When we start a relationship with a new client, one of our first recommendations is often a strategy session. These sessions are an important piece of our agency’s process to building a great brand. While there are a variety of ways to get to know a new client, a strategy session provides the best opportunity to dig deep into the ins and outs of the organization, understand the target audience, determine worthy rivals in the market, and evaluate current and past marketing efforts. It’s so much more than just a brainstorm or general planning meeting. If done effectively, it’s tactical, intentional, and an opportunity for real breakthrough for our agency, as a new part of your team, and for you, as you consider the marketing of your own business.
We target 3 key objectives when conducting a strategy session with your organization.
Objective #1 – To Understand the Vision for Your Organization
Somewhere along the way, your business or organization probably put together a mission or vision statement. In that statement, a snapshot was provided of the goals and plans for the organization’s future. While a good vision statement is an essential part of any business, it can only provide a small peek into what you’re hoping to accomplish. And often, that statement can be hard to quantify or qualify for the rest of your team.
As an agency, we strive to be more than just an outside marketing vendor for you. We want to be a strategic partner and an integral part of your team. When we sit down with you for a strategy session, we want to understand what you see as the future reality for your organization so we can make the best recommendations on how branding and marketing can help get you there.
We’ll ask you a lot of questions. In fact, that’s the purpose of the session. We are facilitators who guide you and your team through multiple exercises to establish exactly who you are and where you are going. When the session is over we want everyone in the room to leave with a renewed sense of purpose and a better understanding of the goals and direction of the business.
Objective #2 – To Evaluate Your Current and Past Marketing Efforts
In order to figure out where we’re heading, it’s always helpful to know where you’ve been. Whether you’ve put little or no time into your marketing or have spent years developing a brand you’re proud of, we want to see it all.
Do you have certain parts of your brand that are non-negotiable, or are you open to change? Are there marketing efforts that have been effective for you in the past, or do your previous efforts feel bland, uninspiring, or unmeasurable?
Figuring out what has or hasn’t worked for you gives us a great idea of where we need to go in order to elevate your brand. It’s the first step in a process that has helped other organizations time and time again.
Once our strategy session is complete, we put our creative and strategy teams to work for you to help you build a brand you can be proud of.
Objective #3 – To Build a Strong Foundation for Your Marketing Strategy
There are no cookie-cutter answers when it comes to a marketing strategy. Your organization is unique, and what works for some doesn’t work for everyone. In order for us to help you build a long-term strategy that will be successful for many years, we have to start with a strong foundation.
Throughout our session, we’ll lock into your specific target audience, understand who your competitors are and the space they currently occupy, and identify the areas where 1558 can best support your efforts.
From the session, we’ll provide a report with key findings and recommendations, and we will develop a preliminary framework and strategy that we feel will help you move your brand forward. This strategy will be customized to your needs, with a focus on only the marketing efforts that will bring the results you desire. Once that foundation has been established, we can get to work building a powerful brand for you.
The Bottom Line
While the term “strategy session” can often bring up notions of a stuffy, boring planning meeting, at 1558 Brand Agency we see it as an essential piece to your marketing strategy.
An open discussion about who you are as an organization, what you are trying to accomplish, and how you will accomplish it through a strategic marketing plan provides key insights into how we can best support you and your team. It also fosters a spirit of teamwork and trust as we work together to help you accomplish your goals.