When I hear someone call for the public sector to be more market driven, I always suspect they’re looking to make a buck at the public’s expense. And it’s an obvious statement–nearly everything in the public sphere is market driven. But I do believe that the public and social sectors need to be more marketing driven, and in this post I’m going to show you how by focusing on a sequence of tools for defining and documenting
- your value proposition
- your customer’s experience
- your business model
- the growth factors that will help your endeavor succeed
A note before we begin: Many public and social sector people can get put off by the vocabulary of the for-profit world: customers, business model, revenue, marketplace. Don’t be. These may not be your everyday terms, but I guarantee they are your everyday concerns as you seek to serve your community, increase your funding, and increase your impact.
First, your value proposition simply states how the product or service you want to offer improves the lives of your target audience. Creating a clear, concise and compelling value proposition is harder than it sounds. Check out this value proposition video for a quick but helpful 5-minute tutorial on the pieces that go into a value proposition. The video includes a template that you can follow to build your value proposition.
Next, map out how your customers will acquire and experience your product or service. Being very specific about customer experience helps ensure a positive interaction for both you and the customer. That drives positive word-of-mouth to help your product or service succeed. Use this free stuff customer experience template to discuss, plan and document your customer experience.
Once you have your value proposition and customer experience documented, you can plan the organization you’ll needed to deliver on your proposition and experience. This includes nitty-gritty operational items like raw materials, distribution channels, cost structures and payment mechanisms. This free business model creation ebook (72 pages) and accompanying 2-minute video tutorial will show you how to build your business model.
Finally, you’ll want to look around you and into the future to understand what trends will help or hinder the success of your organization as it delivers on your value proposition for your customers. Launching your new product or service will be much easier if you can swim with the tides of the marketplace, or at least not swim against them. Use this business growth factors template to map the trends you face.
These tools will give structure to your work of creating and delivering meaningful, sustainable products and services to serve your communities. They will make the work easier, but not easy. Thorough and precise planning is never easy, but it is necessary for success in any line of service, for profit or not for profit.
(Thanks to Business Model Generation website and book and How to Draw Toast for the materials referenced in this post. Business Model Generation and other books mentioned in this blog are available in the bookstore.)