Is your vision statement a marketing tool?

Over the years, one of my favorite marketing tools has been the vision statement. As I was explaining my definition of a vision statement to marketing strategist David Camp, he tells me, “Well, that’s great. But it’s not what most people call a vision statement.”

Your vision statement should look into the future for your customers

Look into the future for your customers

He’s right. What I call vision, David calls “market insight.” It focuses on the future of the customer – what problems they’ll face and what heroic solutions the market will provide. For me, it’s a useful tool because it helps the client look into the future, and project how the customer will need to be served. It demonstrates the client’s industry expertise, understanding of customer needs, and understanding of trends and forces that, for all intents and purposes, are unstoppable. All our marketing efforts ought to have this kind of customer focus.

Comments welcome at the end of this post. Or email me directly.

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Your marketing message: Does it connect?

From 25 years ago, the words of David Kennedy, co-founder of Wieden + Kennedy: “We’re really not in the business of making ads. Our job is to make a connection.”  Today you could add websites, Facebook pages, YouTube channels, email and much more to his list of stuff we’re not really in the business of making. It’s always about the connection.

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Sometimes you can tell right away if the marketing effort connects. It hits you in the gut.

Other times, you can only tell something about the quality of the design and writing.

And yet well-written, well-designed work often misses the mark. Sometimes terribly. (Just look at two-thirds of Super Bowl commercials, and four-fifths of all websites.) So for each of these samples from my portfolio, I’ve given some context. To view the work, click the images above or the links on the left.

Wieden+Kennedy, 2010 Agency of the Year

As always, Dan Wieden is eminently quotable. “If you told me six or seven years ago that some of the best work this agency would do would be for Procter & Gamble, I’d think you have a drug problem.”  (See Ad Age article.)

Wieden + Kennedy 2010 Ad Age Agency of the Year

2010 Ad Age Agency of the Year: W+K

Meet Ad Age’s 2010 Agency of the Year, Wieden + Kennedy. You remember them, right? Edited to add: W+K was also named Creativity Agency of the Year.

The nicest part of the story:  It wasn’t so much their work for new clients that sparked their great year – though they’ve done notable work for Delta Airlines and Chrysler. Rather, most of their growth and notable work came from existing clients, as they’ve strengthened relationships, built trust and did some kick-ass work. (And created the most remarkable social media campaign of all time. Take that, digerati.)

Comments welcome at the end of this post. Or email me directly.

Congratulations Dan Wieden, Susan Hoffman and your cast of hundreds.