Tag Archives: Purpose

Find time for what matters in the building products industry

19 Mar

Why We Need to Focus on Purpose in Building Products Marketing

Focus on your business, your customers, and yourself

Too often we spend time figuring out how to be more efficient, effective, or impactful in what we do in our lives without determining if what we are doing really matters.

In the rush to check it off the list, or show the boss how great our PowerPoint looks, we don’t ask the really tough question – Does this really matter?

I’m not recommending we all move to Tibet and commune in silence for the next 6 months, but what I am advocating is that as a marketing leader in this industry you need to know how to prioritize what’s key to the business.

You have to answer these 3 questions about your brand/company –

  1. Who you are
  2. What you do
  3. Why it matters

Too often companies have lost sight of these 3 salient points. These 3 answers form the foundation of your brand experience, but more importantly they provide you with the answer to the questions – Is this important? Does it matter? Should I be spending time on this?

Because if what you’re doing doesn’t help support at least the answer to one of these 3 questions, you probably should move on. I’m not encouraging you to tell the board at the next quarterly meeting that you’re not doing something, but I am encouraging you to know why it matters, it at all.

It seems so simple, right? If it were there wouldn’t be thousands of business books written every year. Many of them with titles about Getting More Done, First Things First, What Should I Do With My Life, and many, many more.

A quick Google search of the term ‘What’s Important’ returned 1,130,000,000 results. Yes, there are over 1.1 billion results when Google is asked ‘What’s Important’. No wonder we all are tired or overwhelmed or confused or simply ready to move to that Tibetan monastery.

So stop solving every issue. Focus on those 3 fundamental questions and get the important things done (and hurry because you’re late on everything else).

Why We Need to Focus on Purpose in Building Products Marketing

2 Aug

Image linked from worksmartmompreneurs.com

Asking Your Company ‘Why Do We do This?’

Recently we heard Eduardo Conrado, the SVP and CMO of Motorola Solutions, talk about the process their company went through as they split Motorola into two companies; the B2C mobile company (Mobility) and the B2B organization (Solutions) Conrado helps to lead.

The decision to focus on Purpose helped define who the company would be – but initially sounded all too familiar to this experienced corporate marketer.

“We are going to create this new company (or product), so marketing and the agency are going to create a new name, a new logo, some brand guidelines and a bunch of ads. Don’t worry Mr. CEO, it’ll be fine.”

Conrado told of how he was almost at that same point and he knew he needed to stop the process and define ‘why’ it mattered. Not only to customers, but dealers and associates worldwide.

What they found was something we can all use as marketers in this new era of marketing.  A quote referenced from The Boston Consulting Group stated, “Marketing will not return to normal. It is vital for marketers to embrace new marketing approaches, vehicles and organizational approaches, while recognizing that there is no set recipe for success…in today’s world, marketing by the books is the biggest risk of all.”  Wow, aren’t you excited about your career choice?

Three key points about why Purpose should matter to you and your organization:

  1. Purpose Motivates Employees. If employees understand and believe in what you’re trying to achieve, they are more engaged and motivated. They understand they are part of something that matters and they are proud of where they work and what they do. In the tough housing market we are all working in, having motivated employees has never been more important.
  2. Purpose Gives Leaders a Personal Platform. As a leader in your company, defining the company’s purpose also defines your purpose. Where do you want to take the company? What do you want to accomplish that lasts beyond your tenure?
  3. Purpose Drives Sustainable Advantage. This is where the rubber meets the road. Organizations driven by purpose and values outperformed the general market 15:1 and outperformed comparison companies 6:1.* Now who couldn’t use that type of performance right now?

*From the book, Built to Last (Jim Collins)

Another key point from this presentation was the fact that Motorola Solutions, a technology innovator for decades, had to stop thinking of themselves as a technology company but rather view themselves as a solutions company.  Solutions that make a difference in people’s lives – everyday.

So how do we apply this thinking to our industry? We focus ourselves, our team, our suppliers, our channel partners and even our customers on the purpose of what we do every day. Ask yourself ‘why do we do this’ or ‘why does this matter’ and see what type of answer you get. If it’s the same as your competitor, it’s probably time to rethink everything.