We figured that there are lots of articles with advice and wisdom to guide StartUps in their development, progress, and growth. While the lifecycle of a StartUp is very focused on financial growth, we focus on sustainable progress to be measured in its development of inclusive action and engagement with stakeholders on sustainable growth for society and planet. Define your company’s purpose first to guide your vision and mission for your StartUp.
The traditional lifespan of StartUps starts with the idea and development of the project itself, the early stage, followed by the growth stage. After raising the “friends, family & fools” funds, the seed and Series A stage, StartUps enter the Series B, C and D stages. Those phases represent the maturity of the new-born business. The reason for the segmentation of StartUps into these stages lies in the indication of risks. It signalizes to investors as well as clients the financial maturity of the organisation when thinking about investing and engaging with the company. Investors in particular focus on the entrepreneurial team first. It is the number one asset of the company representing a wealth of competencies. Investors then concentrate on the market in which the business operates before considering the actual product and service, the new business develops.
Pitching and selling to make your business and operations progress and grow, are hard work. We would like to provide you with some tools for sustainable progress and thoughts from a marketing perspective aiming for your organisation to successfully position itself, gain confidence, convince investors, and gain capital, but also develop shared value.
The pitch, yes, it is so little, and it is so important. When you pitch, there is never enough time. Often you need to pitch in different languages which requires training. A pitch provides your audience with a precise understanding of your purpose, your plan, and your vision. A pitch is an inspiration that gives relevance to your audience and to the market in which it operates. An effective pitch generates enthusiasm, motivates your audience, and persuades to buy in.
Work on your pitch, so you can do it in several timeframes, for example, 3 minutes, 1.5 minutes, and 30 seconds. If you pitch in a different language other than your native one, prepare and repeat it until you feel comfortable with it. Test and tailor your pitch, so that you have different ones to match the multiple audiences you are engaging with. The pitch needs to be to the point, entertaining, flawless, and sincere. It needs to be an authentic story and part of yourself.
To structure your pitch effectively, we recommend Patrick Dang’s pitch formula which simplifies your speech when meeting the following requirements: I help x achieve y by doing z. 
In your pitch story, inspire through your vision of where your business is heading, confirm your competencies and passion and explain how your product or service solves your audience’s challenges. Apply the formula and test it in various timeframes and languages. Now you are ready to pitch.
When you create your business, you build your visual identity – this includes your logo, font, colours, image concept and tone of voice. Every item of your visual identity represents your business purpose, your vision, and your mission. After the development of your visual identity, you define your owned media channels including your website and your social media channels corresponding to your specific audience. These media channels serve as your loudspeaker to the rest of the world.
Having your communication platforms reflect your visual identity helps you establish business credibility. It allows you to convene meetings more easily and earn a better understanding when you pitch for investment or sell your product. During the meeting with your stakeholder, we suggest you emphasize your pitch with a clear and slick presentation highlighting your message tailored to your audience. Take into consideration the industry sector, the hierarchy of your audience, the gender and political environment, in which they operate.
The presentation can be easily done through PowerPoint, but also through other online tools such as Prezi . Your presentation and slides shall always represent your corporate identity. Depending to whom you pitch, vary the content giving relevance to your audience. For example, for investors, you start with your vision, brand promise and logo. You also point out how you can help overcome the challenge, who your team is, in what market you operate in, and what your solution represents. Depending on your audience, you add additional features such as data and a timeline of growth. For potential customers, you present a pricing structure and potentially a return on investment. We follow Matt C. Smitt’s advice  for more detailed information on how to structure your slide deck.
When you start reaching out to investors, partners, and potential clients, it is essential to collect the contact information of all your stakeholders. It will serve as a base for your marketing-related activities and growth hacking actions. Through this collected data, you also understand the client journey, user interests and customer behaviour. Invest a little time in finding the right Customer Relationship Management (CRM), instead of adding your details into an excel sheet. You find readily online CRM tools with a freemium subscription. Choose a CRM that can connect to your media channels, allows you to segment your contacts and has e-mail marketing options. Freemium options are for free up to a certain number of contacts in your database. Very often, CRMs provide discounts for start-ups. It is important to also consider data privacy. If your business is based in Europe, ensure that the server of your CRM is also located in Europe. With the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) policy, this detail is important to respect your stakeholders’ sensitive information and store this data within European legislation.
Reaching out and turning every stone to find investors or clients is tiring and time-intensive work. The fact that you collect your stakeholder information allows you to engage your audience longer and continuously and support you in your business development.
