand. To give you a clear idea of what the Core Focus is, consider Sagefrog’s: To unlock potential and accelerate client success (purpose) through B2B brand building and integrated marketing (niche).
Your Core Focus lets the world know what you’re here to do—what you’re after as a company—and how you do it. It’s clear, concise and leaves no question in your employees’ or prospects’ minds about what you offer.
As millennials make up more and more of the workforce, mission statements that speak to this greater purpose are critical to recruiting top talent and maintaining a high retention rate. Don’t underestimate this generation’s cause-driven passion; they regard their job as an extension of their lives, rather than exclusively as a means of income. They crave purpose and a mission to tackle; I say, give them one!
Defining Your Marketing Strategy
The Marketing Strategy component of the V/TO outlines four critical pieces of your marketing plan:
- Target Market/“The List” — This section defines your target market by job title and demographic, geographic and psychographic characteristics. By identifying this information, you create a filter that your sales team can use to ensure every lead is the right fit for your business and no effort is wasted.
- Three Uniques — Your Three Uniques act as your company’s differentiators or value propositions. They define what makes you different from competitors. It’s natural for a company to share two uniques with their competitors, but never all three. A good place to start your Three Uniques exercise is to ask yourself: “What do our existing clients say about us?” This will get you out of your own head and into the minds of your target audience.
- Proven Process — In Gino Wickman’s book Traction, the Proven Process is explained with the simple statement, “…never tell someone something you can show them.” As a marketer, I couldn’t agree more. A typical Proven Process has three to seven major steps. Each step should represent a key touchpoint with your customers. Consider our JumpStartTM process, which outlines our 7 steps to marketing success.
- Guarantee — Finally, your Guarantee is the cherry on top of your marketing strategy. It’s your opportunity to identify an industry-wide problem and solve it. FedEx’s guarantee is a great example: “When it absolutely positively has to be there overnight.” Dominoes does it well, too, with their promise: “30 minutes or it’s free.” These guarantees, in the eyes of the customer, serve to reduce risk in engaging with your brand and allow you to prove to them time after time that you’re a trustworthy partner.
Using Your Core Focus and Marketing Strategy to Drive Sales
With a defined Core Focus and Marketing Strategy, you can now launch a marketing program that hits the mark. Since most successful marketing programs start with a Brand Strategy – which develops or refreshes your positioning, visual and verbal identity – you’re already halfway there, thanks to your V/TO. At Sagefrog, we hold the V/TO in high regard and integrate each element into our top-down and step-wise marketing approach.
Step 1: Turn the V/TO elements into usable marketing assets
- Ensure the job titles and specific challenges in your Target Market are represented on your website
- Turn your Core Focus into a compelling mission statement for both prospects and internal staff
- Flesh out your Three Uniques to create hard-hitting messages at the corporate level
- Create an easy-to-follow and visually pleasing diagram out of your Proven Process
- Add and promote your Guarantee on your website, collateral, ads and landing pages
Step 2: Use lead scoring to assess your target market reach
- Educate your marketing and sales teams on every aspect of “The List”
- Use the demographic and psychographic information to create usable buyer personas
- Turn on lead scoring in your CRM to assign a numeric value to each lead
- Link values to demographic, company, online behavior and engagement information
- Assess your scores and evaluate how well they align with “The List” and optimize accordingly
Step 3: Use the 3 Year Picture and 1 Year Plan to measure success
- True to EOS form, develop and use a weekly scorecard to assess your leads-to-sales ratio
- Include important metrics on your scorecard that define success such as YTD revenue
- Use this data and EOS’s famous IDS (Identify, Discuss, Solve) process to optimize results
If you’ve been thinking about pulling the trigger on EOS implementation, there’s no better time to start than at the beginning of a new year. Once your V/TO is nailed down, put it into action with a marketing program that puts your Core Focus and Marketing Strategy to good use. Sagefrog has helped many EOS organizations take their V/TO to market in order to drive sales and make the most of their EOS and marketing investment.
Contact Sagefrog Marketing Group today to get started.
Source: EOS Worldwide