Hard work isn’t enough – for a company to be truly successful, team members must be aligned from top to bottom on the org chart with what your company is trying to achieve.
So says Kelly Smith Kenny, Chief Marketing and Growth Officer at AT&T. Kenny says that before getting into the weeds of strategy and tactics, any leader should first focus on defining their company’s purpose: “This ensures that every employee and decision is focused on the right things rather than the everything.” Kenny spoke to ukbusinessupdates.com about why setting your goal is vital – and the tactics you can use to make sure it’s implemented in all areas of your business.
Why is finding purpose important for a business?
A company’s purpose should guide and apply to everything you do – from corporate strategy and culture to customer experience and day-to-day employee decision-making. Your customers and employees, whether they’re new or have been with you from the start, need to feel an instant connection to the job and what you have to offer – it’s that simple. Purpose connects your employees around a single inspiring reason to come to work, which makes the work experience more fulfilling and in turn keeps and attracts people to the company. Inspired employees not only ensure better performance, but also create more emotional bonds with customers and with each other.
Related: How to Find Purpose in Your Business Projects
How does a leader go about determining the purpose of his company?
It starts with understanding the values that guide your decisions and goals. How does the company do its job best, what is unique about your approach to culture, and what steps can you take to always put your people and customers first? The goal should be clear in the goal, and also in the path to carry it out. In the case of AT&T, the path to our new purpose (“Connecting people with more possibilities – with expertise, simplicity and inspiration”) began through a process that started with looking inward. We ran a series of co-creation workshops with people from all corners of the business. We explored our history, analyzed insights from previous research and collected input from thousands of customers, prospects and employees. We then tested and measured how well it captured the minds of our people, customers, our role in society, as well as our legacy and ambition for the future.
Photo credit: Kellyn Smith Kenny
After you define it, how do you put it into action?
Some employees are influenced by their peers, some by their leadership, and others need to see the data, so you have to do it all. One of the simplest and most useful resources we created was a target filter. It’s a simple Q&A style worksheet that can be applied to any activity or process. Employees use this filter to weigh decisions and prioritize. The filter asks specific micro and macro questions that can be run through like a checklist. From “Did we listen carefully to what customers need?” to “Have we eliminated all unnecessary steps?” to “Is this something you’re proud to share with a friend or colleague?” This tool made our goal doable and accessible to all employees, demonstrating that everyone has a role to play.
What do you think is an underrated skill in marketing?
A true expert is generous in sharing his knowledge, but more importantly is an intense listener. Your customers are likely to tell you exactly what they want, all you have to do is listen. If not, ask. There are more ways to connect directly with customers than ever before. Whether you meet them face-to-face, rely on chat, or analyze the comments on your social channels, every interaction is an opportunity to hear from them.
Related: 7 Steps To Living Your Life With Purpose
What are the big marketing trends entrepreneurs need to know about in 2023?
Connectivity is becoming the backbone of innovation across all categories, from solopreneurship to startups to global enterprises. We expect households to triple their number of connected devices between 2021 and 2025, quintupling data usage on our network, creating heroic moments for the companies delivering best-in-class content and product experiences with faster speeds and lower latency.