Social Media Engagement: Identify specific companies and organisations you expect to be the ideal investor or client. Follow the organisations you wish to work with and engage in their social media posts through likes and comments continuously. It allows you to understand their challenges and progress, lift your profile to your target. It also helps you to grow your followers on your personal and corporate social media platforms. Keep in mind that each social media channel represents different audiences. Social Media engagement should be done daily. Also, company content shall be posted very regularly on your channels, so your target audience understands what you offer.
Newsletters: With the collection of your client data, you can engage your audience through e-mail marketing activities. This allows you to share your content such as articles from your blogs, company news, stories and pictures of past or upcoming events, product promotions, announcements of new partnerships and job advertisements. Ideally, you send out these newsletters following a timeline of your choice and you stick to it to maintain a regular information push.
When entering a new market as an unknown brand, it is important to focus on visibility and credibility. You should choose a partner who is aligned with your values and aims for the same vision as your company as well as includes the same target audience that you wish to reach out to. A partnership means developing value not only for your own business, but also for the partner organisation and all other stakeholders (clients, members, third parties, civil society, government etc) in parallel. This shared value supports you with gaining credibility. Your audience will feel inspired by your common vision and believe in your brand. Partnering with organisations, for-profit or not-for-profit, also permits you to extend your visibility due to combined networks. Through partnerships, you start to build your reputation and extend your reach.
When developing progress for your company, focus on the purpose of your organisation. It is the guiding light of your decisions, your storytelling, and to the investors and clients you are aiming for. It is the glue to your brand.
By creating shared value for all your stakeholders and not only focusing on the financial aspect of your business, you progress sustainably and convince your audience not only to buy into your product, but also to understand your purpose and believe in your vision. This is true for all – including clients and investors.
 2020, Patrick Dang – The Perfect Elevator Pitch – Best Examples and Templates – https://youtu.be/r-iETptU7JY
 A video and visual communications software company since 2009 – https://prezi.com/
 2021, Matt C Smith – What investors ACTUALLY want to see in your PITCH DECK https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYWF64Um7pw
Excerpt of Forbes by contributor Jessi Baker
The role of the marketer is evolving at pace. In recent decades, the trade has undergone a radical digital transformation and evolved from a one-way broadcast to a conversation: on top of their regular campaign cadence, today’s marketers are communicating with customers and responding to events in real-time on social media. Marketers are also weathering diminishing customer trust with messaging overhauls and influencer collaborations. And, of course, they’re no longer expected to simply sell products – the rise of purpose-led marketing means alignment with social values is fundamental to a successful customer journey.
Today, a new shift is once again reshaping the job: the shift towards sustainability communications.
Sustainability is the new digital
In a recent conversation with Sarah Shilling, CMO at UNLIMITED Group, she highlighted the importance of marketing’s new remit: “Sustainability communications are no longer a hygiene factor, but a priority factor. Many customers now look for sustainability as one of the priority filters to purchase, often over price.”
With 79% of consumers (Cap Gemini) changing purchase preference based on products’ social or environmental impact, marketers are racing to capitalise with sustainability messaging. Take Sainsbury’s, which recently retired its longstanding ‘Live Well for Less’ slogan in favour of the sustainability-focused ‘Helping Everyone Eat Better’. However, as Sarah Shilling explains, the opportunity is not without risk: “Sustainability is unforgiving. More so than price, delivery and quality. If you get your sustainability messages wrong or your promises are lies, then it’s a long road to try and claw that back.”
The result is that today’s marketers bear the burden of a significant new responsibility. They are increasingly expected to be au fait with life-cycle assessments, to know the difference between ‘cradle to gate’ and ‘cradle to grave’ and to tell PET from rPET.
For those feeling burdened by these new demands and wary of falling into the greenwashing trap, here are a few practical considerations:
Read the full article:
Excerpt from Harvard Business Review, by Leena Nair, Nick Dalton, Patrick Hull, William Kerr
With more than 149,000 employees, Unilever confronts every issue related to the changing nature of work. It invests in AI and robotics for its factories, negotiates with unions, hires gig workers, and is reshaping its workforce for digital commerce. Many organizations facing challenges similar to Unilever’s assume that workforce transformations require painfully reducing the number of employees—perhaps by shifting some into consulting relationships—or taking other steps at workers’ expense, such as cutting hours or benefits.
