Focus on Growth Drivers over Outcomes.
Performance is what matters, but how we get there is key.
In business, it’s crucial to focus your energy on growth drivers rather than the final outcome. I’m not saying that knowing where you want to end up is not important, in fact you need to know what you want to achieve, but if you have the right growth drivers, the outcomes will follow.
To help focus on these drivers, there are a series of growth questions that you need to ask during the strategic and annual planning processes. The three categories of questions you need to ask involve the concepts of knowing, growing today and growing tomorrow. These questions form the foundation for all brand building activities.
Knowing focuses on the insights behind your consumers or customers behaviour. The key question here is: what issues have I identified and what insights have I uncovered to help resolve those issues? To drill down and gain functional, pragmatic strategies and activities you also need to evaluate how these insights will be used to drive your brand positioning, strategic brand plans and further product / service innovations. You also need to consider what actions you are taking to constantly look at emerging trends, their relevancy to your business, and use them to develop new insights that drive growth.
Growing today focuses you on the here and now. The key question here is: what can I implement now to drive top-line growth? To drill down and determine what should be in this year’s plan, you need to determine the most effective and efficient strategies and activities will maximize resources, marketing investments and outcomes. You also need to decide on how to allocate your spend between brand building and brand maintenance activities and how to change your plans based on learning’s from other markets or businesses.
Growth tomorrow ensures that you don’t lose sight of experimentation and innovation that lead to a robust pipeline of future growth initiatives. The key question here is: in what ways am I anticipating and shaping change? You need build into your plans market tests that evaluate and challenge your brand messaging, strategies, activities, market and business orthodoxies to anticipate future consumer wants and needs and develop innovative activities, products and processes to stay ahead your competitors.
By asking all of these questions, your current and future plans will be focused on the most effective and efficient strategic activities that will drive long-term brand health and performance.