Have you ever had the experience of driving down an interstate highway, lost deep in your own thoughts, only to realize that miles upon miles have unknowingly passed you by? Back in reality, you look to find a highway sign, observe the surrounding scenery for familiar landmarks or clues, and do your best to determine where you are and where you need to go.
Out on the road, you benefit from a plethora of clearly marked signs to guide your journey. Others have anticipated the paths you may need to take, the speed at which you should be traveling, hazards, exits, attractions, and other elements that can help you get where you want to go successfully. Today, GPS will even tell you turn by turn, mile by mile, precisely what to do to make it where you want to go. Miss your exit? Recalibration happens immediately and you get the advice you need to minimize the impact of your mistake or misfortune.
As you go about the day to day routine of running your business, knocking out to-do’s, and executing on the tactical, it’s important to be wary of becoming like the zoned out highway traveler – speeding forward but unconscious of where you are or where you’re headed. Unless you are paying attention to the signs around you and taking time to understand where you’re headed you can easily get lost. You might even forget where you were going to begin with, leaving you with a sense of being stranded, hopeless, and desperate for help.
As you think about marketing your business, it is a good idea to periodically make sure that you know where you want to go. Ask yourself why did you get in the car to begin with? Where are you headed? What resources do you need for your trip? How you’ll know if you’re getting closer to your destination? What you plan to do when you get where you want to go?
There are marketing tools that can guide your journey. Books, blogs, podcasts, articles, and presentations can help you make sense of the world, assess your surroundings, and orient you to the challenges you face. Web analytics, search data, social indicators, consumer feedback, purchase information, secondary research, and boundless other sources of information now exist providing you with feedback about the progress you’re making.
From a marketing strategy perspective, what’s really important and entirely up to you is to determine why. Unlike highways, the paths in marketing are no longer limited by a limited number of options. You have infinite opportunity, and thus it is critical to have purpose. Decide what you want to create and why it matters to you and to the people you hope to serve. Embrace your why. Develop a vision of going somewhere that does not yet exist. Then go and create the future.
At the Ohlmann Group, this is why we come to work each and every day. We use marketing to help our clients to create the future. It’s why we exist. It’s this sense of purpose that pulls me out of bed in the early morning hours sleepy eyed and smiling. It makes the long nights, hard work, and huge challenges of every project a source of energy and pride as opposed to a burden to bear in exchange for a paycheck. I love my job because it is a job with purpose. Because I have purpose, even when I am on an unknown road exploring new ground with my clients, I’m not lost. Nope, I’m just out there hunting for the opportunity to create the future. To use marketing strategy, creativity, and every last bit of energy I have to help my clients find their purpose and put them on a path to realize it.
We all get lost on the road. In today’s 9,000 mile per minute pace of life, it’s easy to get bogged down in the thick of thin things, lost in the minutiae of email, meetings, social media, and any number of other tempting distractions. If you hope to find success in this emerging age of creativity, possibility, and change, start by finding your purpose.
Marketing strategy begins with understanding why you exist. Knowing your purpose guide is essential to marketing your business in an uncertain world. If you need help in finding your purpose and creating your future, you can find us here at The Ohlmann Group, ready to serve your marketing needs.