Unilever believes that such transactional approaches overlook opportunities and are ultimately counterproductive. That doesn’t mean the company is willing to trade profitability for workforce security. Its vision is to deliver to investors financial returns in the top third of its industry, and it competes in the heavily automated and digitized commerce value chain. But an important lesson from the tenure of Paul Polman, the CEO who led Unilever from 2009 to 2019, is that purpose can help reduce tensions in the workforce and create optimum conditions for growth. The company believes that a focus on purpose will allow it to adapt faster and more profitably in the future than the old change-management model would.
This article describes Unilever’s Future of Work program and its attempts to remain competitive while staying true to its mission of “making sustainable living commonplace”—including for its employees. Most of the tactics involved will be useful even for companies that don’t share Unilever’s perspective, although we hope to persuade some skeptics that an “all-in” approach is best.
Unilever’s expansion of the scope of purpose from sustainable brands to sustainable workforce relationships was inspired by several beliefs about the evolving nature of work.
In offices and factories alike, digital skills must be updated or renewed at a much quicker pace than was necessary with prior technologies. Because keeping employee skills relevant will always be a work in progress, Unilever aims to hire people with a learning aptitude and a connection to the company’s values. Purpose is arguably the highest ground possible for aligning a workforce, and Unilever bets that its commitment to purpose will give rise to stable, productive employee relationships and a workforce capable of continual change.
Surveys consistently show that the younger generations value purpose at work. In one LinkedIn survey 86% of young employees reported being willing to give ground on title and compensation to work at a business aligned with their values or mission, compared with just 9% of Baby Boomers. Moreover, workers of all ages hold dear the capacity to achieve their personal goals and career expectations.
Younger generations now also demand greater consistency across a company and will loudly protest when they perceive its actions as inappropriate. The recent walkouts over military contracts at big tech firms are an example. Unilever believes that embedding purpose in workforce management fosters innovative approaches that will prepare it well for its most challenging moments. When faced with tough staffing and HR problems, executives can return to company values for guidance, charting a course that reduces the likelihood of blowback or discontent.
Unilever’s commitment to extend sustainability to its talent strategies is ongoing, and the company has made some missteps along the way. But it has identified several key lessons.
It may sound like a paradox, but creating a shared purpose requires that individuals first understand their own raison d’être. That makes workforce management critically different from other purpose-driven initiatives such as building a brand portfolio, which is mostly determined top-down. Employees at all levels undertake important actions to execute on the brand promise to consumers, but senior leaders decide what brands to field. By contrast, Unilever believes, embedding meaning in workforce renewal requires employees to decide what each wants in the future.
For example, it would be unproductive to encourage skills renewal for an employee whose career ambitions lie well outside the company, because she won’t invest to keep pace. Moreover, dictating change from above can lead to resistance. To ensure that employees never feel like manipulated widgets, Unilever minimizes the use of common terms such as “reskilling” and “upskilling.” Starting with an employee’s purpose—in a holistic sense, going beyond just title and compensation—gets the conversation off on the right foot and encourages employees’ accountability for their own development.
Unilever first sought alignment between individual and company meaning back in 2009, when it started the Unilever Leadership Development Program, which helped more than 400 senior executives discover their own purpose and use that experience to guide their work. (The practice is now widespread among senior leaders at many companies.) The program was so successful that Unilever expanded it to all levels of the organization.
The original four-day workshop for senior leaders was not feasible on a large scale, so the company has rolled out a one-day version that can reach all its employees in their countries and native languages. By the summer of 2021 almost 60,000 of them (40% of the workforce) had “discovered their purpose” through these workshops. Unilever is committed to reaching everyone—even hourly staffers. Today many new employees find that members of their team introduce themselves by sharing their purpose.
At the workshops employees develop individualized “future-fit plans” that chart their desired path over the next 18 months—even to destinations outside Unilever—and the important skill-development steps it requires. These workshops and frequent check-ins help Unilever listen better to its employees, which it believes will lead to increased engagement, well-being, and commitment to drive the company’s strategy.
The workshops don’t sugarcoat the future, however. For example, someone who doesn’t want to be employed in a highly automated factory can work openly, with the company’s assistance, on a path to a better fit—either in a different part of the organization or in a career that takes him away from Unilever.
The future-fit plan becomes the basis for the employee’s engagement with Unilever’s skills platform. Being open to employee career paths makes tools such as talent marketplaces, cross-firm employee swaps, and portable skills certification more valuable. The program is bearing fruit. In 2020, 92% of those who had attended a discover-your-purpose workshop reported having jobs that inspire them to go the extra mile, compared with only 33% of those who had not attended one.
