One of the exciting conversations which businesses have is asking the question, ‘what business are we in?’ For many companies, the answer may seem obvious, and therefore the conversation pointless. However, drill down a little, and you can often get some surprising insight, especially if your business has changed over time, which of course many companies do.
Hargreaves Marketing was initially established during the recession in 2012 to help small businesses migrate from more traditional marketing to digital marketing. Over time we took on a great variety of projects, many of which were with larger firms. We reduced and then virtually eliminated the digital marketing work, and instead, the practice evolved to be more consultancy, project management, and training.
Anyone who has worked on projects will appreciate that they can be challenging with some performing superbly well while others can be more challenging. It was clear that we needed to have a greater understanding of strategy to be able to figure out what was going on.
The story doesn’t end there.
What was shared with all the projects, (especially those involved in managing change), was the need to communicate the strategy. ‘Communicating strategy’ doesn’t just happen. In fact, in many companies, it doesn’t happen at all. It is something which I find very interesting, and a decision was made to focus on it entirely, with the mission being ‘to help businesses communicate strategy well.’
So back to the original question. What business are we in? Well, we still see ourselves as a consultancy business, however where we start to break away from that a little is with our value proposition. Strategy is complex and in my opinion, consultancy alone isn’t enough. It isn’t enough for clients to just listen, however good the listener and however good the consultancy session. Strategy is about action, about doing. We learn best by doing, right? To learn strategy, we must ‘do.’ Our value proposition, therefore, is all about ‘doing’ and practising together. Helping our clients, or rather enabling our clients to think about strategy, take action, talk about, and write about strategy. Our rationale is that if we can articulate clearly and concisely (both verbally and in writing) to communicate what our strategies are, then we must surely understand them completely.
The answer to the question is that we are a ‘hybrid’ business. We are both a consultancy business, and we are also a training business. As with the automobile manufacturers that produce hybrid cars which use a combination of petrol and electricity to power engines, Hargreaves Marketing Ltd is a hybrid consultancy and training company focusing on enabling our clients to communicate strategy well.
Having clarity is essential to both strategy and communications.
Hopefully, there are some takeaways for you in this blog.
For example. What business are you in?