Think, Build, Grow: planning for sales and marketing success in 2023
As we head rapidly towards the end of another year, most of us will be looking towards the future and wondering how we can make the next 12 months even better than the last. As business owners and marketing professionals within the sustainability space, there are likely to be nuances to our goals, with a focus on people and planet as well as profit.
So how can we grow ethically and sustainably? How can we ensure our plans hit those triple bottom line goals?
Next month, Future Leap will be hosting a panel to discuss just that, featuring three members of the Future Leap community:
- Ed Garrett, founder of branding and design agency, Garrett Creative
- Rin Hamburgh, founder of copywriting agency and consultancy, Rin Hamburgh & Co
- Corinne Thomas, founder of sustainable B2B lead gen consultancy, Ethical Sales
Here’s a taste of what they’ll be covering and, perhaps more importantly, why.
THINK: Brand fundamentals for purpose led businesses
Branding is at the core of your business. Everyone knows they need a brand, but it is so much more than just a logo and the colours that you use. Your brand is a platform for you to tell your stories, communicate your vision and build trust with your audience.
As a purpose led organisation trying to do good in the world, you’re not in a race to the bottom or selling on price alone. On this basis, it’s more important than ever that you have a strong brand that truly reflects who you are, why you exist and the quality of the work that you do.
Effective brand voice and visual identity drives both emotion and action, not just once but consistently and strategically across the entire customer journey. This in turn will help you to become more visible and align everyone around you with your goals for people, planet and profit.
So where do you start?
“The best branding begins with thinking,” says Ed. “What do you stand for? What’s your purpose? How do you communicate with your audience? Getting this strategy nailed down and infusing it into your language and design will give you a firm foundation on which to build a consistent and authentic brand that generates customer loyalty and long term results.
“Effective brand strategy will also help you define your mission, goals, market positioning and customer personas – all of which are crucial for a successful business. From here, logo design, copy, brand activation and creative assets will equip you with an adaptable and futureproof brand which will help you to achieve your ambitions.”
BUILD: How to build an expert reputation
How often have you heard a brand talking about being “experts in their field”? Do you believe them? Or do you feel that the proof of the pudding is in the eating? Having knowledge or experience is one thing but proving it is quite another.
“Being an expert is a great start,” says Rin. “The trouble is that it’s not always easy to sample that expertise in the same way that you can, for example, sample a food product at a market stall. This is a particular challenge for B2B, service-based or charitable organisations, as well as those with more complex or intangible offerings such as SaaS platforms.
“In marketing, it’s important to ‘show’ rather than ‘tell’. Telling someone that you’re an expert – or that you’re a values-led business or organisation, or that you’re passionate about what you do – requires them to trust you as a brand. Which, if they don’t know you yet, can be difficult. Especially in this world of greenwashing and fake news.
“The good news is that it is totally possible to demonstrate expertise and build authority by being strategic about the kind of content you create. And there are some really awesome side benefits that our clients have discovered that come out of the process of articulating that expertise.”
GROW: How to grow your business with ethical sales
For many business owners, the word ‘sales’ conjures up images of a slimy salesman in a shiny suit, doing dodgy deals. If you are running a purpose-driven business that puts people and the planet before profit, it’s even harder to align this perception of sales with your ethical values.
But the stark truth is that we all need sales to drive our business, in one form or another. Without it, our businesses do not grow, thrive or serve the customers that we want to help.
So, how can we deal with this conundrum as ethical business owners? The good news, says Corinne, is that it is perfectly possible to operate a successful sales function and run a for-purpose company.
“Ethical sales activities are authentic, meaningful and human,” she explains. “The person behind the sales activities is respectful, curious and empathetic. Ethical salespeople want to serve their customers, to find out what their needs are, before they suggest solutions. They are patient, yet gently persistent and always listen hard before speaking.
“By putting your customers’ needs centre-stage, you will naturally be able to align your sales activities with your ethical values. And, even better, your business will enjoy long-term, sustainable sales success as a result.
“I’m looking forward to explaining this more at the Think, Build, Grow Future Leap seminar and providing you with some really practical examples of how you can set up a successful ethical sales function at the heart of your business.”
How to reserve your place
The Think, Build, Grow event will be taking place on a hybrid basis, both at the Future Leap hub in Bishopston (1-3 Gloucester Road, Bristol, BS7 8AA) and online. There are a range of ticket options, the event is open to all and free for members.
If you want to find out more about how you can achieve values-driven and sustainable marketing and sales success in 2023, follow this link for more information about the event and to book your space.