As companies shift work away from 40 hours a week and break it into discrete tasks, gig and remote models provide critical inputs. Unilever’s first forays into the gig economy were not particularly sophisticated. Many managers needed to be pushed to even consider non-full-time employees for tasks, and few had any experience with gig-work platforms such as Catalant and Momlancers. Unilever also needed to adapt its internal procedures: The 60-day-plus payment terms typical among consumer packaged goods companies are a bit slow for gig workers. But the company is persevering. It has identified more than 80,000 tasks it may need done over the next five years, which will be performed by a combination of full-time employees, gig workers, contractors, and those working flexibly.
From its early experiments Unilever learned quickly that top freelance talent can be choosy about employers, so companies need to stand out. Here its commitment to sustainability has proved important. A gig worker who sees Unilever as aligned with her values is more likely to bid on one of its projects and return for another. Although she won’t be attending a discover-your-purpose workshop, the company believes that creating a connection with her is also important. Indeed, Unilever is progressing toward a common hiring funnel for all workers, whether gig or full-time.
Read full article: https://hbr.org/2022/03/use-purpose-to-transform-your-workplace
With an increasing amount of business beginning to shift their operations to sustainable models, consumer speculation and scepticism has helped uncover greenwashing efforts and recognize the companies truly seeking to combat climate change [1, 2]. For businesses, working towards enacting sustainable solutions should not be seen as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) requirement, just as an Environmental Societal and Governance (ESG) policy should offer platitudes without action. Companies that are serious about engaging their workforce, portfolio, and their consumers to act on climate issues are promoting “mutual success”, as explains General Electric’s Chief Sustainability Office Roger Martella , “Different companies play different roles, but they are unified in the belief that now is the moment to capitalize on that energy and act.”
Sustainable solutions are easier to implement than many realize [1, 4]. There are opportunities for companies of all sizes to improve their sustainability, efficiency, and societal impact – but the first step, committing to change, is the most difficult . While combining business and politics has often been a complicated path for companies to navigate, failing to adapt to consumer demands and long-term social policy is a far more dangerous stance . However, engaging in activism can lead to a much stronger business model, as companies like Patagonia have demonstrated. The outdoor equipment and sportswear designer has been committed to social and environmental causes since 1985, when it donated 10% of its profits to conservation programs and organizations, before changing it to a yearly 1% donation on all revenue [4, 7].
Patagonia has since publicly supported Planned Parenthood through donations, sued the Trump Administration over its handling of national parks, funded campaigns to change U.S. public policy, and increased its climate advocacy and financial support for conservation efforts . The company’s staunch support for progressive policies has led to boycotts of its products, a move that its executives highlight has not had a negative impact on their bottom line, and has actually increased their customer base . “People often ask, ‘Are you a for-profit business or are you an NGO?’” Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert told the Los Angeles Times , “And the answer in my mind is yes; I think we’re some weird mashup of those two things. What we really are is a for-profit business, and we use the business to try to influence larger, more systemic issues.”
Patagonia’s long-standing activism is leading other major brands to shift their sights on changing systemic issues. Whether social, like Nike’s support for civil rights advocate Colin Kaepernick, or climate-related, like insurance giant AIA’s $10 billion divestment from coal, an increasing number of global companies are taking a stand for causes they believe in [4, 8]. However, more needs to be done, and more can be done. Sustainability is not a passing consumer fad, but a real movement seeking to improve the environmental and social outlook of the planet, companies are working to achieve mutual success [3, 6].
“The problem right now is you have businesses that are afraid,” explains Marc Elias, a voting rights lawyer who works with Patagonia and other companies on their activism efforts in an interview with the Los Angeles Times , “The instinct of most corporate leaders is to seek safety by staying with the herd and issuing only the blandest possible statements, it’s really unfortunate, because now is not the time for businesses to offer thoughts and prayers.” So what is the solution? Take a stand and act. Safeguarding the planet for future generations does not need to come at the expense of a business’ bottom line, they are not mutually exclusive – have you thought about what you can achieve?
 Vincent Diringer, 2022, “The Importance of Sustainable Business Models”, LEAD-WiSE.
 Vincent Diringer, 2022, “Greenwashing”, LEAD-WiSE.
 Roger Martella, 2022, “How businesses are taking the lead to get the world to net-zero”, World Economic Forum.
