Along with a budget, there are five other major elements that are common to all marketing plans. The first major element of a marketing plan is the business mission statement. Now, this may seem obvious, but I cannot stress enough the importance of having a carefully planned and well stated mission statement. According to the The American Marketing Association, a mission statement is “An expression of a company’s history, managerial preferences, environmental concerns, available resources, and distinctive competencies to serve selected publics. It is used to guide the company’s decision making and strategic planning.” Basically, it is a statement of your business after you’ve analyzed the benefits sought by your clientele, present and future while also taking into consideration current and future market conditions.
The problem is, all too often a company’s mission statement falls into Marketing Myopia, meaning the mission statement fails to address the benefits and value that your business provides its clients and instead defines the business in the language of goods and services. The word myopia, is Greek for short-sightedness and is used here to describe narrow-minded or short-term thinking. When a business mission statement is in Marketing Myopia, it lends itself to potential irrelevance. (Even more so today considering the rapid pace of technological advancement.)
To prevent your business mission statement from falling into Marketing Myopia, it is important to focus on current and impending market conditions, as well as evaluating the benefits and value your business will bring to both, current and potential clientele. And always think long-term when composing your business mission statement. Thinking long-term automatically broadens your perspective and enhances your business’s chances of survival.
Written properly, a business mission statement will serve as the foundation for your marketing plan and will help you define your company’s objectives and strategies for the long-run. More on Marketing Plan Objectives in the next installment of “Elements of a Marketing Plan.”