Is a Company Mission/Vision Statement as Useful as a Marketing Strategy?

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Ideally, to be successful in business you need to have mission and vision statements, as well as a marketing strategy. They are all equally important as they are all powerful sign-posts to provide clear and succinct directions. The mission and vision statements are focused on the purpose and aspirations of the company, while a marketing strategy focuses on highlighting what is unique about your company to a targeted audience.

Unfortunately, mission and vision statements are often confusing or too generic, mixing values, aspirations, philosophies, strategies and descriptions. Let’s be clear about the difference between a mission and a vision statement:

  • A mission statement articulates the purpose of the company, why it exists, and what it does and for whom. It should serve as an ongoing guide that spells out what the company is all about. The mission should focus on the here and now.
  • A vision statement outlines the goals and aspirations for the future. It creates a mental picture of a specific medium-term target and should be used as a source of inspiration.

With those definitions in mind, I have outlined below what I believe to be the reasons why having all three of these documents written down and adhered to is essential to helping you clearly define your goals, objectives, audience and value both internally and externally.

Mission and Vision Statements are commonly used to:


  • Guide management’s thinking on strategic issues, especially during times of significant change
  • Help define performance standards
  • Inspire employees to work more productively by providing focus and common goals
  • Guide employee decision making


  • Enlist external support
  • Create closer linkages and better communication with customers, suppliers and alliance partners
  • Serve as a public relations tool

A Marketing Strategy is commonly used to:

  • Define what makes your service/product unique (besides price)
  • Create a Unique Selling Proposition
  • Define key target audiences for specific services or products you offer and where they are
  • Define what types of marketing tactics can be used to attract your key audiences
  • Define what your company values and how that relates to your audiences’ values
  • Define the frequency of the marketing tactics
  • Define measurement for each of the tactics for ROI tracking

I find that a good way to start the process of creating these key pieces of business documentation is to ask key people in your organization to answer the following questions:

  • For Mission (or Purpose): What is the core purpose of the organization? What do we do and for who?
  • For Vision (or Ambition): Where do we want to be in 5 or 10 years time? What are our aspirations?
  • For Marketing Strategy: What makes your service/product stand apart from the competition?


Do you feel your corporate mission statements and marketing strategy are useful, or do you disagree with me and feel (even well crafted) vision and mission statements and marketing strategies are not necessary/useful? Please share you views in the comments below!


Remember Your Vision?


Most business owners are driven individuals who have a vision to build a company that adheres to certain values or operates according to their own beliefs. However, sometimes we (even marketing agencies) get bogged down in the details of running our companies and we loose sight of why we wanted to work for ourselves in the first place. I can’t tell you the number of business owners who after working yet another 12 to 16 hour day ask me, “Remind me again, why I am doing this?”

Many small businesses lack a clear vision and tend to jump from task to task without a clear understanding of what bonds the individual actions together and/or the value created by the individual actions. This often leads to business owners losing sight of what they originally had in mind when their first opened their doors. What ever the vision you had when you first started your company, have you turned your vision into an actual “vision statement”?

A vision statement is a short statement that is specific enough to say something about what you will do, and equally what you will not do. It should be capable of driving your company to achieve a common goal, and be somewhat motivational so that you have a constant reminder of what you are trying to achieve when the going gets tough. Your goals, actions and measurement criteria are driven by your vision.

To help remind you why you are investing the 12-16 hours days, I’d like to share with you tips on creating or evaluating your vision statement:

  1. Your vision statement should be concise and give purpose to your business.
  2. It must be capable of motivating you and others in the business.
  3. It must become the cornerstone for your business, helping you to link your actions to your strategic goals.  Your actions must be driven from a clear understanding of the value they will create.
  4. Involve your employees or management team in creating your vision statement.
  5. Make sure you share your vision statement e.g. create a poster to hang in the front lobby, on your website, mugs, etc.  Employees need to understand it and believe in it as much as you do.

Has your original vision for your company changed? Have you ever formalized your vision into a vision statement?  If not, why not and if so, what have you found to be the most rewarding about committing your vision to paper?  I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below.