 Andrea Chang, 2021, “Patagonia shows corporate activism is simpler than it looks”, Los Angeles Times
 Andrew Winston, 2021, “Sustainable Business Went Mainstream in 2021”, Harvard Business Review.
 Knut Haanaes, Natalia Olynec, 2022, “Why all businesses should embrace sustainability”, International Institute for Management Development.
 Patagonia, 2022, “ Environmental Activism”, Patagonia.
 Yvonne Lau, 2021, “7 years ahead of schedule, AIA becomes the first major Asian insurer to end coal exposure” Fortune.
“No one will protect what they don’t care about; and no one will care about what they have never experienced,” states renowned biologist Sir David Attenborough . This simple mantra is rooted in far more than ideological nuance, as research has shown that embedding environmental appreciation and understanding into education can have positive effects on students’ willingness to partake in sustainable behaviour [2, 3]. However, this is not limited solely to the classroom, and as the research highlights, there is a need for more interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral collaboration in achieving environmental education and encouraging sustainable comportment. This provides businesses with an opportunity to promote change internally with their team, but also with their customers via a sustainable business model [4, 5].
Major companies are working towards providing their workforce with opportunities to learn more about climate change and social justice and empower them to take action . In 2021, Deloitte launched a one-of-a-kind climate learning program for its 330,000 employees worldwide that aimed to educate them on the challenges of the climate crisis, and what they could do to mitigate it . As of March 2022, over 80% of their workforce had completed the course, and were supportive of it, indicating that they had a better grasp of Deloitte’s own climate mitigation commitments, but also how they could reduce their own impact . Global governments are already working towards implementing a sustainable economy, and companies are embracing a low-carbon future for their operations and products . While these are steps in the right direction, there is a driver of change that is being omitted: people.
For wide-ranging environmental change to happen, individuals must be more in tune with nature, but also understand how they might be able to help [1-4]. This means educating consumers as well as workers and highlighting how the business is being made more sustainable, why it matters, and how each individual can help, as Carter Roberts, the CEO of the World Wildlife Fund explains [6, 8], “Companies have a big role to play in driving progress. Leading companies today are not only setting science-based targets to slash emissions and drive progress through their supply chains. They are also engaging their customers and employees to make smarter choices and build momentum for broader societal progress.”
Sustainability can only be achieved if applied at every level of a supply chain. Reducing carbon emissions and finding opportunities to be more environmentally friendly are key steps towards safeguarding the planet for future generations – but more can be done. Both formal and informal types of education are being prioritized to help people interact more with nature and create a bond that encourages them to pursue sustainable practices [1-3].
Educating a population on sustainability will not only improve the resilience of the community, but help drive faster change aimed at preserving the community’s social, cultural, and economic values . In turn, these also help create a more inclusive societal group where respect and equality form a basis towards strong sustainable action.
Yet the duty of providing education need not rest on solely academic institutions and special interest groups. There are opportunities for companies and businesses to not only shift their operations to a sustainable model, but also help educate their workforce and their consumers [4-8]. Change is easier achieved when everyone is fighting for a common goal. Have you considered how your business can be one of these change-makers?
 Matt Adam Williams, 2013. “Securing Nature’s Future”, The Ecologist.
 Inga Žalėnienė, Paulo Pereira, 2021. “Higher Education For Sustainability: A Global Perspective”, Geography and Sustainability, 2(2).
 Christine Wamsler, 2020. “Education for sustainability”, International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 21(1).
 Lisa Held, 2022, “Companies embrace employee sustainability education to tackle climate emergency”, Fortune.
 Vincent Diringer, 2022, “The Importance of Sustainable Business Models”, LEAD-WiSE.
 Claire Hassett, Steve Dutton, 2021. “Deloitte launches climate learning program to empower all 330,000 people to take action”, Deloitte.
 Vincent Diringer, 2022. “Net-Zero: The Future of Sustainable Businesses”, LEAD-WiSE.
 Vincent Diringer, 2022. “Encouraging Sustainability in Everyday Life”, LEAD-WiSE.
 Alexandra Bec, Brent Moyle Brent & Char-lee Moyle, 2018. “Resilient and Sustainable Communities. Sustainability”, MDPI Sustainability 10.
Excerpt of Forbes – By Mike Kappel
Are you throwing money down the drain with marketing strategies that just aren’t cutting it? Unsure? That’s where marketing KPIs, or key performance indicators, come into play. Businesses use KPIs to gauge whether their marketing efforts are effective or not.
There’s no shame in having failed marketing efforts. When you measure them, you can easily test and fix things. But if you don’t bother to measure them, you could be wasting time and money on things that don’t work.
Let’s fix that, shall we?
In marketing, key performance indicators are metrics businesses use to measure the successes and shortcomings of their marketing efforts. KPIs measure things like the revenue, costs, and web traffic associated with marketing.
So, do marketing KPIs matter? Before all you marketers cringe at this question, let me just quickly say that yes, yes they do. But depending on your small business and the industry you’re in, you might not know much about these KPIs. So, it’s OK to ask if you should take the time to invest in measuring them.
Tracking key marketing KPIs can help you:
Not all of your marketing efforts directly translate into money. In fact, a lot won’t. Marketing is also about building brand awareness and letting potential customers get familiar with your business. As a result, some marketing KPIs focus on money while others don’t. Regardless, they’re all pretty important for marketing (and business) success.
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
How much money are you soaking into marketing versus how much is it generating for your business? Use the return on investment (ROI) metric to find out. ROI is a percentage that shows you whether your business is gaining or losing money. […]
So to figure out your marketing cost, you need to add up all of your marketing expenses, including:
If your ROI is too low, you can cut back some expenses or find new ways to boost revenue. If it’s high, keep going—you’re doing great.
[…] You can compare your customer acquisition cost and customer lifetime value.
Customer acquisition cost shows you how much you are spending to get the customer to spend at your business.
Customer lifetime value shows you how much the customer spends over the course of a lifetime at your business. If they’re a loyal customer, probably a bit.
You can then compare the customer’s lifetime value to how much it costs to acquire the customer. If you’re spending more to acquire a customer than what they’ll spend at your business, it might be time to reevaluate your marketing strategy.
Do you have a business website? Of course you do (and if you don’t, now’s the time to create one!). And chances are, your website is a marketing tool in and of itself.
Why not observe how successful it is?
You can use tools, like Google Analytics, to determine how many people are coming to your website. And, you can see which website pages generate the most activity. Take advantage of your top pages by adding things like ads, and beef up your low-performing pages with things like keywords and visuals.
Now of course, you can get as nitty-gritty as you want to when it comes to web traffic. Break it down by organic (unpaid) traffic and paid traffic. You can see how many people are returning visitors and how many are unique visitors. The possibilities are (seemingly) endless.
Here are a few other things you can track when it comes to your website:
According to one study, 90% of U.S. businesses use social media to market. If you fall into this majority, the question is … what KPIs should you use to measure your efforts?
Well, there’s a bit. You can use metrics such as:
Keep in mind that, even though you may use social media for marketing purposes, it shouldn’t be exclusively about marketing. If some of your KPIs are poor, it might be because you’re not giving your followers enough useful and informative content. Play around with a posting schedule to improve your metrics.
Are current or potential customers opening emails? Clicking through them? Doing the action you want them to?
If you don’t know, you’re going to spend a lot of time throwing emails into the void. That’s why email engagement metrics are oh-so important.
You can measure the percentage of recipients who open emails, click through them, and convert to paying customers.
By measuring these types of metrics, you can change up your emails so they’re more effective. Do some A/B tests, where you send one email to one group and a variation of the email to another group. See what’s more successful. I’ve been surprised by more than one A/B test winner in the past.
Read the full article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikekappel/2020/08/19/dont-snooze–lose-track-these-5-marketing-kpis-instead/?sh=567222c36f24
Excerpt of Forbes – By Izabela Lundberg
Did you ever think about why and how some teams or organizations are more successful than others?
Despite many talent similarities ranging from education, training, background and years of experience, to name a few, organizations get very different results in performance.
Is it leadership, talent, organizational structure or something else that is the determining factor in high performance? The short answer is culture.
Culture is the bones of an organization, the fundamental elements, like traditions, rituals, language, story and communication style, combine to make us, “us.” Culture is the driver behind everything you do as an organization. It is a catalyst for how decisions are made and how business gets done.
And this can be negative or positive. Culture doesn’t care which one it becomes. Every organization has a culture, healthy, toxic or anywhere in between. The culture you get depends on the quality of leadership.
How you show up as a leader sets the tone for everyone else to follow. But if your organization is going to have a culture in any case, I recommend you do your utmost to develop a champion culture. The best way to do that is through an emotional commitment to excellence of all team members every single day.
Why is this critical? Because research shows that the number one reason for the Great Resignation is a toxic culture due to poor leadership. […]
Champion culture boldly seeks to understand and address fear in the workplace, the most powerful driver of a toxic culture. Understanding and addressing fear can unlock massive potential at every level of your organization, thus creating a champion culture throughout.
Here are the different kinds of champions you can encourage in your business:
• Individual champion: A brilliant all-star business player who brings trustworthiness, discipline, competency and a high performance and impact mindset demonstrated through emotional intelligence and capacity. These are the most needed and some of the most desired traits. […]
• Team champion: A brilliant, all-star, high-performing team made up of individual champions operating effectively and collaboratively. Creating an environment of shared purpose, trust, openness and willingness to admit and correct mistakes are critical in a champion culture.
• Organizational champion: The organization operates in a high-performing culture with the flagship of transformational leadership aligned with organizational vision, mission and goals. Integrating strategy, systems and structures is essential in developing a champion culture.
• World champion: High-impact culture, leading through exceptional legacy leadership, demonstrated accountability, integrity and transparency. This is not only reflected in their talent, customers or leadership, but also through the adoption of ESG global standards of operation organization-wide, driving the successful growth of the organization through continued business value.
Read the full article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2022/05/09/why-champion-culture-is-needed-more-than-ever/?sh=2c1017ec5c85
Excerpt of Forbes – YEC COUNCIL POST
Skillful digital marketing can influence opinion leaders, politicians and the general public to push for changes that’ll benefit your nonprofit’s cause. Many discussions on social issues and awareness are held online. Therefore, it’s worth putting your efforts toward establishing a powerful digital marketing strategy to find people who’ll connect with your story.
Digital marketing will help you focus on activities that help with:
Convincing people to give their money and time without the promise of any tangible return is not a walk in the park. However, it can be achieved by being deliberate with your messaging online and by targeting the right audience. No matter your geographic location, you’ll find that the following tips provide you with cost-effective solutions and measurable results.
A robust online presence means being noticeable and memorable on online channels. Investing in a number of online channels brings you closer to more people who may be interested in helping you champion your cause in one way or another.
Some examples include:
Keeping your online pages engaging and active will give you an edge. You can also integrate the channels using backlinks so that they work together for even more exposure and interaction.
Most social media platforms have a free option and a paid option that can increase your visibility and engagement.
The list below shows how you can use paid options to boost your online presence.
The beauty of digital marketing is that it levels the playing field for well-established organizations and beginners or newcomers. You can benefit from this effect by creating quality content on a regular basis. This will help you build authority and allow people to familiarize themselves with your cause.
Expert Tip: Do not underestimate the power of any social media platform. Regardless of the platform, there’s likely to be a user who’ll resonate with your cause.
To improve the quality of your leads and the conversion rate, you must invest in software that automates repetitive marketing operations.
Marketing automation tools can help with the following marketing operations:
Investing in marketing automation helps the essential personnel speed up their daily operations, allowing them to focus on other important tasks.
Emotions drive action. Therefore, your messaging needs to be personalized and target particular individuals. This means that the content you put out must be relatable. Choose stories that involve real people and the impact your organization has had on their lives.
Whether you’re tackling mental health issues or rebuilding homes after a natural disaster, the key is to show how real lives were affected by your efforts. People will be more likely to want to work with you.
Depending on the platform, you can tailor your message to appeal to the demographic you’re targeting. You’ll get an idea of what works best on which platform by keeping track of your engagement and the results derived from each kind of interaction.
One big mistake that nonprofits and charities make is having a donation page with too many requirements and too much information.
A successful donation page:
Remember to assure donors that their card details are safe. Including an optional share button will allow donors to post on social media that they’ve supported your cause.
Finally, always remember to send a personalized thank you message to every person who donates. Appreciate their contribution and keep them updated on the progress of your work. This keeps you connected and more likely than not, they’ll donate again.
Expert Tip: Avoid distractions and pop-ups on the donation page. It’ll keep the donor’s attention focused on the donation button.
Excerpt of Forbes – Mike Kappel Contributor
Marketing is important to every business’s survival. As a small business owner, you probably have a small business marketing strategy. But, marketing is always changing with new tactics.
As marketing evolves, shouldn’t your small business marketing strategies change, too? Learning how to improve marketing for your organization can only benefit your business’s bottom line.
If your marketing strategies for small business never change, they can go stale. Your competitors will find better ways to market, and your customers will get tired of you. You must follow marketing trends to stay fresh with your customers.
While your basic marketing plan might work for your business, there are things you can do to improve. Find out how to improve marketing for your small business.
When searching for ways to improve your marketing, look to your competitors. Find out what they are doing to attract customers. If you’re the only company in your industry still using cold calling techniques and with little return, it’s time to learn from the other players in the game. Their tactics might work for you, especially since you are trying to attract the same customers.
For example, if you see that your competitors regularly run ads on Facebook, you might consider doing the same. The regular Facebook ads might indicate that your competitors see success from running the ads. You might experience similar success with your ads and cause some of your competitors’ customers to come to you.
Before people buy something, they often look for reviews that validate their purchase. People want to know that they’re spending money on quality. And, they want to know if what you have to offer is better than what your competitors have to offer.
You can attract more customers by getting reviews from people who have already purchased from you.
You can put your reviews in multiple places, so potential customers are sure to see them. You can add reviews to your website. You might have a dedicated testimonials page, or you might let customers review your products. Either way, customer reviews are a critical component of what makes a website effective.
You can have customers leave reviews on social media. For example, customers can leave reviews on your business’s Facebook page. Customers can also leave reviews on dedicated review sites.
Ask your customers to leave reviews. You can prompt them with an email or a social media post. If you talk to customers in person, ask them to write a review. You can even direct customers to the locations where you want them to leave reviews.
You probably already know that social media marketing is important for small businesses. But, simply having accounts isn’t enough. There are always new social media marketing tips for small business that can improve your presence on social platforms.
First, keep your account information updated and accurate. If something about your business changes, your social media profile should change, too. Make sure your website, address, hours, logo, and pictures are all current.
Second, post fresh content. You must regularly post new content on your social media pages. Don’t create an account and then forget about it. Frequent posts keep you in front of customers’ faces. Post about new products and sales, and show your followers what you and your business are up to.
Whether you have a storefront or a home-based business, it’s important for potential customers to get to know you and your business. They need to see you. Sometimes, that means you have to go out to where your customers are instead of waiting for them to come to you.
Develop your local marketing strategies by going out to local events. If you can, get a booth or table at events. What events you attend will depend on your product or service. You might go to flea markets, farmer’s markets, local festivals and fairs, and special interest events. For example, if you sell homemade soaps, you might attend an expo for creators of homemade goods.
When you attend events, you can bring items to sell and information about your business. Even if someone doesn’t buy something from you, offer them a business card, brochure, or other information about your business so they are reminded of your business later.
You can also hold a contest and have people sign up for your emails. You should find a way to nurture your leads and remain in front of them after the event ends.
You can improve your small business marketing by positioning yourself as a local expert. Becoming an expert is one of the long-term marketing tactics for small business, but can provide a big payoff.
Find local interest group meetings that fit in with your business’s brand. Attend them to network, find customers, and show off your expertise.
You can offer yourself as a speaker at local events and meetings. You might also do demonstrations. Leverage the networking benefits of joining a chamber of commerce. Also, talk to libraries and other local organizations to find out how you can get involved.
Talk to local journalists. Instead of trying to get reporters to write articles about your business, you can offer yourself as an expert for other stories. Create a relationship so journalists will come to you when they need to interview someone in your niche. Ask the reporter to mention your business when they quote you in the article.
Excerpt of Forbes – Michael Georgiou, Forbes Councils Member
Co-Founder at Imaginovation, overseeing the company’s global creative and strategic marketing, branding and advertising initiatives.
In today’s digital world where the internet is overflowing with information, choices and intense competition, what really makes a brand stand out?
Is it an excellent and unique product or service? Is it a brand’s visibility? I’d say it’s the brand’s authenticity. Having a quality product is, no doubt, essential for a brand, but it’s not enough.
The modern customer is smart, tech-savvy and research-oriented. Today, consumers can observe you, even when the spotlight is off. In my experience, what they really crave is a genuine, credible, trustworthy and authentic experience in this hyper-connected virtual world.
But how can you build an authentic brand experience? And why is it so important to winning more customers?
An authentic brand is one that decides to be transparent and consistent in its messaging and branding initiatives. It has business values it remains true to, and most essentially, it is honest.
Do you know what can happen when customers do not trust a brand — when they do not find a brand authentic? They often start looking for other brands they can trust.
Your brand’s authenticity has never been more relevant. According to recent Stackla data (via SocialMediaToday), 90% of customers mentioned authenticity as an important factor in deciding which brands they like and support.
There are many reasons why I believe brand authenticity is crucial for winning customers.